Anyone looking for a good blast of common sense on a Saturday morning should read Eric Pickles’ interview in the Telegraph. In it, he responds to much of the kite-flying by the Liberal Democrat left in recent weeks.
In an exchange that will have many of his Cabinet colleagues nodding along in agreement, Pickles criticises judicial activism and the chilling effect it is having on ministers:
“You are constantly looking over your shoulder for judicial review … the electorate is being frustrated,” he says.
“I could kind of expect to be reviewed on procedural matters, but to be reviewed on policy?”
But, should judges not have some oversight of policy?
“No,” he replies. “I’m a bit old-fashioned really. I expect them to interpret the law, to stand up for the rights of individuals and dispense justice. I don’t expect them to make policy.”
This is a complaint made frequently by Conservative ministers and there is word that David Cameron might tackle the matter this autumn. Although, whether the attorney general Dominic Grieve would be amenable to action on this front is doubtful.
These remarks by Pickles, who is highly thought of in Downing Street, show that the Tory part of the coalition is keen to squash any talk of totally new taxes. They know that they would be as damaging for the party politically as they could be for the country economically.Tags: Coalition, Conservatives, Council tax, David Cameron, Eric Pickles, Judges, Judicial review, Land tax, Mansions tax, Tories, UK politics