This story about pregnant women getting cash to have a good diet really got me thinking.
Where has all the common sense gone?
Nobody disputes that a healthy diet is a good thing for pregnant women. But just how is this grant of £120 supposed to achieve that. The women will receive the grant too late into pregnancy (some seven months in) to have the desired impact and there is no actual guarantee that the money will be spent on the healthy food it is paying for! In fact the money could be used to buy cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.
All this at an annual cost to the taxpayer of some £70 to £80m a year.
There are a number of issues where I think we should be making a very clear statement ahead of the next general election. These are not necessarily areas which need to be covered by heavy weight policy documents. A lot of what we want to do on the environment and many other issues is common sense but there are a number of smaller but meaningful issues which really resonate with the public and where we could make an impact
These are issues which for want of a better term are what I call common sense and fairness issues. Issues where the current government policy is either clearly barking mad, lacks commons sense or does not appear to be fair to people could yet prove to be a rich area for us to exploit.
Just as important as government policy is the reality on the ground. There may be areas where we would agree with the governments policy but where the practical implementation of the policy is not happening on the ground or where its implementation is not seen to be fair.
A list of common sense and fair pledges which resonate with the public could be very useful.
Lets start with abandoning this policy and saving the £70 to £80m.