Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Executive event

"Don't they have a country to run?" asked a Labour MP, surprised at the number of top Government politicians at a signing ceremony last night.

The MP was being sardonic, but he had a point.

The Prime Minister, Lord Mandelson, Jack Straw, Hazel Blears (pictured) and John Denham, not to mention Angela Eagle and Phil Hope had all turned up.

The event was the signing of three Multi Area Agreements (MMAs) – documents that set-up another mini-tier of governance in between councils and regional assemblies.

The press people had been trying to convince us that it was all critically important.

But even if the MMAs have a huge effect on the ground a year from now, it still felt odd having half of the executive in one room for the signing.

Maybe they guessed that if the MMAs – which to read are about as gripping as their name suggests – didn’t draw a crowd, then the recognisable faces would.

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