At times, I have been just as guilty as parts of the media have at focusing on the Government's failings and ignoring its successes. So I think it's about time we stopped for a second and examined all the good things Gordon Brown has done over the past year. Here are a few:
1) The Darzai Report - clear, practical and sensible solutions for reforming the NHS, such as polyclinics.
2) Extended GP opening hours.
3) Extra grants and funding for university students.
4) A Climate Change Bill - the first of its kind anywhere.
5) A Renewables Policy which plans for 4,000 offshore wind turbines and 3,000 onshore turbines.
6) Progress made on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty when the Tories and a few cranks are determined to stop it at all costs.
7) The White Paper on Community Empowerment and Local Government Reform from Hazel Blears - innovative, interesting solutions to encourage and build communities.
8) A single Equalities and Human Rights Commission. There is going to be an Equalities Bill sometime in 2009.
9) The Leitch Report, which is being taken seriously by Government, promises to redress the balance between formal education and skills.
10) Zimbabwe - Brown got other G8 leaders to agree to sanctions, even though they were then subsequently defeated at the UN. He has been consistent and right on this issue.
11) The New Youth Justice Plan - extends Sure Start programmes, increases the number of parenting and children classes and introduces intensive parental support. Compare this to the "hang 'em and flog em" policy of the Daily Mail and the Tories.
12) Banned cluster bombs.
13) Supports a Congestion Charge for Manchester.
14) Gave agency workers the same equal rights to permanent workers, when the CBI and the Tories were hostile to the idea.
15) Gave parents of children up the age of 16 the right to ask for flexible working hours.
16) Passed the Human Embryo and Fertilisation Bill, making it easier for couples and gay people to have families and helping science along the way.
17) Made swimming free for over 60s. My grandparents are feeling the benefit.
18) Kept up the momentum at the last G8 summit to ensure countries did not renege on their international aid commitments.
This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!