I read an article by Simon Cooke (The view from Cullingworth) and immediately thought: Here we go again: more plans to reorganize (supposedly), improve (supposedly) and empower people more (supposedly) are to be published.
Where changes in local government are concerned one only has to consult wikipedia, especially the year 1945 onwards. We must also not forget the attempts of Ed Miliband with his attempt of Unitaries and Hazel Blears with her Multi Area Agreements, when they were in government, Then of course we had the Cameron/Clegg Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), in yet another attempt to fiddle with local government.
Note that all these ‘innovations’ were to boost jobs, give people a greater say in how to improve their area, etc, etc. Now consider the waste of time and money that has been involved in all these changes; all brought about by politicians who appear to know nothing about that which they do other than to increase the grip national governments have on local government.
On 22nd July 2014, under the guise of Witterings from Witney, I wrote this. In politics, at whatever level you look, it appears that the people always have someone/somebody on their backs , telling them how they have to live their lives. Before any reader ‘piles in’, do not misunderstand me, I am all for common standards where food being sold to the public is concerned, where banking procedures are concerned, where vehicle design is concerned, etc, etc; that all makes sense. Where I baulk is when individual lives and how they are led are constrained in some nonsensical manner by government actions.
Members of Parliament are reported to be in receipt, shortly, of a £3,000 pay rise – for doing what exactly? If politicians at all levels were paid by result, then I would suggest a pay cut would become the norm. On the subject of Covid-19, what idiot decided that it is alright to go to work but not alright to visit ones relatives? what idiot decided to instigate a system whereby cancelling a Covid-19 test due to a family emergency resulted in that person then receiving a letter informing them they had tested positive?
If our political class wish to empower people and give them a greater say in their lives, both locally and nationally, then the answer is simple really – scrap representative democracy and let us have direct democracy.