All politics is local. As the poet Patric Kavanagh once said, “while the provincial man looks to the opinion of the metropolis, the parochial is never in any doubt about the social and artistic validity of his parish” And it’s true, despite the rather cynical view some commenters here on Slugger, that the public generally retains a high opinion of the local councillors. That’s largely because they are the first call when you want to get something done. Approachability is critical. Which is why Roberta Dunlop is our Counicllor of the Week.She’s a UUP councillor in North Down and has only recently set up her councillor.info page and already has a nice, chatty, folksy style.
Whilst some of our resident barflies may wish to have their usual pop, Roberta presents herself as approachable, friendly, with views that are held in a conversational way This is what makes local government matter to people.
Whilst there is a general perception that local government isn’t that important, that surveys show a similar thing to the ‘Hospital Effect’ (i.e. “The NHS is in a terrible mess. As it happens, *MY* local hospital and surgery are very good…)”
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty