“You start a conversation you can’t even finish…”

Great piece from Anthony Zacharzewski at the local democracy blog who lams into the latest Green Paper on local democracy

The document treats strengthening local democracy as equivalent to strengthening local councils. That’s part of it, but a long way from being all of it. There is also, for starters, increasing the awareness of local political issues in the public, increasing turnout at local elections, making councillors more representative and more ambitious for their role, and promoting better debate and discussion at local and national level.

  • aquifer

    Individual public representatives are unlikely to be able to make much of a difference, when taking a cabinet job and a hard decision on anything could result in them loosing their seat straight off.

    We should switch to a party list system so that the electorate as a whole can judge whether any particular party is doing a job of work.

    If we think that councillors do important work we should pay them properly instead of rewarding the most creative fiddlers of expenses.

    We (and Maggie Thatcher) thought that we were smart, getting politics out of the petty cash box, but we will be paying to bale out the bankers for years to come.

    Our ‘democracy’ is just a fig leaf for big business getting its way, a neo-liberal fiction that allows consumers to imagine that they have ‘their man’ working hard for them at the centre, when the centre of MPs concerns was too often their own cash cushion against ejection by the electorate.