Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The clue is in the word "local".

OK, I don't get it: clearly I'm missing something.

Thursday's local elections in England & Wales were a disaster for the Labour Party. OK.

Yesterday's London Mayoral election result was a disappointment for the Labour Party and a disaster for Londoners. OK.

As leader of the Labour Party Gordon Brown must obviously take some responsibility for the unsuccessful campaigning. OK again. But why on earth should these results be viewed (as they seem universally to be) as some kind of a referendum on his performance as PM? Why should his abolition of the 10p tax band or his other tax policies be deemed remotely relevant?

Call me traditional, but I have now spent 34 1/2 years as a UK voter, and have participated in general elections, European elections, local government elections, Scottish Parliament elections, not to mention a referendum on EU membership and one on Scottish devolution. And I can tell all of them apart. When voting on EU membership it never occurred to me to use the referendum vote as a way to express my opinion of the Heath government. When voting for my MSPs I was never tempted to use my vote to show dissatisfaction with the City of Edinburgh Council. And my council votes have been about which councillor I wished to have as my representative (who has not always been of a party I would wish to have as my national government).

If the people of England & Wales really used this week's election as a way to protest against Gordon Brown, then while it explains the result it also explains why the UK has such inept local government: because hardly anybody gives a shit about it. Think: you have the chance to elect the best person to represent you on your local council. Or if you have no preferred candidate, to put in someone from the party which you think has performed best in the council over recent years. But ooh, no, that might require taking an interest in local politics and thinking about what exactly you are voting for. Far better to pretend it's about Gordon Brown and David Cameron, because you've heard of them, maybe even seen their picture under the ones of the latest celebrity drug addict.

So all across England & Wales people have been waking up thinking that they've struck a great blow for their political beliefs when in actuality all that's happened is that they've voted in someone they've never heard of and about whose confidence they haven't a clue. Dickheads.

1 Comments:

At 04 May, 2008 10:19, Blogger Tim (Kalyr) said...

That annoys me as well; I think the media have a lot of blame in the way they hype things up.

I know that my old home town of Slough suffered years of a terribly corrupt Labour council throughout the Thatcher period, and people cheerfully admitted they'd voted for crooked councillors because "they were against the Poll Tax".

 

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