George Osborne has today spoken to a Conservative Councillor's Seminar about how a Conservative Government can learn from Conservative Local Authorities and he repeated Cameron's promise to devolve power 'downwards'.
"David Cameron and the modern Conservative Party are 100 per cent committed to devolving power to local government and local towns and cities. Localism brings people closer to political power and gives them control over their own communities. By giving people more power and control over the services that are delivered in their areas, we can inspire a new spirit of civic pride in our communities"
As yet, to my knowledge, Cameron has not stated exactly how he intends to 'devolve power', how much power he intends devolving and, more importantly, how soon he intends devolving power. Neither has Cameron, again to my knowledge, explained how devolving power over certain aspects of our life can 'set us free' when, under Lisbon, areas such as education, health and justice can, and will, become 'EU Competences', the latter meaning that the EU will have complete control on such matters.
Will this devolution of power encapsulate those 'democratic' ideals of a local sales/land tax - thus making local authorities self-financing - referendums on whatever the local populace wish to change, local control of education, law & order, health and basically, letting local people decide the conditions under which they wish to live, all matters which would, by their nature, ensure local people had a reason go take an interest in local politics - thus providing the scenario for true 'local government'.
Which brings me to another question which is, does a political party have the right to dictate, to those that employ them, the 'rights' which surely the employer has the moral 'right' to set? It follows, therefore, that 'manifestos' need to be far more explicit, as to a Party's intent, than has previously been the case.
However, the conundrum to which the post heading refers is this:
How can a prospective Prime Minister discuss 'devolving power downwards', whilst at the same time acknowledging acceptance of 'rule from abroad' - the parameters of which can be changed at the whim of the 'foreign power' without any democratic 'decision-agreement' - ie, a referendum, or vote - of the people?
An 'odd' policy indeed!