Saturday, 6 March 2010

Yet Another Cameron Non-Speech!

Yesterday David Cameron gave a speech to the Conservative Councillors’ Association in London, a speech which yet again was lacking in detail and which contained nothing of substance.

Amongst other things, Cameron said "I’m a Conservative. I trust people. I believe in local power." Taking those three sentences in order, No he is bloody not; He might trust people but they don't trust him and in any event if he trusted people he would give them the referendum he promised; and he no more believes in local power than Gordon Brown believes in conservative principles!

Cameron also says "I’m going to give you much more power and control." If only it were true that he was to return to the people that which politicians have previously usurped! He may say that Regional Assemblies, 'ring-fencing' and Quangos are gone, but Regional Assemblies went some time ago when Gordon Brown scrapped them, if he is to scrap 'ring-fencing' then the supporting people budget should be returned to Housing Benefit from whence it was taken back in 2003, and lastly, does that mean all quangos are 'gone'? Bit short on specifics there is our iDave. He makes great 'play' that "We’re going to give you more power over housing and planning." to which all one can say is Wow! Thank you!

All this is pointless whilst government controls the purse strings by way of central government grants and devolution of power is meaningless until local government becomes self-financing and is freed from the present 'Cabinet' method of local government; until local councillors are truly able to exercise their voice 'in council' and thus become answerable to their local electorates. Until local people are able to choose they type of schools they want, can choose the type of law & order they want, can choose the type of health service they want - until then, perhaps politicians will stop promising things they have no intention of delivering!

Cameron makes great 'play', again, about 'savings' by citing West Oxfordshire District Council sharing bureaucrats with Cotswold District Council. Odd that they both are part of the EU region of UKJ14 (NUTS level 3), as designated in the EU's regionalisation scheme. Odd that Redditch and Bromsgrove are part of EU Region UKG12 (NUTS level 3). No doubt the other local authorities, with whom East Dorset has 'combined', are also part of EU region UKK22 as is East Dorset. One has to ask if this is part of some 'underhand' plan to amalgamate councils in order to comply with the EU regionalisation requirement and thus hide it from the electorate? Cynical? Possibly, but acknowledging Cameron's desire to remain a member of the EU it would then follow that he will be more than happy to effect the plans of his masters.

At the end of this speech Cameron says "Just imagine what five more years of Gordon Brown would be like. We dont have to imagine that - we are beginning to realise what five years of David Cameron would be like, ie more of the same! All this 'tinkering' with devolution of power, of 'allowing' local people 'sops' is nothing short of deceitful, disengenuous, and downright disgraceful! If iDave wishes to devolve power then the answer is simple - stop 'fart-arsing around', go read 'The Plan' and just implement it!

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