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Sunday, November 14, 2004


Are you local? (pt.3)

More grist to my mill; an article by Tim Luckhurst in today's Observer.

How does one explain the paradox of people's desire for more power over their own lives with their hostility to English regional devolution? Luckhurst's answer is simple; a "nigh universal contempt for the political class".

A further unpalatable message for politicians is that political parties are no longer credible mediators. "Charter 88 was, for years, concerned about whether regional assemblies would actually represent an enhancement of local democracy. It was right to worry. But equally right is the ideal of local power in local hands. The dilemma facing those who consider it a dream worth pursuing is that it may only be achieved if we can bring ourselves to accept that the party is over. Political parties as agents of mass participation in democracy have less credibility in today's Britain than Catholicism among friends of Ian Paisley. Sensible people neither join them nor trust them. We regard with suspicion anyone who does."

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