Posted tagged ‘devolution’

Throwing away localism?

June 15, 2011

An excuse to show my favourite bit of graffiti

Unless you’ve been buried under the nation’s burgeoning mountain of waste, which apparently is spilling over from landfills to cover our streets and will continue to do so unless it’s disposed of weekly, you will have heard that the government have made a bit of a u-turn when it comes to the issue of weekly bin collections.

Eric Pickles has been championing the case for weekly bin collections for years now, and decided that there was no way he was going to sit back and allow local authorities to decide for themselves how often the rubbish should be collected in their areas.  After all, they can’t possibly know what local people really want or how much better weekly collections would be, so he issued something of an announcement to say that it would be so: weekly bin collections for all.

The thing is, nobody managed to explain to him that this might cost a few quid.  In fact, it might cost around £140million, or about 7927ish experienced staff nurses (I’ve always wanted to find an opportunity to describe things in this way, ever since local government “waste” started being described in such terms). (more…)

Localism and baseball

December 20, 2010

Localism for the wealthy: low taxes and short hours

One of my stranger afflictions is an interest in baseball; described by many British people as glorified rounders.

Baseball is a summer sport in the USA and therefore the winter months are spent speculating over where the best players will end up playing next year. This year the best of the bunch was a pitcher by the name of Cliff Lee. In cricketing terms he is Mitchell Johnson, left handed and very good. However, baseball is not cricket and Mr Lee was being offered a lot of money to play baseball for the next 5-7 years.

During the negotiations the press had no idea where he would sign but with column inches to fill started to speculate on all sorts of factors that might influence his decision. One rather interesting theory caught my attention. The theory was that Mr Lee would end up in Texas rather than signing with the New York Yankees due to the lower income tax rates in Texas.

I’m not much of an expert on American State government but given that Hilary Clinton was the Senator for New York and George W Bush the Governor of Texas it is fair to take a shot that Texas is a slightly more conservative place that believes in low taxes and limited Government and that New York prefers a slightly more extensive Government and higher taxes. It is also not a great jump to guess that the voters of these states have voted consistently for politicians who share their beliefs and that the stance of the respective governments of each State is directly reflective of the wishes of the electorate.

Now, that is localism!