Posted tagged ‘Labour’

All politics is national

April 4, 2012

But not in Britain it ain't

The Americans have a saying that: ‘all politics is local’. By this they mean that unless a politician really understands what is going on locally they will ultimately be unsuccessful. In Britain, George Galloway apart, our politicians seem to have totally forgotten this maxim and follow the principle that all politics, not matter how local on the face of things, is national.

To be honest, nothing annoys me more than sitting down for my annual local government election Dimbleby all-nighter and being greeted with Nick Robinson explaining to his hapless voters that ‘whilst these elections are local elections, and we should remember that, it is a massive night for (insert name) as he seeks to demonstrate that his party should form the next Government.’

And it’s not just political journalists but politicians as well. Local elections have become, at least in the minds of those that operate nationally, simply a proxy in the ongoing war between the two and half main parties we have in the UK.

Every year I as the election period approaches, alongside trying to remember what Purdah means, I have a secret hope that our elected politicians will treat these local elections as what they are; local elections.

This year seems likely to provide me with yet another disappointment.

On Monday Ed Miliband launched the Labour campaign for the local government elections. Did he mention how Conservative or Liberal Democrat councils were not delivering good services or praise Labour councils for their innovation? Did he at least mention any of the big issues that affect local government?