World of Chig   


The big project continues to unwind...

Once upon a time, New Labour had A Big Idea. Directly elected mayors in cities and major towns across the UK. In 1997 New Labour was winning anything and everything, so all the Labour candidate would have to do is stand, and - hey presto! - Labour install a top bod with unreasonably undemocratic powers in every town hall across the land. But lo! The people revolted. Red Ken won in London against the official Labour candidate. The good people of Birmingham, the biggest local authority in the country and - natch - nicely under Labour's control, declared in a referendum that we didn't even want a directly-elected mayor, thank you very much.

Then it got worse. The monkey-hangers of Hartlepool elected a monkey (of course). Robocop won in Middlesbrough. Luton (or was it Watford?) went beyond the pale and elected a Lib Dem. Other towns and cities also voted in a horribly unfriendly way to the nice and cuddly Labour party.

And now....and now...I can hardly contain my glee. Out of the four mayoral elections yesterday, only in one of them did anyone from a major political party win. And that was Hackney, which is...Hackney, after all; formerly about as Labour as it's possible to get (but not so much recently). In Stoke, get this, a gay rights campaigner has become mayor! Stoke! The country's gone mad! Isn't democracy wonderful when properly exercised? Okay, so hardly anyone voted - anywhere - and the BNP vote in Stoke was worryingly high, but the people have spoken. Expect Labour to propose the abolition of directly elected mayors in their next manifesto.

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