While the BBC misuses its website as a surrogate national newspaper, and its regional websites to challenge what were excellent supra-local papers like the Western Mail or Yorkshire Post, now according to Andrew Gilligan, an increasing number of councils are getting in on the act. Something called Lambeth Life periodically drops through our letterbox. It consists of the “news” that our Labour couincillors are ‘active in this or that, or on our behalf’. I think the editor of the Guardian warned the other day that this is a challenge to local democracy, since Lambeth Life and its ilk are certainly not going to be reporting potholes or failing schools. The Mayor of London managed to chop Livingstone’s North Korean style London sheet. Perhaps our cash strapped councils could be prevailed on to use our tax revenues more sensible?
I have a piece in today’s Observer about David Cameron allying with reactionary parties in Europe, and indeed supporting the candidates of Vladimir Putin.
Just in case any readers support the Conservative party, as it exists, rather than in the land of make-believe, an excellent result today in the Norwich by-election. Since we are nice rather than nasty, let’s all wish the losing Labour candidate a swift recovery from his bout of flu. If this result is replicated in about 200 days time, it will be curtains for about half a dozen members of the current cabinet.
The results of the latest poll in the Times are rather overshadowed by the headline “Voter back Tories over big cuts in spending”. Underneath the paper reports that, “Nationally, the Conservatives are on 38 per cent, up two points since June 9-10. Labour is on 26 per cent, up two points. If these trends are repeated locally, the Tories should win easily.”