Two weeks to go!
It is two weeks from the local elections (in which I am standing as a Labour candidate) and I am increasingly irritated.
No surprises there, as my grumpy title would suggest.
Local elections – the hint is in the title. In Scotland these are being trumpeted as a stepping stone to independence if the SNP- Alex Salmond for First minister Party- do well.
It is a spin fest of the highest order. And it will only intensify as the fight for control of councils gets closer.
The local elections should be just that, concerned with the delivery of local services by local candidates. If only my naive vision of politics was true. Party literature (all glossy and multi coloured – can’t hide money – from SNP) full of national policies has flopped like a limp lettuce onto my doormat. FFS. What about local issues?
What about local politicians rooted in their communities concerned with things that actually matter? You know, the fabric of our lives? Our local environment? Town centres,Litter, Bins, speed bumps, potholes and dog fouling?
Personally I think it is our (politicians) own fault that the link between local members and local accountability has been lost. Low turnouts reflect a growing disillusionment with the process and a creeping feeling of ‘what difference does it make?’ We have lost our ability to differentiate the message based on the parliament (or council) being selected. A laziness of thinking has crept in delivering democratically apathetic responses based on national media.
Alex Salmond is not standing in Fife, so why is he all over the leaflets? 25000 Modern apprenticeships in fife? (nope Scottish figure). Free prescriptions (Fife council policy? nope) none of these has anything to do with Fife Council. It is the singular lack of achievement by the SNP led coalition (with LD) that has resulted in national campaign style leaflets.
Even we (Labour) are spinning and the votes aren’t cast yet. They’ll end up with more councillors nationally Johann Lamont was reported as saying. This would have been called defeatist a short while ago but now it is managing expectations and preventing another SNP massive victory dance. Personally it pisses me off.
I will be fighting tooth and nail to be elected in my ward to deliver a better standard of performance from Fife council. The Independence media driven bun fight isn’t until next year (or 2014). National issues can be aired then.
‘The methods we use must be as pure as the goals we seek.’ MLK – Time we all remembered that.
Chance would be a fine thing.