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Two Cheers For Gordon Brown

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In my view, Gordon Brown was the worst chancellor for at least 50 years. His fingerprints are all over the housing bubble. He has imposed record taxes and made the tax system frightingly complicated. He has rewarded the feckless and irresponsible at the expense hard working people and has created serious disincentives for enterprise.

How is going to be as a prime minister? Well I have to say I am greatly (but pleasantly) surprised by some of the noises he in been making.

Local councils today are wasteful, incompetant and unaccountable. Gordon is making noises that he wants to do something about this:

Bringing accountability to local councils

In recent years Parliament's influence has been progressively undermined. Gordon seems willing to do something about this as well:

Brown sets out reform proposals

So what has Cameron been up to? Well, he has attacked grammer schools for being hard working and successful. We have the Cameron pledge over violent music . He has created a shadow minister for community cohesion. I wonder if he advertised for her in the Guardian? He wants to extend the nanny state . He happy to talk about national security whilst remaining mute on highly contentious issues such as mass immigration. What a comedian.

I am sure that Gordon will dissapoint me in the end. However, I have to fair. If he does keep his promises, he will make Labour a better defender of democracy and government accoutability than the Tories.

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Accountability in local councils.

This is risky.

Who goes to public meetings? Who belongs to the labour party? What groups of people can be motivated to get in there and allocate the money how they want?

Does that mean if enough people went and asked for a jedi temple they'd get one?

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i have to be honest - i kind of agree with you.

he has screwed up the economy and yet, so far, all the proposals he has made have been infinitely better than that tosser blair made.

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Accountability in local councils.

This is risky.

Who goes to public meetings? Who belongs to the labour party? What groups of people can be motivated to get in there and allocate the money how they want?

Does that mean if enough people went and asked for a jedi temple they'd get one?

If you had an opportunity to vote, would you support your council making the following appointments?

Equality and Diversity Manager

LONDON DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Greater London

c£35k pa plus benefits

A committed and flexible self-starter, you will bring a proven track record of putting strategic and policy decisions into practice.

Youth Arts Development Worker

BRENT COUNCIL

West London

Up to £29,481 p.a. Inc.

You must have significant proven experience of working with challenging young people to develop and deliver social education programmes aimed at meeting diverse needs.

Assistant Social Care Worker, Private Fostering (Sylheti Speaking)

LONDON BOROUGH OF TOWER HAMLETS

Central London

£26,277 - £27,807

An opportunity has arisen for a Social Care Worker to support the work and development of the private fostering team in Tower Hamlets.

Director of Children and Young People's Services

WIGAN METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

Greater Manchester

circa £120,000

As part of a strong leadership team you will work with Councillors who are ambitious and focused to make lives better and futures brighter.

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Local councils today are wasteful, incompetant and unaccountable. Gordon is making noises that he wants to do something about this:

Bringing accountability to local councils

He also made noises - more than noises, a promise in fact - about not allowing HPI to spiral out of control. He didn't exactly deliver on that one, did he?

On the evidence of his past record, he's saying what he thinks voters want to hear, with no intention whatsoever of doing any of it.

Cameron is also saying what he thinks voters want to hear. But, not having been in government for the past decade, he's taking a little longer to work that out. And he does not have a 10-year track record of screwing the economy long-term, taxing us to death, imposing authoritarian, control-freak legislation on us, etc. etc. etc. etc.

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This is the same Gordon Brown who quoted 'no more boom and bust'

How easily manipulated and soft we English are. This guy has done more than his fair share in wrecking the values of the country (HPI, pensions, selling cut price gold etc etc the list is looooong) and a couple of soothing and well timed statements and suddenly he is 'hip' !

Honestly I despair.

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If you had an opportunity to vote, would you support your council making the following appointments?

Equality and Diversity Manager

Nah but that sort of decision won't get decided on by plebs because that'll be a core requirement that is essential to meet government regulations.

(It might not be, but I know for certain lots of things will just not be up for discussion)

My local council's land grabbing - sorry land banking poilicy restricts trade but it makes them happy buying up land so they do it.

If every decision needed to be run past a committee of the public then nothing would ever get done.

How can they say people can have a say on something without using the same rules as for councillors and mps (about declaring interest in things)

The big decisions people would like to make are on retaining weekly refuse collections but thats not going to happen because the decisions have been made and there will be no going back.

Local democracy consists of 3 parts.

1. Local council staff write policy documents - senior staff who should have the experience and training to make the right suggestions.

2. Local elected councillors who are paid to look after the interests of the people they represent.

3. Local people. who basically can't for the most part be bothered voting or taking part in the process.

The most important is 1. Because 2 are guided by 1 and there's no sensible way of getting 3 to be involved in any sort of sensible way.

Health and safety, racial equality and following EU rules are the main stays of essentials for policy. The rest is frippary and should be gotten rid of.

Why do the hundreds of local authorities all have separate bin collection and recycle contracts? It'd make more sense to manage it very differently and would save money. Economies of scale would bring about cost savings for the people who pay council tax.

Ditto council tax, housing benefit, etc etc

All could be managed on a wider scale and reduce all the upper management that the separate operations have.

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It's all part of the plan to mark out GB as being different, and kick strat his premiership. I am intersted to see how it all pans out, but consider his start as CoE - he made the right noises, then he bottled out of anything that might have contained the housing bubble.

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All could be managed on a wider scale and reduce all the upper management that the separate operations have.

I think you make some good points, but doing things on a grand scale ends up with monoliths like the NHS, which are even worse. Direct mayoral elections would work better, someone with whom the buck stops. A bit of personality politics means that people wake up and notice.

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This is the same Gordon Brown who quoted 'no more boom and bust'

How easily manipulated and soft we English are. This guy has done more than his fair share in wrecking the values of the country (HPI, pensions, selling cut price gold etc etc the list is looooong) and a couple of soothing and well timed statements and suddenly he is 'hip' !

Honestly I despair.

Gordon Brown makes the right promises but may not keep them.

David Cameron is not even trying to represent the people. He remains depressingly silent on the erosion of democracy and accountability of government. All he wants is to win over Polly Toynbee in Guardian.

Come on conservatives, you know what to do (hint; bald guy, likes beer).

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Why do the hundreds of local authorities all have separate bin collection and recycle contracts? It'd make more sense to manage it very differently and would save money. Economies of scale would bring about cost savings for the people who pay council tax.

Ditto council tax, housing benefit, etc etc

All could be managed on a wider scale and reduce all the upper management that the separate operations have.

Likewise why don't we have national purchasing for police equipment, vehicles etc. Also fire brigade and ambulance vehicles and equipment? All these local procurement activities must employ loads of people. Ahh light bulb lights - that's the purpose - full employment, not maximum efficiency.

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Likewise why don't we have national purchasing for police equipment, vehicles etc. Also fire brigade and ambulance vehicles and equipment? All these local procurement activities must employ loads of people. Ahh light bulb lights - that's the purpose - full employment, not maximum efficiency.

Is it better to employ them or have them on benefits?

We need to manufacture something we can sell globally.

And now.

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