Well whoopee. A million things to sort out and what are we focusing on a proposal backed by our deputy leader suggesting scrapping the titles Mr and Mrs from official council forms. You almost have to say “Get a life” My goodness if that’s the best we can do then the City is in a sorry state with a pretty dismal future laid out ahead of us. Our City has one of the most open and diverse populations in the land. We are so progressive in some respects that we have even managed to vote in a party who run no other councils in the UK and in the view of many have not got a clue how to run this one.
For many years now I have been of the opinion that we should take the politics out of government and vote for people who will do their best for an area rather than people who will do their best for an area providing it does not disrupt party politics. Certainly I do not believe that in this modern world there is any place for party politics in local government. There are many people in this city who feel the same and as a group of people who seem to want to continually prove we are different. Why not be the first in the land to opt for a non political administration. If any of the existing councillors of the various persuasions wished to stand I am sure they would be welcome to do so and there are indeed some sterling people within their ranks. However sadly there are some complete Muppetts who you wouldn’t normally trust to run a bath never mind a City.
We were all presumably taught at school that we should do our level best to get on and be tolerant of our fellow human beings. Politicians who continually rant and snipe at each other make extremely poor role models for young people, giving them a totally false perspective on how real life is. Indeed they are little better an example in many respects than some of these dire Big Brother imbeciles. Some of the episodes of Big Brother Brighton and Hove played out in recent years would in fact be worthy of their own comedy slot. We have seen some absolute corkers over the years with current episodes such as the Mr and Mrs fiasco being a current example. Its almost as if we are rehearsing for some sort of rival programme to “Yes Minister”
Anyway lets imagine we had an elected party made up of the best representatives of our city that we could muster. I fancy there would still remain a smattering of the very best of the current batch but in general its unlikely many of them would survive a proper turnout at the polls if there were a proper choice of candidates. By proper choice of candidate I do not mean some bod pushed into an area by a political party who in many cases we have never heard of but are told will be jolly good for us. Under these circumstances most of us can’t be bothered to vote as it doesn’t much matter who gets in as we assume they are all numpties anyway. This is of course how the current lot got in ie apathy on the part of the electorate because if voting were compulsory as it is in some countries I am sure it would have been a totally different story.
If we took all the political crap out of local governance and simply opted for people who are used to running businesses, schools, charities, the NHS, etc etc in our City instead of people who barely know how to operate a bank account just imagine what life could be like here. We would have proper people at the helm with a properly elected non political mayor. All these people would be expected to work for the good of their fellow citizens and with a proper regulatory overview to ensure best practice was always being observed would bring great benefits to our city. There would be many people of quality willing to stand if we simply took the petty time wasting political nonsense out of local government and stopped referring to it as local politics.
As I have said many times before “Where would you ever find a bunch of people with virtually no business experience whatsoever running a three quarters of a billion pound business”. However that is currently exactly what we have and it is an absolute scandal. Are you as sick as I am that after one of these dire political administrations is booted out the next one comes in and changes everything the last lot have done for the past four years? What a dreadful waste of time and resources. No wonder we are making cuts! We have to in order to pay for the inefficiencies of party politics in local government.
So imagine we have lets call it The Common Sense Party in charge as our new administration. Lets say we cut our representatives down a bit from the current 56 to say 40 at most. None of these people would be allowed to express a political view and would have been elected on the basis they were swearing to uphold the best interests of the constituency which they represent and to support their fellow councillors for the benefit of all citizens of our fair City.
With such an administration in place it would then and only then be possible to cut out all this petty squabbling and needless waste. Waste on a huge scale by the way we are not talking about peanuts here. If we did not have party politics in local government huge changes would be made. How many times do we see the smiling imbecilic face of some opposition councillor or another in the local paper with an “I told you so story” How much longer must we put up with this nonsense before public opinion forces change. It wasn’t that many years ago in the history of recent civilisation that people used to visit the lunatic asylums on a Sunday afternoon for entertainment. We now look back in amazement at how that could ever have happened. However I fancy in a couple of hundred years we will look back again and wonder at how people you wouldn’t normally allow out on their own were allowed to ruin whole cities virtually unchallenged.
Any right minded group of people taking over a mess such as any incoming administration our City would inherit would not just tinker with the existing structure. It would be necessary to think of it as a proper business and empty out that proverbial box. When all the components are metaphorically on the floor decide which bits need definitely without question to go back in in their current format of which I am sure there would be precious little. Next would be the components we are absolutely sure we need but require amending for maximum efficiency and best value for money. Next I would suggest we look closely at best value for money charitable organisations working tirelessly for the benefit of our citizens. These should be supported in place of some of the waste of space and resources public sector services we are currently expected to suffer. Very last on the agenda would be nice to haves that have no real benefit to our city but could be an add on if we can afford it.
I keep hearing of crackpot ideas to pander to fringe or minority groups whilst currently only seeing little more than lip service paid to voluntary services who are making a real difference to our residents. These organisations could do so much more if properly supported. I keep seeing pavement improvements, junction improvement, cycle lane improvements, car park improvements etc and yet all I hear is a frustration from people at the arrogance of this administration at not listening to what residents actually want. It would be great if we could become known as a city that gets things done rather than a city that talks about getting things done but achieves little of substance.