One of my photos

Good News First

December 19th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 2 Comments · Politics

For the last few weeks everything has been a bit hectic.  Work has been busier and the hours a bit longer, while I have been out more, and consequently I have not been paying too much attention to the news.  I have still been buying a paper, but only skimming through it in the evening.   The thing is, the news has been dominated by the economy and reality TV.  I have no interest in the X-factor or Come Dancing and after a while all the economics stories are just variations on a theme.   A few things did catch my eye today though…

First of all there is this business about pulling out of Iraq by the summer.  Sounds good to me.  Let’s hope it all happens.

Probably the biggest story for this area is the one about Gatwick Airport.  I saw it on the front page of the copy of the Times that we have in our reception and it all sounds a bit underhand.   I can’t deny that expansion would be a boost to the area’s economy but it would have a huge impact in other ways, especially on Crawley.  The local Crawley papers must be fuming that all this came to light after their weekly editions were printed…   could be the new Crawley Times’ opportunity to pick up a few readers!

Meanwhile, the Guardian’s front page had the Archbishop of Canterbury talking sense – by saying that disestablishment could be a good thing.  Obviously he was talking from thepoint of view of the church, saying that separating it from the state would give it a “certain integrity”.   Coming from the other direction I think it would add some integrity to the state.

Above that was the baffling story about not having elections to police authorities.  Everyone seems to be pleased because they think direct elections would increase the politicisation of the police forces.  While I agree that such politicisation is a bad thing, I can’t see the connection.   Police authorities now have members appointed from local councils who have just as much likelihood of being political.  If anything, direct elections could make it all less political – it could open the doors for some genuine independents to get elected.  As long as you elect members, or some members, of the authority and create an elected executive position it shouldn’t be a problem.  Why is it that everyone prefers a system of appointments and political patronage?

Finally, I had a chance to explore beyond the front page today and found this story about the increase in councils failing to protect the young.  Unsurprisingly, our own West Sussex council gets a mention as an authority where child protection is rated ‘inadequate’.  The usual PR from West Sussex is that the emphasis on their  star ratings and we keep getting told they are an ‘excellent’ authority, but I have been hearing all sorts of horror stories from county councillors about child protection (and also about adult services) hence the lack of surprise at the findings.

Cocking up finances and overspending on bus projects is one thing, but failing to properly protect children?  That actually affects people.   It would be too much to hope that the county council will change control at the elections next year, but when the Tories win again they might like to think about whether they really want to keep a leader whose priority is his own personal parliamentary ambitions or find one who will concentrate on their current (highly-paid) job instead of daydreaming about their (even more highly-paid) intended future job.  Maybe this exposure of the council’s shortcomings will give them the nudge they need.  After all, nudging is the new Tory philosophy isn’t it?

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Hiro

    I guess our ‘enry is far too busy pandering to the Moaningbower residents to worry about actually caring for children!!! Afterall flooding on a roundabout there get ‘enry calling the local firebrigade to pump it out. Would it not be terrible if those Tory voters got their tootsies wet!!

  • Hiro

    weasel words

    from a weasel politician. No appology for being inadequate. Just lame excuses that it is all the media’s fault!!