Sunday, October 29, 2006


Simon Jenkins writing in The Sunday Times writes an interesting piece on Ruth Kelly's local government proposals and the notion that Gordon Brown had essentially filleted them before they were published. Jenkins is trying to push the nonsense of elected Mayors' though, so he presents us with a few facts from the right-wing think tank, the New Local Government Network, whose very basis for existence seems to be that they detest local government. So, one of Jenkins' 'facts about Mayors' is that
"Election turnouts have risen"
. Well.... given the hysteria generated by the local media in these contests, turnouts would be up, you would think. I took a look at the New Local Government Network's list of Mayoral election results... and the turnout of electors listed there appears to have been less than spectacular. Of course, in Stoke-on-Trent in 2005, (where in 2002 the public nearly elected a BNP Mayor, which would have produced an interesting response from our NLGN friends)... the turnout was helped by the fact that nearly 10,000 voters took the trouble to vote... to spoil their ballot papers! Some endorsement, that, eh?