Friday, 5 February 2010

Important decisions need to be informed

I wrote a blog on the 10th January. It was about the council acting on behalf of residents. The exact subject doesn't matter but I received a comment asking if I had considered the matter of increased council tax if councils are asked to do more. Voters don't like to pay more council tax. I think I understand this point, but voters also want services.

We want good roads without potholes. Yesterday's local radio news included an article on injuries to cyclists caused by potholes. I would make the same point that the cost of treating injuries to people, vehicles and bicycles may well be less than treating the hole. Does anyone compare the costs to the NHS with the cost to the council? The budgets are separate and voters in local elections don't have to concern themselves with national budgets. And that's the problem.

It sounds like an episode of Yes Minister but this sort of thing goes on all the time. Margaret Thatcher used a divide and rule technique to get the votes that she wanted. We will vote if it suits us. Not only do we vote for self-interest, the more important questions that would inform us about making the best decisions are not even being asked. And when they are asked anonymous commentators tell you that you can't do that because the voters won't vote for it.

Change the world.

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