Whatever happened to Localism and the Big Society?

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Much has been made in the days when the Con-Dem coalition took power of localism and of the Big Society but both are very much falling by the wayside.

The charities – in fact all charities – that would have been the cornerstones, foundation and operators of the Big Society have their funding slashed and the people of the UK, who are feeling the pinch of the economic crisis and the austerity measures also have no means of giving to those charities. Thus the Big Society is all but dead; at least, if not dead then it is on life support.

Localism is another that is falling by the wayside with the Planning Minister – yes, him again – and the Deputy PM going hell for leather against the wishes of the local communities. Even going as far as, as done by the Planning Minister, accusing councils of ‘dragging their feet’ over giving up green land for development, an issue which he described as a ‘generational crisis’.

As far as I understand the idea of localism it was intended to empower local people and councils as far as planning laws is concerned, removing pressure from Whitehall.

This, however, will only be allowed, it would appear, if the councils' thinking and views, and those of the local people, are in line with the demands of Whitehall. If not then the will of Whitehall will be brought to bear and the locals overruled.

Anyone can spell dictatorship and fakes? The government of the UK is not interested in the wishes and the desires of the people and just pays lip-service, and it does not matter which party is in “power”.

We can see this with regards to the referendum on British EU membership also and especially. The people, in the main and in general, want a referendum where they can clearly state and “in” or “out” preference but Cameron has decided that that is not going to be the right way.

He also has now delayed his speech on the referendum that was due to be held on Friday, January 18, 2012, officially because of the hostage crisis at that gas plant in the desert of Algeria. However, strangely enough just an hour or so before he made that statement that the speech was not going to be forthcoming US President Obama was on the phone to him telling him that the US does not agree with an “in”/”out” referendum.

When will the Obama regime in America realize that the UK is not a state of the USA and that the demands and even the wishes of the US administration are irrelevant as far as the British people are concerned and that Britain is a sovereign country.

The good news is, however, that the Prime Minister has thought the better of it an is, now, promising and “in/out” referendum but, alas, on his terms and not on the terms that the people would like. This, actually, means that he may have promised it but whether the British people will actually get it or not is another question.

© 2013