An Unnecessary Role

embracing false choices

Start the political term with some low cost flooring solutions

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It’s back – the perpetual, ulcer-inducing treadmill that is the body politic, the swirling, chaoatic miasma leaving even its most bit part of players (i.e. me) with a gnawing sense that something, somewhere is going horribly wrong. Did you have a nice holiday? Nobody cares.

How do I know it’s back? Why, there was a speech by Michael Gove of course. It was a very long speech, about all the kinds of trad cultural conservatism touchstones that I assume now pass for ideology in post-Dave Toryism – school uniforms, extra Greek prep, perhaps the odd ‘never did me any harm’ beating. Ordinarily it’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t read if I was stuck in a lift, but noted local government comedian Cllr Pete Robbins drew my attention to a line where Gove is praising Lord Harris of Peckham, interiors tycoon and part-time educational messiah.

Phil is able to support state education so generously because of his success in business.

His firm Carpetright has brought jobs and opportunities, as well as high quality low cost flooring solutions, to thousands.

Now, as a fully paid up member of the Blair/Adonis axis (excellent article from Adonis on big city mayors here, btw) I am what many comrades would view as dangerously suspect when it comes to academies and even free schools. But my reptilian pinko brain stem is not so denuded that a Secretary of State plugging World of Leather wouldn’t register on my “something dodgy about this” scale. When politics makes you think the world is going mad, then you know that it’s business as usual.

What’s on the agenda then? If you’re in local government, it’s still the Local Government Resource Review, as councillors, officers, wonks and journalists try and work out how a system as complicated as formula grant but with the word GROWTH sprinkled liberally through the press material gives local authorities anything other than a giant headache. It’s council tax benefit localisation, the pigs foot in the localist stocking, with councils being given the new, radical opportunity to take local responsibility for cutting poor people’s benefits. It’s school capital funding (not enough of it), school places (not enough of them either), public transport fares (too high), police numbers (too low), and, oh yes, it’s Annual Conference soon. In Liverpool.

It’s good to be back.


Written by samelliot

September 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Posted in Cynicism, Finance, Localism

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