Welcome to ‘Moderate Cause’ – a new blog discussing local and national politics from a local councillor’s perspective – and a Camden one at that.
It will seek to provoke a develop informed political debate about Labour councils – Camden in particular – and how they should respond to government cuts and how they should deal with major issues such as regeneration.
The central question I pose is this: is it good enough to just oppose for the next 6 years? How should we respond the major changes in government legislation, or the shortage of funds to make necessary changes to our area?
The genesis of this comes from a post I put on Camden New Journal Deputy Editor Richard Osley’s blog this week, in response to some genuinely ill-informed comments made about left/right splits within my local party, by party members see here (about 19 in) following from the events outlined here.
Setting this up is not to make an overly parochial statement – and there is not use being inward looking – but many of the issues raised here will have much wider relevance.
I’ll specifically be looking at:
– the impact of government legislation on local authority powers in schools and health
– what is the public role of councils resisting attacks from CLG Ministers
– outsourcing to private and voluntary sector bodies
– digitisation of services and the challenge of IT on frontline services
– the need for sensible and long-term policies around regeneration projects
– what more progressive links between councils and the community – in the era of ‘Big Society’ – actually mean…
Labour everywhere must guard against lazy, short term thinking. We govern boroughs for all residents, not the few activists who select us to represent the Rose every four years in barely quorate meetings in tenants halls. Residents deserve administrations which don’t merely operate in the here and now. They also need councils with a vision. We must have a space where long-term thinking can be discussed without rancour.
More than anything else moderates need to guard against the contrarian tendency, so often responsible for confusing knee-jerk opposition to ideas, with ‘being left wing’.
The Labour Party and the Left is bigger than that.