Why can’t politics have a local focus?

Ed Miliband in Ipswich during the launch of Labour local election campaign.
Pictured at The Co-op E

Ed Miliband in Ipswich during the launch of Labour local election campaign. Pictured at The Co-op Education Centre, Fore Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

THOSE who follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve been getting a tad wound up over recent days about national politicians hijacking the local election campaign.

We are in the middle of a campaign for county council elections. To be honest, what the county council does probably affects the everyday lives of us far more than the national government.

It decides where our children go to school, whether the roads are repaired, whether we get help from social services, and how much the libraries have to spend on new books.

And yet national (and some local) politicians are trying to hijack the election by droning on about NHS reforms, the “mansion tax”, and changes to income tax rates. These have NOTHING to do with county councils.

Ed Miliband came to Ipswich. He talked about giving (district and borough) councils the power to deal with pay-day loan shops (nothing to do with counties). Then he went on about the “millionaires’ tax cut.”

Does he expect us to believe that a Labour-controlled Suffolk County Council would be able to repeal that? Don’t insult our intelligence, Mr Miliband!

For years the LibDems fought local council elections on local issues. This year what do they do with their party political “for the local elections in England”? Nick Clegg goes on about the £600 income tax cut!

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One whiff of Whitehall power and the LibDems abandon their local concerns and start behaving just like the other two major parties.

Even the Tories have been waving their national credentials which is certainly courageous of them considering that their national standing is not that high at the moment!

Surely the answer, in a world with the internet and multi-channel television – is to abandon party politicals, especially for local campaigns.

But I suspect the vanity of politicians who love the opportunity of talking to the nation for three minutes every so often will prevent them from taking this logical step.