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Opposition to elected mayors from the Left

Opposition to elected mayors from the Left

🕔13.Jan 2012

Cogent anti-mayor arguments from the Birmingham branch of Socialist Resistance:

… the challenge for local government in Birmingham is: can it be reinvented to embrace the ideas, desires and energies of the people of the city? An elected mayor will have the exact opposite effect, replacing the existing undemocratic system with an even less democratic one – an elected dictator in the Council House.

But also a sideswipe at the existing anti-mayor campaign:

Yet the cross-party opposition campaign led by MPs Godsiff and Hemming and Tory councillor Hutchings has no such vision. In fact they don’t even have a campaign, as a visit to their website (ineptly named ‘saynotoapowerfreak’) will demonstrate – no arguments, no public activities, no functioning internal democracy (in spite of the promises). Their invisible ‘campaign’ itself mirrors the bankruptcy of their ideas and seriously risks handing over the referendum to the elected mayor camp.

The alternaitve, the group argues, is to deliver true ‘sub-localism’ and more to increase accountability and involvement:

For example, open up Scrutiny committees to popular input; introduce a participatory budget-making process, set up city-wide forums bringing together citizens and councillors on key issues such as education, transport, housing and jobs. There is no shortage of ideas, learning from experiences of participation around the world.

Read the full post here.

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