I see that the Communities Secretary, former communist-supporting now Conservative MP Eric Pickles, is brandishing draconian rules on local authorities as his bizarre contribution to the localism ideology. He is insisting that communication from Town Halls to the community that they serve be restricted to four newspapers a year otherwise, (big stick time by Mr Pickles), they run the risk of being reported to the auditor on the grounds of misuse of public funds.
So, let's get this right.....Central government says power to the people and Pickles adds....as long as you don't tell them about anything you do?
Pickles, whose first political flirtation was with communism, is now seen as so far to the right of the political landscape that even his own party Local Councillors are, according to 'The Guardian', hateful of him. Moreover 91 Lib Dem councillors wrote to the Times this week complaining of the way Pickles treats them with contempt imposing savage cuts on Councils without due consideration of circumstances.
What a short term memory Pickles has. He was after all temporary Tory leader of Bradford Council in the early nineties when I wonder if his 'northern charm' would have been equally engaging, as it is today, had the Thatcher Government chopped at local services like a mad axeman?