Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Is the North East a Colony of London?

I had an interesting conversation this evening with someone who'd been part of the Respond project some years ago in Stockton. An Australian who had been part of some of the work had commented that a large part of the problem in the North East of England was that it was ruled as a colony from London. She saw many of the same attitudes in that relationship as she had experienced in Australia/England relationships years before. Thinking about it, I could see immediately what she meant. We are constantly told that if our local government behaves, does as central govt wants then we can have more freedoms and flexibilities to do what we want. Except that we never do get those freedoms to listen to our residents and do what they want. We're always told that we have to work harder, do more and spend less but what does central government do? Gets the country into the biggest mess for donkey's years and then tries to pretend it wasn't their fault.
Later in the evening I heard the weather forecast on radio. "Heavy snow is affecting large swathes of the UK and is also disrupting traffic in Northern England..." Proof positive that we're just a colony on the edges?
Meanwhile our MP has written to people who've replied to her previous missives with another dismissive letter claiming that the people of Eaglescliffe have not been consulted on the Building Schools for the Future programme. She seems completely unaware that Stockton Council did a full consultation on the original ideas and that Liberal Democrat Focus leaflets have asked people's opinions over and over again. She lives in a different world to most of her constituents.

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