Soapbox 499: A ’new feudalism’ with a new dominant elite belonging to no specific community or nation
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On Soapbox for the 99%, Simon Baddeley writes:
Something awful is happening to the public sector. The role of the state in protecting the public good is being relentlessly diminished in front of our eyes – like the slow melting of the polar areas that so many deny.
We don’t recognise the form of this slow motion disaster and being too literal about what is happening can label us as alarmist even paranoid.
The blighting of democracy and especially local democracy works on the principle of death by an infinite progression of cuts against which it can be almost impossible to take a moral stand.
Yet what is happening is profoundly immoral – the result of political decisions.
The only growth is in the chasm between the very rich and the growing poor; the growth industries are soup kitchens and billionaires.
For its lack of transparency and lack of democratic control we have a ’new feudalism’ with a new dominant elite belonging to no specific community or nation, paying little or no tax and feeling (with honourable exceptions) no obligation nor attachment to any locality.
There are now 1293 imposed duties placed upon Local Authorities by central government, half of which have been imposed in the last 15 years leading – despite talk of a Big Society to a diminishing scope for localism and local initiatives.
Section 5 of the Localism Act gives the Secretary of State powers to remove obstacles to the General Power of Competence but the act contains 140 reserve powers which can be used against LAs.
We can see where the formal power resides. I speak as one long involved in local voluntary activity who will continue to do this so long as my health remains – but the world is becoming a nastier place and this is because that’s the way a small minority of unaccountable free-floating billionaires want it to be – supported by generously funded free market think tanks producing ‘objective’ proofs that how things are is how things ought to be.
Posted on March 30, 2013, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Government, Lobbying, Local government and tagged Big Society, Local democracy, Localism Act, New feudalism, Public good, Public sector, Simon Baddeley. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.