Sunday 26 July 2015

Petition calls for all 54 Coventry City Councillors to resign

A petition has been created by a resident of Tile Hill, Robin Elms, calling on all the city's councillors to resign.

Clearly this is not going to happen and Mr Elms would be better using his energies to run a campaign to get himself elected to the council.

This story has been making think about whether the current council setup is the best for purpose.

At the moment there is are 18 wards each with three councillors. Each ward has around 12,000 electors. This means that the electoral wards do not necessarily match local self identified communities. I represented Bablake ward from 2000 (when I was the youngest councillor) until 2014 and my former constituents didn't think of themselves as Bablake residents, but instead residents of Allesley or Keresley or Whitmore Park or Coundon. Indeed some of these areas are split between wards!

Also at the moment the council is elected by thirds so rather the whole council being up, one councillor in ward ward is up for election over a three year cycle with no elections in the fourth year. This can mean that it is impossible for the political control of the council to change before a vote has been cast!

I think the structure of the council needs to change to allow a greater connection between councillors and their communities and also to allow the chance of changing the council at every election (albeit at the cost of one election every four years rather than three every four)

So in summary the council should change to 54 single member wards of 4,000 people each rather than the current 3 member wards of 12,000. This would allow wards to match local communities better and also allow councillors to connect with their residents better. The council should also switch to all out elections every four years rather than the current election by thirds.

via LiveJournal

Saturday 25 July 2015

Greece, the Euro and Sovereignty

It looks like the terms required for the Greek bailout have passed in their parliament. This of course happened after the Greeks had rejected similar terms in a referendum.

This has resulted in questions about where sovereignty lies and tweets with the hash tag #ThisIsACoup

While it is not a coup it does show that joining a currency union does have an impact on a nations sovereignty and underlines why a country needs it's own currency. It demonstrates the wisdom of the UK in keeping the pound, and it's good to note it appears to have stopped the argument about joining.

The other thing to note is the reaction that Greece might leave the euro generated. It clearly showed that there are those in EU who believe as an article of faith that there can be no moves away from European Integration. In February 2015 Jean-Claude Junker saidsaid (in French) "Il ne peut y avoir de choix démocratique contre les traités européens" or in English "There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties" By putting their articles of faith of European integration above democratic choices and economic facts they are just like flat earthers or young earth creationists who not only put their faith above recognised facts but reject generally accepted scientific fact in favour of pseudoscience. We listen to the pseudoscience of the European federalists at our peril.

via LiveJournal