Sir: The third year of crushing defeat for the Tories in the local elections has brought complaints from the defeated about the unfairness of the electorate voting on national and not local issues. It seems that the Tories are incapable of seeing that this is the sensible response of the voters to the removal of power from local government to national government. The Tories have only themselves to blame.
Despite empty promises to respect local democracy, the truth has been the spiteful abolition of metropolitan authorities and caps on local spending. Most significant of all has been the creation of a vast number of unaccountable, secretive quangos under direct autocratic ministerial patronage. Nothing could be more inimical to local democracy.
Councils have been reduced to little more than insignificant local management boards, so people either do not bother to vote or else base their vote on their opinion of the conduct of the real power, that is the national government.
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