Just because we dare to disagree

So Cabinet ministers "strongly oppose regional government because they fear that those who have ruled incompetently at a local level will move from the town hall to a spanking new regional assembly". (Steve Richards, 10 April). Funny that this does not appear to apply to Messrs Blunkett, Dobson and all of the backbenchers, government-sponsored clones, PPSs and such who served their political apprenticeship in local government. Are they really telling us that their successors at Camden, Sheffield and so on are nothing like as good as they were? Or is this just another illustration of central government's prejudice against local government, for no better reason than that we do not always agree with everything they say, and sometimes we even argue back?

Councillor Peter Johnston
Bolton, Lancashire

This article first appeared in the 17 April 2000 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Essay - The rise of the ergonarchy