Saturday, 27 October 2012

Hardly a surprise I know but George Eustice doesn't get it

Today the MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle George Eustice has a piece in the Packet, calling for reform of Cornwall Council. Despite the fact the ex-leader Conservative Alec Robertson lost a vote of no confidence for acting in a unilateral way withholding all decision making to the 10 strong cabinet. George Eustice thinks that the decision making at Cornwall Council should be made by even less people. Calling for a mayor to replace the current cabinet system, leaving the 'day to day' running to the council. So despite the Leader and cabinet acting all by themselves with the Joint Venture, against the wishes of the full chamber and the public doesn't seem to get why this was bad for democracy! Suggesting that the cabinet system and leader system should be replaced with one person a mayor for Cornwall to make all of the decisions to hell with what everyone else thinks.

Eustice's dream of single all powerful Cornish leader

The real lesson for the Joint Venture for Shared Services was that a minority can not make all the decisions, that the full council needs to have a say in the decision making, so that every councillors gets to express the view of their electorate to the council. In effect with Eustice's reforms a mayor such as Alec Robertson would have been able to push through the failed Shared Services scheme on his own with no councillor able to hold him to account. Perhaps this is what the MP would have liked? is this really a question of institutions and arrangements and what is best for democracy. Or is George Eustice lamenting a system that did not privatise all and sundry? Is this about a new system of rule by a select elite whereby the Thatcherite dream of outsourcing to the benefit of private profit would be more easily realised?