September 29, 2005

Miliband sets out vision for 'community power'

Miliband sets out vision for community power:
"'People elected us to sort out the economy', Mr Miliband told conference.

'Gordon did. They wanted us to invest in public services. We have. But our cause goes further. The truth is that Mondeo Man wants more than a Mondeo: he wants more power for himself and his community to shape the future, and our job is to give it to him.'"
But will he deliver? I dought it. It would go against the entire New Labour political project of power of it's own sake. Then when you get a little further into the article you find
"Let's give power to citizens with direct payments that give them a choice over local services, let's give choice to people and neighbourhoods to set new priorities and reshape local service provision. And let's embrace the voluntary sector, which can reach and help people in ways that the public sector cannot match."
So the money stays in Whitehall, but local democracy gets cut out of the loop. This is not increasing local power, it is increasing central government power. If he really wanted to give power back to the people then yes have "a choice over local services", and let us keep our own money to spend on them, or choose not to, as we wish.


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