Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Willy Poole Column

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Willy Poole Column

Article excerpt

Byline: By Willy Poole

John ("Pop t'other pie in t'oven, Pauline Pet") Prescott wants to pop a bun in our oven. When I say "our", I mean those of us who live and work in the North-East.

The Deputy Pie Man wishes to impregnate us with an "Elected Regional Assembly".

Before you succumb to a delirium of joy at the DPM's newly discovered enthusiasm for local democracy allow me to point out to you that for some generations, NE politics has been dominated by a deeply entrenched socialist mafia, which scratches no backs apart from its own.

Take the current county council, 10 of the 12 members of the political administration of NCC are from wards in South-East Northumberland and represent generations of entrenched political power. This will slide seamlessly into the assembly, when strategic powers are removed from county councils.

Ah, some may say, but now we have the Liberal Democrats in the mixture ( that will upset the Labour cart. Heaven preserve your innocence! The Lib Dems are neither liberal nor democratic ( they lust only for power and will do anything and deal with anybody to achieve it and keep it ( they are natural mafiosi (even that great and good man, Alan Beith, is in favour of an assembly, a fact that might seem to pose more questions than it answers).

So, what form would this Trojan Horse of political malpractice take? I am told that it would consist of 25 members elected on a constituency basis; so rural Northumberland would get two.

Ten members would be elected by proportional representation, according to political party voting numbers and from party lists. Now if you have understood this so far, then there is something wrong with you. The whole point of the exercise is that no one is supposed to understand it ( just close your eyes and pin your vote on the donkey. I have heard it said that the PR system benefits independents and minority parties.

In the assembly such wretched creatures would be bulldozed flat and have a "sink estate" built over them. The next question you may like to ask is about your friendly neighbourhood district council ( forget it ( they will all be toast. …

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