Thursday, 27 May 2010

Local Circumstances

Norwich, Exeter and Suffolk are not now to have unitary local government. I could never see why the last lot wanted it in Suffolk, abolishing Ipswich Council and subsuming it into a permanent Tory fiefdom.

Here in County Durham, the introduction of unitary local government has been an act of naked gerrymandering, almost admirable for its sheer brass neck. Durham City went Lib Dem, Wear Valley threatened to do so again (as for a time, due to very particular local circumstances, in the Nineties), and Derwentside was certainly going to go to No Overall Control.

So a Prime Minister who was a County Durham MP took his only ever interest in us, directing that all municipal services above Parish or Town level were to be delivered by the first council that Labour ever won, which it has never lost in the intervening hundred years.

Still, in view of that last fact, never let anyone tell you that Labour was a peculiraly urban phenomenom. New Labour is. But Labour was not. Nor will its reconstitution be.


  1. I notice that the last ever Leader of Derwentside is now a member of the 2020 Vision group on Facebook.

  2. Alderman Watson MBE, our elder statesman.