Conservative Home's debate blogs

Conservative Home's reference blogs

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

Conservative blogs


  • DVD rental
  • Conservative Books

How is David Cameron doing?

  • Tracker 2
  • Extreme Tracker

« Britain's conservative movement | Main | Tax cuts then and now »


Wat Tyler

Very useful summary.

The important point about local institutions being forced to "earn" more independence is underlined again today by the announced changes to the government's school inspection regime. Schools can now qualify for "light touch" inspection, but only if they've already ticked the right government boxes.

Those that haven't done so should definitely peruse the Direct Democracy link in Williams post.

tory activist

I agree, Wat. There's also a good discussion of localism and the state in the Policy Exchange's Compassionate Conservatism book whcih CHome summarised recently

James M

I am a fan of the ideas behind localism and think there are many positives to be said about localising more issues.

On the flip side I see an important role for central government and would certainly not suggest that all things central are bad.

But do the results in the various mayoral referendums suggest that the public actually quite like centralisation or owe more to either a lack of information or distrust of having more politicians?

Donal Blaney

The excellent publication by some younger MPs, MEPs and candidates by Direct Democracy makes a compelling case for localism. If you haven't had the chance to read their publication, I strongly recommend it. It is well written, clear and well thought through.

Andrew Woodman

Excellent. I will link this to my localism blog power to the people.


A very useful overview, adn something to eb supported. But one doorstep question localists must be ready to answer is: "I live in a very poor area. Under highly localised public services, won't my local school/hospital/transport/services always be worse than those in the rich town down the road?"

And "work hard and maybe one day you can move to the rich town" doesn't actually answer the question.

Until we can convince people that this doesn't have to follow, a lot of those on low incomes assume localism is a way for the government to avoid paying for public services for poor people.

Patsy Sergeant

It maybe 'New Labour', but targets, statistics and dogma, are very soviet. I worked doing research into the SU for quite some time, and 'norms' (the same differnce) ruled their lives - in factories etc:!

Patsy Sergeant

I meant to add - - so the sooner David Cameron can distance himself from this sort of obssession in government, the better, and what better way than to have more localism and fewer vast government quangos.


For localism to work in Britain, people have to stop thinking "post code lottery" and start thinking "post code choice". That's what my husband and I did when we moved to Wandsworth (of course it doesn't hurt that our services are pretty darn good, too).

But I don't think anyone would realistically argue for full localism. Even under highly localised systems, e.g. in America, there is still tax revenue redistribution. So although much tax is raised and spent locally, some sales tax is redistributed from wealthier shopping hubs to areas which may not have car dealerships or malls.

But there needs to be more tax freedom in the UK - e.g. business rates should be local (or 80 to 90% so anyway) to help councils encourage business - instead of all being put in a national pot. If crazy lefty councils want to tax the heck out of business, I say let them. They won't last long.


Patsy, I think you've picke up an important point about the socialist agenda of targets. But there's more than that - they have some kind of weird managerialist notion that everything must always be constantly changing to support a climate of "innovation". Between chasing targets - and trying to understand your PCT or police boundary, it's no wonder things are in an expensive muddle.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Conservative Home