The trap being set for Labour in local government….
I rather suspect Labour Party comrades are close to salivating at the prospect of next May’s local elections. It will be astonishing if we do not make sweeping gains, especially at the expense of the Liberal Democrats, who like the useful idiots they are have been all too willing a sacrifice for Conservative political strategists who see the end game as the end of their Coalition partner as a credible political force. Decimation in the north will lead to demoralisation in the south, vocal public in-fighting, and in the end Conservative gains at the expense of the Liberal Democrats. Behind closed doors the Conservatives know all this and while they say nice things in public; welcome the demise of their ‘partner’ in private.
Labour should be weary though because these same political strategists have carefully prepared a honey-coated trap for Labour. The day after the night before Labour will find itself in power and faced with some tough choices. Either it will do the Conservatives dirty work and attack its local poor (thus demoralising its own activists and voters) or else it will have to take what seems like the way-out offered through the recently increased borrowing power vested in local councillors. Upon which time, Conservatives will leap on Labour ‘profligacy’ and say ha! We told you so. Also, it will be used as an excuse in later years to asset-strip councils and sell yet more chunks of community services and property off to the private sector. However, forewarned is forearmed and as long as Labour is aware of the trap it is walking into, it can spring it safely.
It would be wholly wrong for Labour councils to start carrying through these cuts and attacks on the poor.We cannot wage war on our own communities in this way if we want to be taken seriously. They must resist the central government at every turn and refuse to carry out cutbacks. We should be honest with our electorate about what is happening and determine early on that we will stand with them. If money must be borrowed and budgets broken to do this then so be it; however, we should not mortgage people’s future so borrowed monies should also be used to give birth to co-ops, mutuals and support the community taking generally ownership of its own assets. This will fireproof them against a future sell-off making it politically dangerous for the centrally governing Party. It will also be hard for Mr Cameron to oppose politically given all his ‘Big Society’ rhetoric. This would be a hard path to take but I dare say over time the right and popular one, we must beware of complacency and sleep-walking into the trap electoral success next May will walk us into.