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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Lines of Accountability

It is striking that it is becoming increasingly common to hold "lobbies" and "protests" aimed at people who don't actually make decisions on a given subject.  That was very noticeable in the Charlie Gard case, where people protested outside Downing Street and Buckingham Palace because they did not like the decision of the Courts.  Of course, neither the Prime Minister nor the Queen has any power to overturn a Court verdict.

A few days ago, Brent Momentum were tweeting that they had demanded Cllr Muhammed Butt do what they want over Labour's manifesto (They weren't very specific).  Don't they realise that it is the Labour Party that decides the content of its manifesto not any particular councillor?

Similarly, Brent Council has had protests recently about Academisation of the Village School in Queensbury.  Do the people making these protests really just not grasp that school governors make decisions about schools and Councils (while retaining responsibilities with insufficient powers) have very little power to make decisions?

In each of these cases, we seem to see groups of people making demands on people who are not in a position to fulfil them and then react with outrage when nothing is achieved.  Is the ignorance implied genuine, or is it that expressing the outrage is seen as more important than actually changing the decision?  I genuinely don't know, but it strikes me as extremely corrosive of local democracy.

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