Friday, June 12, 2009

When Protest Voting goes Wrongggggg....

This interview between the newly-elected Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies (English Democrat) and BBC Radio Sheffield's Toby Foster could easily have been badged under Monday Morning Smile. If it was Monday. And I hadn't listen to the interview wincing with embarrassment for the poor mutt.

Listening, I couldn't help recall Ray Mallon's prediction during Darlington's Mayoral Referendum - if you get a good Mayor, all well and good. A bad Mayor would bring the town to its knees.

Expect Doncaster to drift into further political crises. Mayor Davies should be another nail in the coffin for the discredited Elected Mayor bandwagon.

Hat tip Luke Akehurst (who prints the interview transcript).


Dave Cole has this on some of the unsavoury elements swilling around the English Democrats.


Ian W said...

Hi Nick

Granted not the best interview in the world, by a man clearly out to provoke and obviously I don't know the full facts of Peter Davies manifesto.

However just because some at DBC-HQ dislike elected Mayors does not mean they are all bad, You mention Mr Mallon, he was returned as Mayor, I am sure Boris too will cut his own path.

But there are those of us who will fight on for what we believe, that sadly is called democracy the thing we see disapearing so much these days under Nu-Labour.

Not long now till the next election can be called for a Mayor in Darlington again.

Anonymous said...

As you seem to like Youtube heres a parody of Gordons last days.

Be warned it contains strong subtitles as its in German.

Funny, I'm still crying!

Anonymous said...

Sorry that link should be go to youtube and then paste in..


Anonymous said...

I look forward to David Camerons commitment to all major towns having elected Mayors. Darlington got the answer wrong last time, but im sure pro-Eu people will allow a second vote to get the right Yes answer this time round !.

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah

Pro European wasters where is our referendum Gordon.

Just another nail in your coffin.

Darlington Councillor said...

Well, to the last anonymous contributor - David Cameron I think has pledged a referendum in 10 major cities, not full-blown Mayors at a stroke. As I've blogged before, these conurbations seem to have been carefully chosen, for the most part, to target councils where the Tories have little or no representation. By mixing things up, Cameron seems to be calculating that he may gain Tory leadership of the towns or cities at a stroke, rather than have to go through the tedious (but necessary) task of winning them ward by ward.

I don't understand how the EU is relevant to all of this, but maybe I'm having a slow day.

At the very least, Cameron can probably hope that residents will vote for an independent, thereby turfing out established LibDem or Labour regimes. It's a closet form of political gerrymandering, and does the man no credit at all.

(Of course, under the slanted rules, whilst Yes campaigners are perfectly at liberty to campaign again for a referendum, had the result in 2007 gone the other way, it would have been practically impossible to change the system back to a Cabinet/Mayor model for those who might have felt sore. Just something to think about).

Ian - it certainly used to be the case that a fresh referendum could be held after 5 years. So in Darlington, that would mean campaigners could, I guess, begin to try and collect signatures in 2011 for a referendum in 2012. It's my understanding, however, that the law has now changed, and there is a minimum of 10 years now betwenn referenda - have a look at para 69 of the Local Government and Public Health Act 2007, which says "A local authority in England may not hold more than one referendum in any period of ten years." Bizarrely, it remains 5 years in Wales.

(My very good friends at the New Local Government Network - the chief cheerleaders for the elected mayor model - seem to share that analysis - see

Still I've openly said that some elected mayors do a fine job - despite not because of the system. Ray Mallon has always struck me as a fine community leader, and I was very impressed by John Harrison, Labour's (alas) now defeated elected Mayor in North Tyneside.

Unless Cameron foists another referendum on us, Ian, it looks like campaigners will have to wait until 2016 before being able to collect signatures again to trigger a Borough-wide poll. That does seem rather a long way off.

Ian W said...

Sad to here that Nick, seems those who are losing simply change the rules when it suits them, just who was it that changed the rules, do you know? (party)

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

I have read the transcript of the interview. That was some car crash.

Doncaster has demonstrated clearly the big danger with the Elected Mayors system.

A maverick candidate stands, promises the earth no matter how ludicrous and possibly illegal, electorate approves, he or she gets elected and finds they cannot deliver. The Mayor loses credibility, governance breaks down, morale suffers and the Council becomes paralysed and ineffective.

It would make a good thesis for a PhD in goverment.

Anonymous said...

I tcould also suggest as daft as some of his manifesto promises were the good people of Doncaster actually wanted them, that must say something about why they voted for him.

Clearly they were sick of things as they were, regardless of if he can change them or not.

Why not sack people if their jobs are surplus, why not get interpreters that speak more than one language, why not sort the wheat from the chaff and try at least to save the tax payer some dosh!

No need in Darlo they soon will (if not already) have control of parking fines, boy will they make some money!

Anonymous said...

I think he has the right idea get rid of these surplus positions, let those who wish to live here speak our native tounge instead of paying/wasting thousands having every document in 500 languages.

Millions could be saved each year in this country no wonder the BNP are laughing all the way to Brussels.