Andy Street

Our Andy, making a difference?

Metro Mayor, the layer of government we could do without.

The Metro Mayor has a plan to spend your moneyThe Metro Mayor has a plan to spend your moneyYour chance to make a difference, or is it? Here come the delayed local elections and we look at the contest for the Metro Mayor(MM) for the West Midlands. The story goes back to the Labour government of Tony Blair. For it was they who began the process and legislation for directly elected mayors. However, the idea was not popular and of the regions offered this only around a third voted for it. Originally Birmingham voted against the proposal in 2012. But then with just a minor tweek to the original scheme the MM project was passed into law in 2017 without another referendum. It was possible for the government to get away with this as the minor tweek to the proposal made it seem they were paying attention to the public:’we hear what you say’. Yes, the situation, the detail, had been changed. Well they would say that! But the over-aching principle of an extra layer of government had been rejected by the previous ballot. So the public were ignored and the government went, so to speak, around the back to get this idea done. Is this important? Yes and could be the root of low voter turnout in the MM elections. To put this episode into perspective we should remember that the government had just ‘lost’ the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Perhaps it was Domophobia?

Will the Government help fight the culture wars?

Dom, coming up roses!Dom, coming up roses!
What is the UK press up to, what does it do? Not so long ago the press went into meltdown over Dominic Cummings and his trip to the farm in County Durham owned by his father. It was fun while it lasted, for them. They love a witch hunt and here was a great opportunity, it also meshed with the culture wars they are so keen for us to learn about. To the press Cummings is special as he is seen to be more powerful than they are; or that's what they think and these thoughts count for a lot of the aggro. Cummings went to Oxford, privileged eh? No not really Emily Maitlis went to Cambridge and she is, 'one of us'. Reports suggest that while at Oxford Cummings was next to invisible in that he did very few of the things students are noted for. So, no sport and not for him a position in the Oxford Union or nights out with the boys from the Bullingdon Club.He seemed only to study and was seen as a loner, there are even whispers that a senior academic with connections to MI6 was impressed by Cummings.

After graduation he worked in Russia for a few years and is fluent in the language. Back in the UK he began his ever upward journey in politics. Working for Business for Sterling then briefly for the Conservative party he eventually ran a think tank. Next he was involved in working against setting up the North-East Regional Assembly.

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