Tuesday, 9 October 2018

More on Localism.

Recently Michael Krieger, the Brazilian entrepreneur and founder of Instagram, wrote a piece titled:-

" It's time to focus on Localism,Decentralisation and Community."

He was writing with regards the USA but his points are just as applicable to us and I have condensed his essay into the seven key points I feel he makes.

1. Most of us are conditioned to believe life is best organised in scale. In other words, we've been convinced it's best to have as many people as possible operating under a single overarching centralised government structure in charge of micromanaging society from the top down. He believes this is outdated, unnatural and increasingly dangerous.

2. In the western world, we tend to justify centralised superstates because they're ostensibly based on democracy but this doesn't hold water for three reasons:-
a. Just looking at the C21st the 'will of the people' is frequently ignored.
b. A one-size fits all solution to problems in a geographically and cultural diverse nation 325 million, tends to make everyone unhappy. (This applies to the UK and especially the EU)
c. When you over centralise power you streamline systemic corruption. All the big money donors have to do is buy-off a few hundred representatives who conveniently all gather in the same place, far from their constituents, to pass legislation which is often written by lobbyists.

3.Centralised power is unaccountable and exceedingly corrupt.

4. Those against 'Localism' often say it is as corrupt as central government but that is because the people's attention is focused on the centre. If REAL decisions are made locally the people would concentrate on local government where corruption is easier to detect.

5. Local improvements need to be made by local people in their communities - eg. Cleaning up empty spaces and creating community gardens is the sort of thing that brings people together, improves quality-of-life, even mental health and is achievable at relatively low costs.

6.Trusting Local governments to raise their own finances locally, rather than central handouts, instantly makes them more accountable and responsible to their communities.   

7. Localism will increasingly become a necessity as central governments struggle to solve and fail to resolve local issues.

As I wrote last week politicians need 'skin in the game' or their decisions increasingly do not reflect the 'will of the people'. Our second demand for 'Real local democracy' takes fully into account the importance, if not necessity, of local government, based on our historic country structure, taking over more and more power currently undertaken, so badly, by Westminster.

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