I suppose this is a bit of a waste of time as the picture says it all really, click on it to enlarge it, but the recent elections have made me think about how I felt I related to the various levels of government that we are all paying for at considerable expense.
I am pretty sure that the democratic process is supposed to make me feel empowered, that to some lesser or greater extent I have some sort of say in the running of the town, country or even Europe.
I will start at the top and work down.
Europe I suppose all those years ago when we voted to be part of a greater economic community it made some sort of sense, now it just seems to be some gargantuan set-up making up masses of legislation much of which doesn’t suit the British character, for the most part we doggedly obey them and it seems the Mediterranean countries pay lip service to them but mostly ignore them. Do I feel part of some brave new world of countries with common ambition? I wish I did.
The House of Lords obviously supposed to be the highest regulator in the land, beyond reproach above the elected house most of the members chosen for some great service to the country, a matter of great honour, unfortunately recent events show these people can be bought. Evidently this house has become corrupt, how much I am not in a position to say. Do I feel awed and inspired by this great symbol of British governance? Not any more.
House of Commons, supposed to be made up of people who have chosen to serve their country elected by us to empower us, turns out these people are in it for personal gain. I had suspicions that all was not right there for some time, then the man we voted for took us to war on a lie and I was not entirely convinced that had we voted for the other man he wouldn’t have done the same. Do I trust these people and can I see an alternative with brilliant ideas to turn this back into a great country once again? I wish I could.
Kent County Council, bit closer to home now quite a few of the people involved use the shop and I know them to a lesser or greater degree, talking to them I get the felling that all is far from well there. I think the nub of the problem here is pet projects have taken precedence over essential services, there are expensive luxuries like Kent TV but the one that seems to cause the most angst is the Turner Contemporary, it seems that no matter how little the return on this project unlimited funds will always be found for it. The fact that the basic infrastructure roads pavements etc here in Ramsgate seems to be falling apart doesn’t seem to tally well with the huge funds directed at these pet projects. My only close dealings with them have been over the Pleasurama access road and have been most unsatisfactory; do I feel they have the interests of where I live at heart? Not really.
Thanet District Council, a lot closer to home and I know many of the people involved, this replaced the old Ramsgate district council, which had some faults but did have benefiting Ramsgate at heart. I suppose the benchmark here is how the Thanet towns have fared compared to similar seaside towns in the area governed by other administrations, Deal and Herne Bay are the closest I can get on this: do I feel that our district council has come up with good solutions for our towns in comparison to those towns? Not really.
Ramsgate parish council, here what happened was the people of Ramsgate voted to pay extra money on their council tax for an elected group to be a voice for Ramsgate, time will tell on this one, but at less than £1 a week on my council tax bill it has to worth a try.