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Elected Mayors: Is there a No campaign?

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by Jean-Luc, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Well-Known Member

    I see that on 3 May people in 11 English cities (Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield) will be voting on whether or not to have directly-elected mayors. Is anyone in these places mounting a No campaign on the grounds that to have them governed by a City Boss, even if elected, is less democratic than the present system?
  2. JHE

    JHE .

    The Labour Party in Nottingham is very opposed and is using its freeby paper (that's put through letter boxes) to campaign against. Its main objection is on grounds of cost.
  3. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    Liverpool aren't having a referendum, the council pushed the motion through so they will definitely be getting an elected mayor.
  4. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It

    not had any leaflets about it here in cov yet.
  5. Maggot

    Maggot .

    How is having an elected Mayor, undemocratic?
  6. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It

    most of cov's councilors are against it.


  7. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It

    Not really looked into it, but it does seem to give a lot of power to one person.

    Other than waiting for the next election, Is there any way to remove them if they abuse their power in office ? (not that a politician would do that :p )
  8. JHE

    JHE .

    I think some people think it is better to have many elected representatives and less of a concentration of power in one individual.

    Personally, I'm quite ambivalent about the whole thing. My gut reaction is to oppose a concentration of power in one little local directly elected president.

    On the other hand, we all know that most people do not take enough interest in local politics to know who their local councillors are or who the council leader is etc. The turn out in local elections is low. If we had a directly elected mayor who were genuinely in charge of running local services, many more people would know who to credit, who to blame, who to lobby and so on. I have a sneaking suspicion that there would be greater accountability with the directly elected mayoral system.

    There is a different sort of democratic reform that would make a bigger difference, though: give more power, more independence to local authorities, so that it makes more difference which bunch we elect.
  9. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It


    I'll be voting no.
  10. I've not noticed any campaigns one way or the other in Newcastle, I will certainly be voting no, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jimmy Five Bellies get it or something if we do vote yes.
    Meltingpot likes this.
  11. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Well-Known Member

    Actually, I never said they were undemocratic but only less democratic than the present system (decision-making by a Collective Leadership of full-time councillors) which in fact in its turn was less democratic than what went before (decision-making by committees of councillors).

    It's already been pointed out that an elected mayor concentrates decision-making into the hands of one person (who has of course to be paid a fat-cat salary), so reducing the powers of councillors who will be nearer to the people who elected them. It also trivialises elections by making them less about policies and more (even all) about the personalities of the rival would-be leaders who, if the US example is anything to go by, will be all packaging and no substance.

    But worse, it encourages people to think that some Leader can solve society's problems for them, whereas these problems can only be solved by people refusing to follow leaders and acting for themselves.

    The case for not voting Yes is overwhelming. The only real options being abstain (which most people will probably do) or vote No.
  12. Actually there is a Yes campaign - http://www.newcastlemayor.org.uk/about.html but they're independents, which means Tories in Newcastle, which makes sense as the only way they could get in here is through indie proxies/patsies.

    In fact the chair of the campaign is Brian Moore who quit an election campaign to appear on Come Dine with Me - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nort...uits-election-bid-for-tv-show-72703-20730391/

    And the other main bloke is the leader of the local rightwing independent party


    Tossers basically.
  13. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    THere will be a no campaign in Birmingham, from the trades council. Tory, Lab and Lib Dem all agreed on the mayor, although some prominent individuals in those parties do not want it. I think John Hemming (tosser of an MP) is against it, but has said he will run for mayor if it does happen, though that may have been Sion Simon (tosser of an (ex?) MP) who is Labour, I'm not sure.

    The no campaign may end up being a union - lib dem alliance, which should be fun ;)

    The yes campaign is well up and running.

    I haven't had the time or energy or caring levels to look at any of it in detail and will almost certainly not vote in the referendum, just as I'd almost certainly not vote in the mayoral election.
  14. purenarcotic

    purenarcotic Conveniently Pocket Sized

    I'm pretty sure you're right about Hemming saying he would run.
  15. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It

    While admittedly i haven't spoken to anyone about it, I think it is safe to say this is not an important issue to most people in Coventry.
    I managed to find a (very amateur looking) yes website: http://covyes.co.uk/ but can't find any no campaign.
    I suspect a lot of people won't know about the referendum until they go into the polling booth in may.
    Elected mayors *sounds* democratic, so a lot of people may vote yes for it.
    Then again, if people don't know, the default reaction is often "better the devil you know" so vote no.
  16. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    He, he - this reply was funny:
    Dave Nellist turns down the position of Deputy Lord Mayor

    The following letter was sent to John Mutton, Labour leader of Coventry City Council. Dave had been contacted about becoming Deputy Lord Mayor (tradition dictates that the longest serving councillors get offered the opportunity of becoming Lord Mayor). In this letter Dave outlines his reasons for refusing.

    You think they would have given up trying to buy him off after all of these years....

    Someone added: "I wanna see the letter he writes when they finally offer him a peerage."
    BigTom and moochedit like this.
  17. Fedayn

    Fedayn Well-Known Member

    Sadly the Labour Councillor who 'offered' him the position was a former Militant supporting Labour councillor back in the 1980's.
  18. Very good, spot on letter:D:cool:
  19. dennisr

    dennisr the acceptable face

    the Dave Nellist saga continues - Socialist councillor Dave Nellist won't rule out standing as Coventry elected mayor

    SOCIALIST councillor Dave Nellist has refused to rule out standing to become Coventry’s first elected mayor – if city voters decide they want one in the May referendum.
    He added a Socialist Party candidate would be likely to stand on a platform of doing the job for an average workers’ salary – currently around £26,000 for full-time workers.
    The council has set aside £150,000 for potential elected mayor and support staff salaries.
  20. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Well-Known Member

    That's interesting. Even more interesting if he got elected (which is not inconceivable). Coventry as the new Liverpool as with Derek Hatton (who, apparently, hasn't ruled out standing for Mayor of Liverpool : http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/view...of-liverpool-or-derek-hatton-100252-30144319/).

    But, seriously, does that mean that Dave Nellist won't necessarily be calling for a No vote in the coming referendum?
  21. @newcastlemayor

    @newcastlemayor New Member

    ha ha thank you for vote for confidence - the campaign is going well and in our independent polling we are looking for a clear yes vote on the day - who would vote no for a system that gave us T Dan Smith
  22. The39thStep

    The39thStep Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour?

    I think Oxford Council made a similar approach to Stuart Craft in the IWCA
  23. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It

    No. In dennisr's link Dave Nellist says he (and the socialist party) will be campaigning for a no vote in the referendum, but if the result of the referendum is yes, he doesn't rule out standing in the mayor election that would follow.

    he turned down the "lord mayor's" role, but that is a different job (more like the speaker of the house of commons) which requires him to be 'apolitical' unlike the proposed "elected mayor".
  24. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It

    not sure how old this story is (as it refers to referendum being "next year") but it shows most people in Coventry are against it.

  25. Gmart

    Gmart Well-Known Member

    The rest of Europe have this system, why are people against it? Surely this takes power away from London and to the locality where it is less likely to be abused...
  26. Alright Jason you twat?
  27. Please explain how this would take power away from London? With links to substantive policies that back your assertion.
  28. Gmart

    Gmart Well-Known Member

    I was commenting on the vote to attempt to adopt the same policy as in London ie having a mayor with the power to actually do something - of course London has no interest in giving away such power, so at least to begin with this position will probably be powerless - someone for London to blame if things go wrong maybe. However, given time it might be asked why a London mayor has more powers than a mayor elsewhere.
  29. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It

    so...jam tomorrow.
  30. moochedit

    moochedit Mr Mooched It

    who would vote yes for a system that gave us...


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