West Midlands NO!

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Reid still believes in city regions

Posted by bigfred on November 5, 2006

The Birmingham Post says:

“Midlands businessman Ben Reid yesterday insisted he still believed in the city region – and he denied his departure as business community member of the Birmingham, Black Country and Coventry City Region executive board was connected to the Government’s apparent loss of enthusiasm.

The Local Government White Paper last week favoured elected mayors but appeared to have abandoned radical plans for city regions. Mr Reid, chief executive of Midcounties Co-operative, the society formed a year ago when Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-operative merged with West Midlands Co-operative, said the White Paper had been “disappointing” and “an opportunity missed”.”

I find it rather discomforting to see people of high position in companies turning over hundreds of millions of pounds have sufficient time to take further demanding duties in public life. Either they are extremely energetic and make us mere mortals appear like sloths on sleeping tablets and whisky, they are a simple expedient non-contributory figure head in their Companies and get easily bored or there is something it for them.

When these giants of trade take to vigourously promoting bigger and more controllable public bodies with bigger budgets and less accountability my inkling can be pursuades to veer toward the latter.

Now that Mr. Reid has left the Quango and it has been said that his ambition followed the rumoured demise of City Regionalisation. “If there ain’t going to be that big megalith then I don’t want to know.” “Disappointing & an opportunity missed,” He said. For who say I?

It could not have been the welfare and benefit of the people of the Midlands that he was interested in or he would have stayed on and ensured that they got the best he could help arrange.

Could it be a case of “If I don’t get what I want I am buggering off?”

It appears that every one with any enthusiasm for this whole regionalisation scheme has something to gain.

The politician sees it as an opportunity to tune boundaries in line with voting trends and a structure that he can use to fine tune infinate control over every aspect of of every individual’s life.

The public official sees the opportunity of bigger departments, bigger staff, bigger salaries and bigger pensions.

The business community see it as a less accountable, bigger organisation with bigger budgets and bigger requirements all organised into nice recognisable departments under the control of a few ambitious jobsworths. Conveniently negotiable.

The Party hacks and vested interests at Westminster, who certainly do not have the interests of England at heart, and their mates the europhiles see it as an opportunity to complete a process that they have jointly been working toward for decades. That ambition is to complete the fragmentation of England and finish her once and for all.

Left wing pressure groups see it as a big organisation that can more easily be infiltrated and educated to pursue the dreams of those who would apply the destructive dreams of the Liberal left.

The common man sees it a little differently:

He sees ever increasing rates and tax bills.

He sees a commitment not of his making to pay the inflated pensions of bureauracrats for decades to come.

He sees more bureaucracy, more regulation, lowering public service standards, the break up and obliteration of his country, culture, history and way of life.

He sees a heart and soulless organisation that will abandon local needs in favour of the current policy of harmonisation, integration and a conveyer belt to channel benefits to all and sundry regardless of need or common justice.

He sees channel of control for an ever more controlling political elite at Westminster.

And possibly considers it a vehicle of such awesome destruction that he will join the ever-increasing columns of native English that are seeking refuge in better parts of the World because they have lost all say in their own Country.

Mr. Reid’s departure may be one small ray of light that will yet illuminate the road back to common sense.

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