Given that people like myself were famously accused of rigging the Today Poll over the new year this poll and its current numbers make interesting reading.
At the time of writing the three questions,
1) Do you believe an elected regional government should be introduced?
2) Do you support the Government's drive towards regional services such as police, ambulance and fire and rescue control?
3 (Should the existing structure of county and district councils be replaced by large all-purpose unitary authorities?,
have wildly different figures
It appears that the people of East Anglia are very keen on having an elected regional assembly, John Prescott's damaged regionalisation agenda (co/sponsored by our good friends over here in Brussels), the figures 66.39% to 33.31% in favour.
However the other two votes show a sharply divergent position, 24% to 75% and 29% to 70% in both cases against the proposal. Now it would be churlish of me to suggest that this poll is being tampered with, but I ask you do those polling figures add up?
I am told that Hazel Blears, the Minister in charge of the regionalisation of the Police is determined to force through the Government's proposals against the opposition of a majority of both Police Authorities and senior policemen. This will be supplemented as is suggested by these polls by the other emergency services. What is of course clever about this on the part of the Government is that they are putting the cart of responsibility before the horse of accountability.
You see, when they have achieved their ambition of regionalsing the emergency services, they will then call in democracy in their aid.
"There must be democratic oversight of these services" they will coo, "and as the services are regional then we have to have elected regional Assemblies". Stands to reason doesn't it?
Of course the answer would be to take up cudgels on the part of independence and localism, and make these organisations truly accountable to their localities by instituting a program of directly electing the local police chief and so on, but that would take power out of the hands of politicians and put it where it belongs into the hands of local people. Something that this arrogant government and its backers in Brussels could never countenance.
Oh yes you could go and vote in the polls if you want by clicking on the headline.
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