Local democracy? I don’t think so.

Bristol is reported to have voted in favour of having an elected mayor. On a turnout of only 24 per cent, 41,032 voted for this change and 35,880 voted against. That means we are to have a change in the way our city is run because 12.8 per cent of the population voted for it, just over one eighth. At one polling station, only 6 per cent of the eligible voters turned out.

If this had been a union vote in favour of a strike, I have no doubt that the government would have criticised it roundly as being undemocratic and not a valid mandate. But no, one of our local MPs, Bristol West MP Stephen Williams (Conservative), hails it as a “major step forward” for the city. Continue reading