Monday, 9 July 2012
Localism and Nimbyism
"....The Lib Dem brand of localism is incompatible w/ liberalism (social, economic or miscellaneous)"
This is what James Shaddock (@jpshaddock *) said on twitter last week whilst in conversation with myself and and Mike Bird (@birdyword).
We were talking about how people accept the need for cuts, as long as it's not to *their* issue or as James said
"frankly alot of what Lib Dems call localism is just nimbyism"
Now, I know a lot of hardworking local campaigners and councillors, and I've spent a fair amount of time trying to get them elected or re-elected and I think a lot of them do a great job - keeping stations open to serve local residents being one I agree with.
But I've also heard over the years about campaigns to stop things in people's wards I was rather shocked - don't we exist to promote freedom and fairness?
How can we articulate a clear vision of liberalism if we oppose (for instance) gentlemen's clubs and half-way houses in our wards? "But that's what we have to do to get elected" - how can we square this circle?
Sometimes the quieter people have the opposite view.... sometimes there is a subtely to the argument that gets missed. Sometimes we'd do better to listen to the people without the sharp elbows, for they need representing too - and of course, the evidence.
* which means I think of him as JPS Haddock.