Over on the Spectator website, Rod Liddle argues that local government - regardless of which party is running it - is incompetent and self-important. On that basis, he says, we should get rid of it.
I'm not sure if he is serious, but he certainly has a point. It doesn't seem to matter who rules in the local council they all seem to be more interested in what local people can do for them rather than what they can do for local people.
They'll have all sorts of grandiose ideas for helping asylum seekers and immigrants in the area but they don't seem to be able to find enough homes for local people in the local area. They'll have fabulous ideas for saving the planet - most of which revolve around the flawed and increasingly unlikely theory that man-made CO2 emissions are causing global warming (they aren't - they can't) - but they can't manage to keep the local environment clean and free from litter and graffiti.
Let's get a couple of things straight for starters. Just because an immigrant or asylum seeker moves into an area that does not automatically qualify them as a local person - anymore than a tourist staying at the Ritz becomes a Londoner - and looking after the environment should start in your own back yard.
Local authorities haven't always been incompetent. I remember a time when our streets were kept clean, clear of graffiti and were safe and pleasant places to be even at 11pm at night. I remember the time when our bins were emptied once a week without quibble by binmen who would cheerfully collect the bins from wherever we left them. For the vast majority of local people the local authority provided the services most needed most of the time.
But this was before the massive growth of the public sector - and the public sector is predominantly left wing. The people who work in the public sector tend to be local people with local votes too so any elected council has to contend with a largely left wing staff on whom they are not only dependent on support to do the things a council is expected to do, they are also largely dependent on their support to remain in office. As a result, virtually all local authorities are predominantly left wing.
And left wing governance is always incompetent.
The public sector like to make the point that they are "giving something back" to local people by working in the public sector - as if taking a public sector job is some sort of major philanthropic sacrifice. But they aren't - they are predominantly self-serving. Their employment terms are amongst the best around - cast iron pensions (at private sector expense), virtually unsackable and able to decide who and what they want to help.
Virtually all local authorities are now spending millions of pounds on things which the vast majority of local people neither asked for or want - and they name these things "services". So we have "street scene managers" on £50,000 a year but no one to actually clean the streets. We have "smoking cessation officers" and "five a day coordinators", but can't afford to run a bus service.
Your local council - the bit you actually vote for - are nothing more than the front for this vast army of public sector staff who actually run the local authority. They have no interest in local people or local services - they are only interested in entrenching their little kingdoms. Your votes at local elections make no difference - whoever you vote for you will get a left wing local council motivated by ideology rather than local issues and more concerned with impressing EU bureaucrats than local people with their work.
Because that is, increasingly, where most of their direction comes from. Mostly indirectly - through the unelected quangos and regional bodies that dictate real policy - but ultimately it comes from the EU. Their regulation washes over the local authorities like the tide, leaving behind "rock pools" of local government which are little puddles of EU bureaucracy - and just like the EU, whoever you vote for makes no difference because the real power lies in the hands of unelected bureaucrats - not the elected officials.
So when you consider the local council - all you are seeing is a reflection of the EU itself.
Self-important and incompetent? Yep, that just about sums them up.