Politicians often claim commitment to decentralising the state, but once in government they are unwilling to relinquish their own power

The nature of the British political system is such that Westminster is a bastion of concentrated power. Martin Smith, Dave Richards and Patrick Diamond argue that whilst politicians may actually call for more localism, they are loath to give up their own power. Any government’s commitment to localism and devolution is undermined where there is no willingness to entertain a new vision of British politics involving a proper re-evaluation of the relationship between the centre and the locality.  Continue reading


Liverpool’s mayoral election ‘censorship’ row

Stuart Wilks-Heeg

This week, every household in Liverpool will receive a booklet from the city council containing election addresses from the 12 candidates seeking to become the city’s first directly-elected mayor.

In theory, this arrangement, which is used for all mayoral elections, helps to level the playing-field for candidates, providing all with an equal chance to reach the electorate. This is especially important for candidates standing for minor parties or as independents, who simply do not have the resources or infrastructure required to leaflet every household in a local authority, particularly one as populous as Liverpool. Continue reading