Reviews

State & Local Government: Chartist Magazine November/December 2011

by Tom Davidson

This review is unique as far as I am concerned, since it is the only time I have reviewed a book which has been dedicated to me (as well as to Brendan Bird, Gerry Harrison, the late Ron Stockbridge, and Mick Williams). We all co-operated with the author in the Campaign for Open Local Government (LCOLG] which opposed New Labour's legislation which attempted to impose executive mayors and town managers on local government. We sought to keep the option to retain the committee system.

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State & Local Government: Praxis Magazine

by John Ellison

This is a mammoth treatise. Running to more than five hundred pages, stuffed tight with collation and analysis of research and rich in information tables, at its heart is a threefold focus. The first is on how, in the UK, national government policies over the last half-century have mutated local government for the worse. The second is on how local government could be transformed again into an instrument more directed to the interests of, and more accountable to, the electorate. The third is on how the taxation arrangements supporting local government expenditure could be revolutionised to facilitate a much greater degree of economic equality across the whole community, as well as to fund local government. All this from a declared Marxist perspective.

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Vintage Red: Tribune Magazine 7 October 2011

by Stan Newens

Most Labour autobiographies are by people who have been prominent on the national scene with limited of the rank-and file activity on which the party is based. Vintage Red is the story of John Katz, a lifelong party activist who achieved much at municipal level but devoted himself; above all, to organisational and electoral activity. He has worked at every general election since 1945 as well as local and by-elections. Without such people the Labour Party would never have survived.

Read more: Vintage Red: Tribune Magazine 7 October 2011