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← Councils win prayer 'rights' as ministers fast track Localism Act powers

Sharpur's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Sharpur

Comment 6 by Steve Zara :

By effectively reversing that illiberal ruling, we are striking a blow for localism over central interference

I have never understood this support for localism. Who wants to have different rights and regulations based on geography?

Little Englanders, that's who. The vast majority of local authority business is as dry as dust and as slow as a glacier. Most people want to do fun stuff with their free time. But there's a breed of Daily Mail reading Tory who will sit through any amount of tedious committee work if it gives them a chance to poke their noses into other people's business and boss them about. 'Localism' is code for giving more power to petty-minded small town busy bodies.

People like the mayor of Bideford (and lay preacher, natch) Trevor Johns who, a couple of days ago, said:

"Anyone who does not want to enter the council chamber until the prayers are over is being disrespectful to the mayor."

That's right, you don't even get to opt out without public censure, because as Pickles has made plain:

"[W]e are striking a blow for localism over central interference, for freedom to worship over intolerant secularism."

You see, there's been a re-write. Secularism = intolerance now. Freedom = worship. Specifically Christian worship, for everyone in a council meeting, like it or not.

Now, if there's any justice, then, in terms of the British electorate. Pickles has just lost the votes of the 74% of self-declared Christians who "strongly agree or tend to agree that religion should not have special influence on public policy". Not to mention anyone who isn't a declared Christian. But I'm far from sure.

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 03:08:59 UTC | #919105