Sir, – The victors in the county elections can hardly be described as swept to power. A more fitting phrase would be left by the ebbing tide. The turn-out was so low that even the
most popular candidates were supported by less than a third of the electorate. There is an obvious disillusion with the whole process of government, stemming mainly from the expenses scandal, an ebbing of faith in the whole democratic process as we have it.
As this is written, the new county council is electing its leader. Unfortunately the term leader does not carry any moral sense. Mr Hitler was a leader, 'Der Fuehrer', and he led the German people into indescribably wicked behaviour and their own destruction. On our much lesser level of local government we nevertheless require good leadership in these troubled times, with the economic depression and the disillusion with governmental processes.
It will need very good leadership at all levels to restore faith in politicians. This will require a willingness to forego various perquisites of office, which was not shown by the last administration of the county. Mr A Smith, the chief executive of HCC, states on the front page of last week's Herald that the council should remain 'a top rated authority for the delivery of excellent services, efficient use of resources and providing good value for money'. A letter in the same issue by councillor Andrew Carew paints a different picture.
Statistics can be manipulated but from experience the bus services have been disastrously and stupidly cut, and it is quite obvious that the roads are in an awful state. The council tax had risen above the rate of inflation for years, so it is difficult to appreciate the value for money to which Mr Smith makes reference.
David Cameron talks of a modern compassionate Conservative Party He argues that the more power and responsibility you give people, the stronger the society will become. It is much to be hoped that there is a trickle down of his views, and that there is transparency.
There will then be a chance of restoring faith in the democratic process. If it is simply more as before, I can only say 'Heaven help us'.
Ted Yates, Hastards Lane, Selborne