Tuesday, 7 April 2015
The coming of spring
EASTER is my favourite time of year. Winter is over (probably), spring is well on its way and we have, I hope, a glorious summer to look forward to.
It’s a time of expectation, of new beginnings. After the long days of winter, people are generally more agreeable, even when there is an election pending.
The next four weeks, of course, will be dominated by the hustings, both locally and nationally.
From a national point of view, we are told that this coming general election is one of the most crucial in recent times with the economy starting to pick up pace.
The pundits are also predicting that May 7th could see the end of the two-way party system that has dominated the political scene for so long with one party unlikely ever to achieve a working majority again in the future.
The minor parties are going to have increasing influence in the future, there is little doubt about that. They will be the King makers but who would have believed that the Scottish Nationalists, dedicated to destroying the Union, could deliver the keys to No 10?
Locally, I believe the May election could also be one of the most interesting for many years.
My view expressed in this column that satisfaction in local government is at an all-time low did not go down well with many of those who have served as councillors in East Devon for many years, as to be expected, but this year we are seeing the biggest challenge to the old guard since local government was reformed 41 years ago by independent candidates.
Councils have to continue operating during this period of “purdah” in the run-up to the election which restricts the spin merchants from any possible political bias.
Whilst there are restrictions on the broadcasters, newspapers do not operate under the same rules. This column may well have run close to the wind in recent weeks, but we won’t be telling our readers who to vote for. They are more than capable of deciding for themselves!