Saturday, October 01, 2011
The power to decide
A revealing piece is to be found in the Bournemouth Daily Echo, retailing news of a plea by Dorset Fire Service for more money.
There is nothing unusual in that, you might feel, except that, despairing of a free hand at the till, county fire chief Darran Gunter is appealing over the heads of the politicians, making an appeal directly to the public. He is asking people to support "a small rise in Council Tax" to offset an expected reduction in the central government support grant.
What is revealing though is that that, having exhausted all other options for more money, the beleaguered fire chief turns as a last resort to the people themselves. This might thus have the elements of Referism, except that the public is only being given the option of shelling out more money.
However, there was a time when such an option was given to a limited number of people, as an experiment and, in the interest of equity, it is about time it was repeated. If we are deemed by our masters as worth consulting when they want more money, then the other way around should also apply. We must take the power to decide how much we pay them in the first place.