Local Government Transformation and Its Consequences
Local governments in the UK have been subject to significant transformation, resulting in consequences that are now apparent. The author suggests that the financial viability of many councils is at risk, citing Birmingham as an example. He argues that excessive spending on propaganda, pensions, redundancy payments, cultural agendas, and social revolution initiatives has strained their finances. Within these local authorities, a significant presence of individuals influenced by modern ideas and ideologies, many of whom have emerged from universities, shapes policies and decisions.
Roots of the Issue: Decline in Education and Local Government Changes
The author traces part of this issue back to the 1960s, where he believes the decline of proper education, especially with the closure of state grammar schools, played a role. The subsequent lack of basic knowledge in the population contributed to the problem. Additionally, a revolution in local government, often overlooked today, further complicated matters. Traditional councils were replaced by new bodies with unfamiliar names and structures. A bureaucratic shift occurred, making it unclear who was responsible for various local issues and leaving citizens without a direct connection to their representatives.
Diminished Accountability and Centralization
The decline of traditional local councillors, who were well-known figures in their communities, gave way to party-appointed officials. This shift has resulted in citizens often not knowing their local representatives. Consequently, issues that were once addressed at the local level are now brought to Members of Parliament (MPs), creating a drain on their resources.
Lamenting Past Mistakes
The author reflects on the mistakes of the past, including the destruction of grammar schools, changes to policing, liberalization of divorce laws, and various cultural shifts. He questions why these bad ideas were allowed to flourish and why they remain difficult to undo.
Aging Literary Character: James Bond
Shifting to a different topic, the author highlights the aging of the fictional character James Bond. By estimating Bond’s age based on information from books, he posits that Bond is now over 100 years old. The author humorously attributes Bond’s longevity to a diet of caviar, vodka, and cigarettes.
Bond’s Character Evolution
The author discusses a recent adult Bond book in which Bond’s character appears in the present day, consuming yogurt, wearing seatbelts, and facing off against villains deemed “Far Right” by the author. He argues that this portrayal aligns with leftist viewpoints and suggests that figures like him are now targets for intelligence services.
Incompatible Character Evolution
The author concludes by emphasizing that fictional characters, unlike Doctor Who, cannot be endlessly reinvented. He expresses a preference for Bond to remain dead rather than be transformed in an absurd manner that aligns with contemporary political and cultural ideologies, symbolized by figures like Sir Keir Starmer and Extinction Rebellion.