I've just written to the Echo on the following subject, published here with the usual comments:
"I was struck by a mixture of concern and outrage to read in your newspaper this morning about the proposed effective scrapping of OneNorthEast if the Tories were to achieve power next year.
Concern, because it would be typical of the party’s centralising tendency and laissez-faire attitude to regional development, which would undoubtedly hurt the region’s chances of investment. Not that they have ever been very interested in the fate of a region they see as irreconcilably against them.
But it’s more than this - you might expect us to disagree on policy. I’m outraged, because it’s more than a political stunt. In making the announcement that they would not continue with the selection of a chairman under current terms, they are clearly trying to sabotage the recruitment process of a democratically legitimate body. Who’d apply for a job that might conceivably disappear within a few months?
The Tories are playing politics with real people and real jobs, both in OneNorthEast itself and the companies for which it helps secure investment. Beneath the veneer of Eric Pickles’ recent charm offensive towards the region, perhaps this demonstrates much more accurately the true contempt they have for the North East."
As you can see, what annoyed me most was their willingness to show contempt for a legitimate body, and try and hobble it in an opportunistic way which clearly goes against the principles of normal democratic politics. At best, we will end up merely with a period of unnecessarly stagnation, as the headless body cannot move either forward or back until after the election.