An owlet reports …

“Owl may like to hear from other indigenous flocks of birds that have, over decades, chosen to settle in small, rural nesting places, free from predatory, vulture-like species, whose aim appears to have been the destruction of the East Devon natural environment, primarily to further their own self-sustenance.

Without suitable culling, these raptorial groups with such voracious, insatiable appetites would have caused the ruination of many distinct, valued habitats throughout East Devon. This species is commonly known as “The Feather Their Own Nests Birds” (Latin name – ‘torymemberus senioradmindominari’)!

However, it appears that when birds of a feather flock together, their collective birdsong is so momentous that it can effect change. Most can hear the birdsong but few actually pay attention, fully understand and LISTEN. The East Devon resident bird population remains territorial, watchful and perched in anticipation.

Data supplied by a Local Ornithologist who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of targeted, defensive bird attacks!

“The Local Elections Showed Banging On About Brexit And Nothing Else Is A Fast Track To Extinction”

“If voters wanted to reward parties committed to making Brexit happen, why would Ukip get wiped out at the polls? If a People’s Vote is such an anti-democratic proposal why did we not see losses to the Liberal Democrats and the Greens? …

… Voters who supported Brexit then or now share something in common with many pro-Remain voters: they want Westminster to pay greater attention to concerns on the doorstep and reconnect with the issues that matter most to them. Brexit was a way of giving the establishment a wake up call. If this was really about making Brexit happen, Liberal Democrats and Greens would be wiped out and swept away. But that did not happen either north or south.

The local election results indicate that bringing the country back together is achievable. It will require offering policies bringing tangible benefits, not playing it overly safe and support for a confirmatory People’s Vote. Those parties learning these lessons stand to weather the European elections best and will have the winning results when a general election is called. Banging on about a Brexit plan no one wants to the exclusion of everything else is a fast track to political extinction, as some parties may find out, unless a swift change in direction is made.”

Thom Brooks is Dean of Durham Law School and author of Becoming British

“Don’t look to national politics for hope: you’ll find it thriving in local councils”

Something to cheer on our new councillors … “municipalism”

” … At the heart of the crisis in local politics is a deep contradiction. For 15 years at least, Westminster politicians have habitually talked up somehow reviving local government. But power has continued to be snatched from people on the ground. (Consider, for example, the story of how elected local politicians have been shoved out of any control or oversight of state education.) Meanwhile austerity has ensured that helpless local politicians are answerable for nonsensical policies authored by Westminster, just as our exit from the EU and the noise made by moronic opportunists has poisoned debate at every level.

Yet here is the fascinating thing. Despite cuts, crises and the sense that far too many councils are locked into decline, there is some cause for hope. The realisation that central government is too remote to solve a whole host of problems, and most things are best dealt with at the most local level, feels like it has become unanswerable: something highlighted not just by failures at the top (picture the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, and the point will instantly become clear), but by a host of trailblazing examples of how to do things differently.

The biggest recent news about childhood obesity came not from the Department of Health, but a programme created in Leeds. The new Labour party is setting great store by the so-called Preston model, whereby that city’s council is boosting the local economy by using its financial clout to help local business. If you want to know about the cutting edge of regeneration, it is best to talk to people who have either created local success stories or are trying to, in Manchester, Plymouth or Doncaster.

This continuing revolution, moreover, is not restricted to big places. Where I live, in the 25,000-population town of Frome, the coalition of independents in charge of the town council – who last week won all 17 of its seats, a feat they pulled off for the second time – have spent eight years encouraging sustainable transport, assisting local charities and helping to ease the realities of poverty and inequality. Among their achievements is the town’s “community fridge”, which encourages people to donate food that would otherwise be thrown away – and is now saving 90,000 items annually as well as enabling emissions savings equivalent to taking 43 cars off the road. This was not an idea authored in a central ministry: it is a classic example of an initiative that has proved successful and which now deserves to be adopted elsewhere: an opportunity for local politics to influence what happens nationally, rather than the other way round.

Across Europe and beyond, this kind of thinking is known as the new municipalism, and its lessons are obvious. If you want representatives who reflect the places they serve, we will have to pay them more. If councils are to attract and retain new people, they need not warm words but meaningful power. Many town, city and county halls are due a huge change in culture. Above all, if we are eventually going to push beyond the anger, silliness and polarisation of Brexit politics, it is obvious where we will have to start: not among grandstanding celebs and the white noise of social media, but in close proximity to the problems we need to solve, in the places where millions of us actually live.”

Now the awkward bit … sorting out Independent wheat from chaff

Owl is not convinced several “Independent” councillors have their hearts in true independence …

The proof of the pudding will be seeing how they vote over the coming months … Owl is betting a small number will find themselves voting again and again with old Tory pals.

But not enough of them to break the new Independent majority …

Interesting times.

Local Tories did NOT lose control of EDDC because of Brexit!

How does Owl know this?

Because the 31 Independents elected on Thursday did not mention Brexit at all when appealing to voters to vote for them!

VERY easy to blame national politics for local losses … no – you lost because you put your party (and your party’s donors) before your district.

Never mind, you have 4 years to work out what to do next time!