Low hopes for Tracy Brabin as West Yorkshire mayor – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Michael Green, Baghill Green, Tingley.

Tracy Brabin is the new mayor of West Yorkshire.

LIKE many of your correspondents, I wish our new West Yorkshire mayor well (The Yorkshire Post, May 15). But I don’t have high hopes for her success.

Not just because Tracy Brabin will have to battle with a Government that, whatever it says, is innately opposed to real local democracy, especially when this returns a leader of a different political persuasion to their own.

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But also because I have, on her track record up to now, no confidence that she is up to the job. And this is not a personal attack; I should make it clear that I would for the same reason have no confidence in any of her unsuccessful competitors for the role.

Kevin Hollinrake is the Thirsk and Malton MP.

Why? Because none of them seem to have taken any practical steps to suggest that they wanted the job, let alone were equipped to do it.

Like all voters, I received a leaflet about a couple of weeks before the day itself. This was issued, not by any of the candidates themselves, but by the returning officer, and then only because he was obliged by law to tell us about the mayoral candidates.

None of the candidates themselves actually bothered to promote what they stood for, or issue manifestos, or even display posters – let alone actually knocking on doors and making themselves known.

They obviously didn’t see any need. How arrogant of them. And the tragedy is that this sort of contempt still lets one of them take office.

I deliberately don’t say “be the winner” because none of them are good enough for that title.

From: Gareth Robson, Kent House Road, Beckenham.

KEVIN Hollinrake’s speech on the Queen’s Speech (The Yorkshire Post, May 17) and comparisons with other countries omits the most important lessons we could take from Germany and from the constitution which the allies (Britain included) imposed on the defeated country (and on Austria), namely federalism.

Largely-independent regional states, each with its own PM, parliament, and cabinet (often co-operative coalitions), manage most aspects of life in the federal republic – without party-political shenanigans from the federal government.

Their political parties respect the right for each state to receive fair funding irrespective of whether its voters chose the “correct” answer on their ballot papers.

The other lesson is proportional representation. In England, instead, we have Trump-style partisan punishment of Barnsley for daring to vote Labour and therefore getting none of the sound-bite “levelling-up” funding, to which Rishi Sunak’s Richmondshire is apparently more entitled. Mr Hollinrake’s main thesis seems to be to minimise government spending on the regions – hence his repeated demand for investment to come from the private sector. In other words “levelling-up”, but without increasing funding from the Exchequer. The Germans did well not to allow their politics to be dominated by his type of Tory thinking.

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