The electors of Stoke have spoken.
I’m sure that’ll (re-)energise a few of you; for the record, my thoughts on this are here and haven’t really changed.
Update: The conspiracies have already started:
Stoke on Trent has voted to get rid of its directly elected mayor, something which a large number of Lewisham residents have been trying to do for years. Can anyone explain to me why the former referendum was allowed but not the latter?
Part of the explanation may be the comparative strength of the BNP in Stoke – Labour might be able to live with the odd Tory or Lib Dem mayor, but a BNP mayor – whose decisions could only be overturned by a two thirds majority in council – is not a prospect they were prepared to face. It’s okay to have elective dictatorships, just not if the people are in danger of electing the wrong elective dictatorship.
Good to see one of our local Lib Dem councillors, Brian Robson, put James right in the comments.