Nancy Platts Takes a Dangerous Populist Turn

Nancy Platts helps no-one by over-stepping the line from vigorous campaigning to populist attacks on officials.

Last week, current Brighton and Hove City Council Leader Nancy Platts wrote a piece on opposition to the forced academisation of Moulsecoomb Primary School.  Carried in both Brighton & Hove News and Brighton & Hove Independent,  she mixes a laudable concern that the voice of the local community be heard with a nasty populist attack on the civil servants involved in the process.  This is a dangerous path to venture down, especially in our current toxically populist political environment in which the Institute for Government has found ‘an unprecedented rise in the number of political attacks on civil servants’.

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Perilous Prognostification? Updated Prediction for Brighton and Hove City Council Elections in May 2019

Brighton Politics Blogger is back in the saddle, sort of predicting the results of the local elections in Brighton and Hove in a couple of weeks.

I agree with the overall thrust – I think it unlikely that there will be a majority administration.  I don’t get a sense that anyone who is not already a committed supporter or member is feeling anything positive about either Labour or Tories as parties at the moment.  Nationally the two main parties are commanding dwindling support, with both parties losing the support of many of their 2017 General election voters. I see no reason to think this is any different locally, and plenty of anecdotal evidence of disaffected members in both.   

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Overall Prediction for Brighton and Hove City Council elections in May 2019

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I promised a local election prediction in my 2019 post, and I have been meaning to write one.  I’m writing it now as it’s already become reality thanks to Cllr Anne Meadows defection today.
Here’s the top line – a minority Conservative council following the Brighton and Hove City Council elections in May.
I’m not going to go ward by ward here now, but I predict both Tories and Greens will take a couple of seats from Labour.  This would be true based solely on the national politics of Brexit. Assuming an extension, Labour’s dishonest sophistry and fudge satisfies no-one outside of the hard core. The Greens have a clear remain line that will take seats from Labour in Preston Park and Hanover at least, and the Tories are likely to gain from a clearer leave position in some of the less central areas.  If we crash out or leave with a Conservative brokered deal then the position remains largely the same – Labour will be punished for not taking a clear remain line or supporting a second referendum, but won’t see any gain from Brexit supporters.  Add in the unpopularity of Corbyn amongst large groups of traditional voters and you don’t even need the malign incompetence of the local Momentum group to see Labour as likely to lose ground here in May.
As Niels Bohr supposedly said ‘Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future’, and these are febrile times with the parties suddenly becoming fissile.  So I don’t stake too much on this. However there is now no way I can see for Labour to gain a majority, or even retake control in the city.