For anyone who wishes to see a smaller state, there is an essential requirement that much of the decision-making should be distributed to smaller, more local, legislatures.
It would tend to make sense too. What is seen to be ideal by those in their bistro-frequenting government bubble is not necessarily what the 'pie 'n' mushy peas', sheet metal working town would be happy with. If you're in business, you don't ask the Board of Directors how best to design a washer for the big machine you're making, you talk to the guy who has to fit them - or you should do if you want your product to be efficient and reliable.
Governing exclusively centrally is as flawed a system as is possible. As the saying goes, you can never please all of the people, the best that can possibly be achieved is to please most of the people some of the time. Additionally, with any electoral method one chooses to run by, vast swathes of the public simply don't feel that their input is listened to and opt out of the process entirely, which inevitably weakens the system as a whole.
The result is the modern application of 'game theory' in governing, and no matter how altruistic a politician, he/she is always going to be viewed as acting on an "I know better than you" basis.
Unfortunately, when devolving power to a local level, there is always the danger that those who will be wielding that power are less capable of wisdom or common sense. It's natural that the fewer people one needs to convince of one's acumen to gain power, the less intelligence is required in the process.
This is demonstrated day after day in reports of incompetence and stupidity at local authority level, from all compass points of the country. Here is a perfect example from the London Borough of Hackney, old hands at the art of the provincial fuck-up.
A mural by graffiti artist Banksy, which once featured on the cover of a single by rock band Blur, has been painted over by Hackney Council.
The building's owner was in tears as she begged workmen to stop. By the time she persuaded them it was almost gone.
Hackney Council said the image was painted over in error.
Now, whatever one thinks of Banksy's 'art' - personally, although I disagree with much of his politics, I think his works are always eye-opening and imaginative - it's clear to anyone, surely, that painting over such an iconic image is something which should be approached with the utmost care. Not through reverence to his work, but because it's quite obviously going to descend into a right mess if it's not done impeccably.
Considering that fact, it's hard to see how Hackney could have gone about this in a more ham-fisted and brainless manner ... especially as it was on private property.
Hackney Council needed permission to remove the mural because it was on private property.
But its letters were sent to an address Ms Attrill lived at 25 years ago.
After receiving no response the council served an enforcement notice.
There is so much very wrong with this that it's hard for anyone to argue that giving these numbskulls more power is a good thing.
Why, for example, was a letter sent to the owner at a different address when it was surely quite clear that the best place to send a request would be to the property at which the work was due to take place. Even if there is a valid reason why the letter was sent elsewhere, when no reply was forthcoming wouldn't it have been prudent to send someone to knock on the door of the property, considering the nature of what they were to be permanently erasing (she is local, after all, and they are a 'local' authority)?
I'm sure they knew exactly who painted this mural and its provenance. If not, they must have been a) living in some black hole for the past decade and/or b) blissfully unaware of what goes on in their own borough. The other option, of course, is that this was done in spite. After all, despite the high regard with which he is held by the arts community, Banksy is a bane of councils up and down the country. This appears to be the only scenario in which Hackney's strict adherence to bureaucratic procedure would make sense.
If so, this illustrates the other unwelcome trait amongst local authorities. Capability may deteriorate the smaller the organisation, but paradoxically, the jobsworth mentality is always hugely magnified. These 'big' fish enjoy arrogantly lording it over their little pond. And Hackney councillors are no exception.
Hackney Council was initially unrepentant.
Cllr Alan Liang said: "The council's position is not to make a judgement call on whether graffiti is art."
But he later added: "Due to a problem at the land registry unfortunately our letters stating our intention to clean this building didn't reach the owner.
"As soon as we realised this, work stopped. We are now speaking with her about how to resolve the issue."
The old council two-step. Step 1, deny they have done anything wrong by using any justification they can possibly dream up. If that doesn't work, move to step 2 - blame someone else.
I'm all for the libertarian ideal of taking power away from big government and empowering local communities, but how this is to be done when local authorities are infested with wasteful, bureaucratic, arrogant, incompetent, self-regarding dickheads, is an issue which needs to be addressed before giving them scope to apply their lame-brained lack of aptitude and common sense in further areas of governance.