OPINION

What politics means and why it matters in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 29 Mar 2019 at 10:48 am

A few years ago, when asked about the origin of the word “politics”, I found that the Ancient Greeks described it as the “affairs of the cities”. Today it describes so much more.

We know “politics” is an attempt to describe how society is organised and how we are governed but it has also worryingly come to describe how human activity can be controlled.

I am not sure why anybody would want to try to manipulate human nature as the rich and diverse world we inhabit evolved quite naturally but some on the left would seek to try.

We must, of course, curb the wilder side of human nature but only when it negatively affects others.

To govern complex societies successfully, political parties were formed to promote their beliefs.

Most soon came to appreciate that they couldn’t rule by legislation alone. They knew they needed to respect our system of learnt traditions and that they ignore this at their peril.

I wish somebody would remind our MPs of this, as they seem to be breaking most of their ancient traditions on a daily basis.

The desire to form a better society is the key motivation that drives the general public to want to become local councillors and get involved in politics.

And, as much as they would deny it, all political parties have had similar goals for society. We just have slightly different ways of getting there!

Politics has, however, changed over the last few years. Many moderates within the Labour Party, both nationally and locally, speak of their concerns regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of their party.

Labour, they say, is now focusing on political dogma rather than providing the services and infrastructure we all need. This change of attitude over the last few years has failed our city.

As we approach the local elections in Brighton and Hove, it is important that we elect moderate councillors to provide a stable basis for generating the prosperity we deserve.

We must return to the original meaning of politics – affairs of the cities – and concentrate on providing good local government without the political games.

This will only be achieved by voting Conservative on Thursday 2 May.

Councillor Tony Janio is the leader of the opposition Conservatives on Brighton and Hove City Council.

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