|"Keep yer 'ead still, or I'll 'ave yer blinkin' ear off."|
My grandfather was a localist. He was from the north east, worked for the London and North Eastern Railway company and joined his local regiment. He went to war with local people he would know who shared a common local bond. There was a sense amongst my grandfather and his fellow soldiers that they were not only defending Britain's interests but were committed to Northumberland's interests within that wider context.
What would have been entirely "foreign" to my grandfather is the idea that Northumberland Fusiliers could go to war while the rest of the British Army stayed at home. Their localism was grounded in the knowledge that they were also part of a bigger picture.
|Well, if you know of a better 'ole, Go to it!|
Liverpool benefitted greatly from The European Union determining that it should be included in the Objective One programme which brought a lot of resources to the city. It has also benefitted from national UK decisions to fund programmes such as the Single Regeneration Budget. When the UK government decided that the appropriate level for economic development strategy was regional then Liverpool similarly benefitted from North West Development Agency allocation of resources. What we think of as local is not easily defined.
|"They've evidently seen me"|
We have to recognise that each neighbourhood is not just another Bairnsfather hole. My grandfather recognised that Northumberland, Durham, Surrey and Essex's interests were bound up in Britain's interests as they headed off for France. Our neighbourhoods' interests are ultimately bound up with Liverpool's economic interests, as Liverpool's are bound up with regional and national interests. Getting the balance right and decision making focus correct will be crucial as we work out in practice how the localism bill will operate.