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Letter: Local Politics Don’t Require a Political Philosophy

Published on: 19 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 19 Apr, 2023

From: Andy Sweeney

In response to: R4GV Leader Defends Colleague While Opponents Admit Meeting Campaigner

I don’t live locally but follow the local politics of Guildford with a lot of interest because it is a fascinating model.

Labour candidate Howard Smith’s Twitter comments seem to be focussed on denigrating parties that are “localist” because, “They just lack any underpinning political philosophy.”

It’s local politics and administration. It doesn’t require a political philosophy. It requires intelligence and an understanding of local issues that are almost certain to lack alignment with central party philosophy.

If the Labour line is “Vote Labour in Guildford because we’ll apply the same policies here that we would apply in Gateshead and Kensington” then there is a severe misunderstanding of how local government should work.

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Responses to Letter: Local Politics Don’t Require a Political Philosophy

  1. Sara Tokunaga Reply

    April 19, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    I totally agree with everything Mr Sweeney has written.

    The Liberal Democrats are also attempting to turn this into a General Election with their campaign literature. National parties should not be involved with local elections.

  2. Ramsey Nagaty Reply

    April 20, 2023 at 10:13 am

    Andy Sweeney is right as we in the Guildford Greenbelt Group have always stated, the key is in the name. Local government, local council, Guildford Borough Council.

    Some national party candidates’ literature is clearly templated by their National Party Office. It is not relevant to Guildford.
    GGG candidates each live in the ward for which they are standing and know their areas and their fellow residents’ key issues as they are theirs too.

    We have long said keep national politics out of Local Government.

    Ramsey Nagaty is a GGG candidate for Shalford in the forthcoming GBC election.

  3. George Dokimakis Reply

    April 20, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    This romanticized view of local politics has been completely debunked in the last four years when inaction, a disjointed approach, infighting, operational paralysis and financial waste were the hallmarks of the local administration resulting in one of the worst performing borough councils in the UK.

    Political philosophy matters as it informs future decision making and people know where Councilors stand. Tony’ Rooth’s letter ( is a good example of the pitfalls of not being clear on one’s political philosophy.

    George Dokimakis is a Labour candidate for Stoughton South in the forthcoming GBC election

  4. James Steel Reply

    April 20, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    Barring George Dokimakis’ deluded view on what’s happened over the last four years, he’s partly right. You do need to know the thought points of the people you elected as it will affect the way they vote for the next four years.

    If you are someone who is conservative in viewpoint, you’ll look to make the ‘state’ as small as possible. If your liberally minded you will look to empower individuals and directly support those in need.

    These are the decisions your councillor will push if they are in office, regardless to whether or not they have a badge of a nationwide political party or a local/regional one.

    To me and many voters I’ve spoken to this is important as it will directly shape the way the council will act over the next four years. There will be decisions that will be made that will put these viewpoints into action.

    James Steel is a Lib Dem candidate for Westborough in the forthcoming GBC election.

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