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Demos report: Newcastle East "powerless" under Labour

December 17, 2009 2:51 PM

Prospective Lib Dem MP for Newcastle East Greg Stone believes a new think-tank report by Demos is damning proof of the marginalisation of the North East under the Labour government.

The report, entitled "The Power Gap", analyses the level of power and influence each constituency has, and finds that there are huge disparities with the North East identified as a "power desert" where people have low overall control of their life and opportunities. It identifies safe Labour seats as being particularly poor for giving meaningful opportunity for people to change the political and social landscape or to become socially mobile. The report places Newcastle East well down the ladder of political power, ranking it 511th out of 628 constituencies, and as a region the North East scores consistently badly.

Greg Stone said "As a Liberal I believe instinctively that individuals should have greater control over their quality of life and life choices, and that it should be the role of the state to empower them to achieve this. I believe that a state system which encourages and embeds passivity and dependence is not necessarily healthy. This Demos report shows that a "more of the same" approach is unlikely to change politics and society for the better. Political reform and localism is needed to end Labour's top-down and centralist approach which is no longer capable of empowering people to the extent that is needed"