All politics is local



Recently I got accused of being the Tip O’Neill of Christchurch Central.  I thought I’d better look him up on google to work out if that was a compliment or a criticism.  Turns out Tip O’Neill is famous for saying “all politics is local”.  

The compliment (accusation?) came as a result of a local campaign I’m running to get a turning arrow on the Corner of Cranford Street and Innes Road.

Since being selected I’ve contacted or been contacted by hundreds of people in Christchurch Central on various issues – mainly issues around housing and homelessness, incomes, power prices, jobs, EQC/Insurance.  But I’ve also been contacted on local issues – Phillipstown School, Centennial Pool, flooding in Flockton and Beckenham, heritage buildings in the central city, the impact of Council’s alcohol policy decisions on inner-city residents etc.

But the issues that has probably generated the most contact has been my campaign to get turning arrows on Cranford and Innes.  It has generated an overwhelming number of e-mails and phone calls and some very passionate folk supporting it.  I was contacted by two residents back in March and started asking questions back then.  My own experience on that corner confirmed the need.  And then I started running a campaign around it.  Tomorrow I’ll launch a petition.

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For me this is Labour values in action.  Responsive to local people on local issues and then working with local people to create change that makes a tangible difference for people’s lives.  Whether it’s a turning arrow or a living wage – change starts at a local level.



  1. You’re absolutely right about the Innes Rd – Cranford St intersection, turning arrows on each corner are needed. There are many other intersections in Christchurch that need them too, it seems the traffic planners forgot they were an option in heaps of places.

  2. “Responsive to local people on local issues and then working with local people to create change that makes a tangible difference for people’s lives.”

    I agree. Get the candidates working on local issues.

  3. Tony, I absolutely agree with you that much of the important political work happens within communities for their betterment; but the overwhelmingly powerful forces for good or bad are the macro policies driven by central government as these determine the access individuals have to dignity and prosperity, or the degree of suffering they are forced to endure.

    While I applaud your efforts to improve the lot of locals, what will you be doing to ensure that Labour abandons the injurious neo-liberal philosophy that has powered it’s policy engine for the past 30 years?

    Or do you along with many (most?) of your candidate colleagues believe that neo-liberalism is where it’s still at despite the obvious evidence from here and abroad of its corrosive effect on local communities, local business, the environment, aspirations for a better life for future generations, and the constraints needed to curb multinational corporate excess?

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