...in the New Worker
THE TORIES are in disarray after the people of this country have defeated the poll tax – the flagship of this Tory administration. But they have not abandoned their ambition to demolish local democracy.
As we go to press Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine is expected to announce the poll tax is to be scrapped and replaced with a property tax. But at the same time a whole tier of elected local government, the shire counties are expected to follow the Greater London Council into abolition.
The Government is expected to increase the financial incentives to schools to opt out of local authority control while squeezing funds to the local education authorities. In this way most of the funding – and control – of education will move from local to central government.
The Tories have hinted they will keep some form of minimal "head" tax.
The divisions within the Tory Party are still wide open. Former local government minister Rhodes Boyson believes the only objection to the poll tax is its size and thinks it should stay, with all education removed from local authority budgets.
AMID mounting popular discontent the Kuwaiti government leadership resigned this week although real power remains in the hands of the Sabah family.
The return of the Emir and his entourage was greeted with a noted lack of enthusiasm from his subjects who still have no running water or electricity.
But Kuwaiti mechanics and the United States Army Corps of Engineers have been working 16-hours-a-day to restore his palace. Four hundred workers have installed hundreds of gold-plated French bath-room fixtures and door-knobs as well as power and running water to make the Emir feel at home.
A reign of terror is sweeping Kuwait with thousands of Palestinians and Kuwaitis being rounded up by the Emir's gunmen on charges of collaboration with Iraq.