There are two points here, one absurd and to laugh at, one more serious.
A café serving Caribbean food has been ordered to close down after council managers ruled that its spicy food was not diverse enough.
Apparently a \”diverse\” menu is meant to include other types of food as well. You know, kebabs, green curry, chop suey (for any Americans who might be wandering by) and pork pies perhaps. That\’s the laughable bit.
And the serious part?
Councillors say the eatery has seen better days.
Council leader Terry Stacy said: \”It\’s vital we make sure what\’s offered is bang up-to-date and reflects the diversity this borough is famous for.
\”The views of users and non-users were fully taken into account in coming to a decision. I understand some people will be sad to see Paul\’s Café move out.\”
I realise it\’s in a council building, a council centre, so yes, they are responsible. But it is written small what \”community run\” means to a certain sector of the left. The community elects people, votes on things, and then they get done. Which means that instead of the true diversity of the marketplace we get some elected little scrote like Mr. Stacy deciding what is diverse or not, what is allowable or not.
It\’s, again written small, the tyranny of the majority. If 51% of the ward vote one way, then that\’s the way it will be. Yes, it\’s democratic but that\’s not the same as free or liberal. It\’s one of the things that the \”new localism\” is going to have to be extremely careful about.
Is localism going to be through a majority of the voters? A majority of the 20% who will turn out on a wet Thursday to vote for the local gauleiter? The local block captain who then imposes their standards upon all? No booze to be sold in the ward if a militant muslim block votes? (There are indeed wards in the country where one could imagine that happening. Indeed, it has happened through property ownership: there used to be no pubs in Street, where the Clarks owned the land and did not allow the sale of alcohol.) Or, from the other edge, say the BNP won, would there be a \”no darkies in business\” bylaw?
Yes, of course those are extreme examples but the major point still stands. What is localism actually going to mean? The local majority gets to impose its view on all that live there? Or do we carve out huge chunks of liberty and freedom from the centre and then allow the local vote only upon mundane or trivial matters?
Where, exactly, is to be the dividing line between the right of the majority to impose their views and the rights of the minority to dissent in action, not just at the polling booth?