Every now and then a story comes along that seems to justify a huge outcry, and yet it passes by with hardly a whimper.
This is how I felt on reading that the BBC had discovered that the government is considering scrapping next year's council elections in England, on the pretext of reforming local authorities. I find the lack of outrage at the suggestion that elections could be scrapped for administrative convenience almost more shocking than the possibility of the scrapping itself.
If George Bush were even to dream of scrapping local polls here (which he wouldn't), he'd be slapped down by the entire country sooner than you could say 'states' rights'.
The Labour government in the UK is frequently (and often justifiably) seen as being at best suspicious and at worst totally contemptuous of local government. But in this regard, it is merely acting as a pretty accurate bellwether of the views of the general population.