Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Party Podcast

With Labour heading for its worst local election drubbing in almost 40 years this week, as voters protest at the failings of Charles Clarke and the lurid sex allegations involving John Prescott it’s almost sad that we won’t be having any ballot-box action here in Thanet. That said, I’m off to see our own council leader, Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel this afternoon to record the first of what I hope will be a regular series of audio interviews and he has the questions you added to the news-piece last week; so we’ll aim to tackle as many as we can in the short interview of about five minutes. You might describe this as Thanet’s first party political ‘Podcast’ although that’s not what I’m looking for.

I’ll try and have the results up as quickly as I can, depending on how busy I am and how long it takes me to clean-up the audio quality and upload it to the web.

If they hadn’t changed their mind at the last minute, today, I might have been floating a “Vote Labour” banner over London. The party there could lose up to ten of the fifteen councils it controls as local government pundits predict a “meltdown” in support for the government on Thursday. Instead, Tony Blair will be joined by Gordon Brown and Ken Livingstone, on the campaign trail over the next two days to shore up support in London. No air support then unless they plan to spend £15,000 on a helicopter to get into the really tricky parts of the city that are off-limits to light aircraft.

Commenting on the media frenzy of the last week, David Aaronvitch comments in The Times:

"It is important to realise that stories are not the same thing as the truth. Modern media stories, with all their dramatic requirements, exclude far more that is important than they include, and are of limited use in making big decisions about how countries should be governed."

He concludes: "Now, you can argue that Labour may deserve to suffer in this way because of the party’s various media sins, not least in exploiting the anti-Major firestorm of 1996-97. But that doesn’t mean that we citizens deserve to suffer too. A mature democracy badly needs more than media frenzy. "


Old Codger said...

As a pretty staunch Conservative, I got fed up in the 90s with the arrogance of the Tory Govt and thats what made me abstain in 97. The arrogance of Labour today is greater and may be why 95% of GMTV viewers and 84% of Mail readers feel that Prescott and Clarke need to go. On Thursday the electorate may well give the message to Blair that the whole bunch have passed their sell by date by giving them a pasting at the local elections. At the local level TDC also has its fair share of arrogance amongst its councillors of all hues and the involvement of 'Thanetlife Independents' next year would create an interesting situation for all present incumbents to contemplate. Last time round not one candidate knocked on my door to canvas my vote or to ask me about my concerns. I am frankly nauseated by the petty 'party point scoring' we all witness. Thanetlife Independents? Anyone game?

James Maskell said...

Old Codger, who are your TDC Councillors? On the issue of Independent candidates next year, Im up for the challenge of being one.

Old Codger said...

I'd have to look them up but my ward is Dane Park if that tells you who they are.

Glad to hear there is a potential "Thanetlife independent" - Dr Moores, over to you; do you fancy getting 'political'?

DrMoores said...

To be honest, I've been asked the same question by the Westgate residents association. The problem is that an independent would be isolated from any council roles and would, as a result, be of minimal use to the people he or she would like to serve. Perhaps we should simply field a "Thanet People's Party"

Interesting news is that the BBC Politics Show is going to drop in on ThanetLife or so they tell me today in an email below

" Either myself or Trudi, the programme editor, will be in touch later this month when we decide which groups we’ll be focussing on."

Old Codger said...

Yes, happy to sign up for TPP or Thanetlife Independent on basis that its a collective rather than a 'political party'; our political parties in Thanet have managed to mismanage for far too long. My only worry is that 'Peoples Party' sounds marxist revolutionary rather than concerned local? How about 'Thanet Citizens' or 'Thanet Residents'? Your Westgate Residents Association are right- get stuck in.

Cllr David Green said...

On a point of fact, if two or more "independents" councillors form a "group" they are just as entitled to committee seats as an other group.

James Maskell said...

Im happy to work with other Independent candidates. Might as well pool resources.

The Independent Councillor in TDC, Cllr Emes votes with Labour with alarming regularity.

Dane Valley ward...Ian Gregory(Conservative), Connell and Ford(Labour). Dont know much about that ward, but Ian Gregory is IMO, your best bet with getting something done.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, James. Forgive me for asking but what is IMO?

Old Codger

James Maskell said...

IMO = in my opinion. Lazy typing Im afraid.