Saturday, March 17, 2007

Treading the Canvas

I've been out canvassing in Westgate today with Cllr Goodwin and our MP, Roger Gale. It's been revealing to hear what people think about our local government and what most concerns them; i.e. rubbish and wheelie bins, the state of Margate, Westwood Cross development and the height of the barrier at the rubbish tip, to name but a few.

What struck me most however, is the strength of feeling against the present government and while I found two people who "don't vote" and several "undecided", by far the great majority want to use their vote to send a very 'Blue' message of protest on May 3rd and expressed their support, so thank you to any of you who have discovered ThanetLife as a consequence of my doorstep visit.

I'll be running around much of Westgate in the coming weeks to see as many people as possible but please drop me a note if there's some issue that needs a doorstep answer.

If you need a postal vote for May 3rd, you can download one here.


Anonymous said...

I am surprised that you use your blog to put forward the Tory line .... where is the balance - the comments made from the other side. I think we all know what your political shade is but do we have to listen to it in these columns? Were there any people met on the doorstep who said that the Labour Government was doing a good job and they would like to see them get in at the next general election? Your article did not say ... but the law of averages says that you must have! It is sad to say - but it is true - that as we get near to a time when votes must be cast the candidates run back to their constituents and will promise ANYTHING to get the vote! It is a different story when they get the shiny seat of their pants on the green leather of the Commons (boys club)- all bets are off then and they forget the people who put them there - in most cases (all probably) the tiny minority who put them there. Have your say mate - it is your Blog after all - but lets be a little more even handed with the political comments - unless the purpose of this Blog is actually to promote the Conservative Party and all the horrors it produced when in was last in power.

Anonymous said...

2.10pm, you need to watch Question Time on Thursdays (BBC 1). Despite selecting representative audiences there is quite clearly huge disaffection in the general public with our present government. Other than the solid labour block (my party right or wrong types!) I am not surprised Dr Moores reports what he found when talking to people on their doorsteps and in the street. The Great British public has quite enough horrors of the past 10 years to contend with without trying to drag in historical issues.

DrMoores said...

I seem to have problems posting comments so if you get this twice, you'll know why.

Yours is a good comment/question and deserves an honest answer.

Surprisingly and agaist the law of averages, which led me to comment, not a single person I spoke with, remarked or commented in favour of the present government. In fact, the strength of feeling was so palpably against them, that some doorstep conversations took rather longer than expected.

There were, a couple of don't votes or don't knows that reflect a total disillusion /cyncism with our political system. You couldn't blame them either.

If there is a strong government supporter out there in Westgate, I'm looking forward to meeting you soon!

Anonymous said...

I am surprised at you 2:46 ... Using Question Time as a basis for taking the political temperature of the country - It is just good TV - If it were to reflect the majority it would be boring! I love watching the program - to see some of the panel squirm - just as they did in the days of Tory rule .... even more perhaps ... You use the words 'Quite Clearly a disaffection in the general public ...' How do you come to see so clearly? I am always amazed at the belief that die in the wool followers of any party have of their own words! You say something that you want to hear or influence others with - and then believe it! Without any proof! Dr Moors did NOT report what he found when talking to people - that is my point - he only reported what he wanted us to hear - not all that he actually heard. On your last point - If you can tell me or anyone reading this comment - that the Conservative Party has changed its policy from looking after the wealthy, better off in this country - then I will accept that historical issues should not be brought out to be examined - but if they have not changed then I am afraid that their past record should be out there for all to see and remember.
As I write I notice that DrM has stated that there was not one ... not a single person who had one positive thing to say about the present government ... does any reader find that hard to believe?

Anonymous said...

I too feel that Dr Moores probably reported only what would appear to make support for him the "right choice" for residents. As an aspiring Tory boy, trugging door to door with a fixed smile is a necessity but I wonder how many of those whose support he now seeks he would otherwise give the time of day to. whatever next, kissing babies and being nice to old ladies? Methinks it has a touch of the Alan Partidge about it!

DrMoores said...

Is 3:03 calling me a liar?

The sad fact of the matter is that it's absolutely true and is why I reported it. If I could have found one person who could have argued the government's corner or even said "Get lost - I'm voting Labour" I would have reported that too.

I never cease to feel nauseated by the comments of those like 3:03 who are so indoctrinated that they fail to see the truth when it's reported.

In fact, let me quote Winston Churchill: "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."

Anonymous said...

Am I misinformed or didnt Dr Moores used to be quite active in the Labour party on an advisory basis? If so, why the change of mind?

DrMoores said...

No, not the Labour Party - ever - but the Cabinet Office - there's a difference - and having witnessed the "spin" and the corruption of the impartiality of the civil service by government, I chose to collect my toys and play elsewhere!

I wonder if it might ever occur to you that a personal sense of honesty and principle might cause a man to walk away from an association with a government that has spent a good ten years dismantling and corrupting our democracy? If you had seen what I've seen and heard, then perhaps you might understand.

But I've said all this before at other times and people like you remain blinded by the promises of a government which, on a weekly basis, proves that it is unfit for purpose but the cafe socialists continue to believe, unable to grasp the reality; that they are all extras in a living, breathing performance of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm'.

Anonymous said...

I never said I was a labour supporter, nor am I. However I wont be voting for you, but that is from a personal sense of honesty and principle on my part

DrMoores said...

As you choose to remain anonymous, perhaps you can share with us who you will be voting for and why?

In other words, where would your own vote be best applied to have any weight or chance of pulling this country out of the mire and on a local basis, achieving the best result for the people of Thanet?

Anonymous said...

I will be voting for the independant candidate. who we vote for usually depends on the impression the candidates themselves make and not the party they represent, which is unfortunate and provides limited choice. Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

Where have you been for 10 years 3.03? I once was a Labour supporter and there is nothing worse than to be let down by your Party when it gains office. Tory fiscal policy for 5 years from a labour Chancellor? Sleaze that was not based on sexual shinnanigans but on wealth gathering? Working class pensioners cheated out of their pensions? An ever widening gap between the filthy rich and the desperately poor? Lying to take the UK to war in Iraq? Allowing America to transport and torture kidnapped suspects through British airports and airspace? Relying on the Tories to replace Trident when we don't need it but voting against Trident when we did?
Is this the Labour Party I once knew? No its New Labour and its let a lot of us down.

Mr Friday said...

Dr M, I would urge you to remember all these things the public you are seeing are telling you. These are the things that are making a real impact on people's lives in Thanet. Too often people stand for election and really want to make a difference to people's lives but just end up toeing the party line on all the major issues - an example is the staggering lack of Councillors prepared to speak out against the Westwood housing development despite the groundswell of opinion amongst their constituents against it.

Personally, I would like more independents to stand for election locally. I have a political preference nationally which matches Dr M's but locally - I will vote for whoever is prepared to stand up for and speak out for the residents rather than saying
what their own party is telling them to say and vote for.

I hope Dr M wil take a different approach to the normal candidates but this will be a challenge.

DrMoores said...

The fundamental problem facing us all today is the death of democracy as people, quite rightly, wonder what it can do for them.

We are following the American model with a growing disaffected population who equate politics with democracy when in fact they should be held separate.

Politics, as we have seen on both sides of the Atlantic is in danger of corrupting the democratic process and this impression is visible in the comments on this thread.

But what are we to do? Running as an independent can achieve little or nothing unless the independent is one of many independents, in a party, able to direct policy through a collective vote.

Let' say you vote "independent" on a local basis. The likelihood is that the result is a split vote most likely, in Thanet, to favour Labour rather than Conservative candidates. Is that what you want?

Remember, I was asked to run locally as an independent and I said that it made no strategic sense; i.e. even if I were elected, I wouldn't be able to influence policy from the edge of the chamber.

You've really got to decide who the best candidate for the job is, the one most likely to achieve the most for your local community within the restrictions of our narrow democratic system. For my part, I really don't mind what the outcome is, as long as the community in which I live benefits the most from their winning candidate of choice!

Mr Friday said...

I know what you are saying Dr M and it is well known that the only local councillors with any real authority or power are those holding portfolios on the Cabinet / Executive which naturally means those in the ruling party.

I just think it is a shame that there aren't more Independents standing locally as you could argue that is it only these people who could genuinely represent the constituents who vote for them rather than doing the bidding of the ruling party.

Anonymous said...

My comments at 2:10 and 3:03 were never meant to be seen as supporting the Labour Party - they are just a reflection on the fact that we all - too often - take for gospel some of the things we are told. I can easily find fault with the New Labour lot - and 6:36 has hit several nails right on the head ... my point is dont believe everything you are told and always remember what the party - the candidate - has done in the past.