Friday, July 31, 2009

Nottingham - Labour's Invisible Man?

People in glass houses shouldn’t, I’m told, throw stones, so with all the fuss over absentee councilor, Stephen Broadhurst, commuting between his businesses in Thanet and Panama, I’m amused to see that our local paragon of political virtue, Cllr Mark Nottingham enjoys a council attendance record which isn’t so very different.

I thought I might write this broadly in Cllr Nottingham's political blogging style with a few characteristic 'tongue-in-cheek' touches of my own, so where ‘Our Man in Panama’ has only managed to make an appearance at council on 40% of occasions, which is poor. In the pink corner, Cllr Nottingham has only managed to don bicycle clips and find his way to our council chamber 55% of the time, which isn’t so much better.

While the peripatetic Cllr Broadhurst has to navigate his way back to Margate, from the steaming jungles of Central America, which is irregular to put it kindly, the energetic Cllr Nottingham, avoids unfriendly natives by using an environmentally friendly bicycle to travel from some uncharted and secret location, hidden from the eyes of the electorate which he shares with Lord Lucan, Shergar and all of the socks that disappear in the wash!

Local councillors, normally publish their home address and contact telephone number and I took a call as I was writing this from one Westgate resident. The ‘Hard-working’ but frequently absent, Cllr Nottingham has his address as ‘Thanet District Council, Cecil Street, Margate’ and his telephone number is that of the South Thanet Labour Party Office. Some might argue, this is of little political or material benefit to the residents of Northwood, should they not be card carrying members of the Labour Party or wish to try and find him outside working hours; which in my experience is when many of calls to councillors are taken!

Given his visibly poor council attendance record and the demands of his work as a full-time Labour Party member, perhaps Cllr Nottingham might consider resigning? If he did, would anyone notice his absence, I suspect not.

So let’s not have any more of the ‘mud-slinging’ rhetoric from the self-righteous and self-acclaimed ‘hard-working’ councilor for Northwood. I’m reminded of Blunkett, Byers and many other former Labour Ministers, who also started their political careers as councilors, parachuted into safe wards as equally stalwart Labour Party workers, before being shunted-up the Party hierarchy toward the ultimate goal of Parliamentary selection and generous expenses for life.

If Cllr Nottingham turned-up in council a little more often, he would be entitled to pass comment on policy but until then, perhaps he might spare us the constant stream of exaggerated outrage at opposition ‘Tory’ councillors or the ‘Tories’ in general; this from a councilor who is frequently invisible, contributes little, very occasionally turns-up in the council chamber and whose real address remains a mystery in uncharted space to all.

It’s all about Labour’s desperate rhetoric, ‘hang on by your fingernails’ to your seat and try anything possible to divert attention from the crumbling disaster of a failed Labour Government, which will, within a very short period, plunge millions of really hard-working people into poverty, unemployment and chronic debt for many years to come. And if you don't believe me, then ask the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Audit Commission!


Stop Manston Expansion Group said...

Dr, as a life-long Tory supporter, all of this petty arguing between Thanet's main political groups means I would 100% absolutely not vote Labour.

I'm afraid it also means I would absolutely 100% not vote Tory either.

Party politics is dead at a national level. It teeters on the brink of ridiculous at a local level, especially here in Thanet.

The youth of today are chastised for gang culture, petty arguments and bullying. You are not exactly setting the greatest example.

DrM. said...

I'm making a point here. I've said on multiple occasions that councillors should show polite restraint.

We have one among us who strongly believes in constantly attacking and twisting the record of others in a manner which I view as quite unacceptable and verges on harrasment.

So it's about time he was on the receiving end with some valid criticism surrounding his own record and we'll see if he can take the criticism as well as deliver it out with such monotonous regularity.

Peter Checksfield said...

Simon, I have to agree with SMEG on this one (for possibly the first & last time). You're just stooping to his level, & I would've expected you of all people to rise above it.

Also, you've failed to address the fact that Cllr Broadhurst is "representing" the people who voted for him from the other side of the world & doesn't even answer his e-mails; at least Cllr Nottingham is available for contact.

DrM. said...


I'm not offering any mitigation for Cllr Broadhurst here and I hope that's clear.

Instead, I'm asking why one councillor who is very free at attacking others, appears to be doing the very minimum, both in terms of personal attendance and offering access to the people he represents.

You can invariably find me in seconds but at the far end of the scale is Cllr Nottingham, just ahead perhaps of Cllr Broadhurst in terms of public accessibility.

Finally, as Cllr Nottingham clearly appears to be working his way through members of the Cabinet, I thought that before he gets to me, which I'm sure he will, I should ask some questions of my own?

Would you agree?

fed-up voter said...

Is it any wonder the public thinks 'politicians are all the same'?

I just wish you'd all get on and do the job for which you were elected and try to put petty comments into the 'delete' box where they belong.

I don't recall Councillor Nottingham mentioning Councillor Broadhurst so why start all this back-biting attacking him for his attendance?

DrM. said...

Should you not have noticed, this is a parody on the many and frequent personal attacks, made against other councillors, for no good reason on Cllr Nottingham's weblog... "in the style of", as I mention at the start.

Perhaps, through this example, the message may finally get through to Cllr Nottingham, that dishing out a constant trickle of self-righteous and personal attacks against others, can't be done with total impunity and regard for his own rather dubious record.

Anonymous said...

Very true Simon. Mark can give it out, but he can't take it. And at least you allow the comments of those that seem to have selective view on this subject to be posted.

Peter Checksfield said...

So does Mark, anon 10:44 (see my pro-Roger Gale post from last night!).

Anonymous said...

Watching politicians throw rocks at each other is depressing. Nottingham doesn't do himself any favours and should be called "Nasty Nottingham". Simon has a point but should really do himself a favour and ignore this kind of political rubbish.