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!