Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Little Magic in the Valley

I was out leafleting at Millmead this morning for the Dane Valley by-election. Given that it's the end of November, it was unusually warm in the sunshine and I found a great many residents busy outside their houses for one reason or another. Curiously, I didn't experience any of the 'Anger' at the Conservatives, described by the LibDem's Bill Furness in his campaign leaflet.

Bill, who I have never met before was busily doing the rounds, as were I hear the Harts' equally energetically promoting the benefits of New Labour. I wouldn't normally comment on another party's election leaflet but Bill's has left me quite agape with admiration for his energy. Apparently, he has repaired the roads, cut back overhanging trees, swept the pavements and cleared fly-tipped rubbish from Dane Valley, all on his own and without even being a councillor. Clearly, he's a one-man whirlwind with superhuman powers of persuasion.

But rather like the children's story of 'The King's New Clothes', I have to raise my hand and say, "Excuse me, aren't these mostly Kent County Council issues and the responsibility of the equally hard-working Michael Jarvis, who happens to be a Dane Valley District Councillor and a Kent County Councillor both." All this 'Success You Can See' has apparently been achieved by one man who appears able to bend both county and local council officers to his will It's a mystery to me how he does it all, magic perhaps?

Meanwhile, over at 'From One Rant in Kent', I read that this week, that there "are more racist political activists in the Conservative Party than the BNP", and that "Thanet remains a place where racism is unchallenged and tolerated." I'm told that Thanet's Labour group has now rejected the council's 'Blogging Protocol" as a restriction of free speech, which a cynical observer might thinks is just another way of saying 'we'll say what we like about anyone and any subject when it suits us and don't give a damn whether it's honest, decent, truthful or not!'

I rather think that the people of Dane Valley are rather less concerned about the spectre of racism than the impact that £200 billion of public sector debt is going to have on their families and futures. I still can't find any real evidence of support for Labour, instead I'm seeing lots of apathy, the consequences of political scandal and a catastrophic loss of confidence in central government. December 3rd should prove to be an interesting day indeed.

7 comments:

Tony Beachcomber said...

'we'll say what we like about anyone and any subject when it suits us and don't give a damn whether it's honest, decent, truthful or not!'

For a minute I thought you were talking about the Daily Star, The Sun, Daily Mail and the Daily Excess sorry Express.

DrM. said...

Tony, you know very well that newspapers are bound by a code, albeit a rather loose one! When they screw-up it csts them a great deal of money!

Would you not agree that simple councillors should exercise a level of good manners and restraint that might serve as an example to others?

steve higgins said...

"Would you not agree that simple councillors should exercise a level of good manners and restraint that might serve as an example to others?"

Yes, I agree, which is why I am on my way out to call someone a "F$%cking To$$er", take a petition forcibly from the people who have collected it and them move to Panama while still claiming to turn up to work so I continue to get paid.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Simon,

It probably does cost newspapers a great deal of money when they pick on a individual and screw up. But they have seem to have got it down to a fine art creating myths about groups of people where the libel against an individual cannot not be proven. Groups that come to mind would be any enthnic minority, unemployed people receiving benefit, unmarried mums.

As for councillors even though it would not be my style I personally think if someone is stupid enough to put themselves in the firing line, well of course they are going to get fired at.

mnottingham said...

Simon I regret as all too often you do not link when you try and ascribe views to me. I know this is your habit but it falls short of the standards ourr constituents expect.

You claim I say
"Thanet remains a place where racism is unchallenged and tolerated" which is not the case. The actual quote says
"the Conservative Party in Thanet remains a place where racism is unchallenged and tolerated"
which is a very different thing.

No blogging protocol will tackle your repeated and wilful misrepresentation.

DrM. said...

Mark, I'm simply not repeating the libel in full, for that is what it is. I think the meaning is clear. After all, you are suggesting that Conservatives in Thanet condone racsism, which is a criminal offense, as you know and which you can't prove. I could easily suggest the same of members of the Labour group with the same cavalier regard to the lack of evidence.

In regard to "repeated and wilful misrepresentation." It's present in large quantities on your own weblog, where I can quite easily find statements, attributed to me and other Conservative councillors which are quite untrue and you know it.

In summary, I'm not the one who is costing the local taxpayer money in complaints for the material that appears on my weblog or even been asked to undergo re-training.

Finally, in polite civil society, I have no wish to link to your weblog as it might imply that it had some intrinsic value or minor redeeming feature which among over a hundred local weblogs it hasn't!

Anonymous said...

Electorate turn out at this much trumpeted vote will be interesting. I would be pleasantly surprised if it's much more than 30 per cent. To my mind, I suspect the majority of Dane Valley residents neither know nor care who wins any more than they care about the national debt of £200 billion. For some getting their next benefit cheque is all that matters.
They will only take notice of politicians when one or more of them decides to shake up the taxation and benefit system in this country. Something that successive governments have signally failed to do over the past three decades.
Now that we are in the early stages of a run up to the next general election, are we going to see this issue discussed by any of the three main parties? I suspect not. Big opportunity missed.