|The Bloom is Everywhere|
From the first photo taken outside the European Parliament, I wonder if the graffiti is a subtle reference to UKIP's wayward MEP, Godfrey Bloom?
As you might expect, the soaraway Thanet Gazette has its fevered speculation over the potential 2015 local candidates for South Thanet somewhat awry. The coming selection process for a candidate is the remit of the local association and they have two options; either select from a candidate who is already established on the Conservative 'A' list and has applied or follow an open hustings path. Time will tell what they decide and of course, who wishes to apply for what is very clearly going to be one of the country's most scrutinised seats.
While I was away, I noticed the rumour-mill was also playing overtime in the Labour Party direction, with the suggestion that Will Scobie might be asked to step aside in favour of a' more experienced and grown-up' candidate, now that a recent poll suggests a possible Labour victory if UKIP splits the Conservative vote or indeed, if Nigel Farage chooses to run as a candidate, in order to try for UKIP's first parliamentary seat.
But 2015 is still a long way away in political terms and at some point, people will have to ask themselves whether they simply regard UKIP as an anti-establishment protest vote or whether they really wish to pursue an agenda of taking us out of Europe. If it's the latter, then both Labour and the LibDems are firmly committed to keeping us under the growing political control of Brussels but David Cameron has promised a referendum.
|Wandering over to the EU Parliament|
This put Clive Hart and the young Scobie in a difficult position, because Labour leader, Ed Miliband's policy is 'NOT' to offer any referendum on our future place in Europe and of course, the polls show here in Thanet that this is exactly what many people want, being exhausted and dismayed, by the local impact of so many Brussels imposed problems from fisheries to immigration.
Normally, motions surrounding central government policy, do not have a place in a local council chamber but since Clive Hart's Labour administration took control, it's used its position to curry favour with the Labour Party HQ and the Trades Unions, by consistently tabling motions that attack the Government, to be followed by wasted hours of Council time to debate, such vitally important local issues, such as gay marriage. This offer the circus act of Cllrs Driver and Worrow, the platform opportunity they need to cause the regular havoc, which has of course, helped bring the Council into disrepute and by many, is regarded as a form of cheap entertainment on a wet Thursday evening.
Quite how the embattled Council Leader Clive Hart will deal with the delicate European question remains to be seen, particularly with the spectre of unrestricted Bulgarian and Romanian immigration facing the island, after Xmas, which UKIP are locally making a great play of. I do believe, we have a problem to confront and I did notice, as an aside, that Hastings Council was complaining bitterly last night on the BBC News, that London's Newham Council, is involved in a programme of clandestine 'Social Cleansing' by sending families to house in the town. Thanet was mentioned in the same story but apparently our own problem, according to the BBC, lies with Lambeth Council.
Finally, I believe both main parties share the same concern that locally, UKIP is lurching to the far right of politics and I made reference to the rumour about homeless Somali families being resettled at Westwood Cross, which was raised without any supporting evidence. This was, I assume to alarm people, by a UKIP county councillor, the husband of UKIP's Kent Chairman, Mo Elenor, - the same lady who greeted the news that Laura Sandys was stepping down ,because she was frightened of losing to UKIP - at a Westgate residents meeting this month.
Regardless of our differences, we remain a tolerant society but much like the video clip above from Jeeves and Wooster, I'm increasingly reminded of the atmosphere of the 1930s and Thanet appears hell-bent on finding its own caricature version of the character of Sir Roderick Spode to spread alarm in the absence of anything that might resemble a coherent policy for the future of our island, North and South.
If local politics carries on in this unfortunate headlong direction in advance of 2015, I doubt that many like me, would wish to play any part in it beyond that date but there's always room for optimism, as I'm sure you will agree.