Saturday, 14 April 2012

Labour are the only opposition in Medway?

There is an old episode of the Simpson's which the evil Aliens Kang and Kodos replace Bob Dole and Bill Clinton and so the people of America are doomed to vote for one or the other evil Aliens.
Homer Simpson suggests voting for a third party candidate.
Yeah Sure. Throw your vote away!!!

Basically this is what Councillor Osborne, Medway Labour Press officer is suggesting.

Labour is the only voice of opposition to the incompetent Tories.

The first part of the blog post is, rightly pointing out the Council overspend on the Stoke Crossing and calling the Council to account. Fair cop...

Of course this story was covered here on Tuesday and indeed on the same day as he posts his a letter from me appeared in the Medway Messenger. I find it interesting that he then goes on to say that Labour are leading on this and yet a Libdem got there first.

In the same vain the Care home closures and outsourcing. A Campaign to save Nelson Court was set up by a Lib dem and backed fully by Libdems. Labour played a part and took over most of the campaigning but in a way that made Maureen Ruparel (who started it) was disgusted with the way it  became politicised rather than about the patients. Indeed at the march I attended, organised by Jaqui Berry and the Socialist party it was attended by two of three Libdem councillors (Geoff Juby was away in the Phillipines), our Charmian Tony Jeacock, Treasurer Cathy Sutton, Vice Chair Gary Harrison, Secretary (Me) as well as other members and the only obvious Labour member was Vince Maple.
Of course when it came to addressing the crowd Jacqui never mentioned a party, Diana Smith and Gary didn't either but Vince did - extolling how hard the Labour party were working against the Tories.

So were does the accusation that the Libdems are only leading on arguably one issue.

This issue of City Status, and that it was badly managed. I don't think so. Yes the letter was sent late but information was gathered and the decision was made and then the letter sent. Yeah we got a negative response from the local press but then that was to be expected considering the Messenger backed the campaign.

The point is that we are forming a responsible opposition. The cuts are going to happen, they have too since the cut in grant from central Government. We're not happy about it but there it is. Instead of shouting "No" or accusing the Tory cabinet of failure etc we are making the tough decisions and working to try and dull the pain of the cuts and protect the most vulnerable such as the occupants of Nelson Court.

Also the notion of only Labour can stand is absolute balderdash. Labour are the larger party of opposition with more members and more activists with a lot more money than us, the Greens or the Independents (strangely omitted from Cllr Osborne's post - especially as they are as big us!) but we are still opposing parties. A century ago only the Liberal Party were seen as the credible opponents to the Conservatives see how things have changed. Politics is fluidic, it is arrogant to believe that you and you alone can stand.
Its very reminiscent of Himmler's statement to Eisenhower in 1945;
 Only Germany and my SS can stand against Stalinist Russia.

On a similiar tack does that mean that the people of Gillingham South should vote out Geoff Juby and Shelia Kearney after how ever many years of excellent work in the ward? Or the ever popular and dedicated Diana Smith who has dedicated countless years to the community and worked hard be expelled from Watling ward?
It happened in 2011. Stephen Kearney, a very popular and hard working councillor was voted out for a Labour Councillor and what has the result been?
Forget that I'm a Libdem, but since May last year I've had 4 Focus' about what the Libdems are doing and only 2 fliers from Cllr Coleman. One to introduce himself and one about Police cuts Nationally - A national government issue. I don't know when his surgeries is or even where. I see Geoff walking the Ward regularly on my way to the station. In fact the only thing I've heard of Councillor Coleman (from two separate sources) is that he claims to be responsible for the money granted to the ward through the Citizen Advice bureau - which of course is Balderdash as it was granted by central government. Why would I vote out a Councillor who works hard for the ward and works with the people just because they aren't Labour.

Personally, I'm not big on inflating my Party's image beyond what its capable of or for saying we're better than anything. I will say that Geoff, Shelia and Diana are working hard for their wards and constituents.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Grasshopper, you are learning well...

    It was just nine months ago when you were extolling the perceived virtues of Dale Colman, and now you have learned a little more of what Labour are really like.

    It is little wonder that my own (hopefully quite well informed) desire has long been – and obviously so – that the Lib Dems get themselves sorted out, finally throw off their own bad history and move into place as the real opposition on elected bodies such as Medway Council.

    You have it exactly right that it would be hugely more positive, constructive and worthwhile than the present "Tory-bashing" and self-promotional one-tune repertoire of Medway Labour.

    A knock-on effect is that it would also reduce the need for the Conservatives to spend so much time and effort in countering all of that – time/effort that should be able to be spent on working even harder for the community.

    I know from my own time on the Council how it became necessary (the lesser evil than just letting it go, which was often tempting) to deal seriously and comprehensively with Labour's fabrications, posturing and collusion with others to undermine the good work that was being done.

    The bottom line of today's lesson is that there is almost nothing of value to the community afforded by Labour, and (because of their ingrained attitude) there probably never will be. We need to be rid of them, and that's where your party comes in...