Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Missing Member?

A rather glossy 6 page colour leaflet plopped on the mat this afternoon from Newbury Town Council. I find it rather distressing and depressing to be honest. I suspect the reason will become obvious when you pick THE ODD ONE OUT.

One of the ELECTED members for the ward that I stood for has not been sufficiently interested in the role in the two months since the election to be bothered to supply a telephone number or an email address or even a physical address where residents can communicate with her.

The address given for this woman in the leaflet is obviously false. We have no Saffron Road in this area and Saffron Close where this woman I believe does live, does not rejoice in the given post code.

The horror of it is that it's not just a deadline issue on the print - the Newbury Town website today had no contact details for her WHATSOEVER. Interesting that after our complaint the site has ALREADY been changed. (Just as well we have a screen shot..!)

David went round to challenge her at the address that is registered for her nomination with West Berks Electoral Services as a candidate tonight and she seemed keen to assure him that she was entirely on board and doing her duty. Yeah right! She would say that wouldn't she?

Now if she didn't really want to be a Town Councillor why didn't she just say so when the daft Lib Dem machine pressured her into it on the eve of the closing date for candidate nominations?

This is absolute corroborration of David's point that the parties just trump up some donkey in the right colour rosette to be voted at, but these people are the worst possible representatives because they don't want to be doing it.

So. Should we be calling for Catherine Kent to be (not impeached perhaps but) shall we say gently 'retired' and for another election to be held? And that costs money.

Or should the council co-opt a replacement member in the way that Ben Weatherill was co-opted without reference to the electorate after Gina Houghton passed away unexpectedley last year?

Or do we say 'well early days yet, I dare say Catherine Kent will buck up a bit once she gets her feet under the table'?

Answers on a postcard or almost any other communication channel please.

(To a real candidate in the Northcroft ward of Newbury who did not win but who did publish their real address, telephone number, email address, Twitter feed, Facebook Group and who did canvass streets with leaflets and was available to be spoken to on the doorstep in the ward).

And you can actually post a comment here.

Note to self - - look up how many r's and b's in corrobbborrratte?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Grommit's "Grafting" Gaffe

Some half-wit in the Labour party has today fondly imagined that it might be A Good Move to get poor old Gromit to declare that the party shall henceforth be the party of "grafters".

Clearly the posh intern who came up with this gem, imagined that he/she was employing a solid working class expression, which was same in sentiment, but groovily different from the hackneyed "hardworking families" phrase, tarnished by overuse in the Brown years.

While we all know that graft can mean hard work, with an etymology derived from the work involved in creating defensive earthworks, moats etc; hence the grafting tool which is a form of spade used by groundworkers to this day - and damned hard work wielding one of those is too by all accounts! But it is a shame these fools didn't have a little residual knowledge or failing that - check the dictionary:

graft, n.5
colloq. (orig. U.S.).

The obtaining of profit or advantage by dishonest or shady means; the means by which such gains are made, esp. bribery, blackmail, or the abuse of a position of power or influence; the profits so obtained.

While it would be bad enough if it were only mere foreigners who understood the word to have negative connotations, unfortunately, it's not as though this usage is so American that it's unknown in this country.

A documentary about crack houses a couple of years ago, incensed my husband on many levels but no more so than when, the female announced she was off out "grafting".

Ironically her use of English was astonishingly precise and while immoral, it was not hypocritical. Better than Gromit! She was using the word quite correctly to mean that she was going out to rob, steal, con or otherwise obtain money by dishonest means, for her next hit.

Is there really no communications professional, speech-writer, or political advisor currently employed by the Labour Party, who has access to a dictionary? Or someone with more than a rudimentary grasp of the speech patterns of the lumpenproletariat?

Cross posted to Apolitical Blog.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Labour Leader Proposes Apolitical Approach to Social Care

The FT this morning flagged up the Labour leader's call for all the main parties to hold talks on how to resolve the thorny issue of social care, which has come to a head in the last week over the crisis at Southern Cross.
"Mr Miliband will now ask the Tories and Lib Dems to come to the table for apolitical discussions; the time has come for the parties to stop “playing party politics” with the issue."
The BBC confirms that the PM is all for it:
David Cameron welcomed Mr Miliband's call for cooperation on the issue.

He said: "This is a very difficult issue to get right as a country - the long-term costs of social care, how we share those costs, how we pay for them.

"If there is an opportunity for cross-party work on that, I thoroughly welcome it.

This is gratifying news indeed for those of us who have been banging this apolitical drum; and it is a rebuke to a certain Conservative local government leader who at the election count a month ago derided apolitical democracy as a foolish contradiction in terms.

The time for this movement is a-coming in.

Cross-posted to Apolitical Blog.