EAST DEVON WATCH
Shining a light into the darkest corners of East Devon
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And this twit is our Defence Secretary? Build your bunkers!
“Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was left red-faced on live television when he slammed Boris Johnson’s statement on terrorism thinking that the quote was made by Jeremy Corbyn.
The Tory Cabinet member began attacking the Labour leader on Channel 4 News last night in response to Mr Corbyn saying we have to admit that the ‘war on terror is not working’.
Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy asked Mr Fallon to respond to another quote: ‘Isn’t it possible that things like the Iraq war did not create the problem of murderous Islamic fundamentalists, though the war has unquestionably sharpened the resentments felt by such people in this country and given them a new pretext?
Thinking the quote had been made as part of the Labour leader’s speech, Mr Fallon took the opportunity to dismiss and condemn the words. He said: ‘Well they are not entitled to excuses.’ But the words were actually said by Boris Johnson in response to the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005.
Mr Guru-Murthy said: ‘What I just put to you was not Jeremy Corbyn, it was Boris Johnson.’
The presenter then read out more quotes from Boris Johnson that put a blushing Mr Fallon in even more of a pickle. Mr Guru-Murthy said: ‘He goes on to say, “The Iraq war did not introduce the poison into our bloodstream but, yes, the war did help to potentiate that poison”. “It is difficult to deny that they have a point, the ‘told-you-so’ brigade”.’
The Defence Secretary then got his words jumbled as he tried to explain his way out of the blunder. He said: ‘Well I don’t agree with that.’
Mr Guru-Murthy was quick to ensure Mr Fallon continued to enlarge the hole he had dug for himself.
The presenter said: ‘So Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, is wrong?’
When Mr Fallon refused to agree, on the premise that he did not have the direct quote in front of him, Mr Guru-Murthy watched the politician squirm as he continued to press him.
The presenter said he didn’t understand how the politician could refrain from commenting on the words when he had just heard them read out.
Speaking in London yesterday Mr Corbyn, who opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as air strikes against terrorist targets in Syria, said Labour would ‘change what we do abroad’ if it won power.
He stressed that the link between foreign policy and terrorism ‘in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children’ and could not ‘remotely excuse, or even adequately explain, outrages like this week’s massacre’.
Terrorist Salman Abedi killed 22 people and injured 119 when he blew himself up at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena on Monday evening.”
The DCC health and social care committee chaired by Sarah Randall-Johnson also has on it DCC Councillor Phil Twiss and EDDC representative member Paul Diviani.
Neither has ever been seen at health service cut protest meetings to save threatened hospitals (either in their council or personal capacities) and both known (along with Randall Johnson) for enthusiastically, even possibly zealously, toeing the Tory party line and all gung-ho to give Mrs May their utter devotion. And they had to be dragged kicking and screaming by EDDC Independents to stand up for local services still being viciously cut.
Luckily, we still have Independent Councillor Claire Wright to represent US. And one Independent Claire Wright is worth more than three local slavish Tories!
Owl says: perhaps someone could ask why they want to pinch part of the Budleigh Hospital Hub garden to build 2 houses. And how sustainable their AONB developments really are.
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“The Health and Adult Care Committee will scrutinise social care, safeguarding and special needs services for adults alongside the operation of the NHS across Devon.
It will be chaired by Broadclyst Conservative councillor Sara Randall-Johnson with Crediton Liberal Democrat Nick Way as vice chairman.”
SRJ – the EDDC Leader who was deposed at EDDC by Independent Claire Wright and has probably never forgiven her for it;
SRJ – who tried desperately to get the Totnes nomination won by Sarah Woolaston and who has probably never forgiven her for it;
SRJ – who spent £250,000 of taxpayers money opposing what is effectively now “Greater Exeter”
SRJ – whose Tory blood runs deep, deep and brightly shining in her veins.
Thanks, DCC – that’s just what we need.
Another local blog (Facebook – Devon United) republished this article from East Devon Watch originally blogged 3 YEARS AGO
“What a GREAT time to be an Independent candidate!
Grassroots rebellion over arrogant leadership in Devon and Cornwall
By Western Morning News | Posted: October 05, 2014
By Phil Goodwin
Westcountry councils face a growing rebellion from a grassroots movement weary at being ruled by an out-of-touch and “arrogant” leadership, the Western Morning News on Sunday reports today.
Campaigns have sprung up across the region in opposition to a perceived centralisation of power which has left many voters feeling removed from the democratic process.
A revolt in Cornwall has seen parish councils form an alliance against the “emerging dictatorship” of the unitary “super council” and threaten to picket County Hall in protest. [Last week, Cornwall’s Lib Dems and Independents again formed a ruling coalition]
In Mid-Devon, a petition has been launched against the cabinet-style of government, where decision-making power is confined to a handful of senior Conservative figures. [Conservatives majority refused to make the change]
In East Devon a quasi-political pressure group has been formed to unify opposition after a series of controversial planning issues. Paul Arnott, chairman of the East Devon Alliance, said chief executives and unelected officers wield excessive influence and are answerable only to a powerful political elite. [EDA had its first county council success this month and Independents at EDDC now number 16].
“What we see now is a kind of corporate CEO mentality which is just not appropriate at a district council,” he added. “This not Wall Street – it is East Devon, and we are supposed to be following a localism agenda.
“The effect is setting a tone of unelected arrogance – we would like to see a return to the wise and kindly town clerk approach of days gone by.”
Labour’s Local Government Act of 2000 introduced modifications to the old committee system, including the cabinet and leader model, which is common throughout Devon and Cornwall. This allows the ruling party to populate the cabinet with its own members, regardless of the make-up of the council. [Still the case in East Devon]
In Mid-Devon, where the Conservatives hold a 57per cent majority of the 42 seats, the Liberal Democrats and Independents have no representation and all of the senior power is concentrated in nine Tory councillors. [Still the case in Mid Devon]
The same set-up can be seen at Devon County Council, where Tories hold 61per cent of the seats but all the cabinet posts, and at East Devon District Council, where a 71per cent majority holds 100per cent of the cabinet posts. [No change]
The Campaign for Democracy in Mid-Devon hopes to collect the 3,000 signatures required to force a referendum on the style of governance. [Didn’t happen]
Nick Way, a Lib Dem member at the authority, supports a return to the committee system. “I think it is more democratic, particularly for a small authority like us,” he said.
“The current system is almost like a dictatorship of the majority – at the end of the day they have a majority but a change would make it easier for their back-benchers to have more of a say and influence policy.”
Harvey Siggs, a Somerset county councillor and vice chairman of South West Councils, says he understands the frustration given the cuts but disagrees with claims of a democratic deficit.
“In Somerset we spend a lot of time trying not to be remote,” he added.
“A good cabinet does its absolute best to be as transparent as possible and we still have to be accountable to the full council.
“With the pace of life and all the things that need to be dealt with, I don’t think the committee system is fit for purpose.
“All too often the disaffected people are around planning. There are winners and losers but mostly, the losers don’t complain.”
[Somerset’s Leader, Conservative John Osman was deposed by a Lib Dem this month but Tories still have a stranglehold on the council]
In Cornwall, representatives of 15 parish councils packed a hall in Chacewater last week in a bid to rally all 213 town and parish councils to join a revolt against Cornwall Council. [unsuccessfully]
The gathering came in response to the infamous “Chacewater Letter” which branded the unitary authority an “emerging dictatorship”.
The letter, in July, criticised Cornwall Council’s lack of communication, its savings plans, planning policy, arms lengths organisations and highly paid officers.
At the highly charged meeting on Tuesday, fellow parish councillors agreed and declared change at Cornwall Council must happen.
More militant members called to draft in the local government ombudsman, for the formation of an alliance of parish councils and even for protests at the doors of County Hall.
Truro City councillor Armorel Carlyon, who chaired the meeting despite her own council not endorsing the criticism, told those gathered she could see the “democratically elected members being airbrushed out of the picture” by non-elected council officers.
“There will be a
Hustings tomorrow (Friday 26 May) at
Cranbrook Education Campus. It starts at 7.30pm.
I hope to see you there!
Another hustings in Exmouth takes place on Tuesday 30 May, at the Holy Trinity Church, also at 7.30pm.
MOST of the candidates will be there…. [Hugo Swire has refused to attend candidate hustings].
Final two Saturdays of the general election:
Visiting a town centre where you are!
I would love to meet as many of you as possible!
Saturday 27 May
10am – Ottery St Mary – outside Boots
11.30am – Cranbrook outside Younghayes Centre
2pm – Exmouth Magnolia Centre – outside Boots
3:30pm – Budleigh Salterton (town end of the seafront)
Saturday 3 June
10am – Topsham, outside Methodist Church
Midday – Sidmouth in market square
2.30pm – Exmouth Magnolia Centre, outside Boots
4pm – Budleigh Salterton – town end of the seafront”