Well, first of all, what a turn up for the books! Esteemed Leader steps down one week before local elections and, with it being too late to change ballot papers, will be described as “Conservative ” while calling himself “Independent”!
One (Well, Owl) has to wonder – why now? If he blames Tory NATIONAL policy for his decision – what is so different about this week compared to last week, or last month or last year? Nothing – it’s been an omnishambles for what seems like forever!
First, let’s tackle him becoming “Independent”.
Owl has already had a LOT to say about Tories opportunistically becoming “Independent” when the going gets tough, it looks like they might lose to REAL Independents but they want to remain comfy councillors. In reality, if on the very unlikely off-chance they win, they then go on to vote EVERY time with Tories. (And, in the case of “Independent” Geoff Pook, even get a Cabinet position or plum Chairmanship. Beer does like to think it is a bit different, but not TOO different!
No, many of these so-called “Independents” are nothing but panicking Tories either (a) wanting to distance themselves from a bloodbath (b) wanting to distance themselves from the former party in case they are not in the majority and EDDC’s books get opened to the former opposition or (c) Both.
Of course, Councillor Thomas may be telling it as he sees it. But surely, in that case, if you are disaffected with your party at national level, but you are deep-down a Conservative, the right and proper thing to do is to stay in it and effect change from the bottom up.
It hardly seems a ‘Damascene Conversion’ at this point. It seems more like someone seeing a ship sinking and seeing no alternative way of getting off it.
Just remember – REAL Independents have:
A TRACK RECORD OF REAL INDEPENDENCE
STANDING ON A PLATFORM OF DEMOCRACY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN COUNCIL BUSINESS
EMBEDDED IN THEIR COMMUNITIES AS INDEPENDENTS AND BEING KNOWN FOR FIGHTING THEIR COMMUNITY’S CORNER
POLICIES THAT ARE DIFFERENT – REALLY DIFFERENT – TO THE MAINSTREAM PARTIES BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT!
FIGHTING CONSTANTLY ON LOCAL ISSUES – COMMUNITY HOSPITALS, NHS, OVER-DEVELOPMENT, REAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING, EDUCATION, ANTI-ASSET STRIPPING, PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC OPEN SPACES, NOT PUTTING BUSINESS PARKS IN THE WRONG PLACES, OR ROADS IN WRONG PLACES (WITH THE WRONG DEVELOPERS), FINANCIAL PROBITY …. PEOPLE BEFORE POLITICS
AND – ASKING THE AWKWARD QUESTIONS AND NOT BEING FOBBED OFF BY NON-ANSWERS
No, Councillor Thomas is an “Independent” not an INDEPENDENT!
Finally, Owl leaves you with its recent musings: