Election capers

Elections are always fertile ground for slogans, empty promises and pious platitudes.

The Western Telegraph is offering space on its website for candidates to make their pitch for votes and utopia beckons if even half of what is on offer materialises.

The contribution of the Tory party candidate for Llanrhian brought a smile to my face.

Llanrhian has for the past 13 years been represented by Cllr David Rees.

Last time out, the good people of the northern coastal strip were so impressed by Cllr Rees’ performance that returned him unopposed.

Mind you, it isn’t difficult to see why nobody was brave enough to take on this political titan because in 2008 he beat his Tory opponent 515 – 129.

Cllr Rees is now stepping down and Tory hopeful John Evans is seeking to bask in a bit of reflected glory.

“Cllr David Rees will be a hard act to follow,” he tells his constituents via the WT, “and I hope that you will place your trust in me to fill his shoes in May.”

He is certainly right about being a hard act to follow because, to the best of my knowledge, after thirteen years on the council David Rees is yet to make his maiden speech, though I can’t rule out the possibility that the chamber thrilled to his oratory on one of those occasions when I had slipped out for a quick smoke.

The only time he got to his feet while I was present was when he declared a prejudicial interest (here at 11 mins 30 secs) on some education matter concerning a school of which he was a governor.

However, while he may have broken his vow of silence, he certainly didn’t falter when it came to voting the IPPG line where he has a 100% record.

Only the rules of arithmetic prevented it being more.

Whether these are shoes worth filling is for the people of Llanrhian to decide, though voters elsewhere should beware that the word “independent” next to a candidate’s name on the ballot paper may not have the same meaning as that found in the dictionary.

Meanwhile, it seems that Labour in Milford Haven are fielding candidates in five out of the six seats.

The exception is Milford North where deputy Mayor Colin Sharp is running as a “Truly Independent”.

Funny thing is that just a couple of weeks ago I was told that the Mayor William Elliott was angling to be Labour’s candidate in Milford North.

He has now bobbed up in Hakin billing himself as: you’ve guessed, “Your Truly Independent candidate”.

And that despite Labour having an official candidate in Hakin.

I also understand that Rhys Evans also wanted to represent Labour in a Milford seat, but, as there was no “vacancy”, he has been sent off to Johnston to take on “The Voice”.

Conspiracy theorists have concluded that something funny is going on – a suspicion fuelled by the striking similarity between the election posters published on the web by Cllrs Sharp and Elliott.

One particularly fevered Kremlinologist suggested to me that Cllr Sharp, who is married to Labour stalwart Cllr Guy Woodham, might switch to Labour once the votes are safely in the bag, but is running under the independent banner in order to improve his chances of beating sitting member, Tory Stan Hudson.

Anyone who thinks that a respectable political party like Labour would stoop to the disreputable tactics; successfully employed by the discredited IPPG over the past many years, probably looks under the bed before going to sleep at night.

That said, the question why Labour-supporting William Elliott would stand against an official Labour candidate has even the most paranoid conspiracy theorists scratching their heads.

And even a level-headed rationalist like Old Grumpy is moved to wonder why Milford-based Rhys Evans has been sent forth to do battle in Johnston while Labour isn’t fielding a candidate in the eminently winnable seat of Milford North.