May 17 2012

 

Pick and mix

As I reported here some weeks ago, and has now been confirmed by the Western Telegraph, Cllr John Davies, former Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, is now seeking a "police role".(The grapevine)
This refers to the government's decision to introduce elected police commissioners - the elections are due to take place in November.
This is how the WT reports the issue of whether or not Cllr Davies is to run as an independent or party candidate. I've added my own thoughts in square brackets.
"Cllr Davies still has to decide if he will run for commissioner representing a political party or as an Independent [whether I am an Independent, or not, depends entirely on how it effects my chances]
I am not a political animal
[except when it suits my purposes] , banners are not important [except when it suits my purposes] but Dyfed Powys is probably too big an area for an independent [so, if it suits my purposes, I will run under party colours], he said.
He added that he was in discussions with one political party
[It isn't Labour].
For the past 12 years Cllr Davies has been a member of the Independent Political Group on PCC - the last eight as Leader.

Smoke and mirrors

I am told that the IPG's recruitment meeting was marked by the usual mixture of half-truths and untruths that have become the party's stock in trade.
Leader-elect Jamie Adams made the keynote speech in which he warned the assembled throng that, if they didn't sign up to his political group, it would be left to the biggest party, Labour with nine seats, to form the next administration. It seems that this piece of IPG mythology is such an effective recruiting sergeant that even the truth can't dislodge it from its perch (Off-balance).
Cllr Adams also sought to reassure those potential members who might be alarmed by the grisly fate of former IPG stalwarts Jim Codd, Anne Hughes, Clive Collins, Maureen Molyneux and John George.
According to Cllr Adams, this sad bunch lost their seats because they had failed to keep in touch with their communities.
This is a piece of ex post facto rationalisation because Cllr Adams has no idea why they lost their seats.
It could have been because they had all been around too long and voters had become sick of the sight of them.
Or it could be because the voters woke up to the inconsistency between their claims of true independence and membership of the IPG.(Party animals).
Or it could have been because they were all opposed by young energetic candidates who got out , knocked on doors and convinced the voters that they could better represent their interests.
Or it could have been because of a combination of all these things and a dozen more I haven't thought of.
Anyway, to ensure that a similar disaster doesn't befall those about to sign on the dotted line, Cllr Adams proposed that the IPG would have a website where the group's policies could be explained to the electorate.
This shouldn't take up too much webspace because, aside from maintaining Cllr Adams and his cronies in the positions of power to which they have grown accustomed, the party doesn't have any policies.
None, at least, that it is prepared to publish in a manifesto.
Indeed, having read quite a number of its members' election addresses, I have yet to see even a passing mention of this political group's existence.
Still, it is progress of sorts because once this website is up and running it will be even more difficult to deny that the IPG is, to all intents and purposes, a political party.
Then we had that old one about nobody being told how to vote.
Nailing this one causes some difficulty because I am not privy to what they are or are not told.
What I can say is that the recorded votes show that they vote as a block (Voting machines) though whether that is the result of whipping, or some form of telepathy, I can't tell.
However, if they are not told how to vote, it is difficult to understand why they need to have a secret group get-together on the day before all meetings of full council.
Neither is it easy to give any credence to their claim that members acting in concert are more effective than those acting alone unless the concert party are all playing the same tune.
Finally, I am told that the potential recruits were treated to a short lecture on constitutional theory by Cllr Peter Stock in which he likened the situation to that at national level where a majority is required if a government is to be formed.
While this might sound attractive, the analogy is wholly inappropriate.
The formation of a national government requires someone to go along to the Palace and inform the Queen that they can command a working majority in the House of Commons.
But, as the alert among you will have spotted, that working majority depends on members of the of the potential Prime Minister's party voting along party lines.
If, as we are told, members of the IPG are free to vote as they see fit, Cllr Stock's analogy falls flat on its face.
So, if the IPG is going to form a stable administration, it must be able to rely on its members to support the Leadership.
And that requirement is clearly inconsistent with the claim that members are free to vote as they please.
P S I am hearing rumours that there may be dramatic developments afoot in the political-group-formation business. I will update "Stop press" when I have more reliable information.

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