Sunday, May 15, 2005

Never a dull moment in politics, things come up even when you are supposed to have finished work and be enjoying some holiday.

The Conservative group on the council took a long brewing decision to change leader on Monday - Jean Turbnbull has worked hard as leader but she must be in her seventies and was fairly frequently on the wrong side of the majority opinion in the group - something all political leaders learn can eventually cost them their position.

Unexpectedly she has decamped with three others into a splinter 'conservative' group and the Association has some tough decisions to make, since the rules dictate that behaviour that 'brings the Conservative party into disrepute' can mean removal of membership - and most of the members I have spoken to believe that her actions should result in firm disciplinary action.

Our reaction to this challenge will be an interesting test of the local Party's resolve.


Anonymous said...

Well I posted a comment previously after the election in celebration of the result and then visit today to find I have been branded a Liberal Democrat. I can assure you I did not vote Lib Dem and have no links to the Lib Dems in Torquay. However I still took great delight in seeing the Torbay result. For politicians with nothing to say and no credibility it is far too easy to brand all critics as members / supporters of opposition parties.

Marcus Wood said...

Since you have posted anonymously how can I or anyone else know which previous comment was yours? -

You are clearly interested in politics and hostile to me; why I wonder?

Who do you think is a politician who has credibility and 'something to say', Tony Blair perhaps?

Marcus Wood said...

... you aren't my ex-wife by any chance are you?

Anonymous said...

You say that any behaviour that brings the Conservative party into disrepute warrants removal of party membership - well in that case you too should be stripped of your membership. I have been a Conservative voter all my life but was appalled by the election campaign you ran. How is the Conservative party ever going to return to power when there are candidates such as yourself who become mired in local issues and petty squabbles with your main opponents?

Anonymous said...

I guess theres no pleasing some people - I am the complete opposite to the above. I used to vote for Adrian Sanders because he was more in tune with local issues than either of the previous Tory MP's we had here but this time I voted for you because you have stood up to the council on some important local issues (like Upton School). I am sure that there are more like me - I hope you keep going, Torbay needs a fighter!

Anonymous said...

I think you people on this site need to be informed that local decisions are made by the local council. Do you know that? Decisions about local school are not made in parliament because they are not national issues. I am not a supporter of either the Lib Dems or Conservatives but it would make no difference who the MP was because the council takes these decisions. No matter how passionately an MP may campaign or believe in any particular local issue ultimately there is nothing they can do.
The role of an MP is to represent the his/her consituency in parliament on national issues.
For example;
National issue - ID cards
Consituency view - whatever this may be
MP role - air constituency view in parliament prior to decision being made.
Local issues are not the same because they are NOT decided in parliament, they are decided in the local council chamber

Marcus Wood said...

What you say is of course true - I have campaigned hard to demonstrate to local voters the issues that a Lib Dem MP and a Lib Dem government would and do support, in Westminster. These are important issues, like giving control of our borders to the EU and backing the EU constitution, avoiding prison sentences for many serious offences including abolishing the use of prison for all drug crimes (even the hardest drugs). Our biggest concern locally is getting the Kingskerswell bypass built -something supported by well over 80% of the local population, but a scheme that would be firmly opposed by a Lib Dem Government. Take another important and relevant issue, Grammar Schools - they would be abolished by a Lib Dem government.

As a result the local MP has complained bitterly about our campaign (how he can say that our publicising his party's policies is 'negative campaigning' I shall never know).

The fact is the Lib dems won here by ignoring the national issues (that they know costs them votes in Torbay) and creating local protest campaigns (remember the poll tax and the horrible and vitriolic personal campaigns against Mssrs Allason, Bennet and Nicholson).

If it works, and it did, why shouldn't we do the same?

Anonymous said...

Your comments are sad, but true. The Lib dems did win here by a simply awful ongoing campaign to discredit especially Rupert Allason, who was in fact a decent and hard working local MP who just didn't sink to such depths as his opponent and frankly, didn't fight back.

I truly hope that you don't go down the same road and launch the same kind of campaign; although I can understand the temptation - especially after some of the comments that you have had to tolerate on this site and in the Herald Express letters page.

I truly hope that local electors wake up to the reality of having a Liberal Democrat MP and vote next time on what they want nationally - as the previous commentator has said.

Perhaps if people did the reverse of what the Lib dems have been campigning on (vote for the man, not his politics - what an insult!) we might get better representation here in Torbay and a decent Government in London.