Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sorry seems to be the hardest word.

This is Lib Dem councillor Chris Lomas who last Thursday launched an unexpected tirade against the Herald Express.

Calling the local newspaper 'corrupt' was not only particularly ill mannered and slanderous, it was politically inept.

Everybody in politics has an axe to grind against the media - I think the local press are biased against my party; until I chat with someone from UKIP or the local Labour party and discover that they feel exactly the same!

The truth is a good newspaper wants to reflect the views it believes it's readers hold -and at the moment most people still think badly of politicians from all sides.

This latest outburst has come on top of a run of bad publicity for the local Lib Dems in which they have been heavily criticised for their behaviour towards campaigner Suzie Colley; as well as making themselves very unpopular by shunning Mayor Nick Bye's offer of a cabinet post..

Many Lib Dems are very bitter about the outcome last year of the mayoral election which meant -in effect- that they were dismissed from office barely half way through their term. But blaming the electorate and the press for your own mistakes is something the Conservative Party used to do - and look where it got us.

In fairness many of Mr Lomas' colleagues have moved to distance their group from his comments and yours truly is now wondering whether or not this man has the grace - or the intellect - to do the right thing and issue an apology.

I doubt if Brendan Hanrahan (Editor of the Herald Express) is holding his breath waiting for one though.


Anonymous said...

Actually Alan Faulkner is the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Torbay Council.

Marcus Wood said...

You are quite correct, sorry for the mistake, I have changed the entry.

Barrie Wood said...


This is getting tedious !

Lib Dems ARE willing to work with Nick Bye where agreement can be found. This does not necessitate joining a Tory cabinet where Mr. Bye holds all the ace cards.

***I believe that Cllr Lomas comments were politically unwise and do not believe either the 'Herald Express [HE] or it's editor to be corrupt***.

As the HE backed the change in local government structure heavily I do believe the HE has a vested interest in seeing this model of administration work. To rhis end I firmly believe Mr. Bye has had a very 'easy ride' from the paper since his election, not least with his handling of the budget and the ludicrous pretence to be 'independent'.

My biggest concern is that ALL politicians on the council are now seen en-masse in a poor light at present. The current climate is not one to encourage new faces to stand for election next year and local democracy is the poorer for that.

I believe that Torbay, like everywhere else, is in the main, served by people of ALL parties and none who seek to represent their areas and the wider bay to the best of their ability. The infamous 'resign' front page of the HE some time ago typifies what I see as a drift towards tabloidesque journalism and does that paper no credit.

The 'Livin' By the Rules' campaign, although worthy in some ways, comes across as moralising of the worst kind and, yet more 'Daily Mail' like handwringing !

Councillors could do better, as could the HE !

Anonymous said...

You said "Lib Dems ARE willing to work with Nick Bye where agreement can be found" this is rubbish because all they are doing is disagreeing with everything nick bye does on principle.

only last week they said he should raid the reserves and then this week they are in the paper criticising him because he might!

the reason mr bye has had an easy ride is because unlike your lot he enjoys support from people like me who are not natural conservatives but who think he is trying to do the right thing for torbay (no thanks to your lib dem friend who got us in this mess in the first place)

and the newspaper backed tha mayopral yes campaign mainly i think because they had been deluged with complaining letters about the rubbish lib dems and wanted a change by whatever means necessary.

your lot are history in torbay, get used to it.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to see well thought out rebuttals to points more articulately made on this blog. "Your lot are history in Torbay, get used to it" should be accompanied by a toddler-esque stamping foot.

Marcus your blog is fascinating but I would like to see more positive things about what you are doing for Torbay rather than just being negative about your opposition. With all your protestations about how Cameron is changing the Tories for the better, you are still using the negative style of old? If you were elected what would be the first thing you would do for the bay for example?


from a young politico!

Marcus Wood said...

Thanks 'young politico' for your comments which I feel I should answer directly.

1) I agree about the tone of the commentator above you, I haven't moderated it because I promised only to block offensive or libellous posts and I don't think it is either of those things.

2) The question of positive blogging. I don't want this blog to become a weekly advert for the Conservative party because I think people will just stop reading it. The recent posts about Lib Dems on the council have been there because this has been the ongoing hot local political issue, sadly.

3)"if you were elected what would be the first thing you would do for the bay ?" - It depends on whether we were in Government or not. If we were in Government the first thing I would do is camp out on the Minister of Transports desk until I had a firm answer on Kingskerswell.

If we were in opposition the first thing I would do is set up a Torbay 'counsel of all the talents'. I would shut all the leading lights from all the pressure groups (chamber of trade, civic society, hoteliers association, the five-star attractions people - and the Council officers) in a room with Nick Bye to thrash out once and for all a long-term vision for the future of Torbay on which everyone can agree.

Thanks again for commenting, I am interested in your views.