Wednesday, April 18, 2007

An arrogance that must come to an end

I cannot stand people who arrogantly take the electorate for granted, throughout the year but especially at election time. Maybe I am bias because I spend my life fighting big Labour and LibDem majorities and am used to working hard to get Conservatives elected.

But today I have spoken to three Conservative colleagues, all of whom are up for election this year in various parts of the country. One is going on holiday, one will only deliver a single leaflet and the other only canvasses on Saturday mornings.

Compare that to work that John Wyatt puts in Bowthorpe, Eve Collishaw in Catton Grove or Vic Hopes in Eaton!

Yet all three men will be re-elected with massive majorities - they hold very, very safe seats.

I am sure that all parties have such characters and such arrogance in their ranks.

And who do I blame for this? The opposition. The reason my Tory chums will win again is because in each of their wards the other parties either don't campaign themselves or even don't stand candidates. If Labour or the LibDems made more an an effort, these arrogant Tories may find themselves suddenly a bit more keen to engage with people.

And in Labour heartlands, and safe LibDem seats, where no doubt the same attitude exists amongst their councillors I think the Tories should be taking advantage in the same way.

When one party takes a ward or community for granted, there should always be another campaigner or party ready to take up the challenge of representing people.


Maltheus said...

You make a very good point there. Safe seats breed arrogance and complacency in some characters. Same as general elections, the real energy and the real sign of a good campaign is when all parties have to campaign their utmost to gain a seat protected by a small majority

Anonymous said...

care to divulge who the lazy gits are then?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. Power corrupts etc...and lack of competition breeds complacent politics and councillors.

Antony said...

Sorry, anon, it would be totally unfair on them for me to name-and-shame here (especially when they didn't know I was writing this post). But I hope the electorate know who they are!

Thanks Maltheus - I have to accept that there are some very hard working diligant MPs and councillors with big majorities who still run excellent election campaigns. But generally the marginals give us the best choice in a democracy!

Anonymous said...

Times are moving on since a time where Red or Blue monkeys got voted in. The public started intelligently voting strategically in the 1980's/1990's, now I think they want to vote for the quality of the councillor and on key issues like recycling and social nuisences like vandalism and basic services. I think one gets to know the lazy or back seat councillors by their lack of engagement with their ward electorate on the doorstep, leaflets, electronically at this time, and nothing really gets done in their wards over 1-3 years. Being elected I guess is like a public job interview and if one doesn't engage or communicate on the doorstep, it is a bad reflection of who one is, beliefs and what one wishes to change in the ward. Like Alan Sugar's Apprentice the electorate are able to show the door to councillors who don't put the time in, live on their arrogant egos or don't pull their weight, whatever party.

Whilst saying this, I have to say there are many hard working, high quality and passionate councillors who put many hours of selfless listening and integral public work in (with residents concerns, committees and in the council chamber). I include this blogs author here. We need and really value these people, and the ballot box result can be a token of appreciation (or not).

Anonymous said...

that type of view is frustrating, the size of majorities and difference between win an dloose is often and rightly about who does most work!
We should all work hard to ensure we win and most importantly earn our votes!!!
Keep working Anthony :-)

Anonymous said...

In my local ward the local Tory candidate is an estate agent. His election leaflets have estate agent flyers inside. Is the election merely a means to an end for him.

Great pitch - "vote for me I'm an estate agent" - winner.