September 30, 2014 Leave a comment
Carswell old or Carswell new is not a real choice; if the voters of Clacton want real change then Tim is your man
September 29, 2014 Leave a comment
One of the really frustrating things about how our elections are fought is that most are considered foregone conclusions before a ballot has been cast. This appears to be the case with Clacton, certainly the majority of commentators are giving this impression. The commentary is of a sure fire UKIP victory. UKIP here are proclaiming themselves as champions of those fed up with the ‘LibLabCon‘ orthodoxy. If UKIP are tapping into discontent with the mainstream parties then I think the electorate are somewhat misguided. UKIP are, if anything, more Tory than the actual Conservative Party, and they hark back to an age satirised by the ‘I know my place‘ sketch from The Frost Report.
The real issue with Westminster politics ultimately lies with an electoral system that sees the parties contesting the same electoral territory. We really have to get rid of first past the post, and make every vote count.
However, we do have a contest in just over a week’s time, and whilst all the noise may be about Douglas Carswell and his switching brands of Conservatism, there are other candidates. Labour came second in 2010 at a time when third spot was common for Labour In Essex. I am not predicting a victory for Tim Young, but neither am I writing off his chances. After all, he is the change candidate in this by-election.
If the main parties “are not listening” then how is re-electing Carswell going to change this? Does his elopement with Farage mean a sea-change is his dealing with constituents and their issues?
The 2010 result:
13% Liberal Democrat
3% Tendring First
There are eight candidates for the October 9th contest.
MPs switching parties is not real change. If the voters in Clacton do not want more of the same then they must vote for Tim Young, they must vote Labour.
September 28, 2014 1 Comment
I turned my ankle on someone’s concreted drive, so I cannot blame dodgy pavements. It really was only a gentle slope, which makes the injury all the more puzzling.
September 28, 2014 Leave a comment
Here follows a letter by my successor Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Castle Point, Joe Cooke. It is on the subject of the disastrous surface water flooding on Canvey Island.
The public in the packed gallery for the 26th Aug. special scrutiny meeting about the recent flooding on Canvey and parts of the mainland were in an angry and distressed mood as they listened to Officers and Councillors.
They heard that the preventative work was split between multiple agencies and in many cases, was inadequate or simply not done.
The Chief Executive David Marchant stated that Castle Point had no-one employed to check whether the various agencies were doing what they should.
Armed with advice from the Shadow Communities Minister, I wrote to Mr Marchant eight days earlier with a list of five questions, some of which have now been answered by the Head of Environment. Trudy Bragg says that following the Pitt Review in 2007, the subsequent Flood and Water Management Act of 2010 created the role of Lead Local Flood Authorities. In Essex, this is the County Council and our local enforcement powers for dealing with obstructed water courses have been transferred to them. They are also the Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) Approval Body, meant to ensure responsible planning approvals. County has the co-ordinating role and arranges meetings of the Essex Flood Partnership which includes all the flood risk management agencies in Essex, to “ensure a joined up approach”.
The overwhelming impression in the public gallery was that there was much buck passing, talk and meetings but not enough decisive action. I asked why Castle Point applied the punitive empty properties Council Tax to residents in disaster distress when this was originally designed to free up vacant properties. It seems that current policy is that this should be covered by insurance but I hope they can be persuaded to have a rethink.
Given the County Council’s record of “First do most harm” as with the Deanes School issue, street lighting, potholes, youth services cuts and elderly care etc, we will need to hold them to account in South Essex more than we did after the previous floods!
Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate – Castle Point
141 Moreland Avenue
Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex SS7 4JJ U.K.
Home: +44 (0)1268 757816
Mob: +44 (0)7778 220002
September 27, 2014 9 Comments
I paraphrase Matt Dent, who speculates about the surprise selection of Floyd Waterworth as UKIP’s Parliamentary Candidate for Rochford and Southend East in next May’s General Election. A bit of a shocker because James Moyies really did want the seat.
(At this point I should point out that James is wrong in his letter in support of his attempted candidature – UKIP have only three councillors in Rochford and Southend East. )
Here is James’ plea to his members, making it pretty clear that it was Rochford and Southend East, and only this constituency, that he was after. He also makes it clear that if unsuccessful he would not be seeking a seat elsewhere – we shall see how long that resolution lasts.
Winning in your own backyard is difficult. Party members view candidates quite differently from voters, and use alternate criteria. UKIP members have chosen to avoid profile. I know little about the internal dynamics of the South Essex branch of UKIP, but it is clear the Cllr Moyies years of campaigning were not thought as good as Cllr Waterworth’s near-zero profile. Cllr Waterworth represents the ward I live in and his is an invisible presence here.
I do not like James’ politics, but if you can get pass his obsession with the EU and immigrants he is quite a decent chap. I know little about Cllr Waterworth; and if I know little, bearing in mind my near obsession with politics, then to the electorate he will be a non-entity.
This will bring some cheer to James Duddridge MP and his Conservative team. Cllr Moyies, awful politics aside, would have been a handful as an opponent. Cllr Waterworth may yet prove to be equally effective, but James has more than four years’ head start.