Totally rad dude, innit
August 14, 2013 1 Comment
“Southend West is a totally urban constituency. The success it has achieved through the years at parliamentary and local authority level has been achieved by Conservative representatives at both levels (including our friends from Southend East) placing a strong emphasis on social and regeneration issues. For the past ten years, unemployment, the scourge of seaside towns throughout the country, has been successfully addressed by an energetic and caring Conservative administration which aims for high levels of employment to stimulate the local economy whilst at the same time ensuring that the elderly and deprived are also at the forefront of our priorities.”
The above paragraph is taken from the latest leaflet produced by Belfairs’ Conservatives. Aside from being poor prose, it is remarkable for its inaccuracy.
It begins with the first sentence. Now, I guess you can argue by what is meant by urban, but I have yet to see it include nature reserves, of which there are two in Southend West (there may be other areas that qualify, but I am thinking of Belfairs Woods and Two Tree Island). There are significant other green spaces as well as a foreshore designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Of course, urban does have other connotations, in which case I suggest they re-title their leaflets (see http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=touch (and avoid if easily offended)).
The Labour Market Profile for Southend-on-Sea suggests that the success they boast of is not what it seems. For instance, Southend-on-Sea is above average in the number of JSA claimants (July 2013) at 4.0% (for the East of England the figure is 2.7%, for Great Britain it is 3.4%). This is especially bad for 18 to 24 year olds, where 8.7% claim JSA. Those actually recorded as unemployed may be below average, but those recorded as economically inactive are above average. Not an especially attractive prospect and not at all fitting the “successfully addressed” description.
Educational attainment in Southend-on-Sea is very poor and some way behind averages at all levels from NVQ1 to NVQ4 – a shameful record. This is hardly likely to help in achieving “high levels of employment”.
The elderly and deprived will take no solace from the warm words of their Conservative councillors as reality and rhetoric are some way apart. The leaflet as a whole makes no mention of the cuts at either national or local level, rather like Basil Fawlty in the presence of German guests – best not to mention the war. Unfortunately, ignoring the cuts and the reduced services this will mean fools no-one. Still, whilst residents consider the attractions of Mo’s coffee morning they are invited to ‘Stand for Council’. Curiously, under ‘How we use your information’ is this:
The data you provide will be retained by the Conservative Party and [add Name of Association/Name of MP] (“the data holders”) ….
It does not inspire confidence when they cannot even get this simple piece of information right. Oh dear.