Tory activist complains because Southend is no longer run by the Tories

Estimable blogger Matt Dent describes Cllr Jonathan Garston as a lonely figure in Milton ward. It is not a description I entirely agree with as Jonathan managed to find an impressive number of Tories in May to give him another four years. Of course, special thanks was doubtless also given to Vida Mansfield, whose idea of progressive politics must include hobbling Labour’s chances of defeating the Tories in this marginal ward.

Garsty includes at least one Milton resident as his friend. Gavin Chambers (Cllr Chambers to give him his formal title) is a man aghast at the temerity of the homeless to be homeless. So appalled is this Milton resident that he is tempted by the delights of Leigh.

Hang on though, is he a Milton resident? He shows Loughton as his address on the Epping Forest District Council website. Mind you, perhaps he is as confused about his home address as he is about his politics. After all, this one time Liberal Democrat went Indie before seeking comfort in the bosom of the Conservative Party.

Of course, Cllr Chambers might consider looking into the policies of a Government that has seen homelessness increase under its watch.

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16 Responses to Tory activist complains because Southend is no longer run by the Tories

  1. Peter Walker says:

    That’s a pathetic slur against Vida.

    There are many in the Labour Party who have forgotten what it is for – and I include most of the MPs amongst that number. Is it any wonder, then, that decent people were turning in ever-increasing numbers against the Second Party of Austerity? The party that didn’t even defend itself against the Tory Lie that it was responsible for the 2008 crash?

    There are signs that a grassroots movement is once again awakening in the Labour Party, but the problems is that the people with the power – the MPs – don’t like it. They still want their generous expenses, their £7000 a year pay rise and the “buggins’ turn” of first-past-the-post.

    I wonder why it is that Corbyn was elected with such a massive majority? Could it just have been a backlash against the Tory-lite that was on offer?

    Julian, I thought you were better than that.

  2. Rob Brown says:

    Lol at Peter Walker.

  3. It’s not a “pathetic slur”, Peter, it’s electoral mathematics. You, me and Julian would all, I suspect, agree that the present electoral system is not the one we would choose. But first past the post is what we’ve got, so it’s what we have to live with.

    Gray lost to Jonathan Garston by 51 votes. Vida received over 400. It’s safe, I think, to assume that none of those 400+ wanted a Tory councillor, and at least 51 of them would have preferred a Labour councillor to a Tory one.

    Therefore regardless of intent, or whether you think it’s fair, yes: Vida secured Jonathan Garston’s re-election, just as Simon Cross did the same for Lawrence Davies (UKIP – Kursaal) in 2014.

  4. Jon Fuller says:

    It would be equally fair to argue that Labour should withdraw and give Vida a better chance of success against the Conservatives.
    However, while many within the Green, Lib-Dem and Labour parties see themselves on the “progressive” side of politics there is one enormous gulf between us (Green and the others) that cannot be bridged. Labour is still deeply wedded locally to an economic strategy that contributes to rapid climate change.
    As The Echo reported a couple of days ago, we will lose Canvey Island and much of Southend thanks to politicians who think you can only sustain/grow an economy by increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
    There are people in this town who don’t want that future, and most don’t want an increase in the 400,000 people already being killed annually by climate change. This group of people (I call the “eco-intelligent”) don’t want an increase in aviation, or new out of town developments that increase car use, or the wasting of public money on a wider A127, that will starve public transport of the funds needed to deliver sustainable solutions. Many of the “eco-intelligent” cannot bring themselves to vote Labour or Lib-Dem because these two parties cannot be trusted to deliver smart solutions to the crisis we face.
    Thanks to those politicians (here and abroad) who have implemented anti-environment policies, the pain people feel from climate change will be foremost in minds by 2020.
    So, the only way to stop the Greens will be for LibDems and Labour to adopt “eco-intelligent” policies; stop spending money on new/wider arterial roads, stop building edge/out of town and start implementing policies that dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Simply saying “I care about the environment” isn’t going to be enough.

  5. Those of us who have to deal with the reality of residents’ aspirations understand that compromises have to be made. Unless the Green Party understand this they will remain little more than a lobbying organisation.

    I would also add that the future of the planet (limited in any case) is enhanced by technological innovation.

    However you look at it, Vida’s campaign was geared to stop a Labour victory. She will be doing the same this year, which, if successful, will mean that this environmentalist and animal rights campaigner will be replaced by a Tory. If that is what you want, then fine. However, do not pretend that any other outcome is what you are after.

  6. Rob Brown says:

    How did the Green Parties house building commitments fit in with their environmental policy? It is easy to promise when you know you won’t have to deliver.

  7. Jon Fuller says:

    Julian – 1. Since joining the GP just over a year ago I have not met a single member who didn’t realise that politics is complex, necessitating some degree of compromise. But we have some very clear ‘red lines’.
    2. The GP has consistently sought to promote technological innovation, for example the various energy storage developments that mean humanity can now enjoy a zero carbon future. I have also spent the last couple of months promoting amongst MPs and Lords “Ecotricity’s” sustainable anaerobic digestion process that has the potential to supply virtually the whole of the UK’s home heating needs.
    3. I have never seen you as an “environmentalist”. None of my very many “eco-intelligent” contacts support the expansion of aviation, nor expansion of road traffic by building new roads/widening major roads. “Environmentalists” work to reduce car use and flying.

    Rob – Elect us and see if we are any good. If not, sack us.

  8. Jon – Brighton tried that. I was there. You were appalling. They sacked you.

  9. Jon Fuller: You do rather have a perverse agenda when it comes to me. However, whether you see me as an environmentalist or not, that is what I am. I was a Green Party member long before you.

    As regards to electoral reality: I am a long-standing campaigner for reform. However, until then we both know that Vida will finish third or fourth in Milton in May. I will finish first or second. If you prefer the Tories to me (which you evidently did in May) then you will be delighted if Vida steals enough of the centre-left vote to deny me success. At that point you will be able to applaud another Tory victory in Milton.

  10. Rob Brown says:

    I was there in Brighton too. I believe we mentioned this at your Parliamentary hustings.

  11. Jon Fuller says:

    Matt – It’s not that simple – look at the share of the vote that Caroline Lucas gets. My advice to you and Julian is to look long and hard at your core values – that is what I do when I engage in debate with others. This week it was ‘The Kippers’ (e.g. James Moyies at the Southend High School for Girls debate).
    The huge influx into the Green Party in 2014 was largely from amongst people who sought better core values.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but Matt and Julian both support an economic strategy that will result in one awful outcome – increasing the 340,000 infants killed per annum due to climate change and bringing us closer to the point that Mark Carney refers to as the “Climate Event Horizon”.
    The “eco-intelligent” want policies that will reduce the number of children killed and draw us back from that “climate event horizon”. The Green Party, and all genuine environmentalists, want the same thing – to stop the expansion of aviation, to reduce car use, to stop Fracking/and all fossil fuels and, instead, seek an intelligent response – build high quality, spacious, well insulated homes, properly insulate all homes, get people into physically active travel, or onto the bus/train (which means keeping all available funding for public transport), get people into eco-travel here within the UK, reducing aviation, etc. etc..
    There is no vendetta here. It is beyond me that Julian feels IT is all about him. IT has always been purely and solely about core values – the desire to protect the weak and vulnerable from those who will hurt them.
    To emphasise the point – one very good friend of mine may be a ‘victim’ in 2016 – Peter Wexham. He is a very good pal, I admire him very much. He was the “greenest” councillor on SBC by far, but his party is deeply divided locally on core values. The Longley/Collins contingent are deeply wedded to “business as usual” economics that will result in such things as the total flooding of Canvey and much of Southend (see above), and policies that will increase the number of children killed every year by climate change.
    My mentor was Jim Trevett when I was in the Labour Party, and I try every day to live my life in accordance with the core values he espoused. Labour in 2016 is very different to Jim. It is about the desperate need to “win” – a “Blair like need to win”. Labour has lost the overriding concept of doing the right thing.
    If you want people back supporting the Labour Party then you need to change. If you won’t change then decent “eco-intelligent” people will look to the Greens.

  12. Matt – It’s not that simple – look at the share of the vote that Caroline Lucas gets.

    Well that proves my point, really. Caroline Lucas, who had no power and was purely a protest, opposition MP, was deemed to have done well and returned with an increased majority. The Green councillors, who had had to exercise power and stuffed it up royally, were deemed to have been appalling and rejected wholesale. So no, on the evidence I don’t see why anyone would ever trust the Greens with power.

    There is no vendetta here. It is beyond me that Julian feels IT is all about him.

    The sole reason for standing for parliament, according to you yourself, was because you found out that Julian was the Labour candidate, did not like him, and wanted to stop him. I’m not sure how he, or anyone else, is supposed to read that.

    More broadly, Jon, the problem with your view is that you view the environment as the only thing that matters. I agree (and so does Julian) that it is very important, but the fact is that by suddenly abandoning our economic model a great many people will suffer very badly from the ensuing chaos. I want to see a great many more environmental measures pursued in this country and internationally. I want COP21 to come up with real, legally-binding targets for emission reduction. I want the government to stop subsidising fossil fuels and return subsidies to renewable energies. I also want to see a massive housebuilding programme, including new towns, which by and large the nimbyist streak of the Green Party has always opposed.

    You say:

    It is about the desperate need to “win” – a “Blair like need to win”. Labour has lost the overriding concept of doing the right thing.

    as if it gives you some moral superiority. The Greens aren’t interested in winning, you’ve made that very clear, and so what have you gained from your efforts? You’ve achieved none of your policies, you have no control over important decisions, and on the whole you have helped the Tories — both with the election of councillors in Milton and Leigh and with the election of a majority Tory government. And look what the latter is doing to the environment? I’m sure, though, that you will tell me that is really all Labour’s fault, for not being as pure as you, but some of us are in this to make a positive difference, not just to feel nice and smug that we’re better and purer and more righteous than everyone else.

    Your fundamentalist unwillingness to compromise hasn’t moved your core aim any closer to actualisation, and embarrassingly has actually moved it further away.

  13. Jon Fuller says:

    Matt – For the most part the facts prove what you say to be flat wrong. But on the Brighton question I think you have a right to criticise Jason Kitcat. But, equally, Labour has suffered its calamities in local government over the years and, for the most part, people try to learn lessons from their mistakes and move on. But if you honestly believe that when Labour has made a mess (and there have been some spectacular disasters over the years) then you are in effect arguing that the whole of Labour must never be trusted again !

    The argument you have deployed needs a bit more thought.

    Turning to points of detail: –

    * My decision to stand against Julian and the Lib-Dem candidate took a lot of thought. I have many friends within the local LibDems, but I had a strong hunch that a pro-aviation expansion candidate would be selected by the LibDems. Sure enough that proved to be the case. The candidate also supported expansion of the road network wasting £millions that should be spent on the only solutions that actually work – public transport. My understanding is that Julian also supports the widening of the A127 to 3 lanes. I was also deeply concerned by his comments about speeding in the local paper. I have been a road safety campaigner for nearly as long as I have been an eco-campaigner (30 years) and was instrumental in getting the Blair government to half the number of children killed on our roads. The campaign I led saved the lives of over 340 children over a 10 year period. I was appalled by the prospect that Julian might want to turn back the clock. So it was for policy reasons (real life or death policy reasons) that I stood against Julian.

    * Expanding airports and building major new roads are called “business as usual” policies. It is this model that now propels humanity towards over 2°C of warming. The IPCC and mainstream science tell us this will result in the loss of life of hundreds of millions of people. We are already killing 400,000 people per annum and, thanks to politicians who support this model, we are going to kill a lot more. Currently we are killing 340,000 infants per annum under the age of 1 year. Julian, you and others like you have that on your conscience.

    * It is impossible to tackle climate change by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. You support the expansion of renewables – good. But we cannot stay below 2°C if we deploy the renewables slowly and continue to expand road traffic and aviation. The only way to stay below 2°C is to make dramatic cuts from all sectors immediately.

    * Jobs. The UK is in a unique position to get out of its economic woes by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. By slashing gas and other fossil fuel imports by, for example, initiating a huge home insulation programme, we can create hundreds of thousands of well paid jobs. If we get people to use their cars less and public transport more we continue to reduce fossil fuel imports and create yet more jobs in public transport. Turning to tourism, if we push up the price of flying to pay for full carbon-offsetting, we encourage more people to holiday here in the UK – creating yet more UK jobs. So, an impartial reader can only conclude that the Greens are spot on when it comes to job creation.

    * So your argument that Greens only care about the environment, and nothing else, is clearly false.

    * I am the last person to claim any form of “moral superiority”. I do however listen carefully to what the churches have to say about climate change. What is now clear is that religious leaders have come to recognise that this is the greatest moral issue in the world today and are making some strong demands of the public, politicians and business. The local church leaders I have spoken to recently don’t want me to shut up – they want to hear more demands to tackle the core moral issue (it is deeply immoral to kill the poor and very young vulnerable children by expanding polluting industries).

    * I have spoken to every Green Party member who intends to stand in May 2016 and I think I am correct in saying they all recognise that the way to gain electoral success is to build the share of the vote incrementally every year. So, again, you are wrong to argue that we are not interested in winning

    * “fundamentalist”, “smug” “righteous” – you are not into building bridges are you?! But I am the type of chap who just shrugs off the insults.

    * What does Fuller want? – Because the lives of hundreds of millions of people are at stake, and there is a high probability that unprecedented loss of life will ensue, I only want councillors in office who are 100% committed to driving down greenhouse gas emissions from every sector. This issue dwarfs all others.

  14. Are you standing for election in 2016, Jon?

  15. Vote Green, get blue. It is as simple as that.

  16. Rob Brown says:

    Lol at Jon Fuller.

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