Thursday, 16 April 2009

Tory Tory Tory

The local Conservatives seem to pioneering a fourth way in local government - half-arsed politics.

The meeting of the Corporate, Community and External Affairs committee voted to call-in the cabinet's decision to award Askett-Hawk an exclusive period to develop their proposals for Kings Meadow. Andrew Cumpsty blustered his way through an unconvincing argument for delaying the restoration of Kings Meadow even further. Even more incredible when you take into account the fact that his party chairs the scrutiny panel that recommended it.

In fact if you look back on the last year, the Tories seem to be pathologically incapable of making a decision.

When it came to replacing the Civic, a process that they had been involved with since the start, they bottled it after an intervention in the press from Rob Wilson and instead chose to go back to the drawing board and delay that programme to the point where delivering it before the Civic falls down has to be questioned. When it came to setting a budget, one of the most fundamental duties of a local council, they couldn't come up with a single proposal apart from offering the electorate 'as much gold as they could eat'. And now we have their fudge over Kings Meadow, yet again following Rob Wilson squirming over their council position at a public meeting.

The local Tory party does seem to be going through a little internal crisis, evidence of which is their shocking treatment of Isobel Ballsdon. She was unceremoniously booted out by the boys despite leading the successful Tory response to the Childrens' Services JAR report for which she had earned enormous respect for the way she handled it. Isobel has put on a loyal and brave face since but really, that was shoddy politicking.

There now are question marks being posted around the forums and comment pages from Tory activists about Andrew Cumpsty's ability to lead the local party and it is true that he owes his position to a casting vote. Underneath the Tories are deeply divided and apparently led by the nose by Rob Wilson's re-election campaign. Even that seems to be out of his hands as he allows his minions to fabricate pictures for his glossy leaflets without censure.

It will be interesting indeed to see if the Tories can hold themselves together in a display of public unity when it is clear to outside observers that they are riven with factions whose only common goal is power at all costs.


Nowtas said...

Was Rob Wilson squirming over the positions really what led to fudge being spread over kings meadow? Dirty...

Andrew Waters said...


Ask your self a few of questions:

How many seats do the Conservatives need to take full control of the council?

Now how many do you guys need?

So if people want to kick Labour out, who gives them a better chance of so doing Tories or the Liberals?

If the opinion polls are to be believed, who is going to form the next national Government?

Do not misinterpret healthy internal debate for division in the ranks, we have very clear idea's and a unified strong belief in what we can achieve:

1/ Return 2 Conservative MP's to represent Reading at the next General Election.

2/ Gain control of Reading Borough Council within the next 2 years.

3/ Do our part in returning a Conservative Government to office.

So, yes we can be sniped at & criticised, but be certain, the Liberal party will never ever be able to achieve the objectives that are now within our grasp.

Was said...

Ce n'est plus la change.

I've lost count of the number of times the local Tories have propped up this discredited Labour regime. There is only one opposition party in Reading and it isn't blue.

Perhaps you'd like to ask your local party to put in a motion of no confidence to bring Labour down if you are that eager about taking power. They won't though. Local Conservatives are too scared of actually having to run the place and make a decision to do that.

However, you are quite right about the Liberal Party. A total of 27 councillors and 3 county councillors isn't much of a power base.

Andrew Waters said...

Hey, Warren

This is one Tory thats gunning for them but good.

howard thomas said...

Andrew! fancy meeting you here!
With reference to your points.
1. Quite possibly correct----but why---could it be the appalling government we have right now,so much so that the electorate are going to vote for anyone who is likely to get rid of them---nothing to do with wonderful Tory policies then.
2, Again , could only be by default----an interesting point would be that the Tories would have to actually come up with a costed budget instead of sitting there with thei fingers in their ears singing "we don't want no rise"
3,You won't have to do very much ---Gordon is doing it all for you!

Andrew---your "healthy internal debate" looked much more like policy making as you go along.
With votes reflecting the Tory policy as quoted on Cllr Willis's blog the recommendation to the cabinet would have been to go with the KMC bid.
Congratulations though on the Tories eventually realising that a massive hotel /multi storey parking and high level connecting walkways simply does not fit in with the Kings Meadow area.

Finally never forget that Thatcher got to be PM because crap government. Blair did the same.Cameron may do the same, but nothing is set in stone!
With some decent and fair policies the Tories would certainly make it as the next government, instead of possibly. We wait to see if it happens.