Friday, April 07, 2006

Letters to the editor...

I read in the letters pages this week of the morley Obs that Stewart McArdle, independent Councillor for Morley North, observed an election candidate giving his house a wide berth when leafleting for the Leeds Election next month. He doesn't say who it was so it is just speculation, but it is interesting to observe how members of political parties begin to regard anyone not for them as against them. Indeed, I pulled up at my house one day a few months ago to find a Labour Town Councillor walking back down my front path who visibly started and then looked guilty when he realised it was me and he had just leafleted my house.

Stewart McArdle writes cogent letters and I have considerable admiration for his musical knowledge he has imparted to Morley FM, even though I don't always agree with his views on Government being the solution rather than the problem. In passing, there is a review of Morley High School's recent show on page 18 by an SM, I wonder if it is Stewie Mc? it could be, the prose style looks familiar.

On the same page as the show review, there is an "advertisement feature" titled Call in experts for electrics about not being allowed to do your own wiring any more, sidelined with an advert from John Prescott's ODPM telling us that the new rules are for our own good, as of course, no matter how competent we think we are, we might not be. There is an irony here, because an accompanying photo of a tradesman wiring up a distribution box is definitely not to code, it includes an American mains socket which isn't earthed and the wiring colours aren't european. How odd!

Tucked away on page 20 is a letters extra. The first letter is having a go at Coun Gareth Beevers for having the audacity to not be restanding in the Leeds elections next month. It also speculates on the possible reasons which may or may not be wide of the mark. The second letter is having a go at prospective candidate Terry Elliott who it is implied was instrumental in getting rid of the Morley Magistrates Court and his Committee recommended the closure. from previous chats with Terry, I suspect that recommended is not the right word, perhaps agreed to based on Hobson's choice?

Apparently, the two letters are from ladies with different names but a common lineage- I'm told they are sisters. I also wonder whether they share something else in common, namely memebrship of the Labour Party and a willingness to agree to submit letters written by others in their name?

Of course, if you throw enough mud, some sticks. Both of the "victims" will undoubtedly write rebuttals, which will either clarify matters or add fire to the flames.

I've always been of the view that the best politicians are the ones who don't actually want to do the job but once elected get on with it. I suspect that Terry Elliotts' motives to stand are to keep the opposition out rather than any form of self-aggrandisement.

My own motives to stand on Morley Town Council were two-fold: I wanted to keep out the BNP and I wanted to have my say at Town Council meetings, where I frequently cringed at the lack of cogent discussion and the roughshod handling of correct due process. I have frequently been outspoken in the (coming up to) two years since I was elected but I continue to feel uncomfortable about the fervent spending of other people's money and the role that the council actually has which is simply a Parish Council no matter how much some Members hanker for the old days pre-1974. Whilst we have become a Quality Council, I remain to be convinced that it actually gives us any particular capabilities that cannot be distorted and twisted by both local and central Government if what we decide doesn't suit them. It is as if we have been delegated responsibility rather than authority, which is generally the wrong way round...

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