Friday, 29 April 2011

Excitement at fever pitch-Guildhall quietly snoozes

Thursday was the night of a thousand dreams.Or at least it promised that-according to the Chronicle & Echo .If you didn't get there on time it would be difficult to get a seat.
Such was the hype for the Great Borough Council debate
.As it turned out there were many empty seats and most of those that were occupied were either local election candidates or their party groupies.

It was a well ordered and quite disciplined meeting, even the noxious BNP were listened to in sullen silence.
Their spokesman was so poor that the audience really couldn't be bothered to heckle him.They were probably mostly asleep,lulled into a comatose position by the speakers from the three main parties.

The report in Thursday's paper was painfully accurate.The three main parties were dreadful. Of the three 'leaders' only David Palethorpe of the Tories came across as anything like a human being.
The other two were as wooden and lifeless as most of the furniture in the Great Hall.Brian Hoare,the Lib-Dem leader was as stimulating and inspiring as an accountant explaining how the tax mechanism in medieval Sudan worked.
Lee Mason, the Labour leader had the world at her feet.She had nothing to lose and everything to gain.She could have inspired that audience to see a bright new future ahead for Northampton.
Unfortunately she sounded like the other half of Hoare's exposition of tax laws in medieval Sudan!

It was left to the Independent's-Tony Clarke,Malcolm Mildren and the others to inject some life into the whited sepulchre that was the debate about Northampton's future.

In essence it would appear that the Tories are going to sell off the housing stock,bring traffic to bits of Abington Street and talk to the Saints and the Cobblers quite soon!
Brian Hoare is going to continue dishing up more of the same,bearing in mind that the Con-Dem cuts would get bigger and bigger, oh and one day(someday) a brave new Grosvenor Centre would rise,and he'd talk to people.
Lee Mason promised that she too would talk to people,whether it was the same people that the other two might speak to was not made exactly clear.
My question to the platform was a simple one.Given NBC with cabinet is a one party state and scrutiny committees are also run by them,the only way for oppositions to operate is using the call in process.
How often over the last four years had the opposition groups used call in?
Palethorpe thought his group had invoked call in 3 times over four years.Lee Mason thought that her group had done about the same.
Malcolm Mildren said that the Independents had used call in about 8 times in eighteen months!
The comparison was stark and simple,the Tories don't need to use call in,they are simply waiting for control to fall in their lap.The Labour Party with only five members needed to use the council mechanisms to demonstrate their alternative-they have failed miserably!
So it was the tiny Independent group who showed the real strength of opposition for the last four years.
That was why on the night they shone as the individuals willing to challenge the vested interests on behalf ofv the people.
That's why for once an iIndependent,a Green, an SOS or a Socialist and TU is worth casting.
There were one or two other independents,notably Liam Costello who given half a chance would make a difference.
The Lib-Dems are always boasting that local elections are two horse races,this time there is a full field and not being a 'big' party is no handicap.


  1. I was disappointed the so-called Independent Chair ignored the BNP candidates when they indicated they wished to speak on certain subjects, still what can you expect from the Comical and echo, echo echo

  2. "Lulled to sleep..." A bit like you my friend...
    We all saw you with your eyes shut ~ thought you might snore at one point.

    (Just teasing you mate)

  3. Fascists use elections to obtain the oxygen of publicity.The three stooges from the BNP were so obviously gasping for air.I thought the chairman did an excellent job denying them airtime.
    Quite the highlight of my evening

  4. Good to see you do not agree with democracy

  5. When a fascist sympathiser talks about democracy that's the moment to reach for the sick bag-or the AK-47!

  6. The Labour Party was the only Party who had a woman speaker. All the rest were white male middle aged.Particularly the so called Independents

  7. Whose fault was that? If people don't want to get involved it does not matter which race, sex or age they are, nobody chooses an independednt, they choose themselves

  8. You are naive if you think the Indies choose themselves. Why did the Tony Clarke 5 only stand in Labour areas? What a great result in Castle Ward!!!!

  9. What a strange set of comments-are there two anonymouses?
    Not sure how many centuries ago there were independent speakers,as for Boothroyd, well she was more of a Tory than your average Tory. Why did decent and able independents only stand in Labour areas?Well think of the Labour councillors in those areas-Tess Scott,Terry Wire....enough said!
    And what's happened-new Labour leadership-Lee Mason,Les Marriott and Wire.A stunning talented trio!