Saturday, 10 January 2015

Tweet of the Day that wasn't – 10 January 2014

I haven't done one of these in a long while, but this one was just begging to be immortalised, just in case it got deleted. Oh, oops, it has just vanished, and I did try to be quick...

It referred to Labour's candidates for the 'Rochester & Horsted' (sic) council ward as including one 'Derek Mutton' (sic again). I bet they're feeling somewhat sheepish about that one! Hopefully it managed to get into an archive so will be publicly visible once its index has been updated.

UPDATES: a corrected version has now been posted; and they are now titled 'Rochestersth&Horsted'...

"Your candidates Derek Munton, Joe Murray and Elaine Thomas feel 4.4m may be better spent on our failing primary schools"

The ward is, of course, correctly named 'Rochester South and Horsted' – and I am sure that better brains than theirs could have come up with a better shorthand ID to fit with the Twitter specifications.

I don't blame Labour for targeting my old ward, by the way: they have been coming second there ever since the boundaries changed, displacing the Liberal Democrats into third place long before that latter party's woes nationwide. They know it is a 'nexus ward', and with its nexus member out of contention (that's me, by the way) it is nowadays much more vulnerable than it has ever been since coming into being. Its main strut has been removed, and all parties locally know it.

The poor handling by the ward incumbents of the Rochester Airport improvements has allowed a situation to develop that is now against the Conservatives' stance and plays right into Labour's – something that was never within a million miles of happening when I represented the ward, and of course never would have happened while I was there.

They are also as keen as ever to get their ageing former councillor Derek 'Mumbling' Munton (not Mutton!) back onto the Council – to which he has failed to be re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and is in reality a spent force, though local Labour either can't or won't see that. Thus they continue to field him in one ward after another: Strood South in 2003 and 2007, Rochester West in 2011, and now Rochester South & Horsted in 2015. The proven loser still fights a hopeless battle...

It is probably worth mentioning that, although I do not personally dislike Derek Munton, he is the one who tried making mischief for me in both the local newspapers and with the governmental councillor watchdog, but to no avail as it was easily shown that I had no case to answer and his vindictiveness fell on stony ground. I have all the evidence on file, and have shared it in public in the past.

However cleverly (and craftily) local Labour try to manipulate the agenda and public perception in the ward, their chances are still not that great – provided that the Conservative councillors extract their digits and stop treating the job as a casual, spare-time activity.

It is no secret that the state of affairs in the ward would now be orders of magnitude better and more secure if I had been back on the Council – but it is too late for that now, and I am no longer interested. The bed has been made and they need to lie in it. The Conservatives' position in the ward are a long way from being secure, and it is exclusively the result of their putting their own agenda above the interests of the communities (ten of 'em!) they purport to serve.

They are going to have their work cut out for them between now and May, not exactly helped by having a General Election running alongside, but it is possible to hold those three council seats. If they don't put this first in their lives, they deserve to get kicked out – so the ball is in their court, no-one else's as far as this is concerned. Otherwise, my people might end up with 'Mutton', however dressed up, when they deserve much better!

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