Author Topic: Advertiser web forum for election candidates  (Read 12702 times)

0 Members and 4 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Alligator

  • Twitter - @Alliflowchart
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
  • Gender: Male
Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« on: April 28, 2008, 03:42:59 PM »
I've been following these over the last few days but missed today's session with Mark Dempsey.  http://www.adver.co.uk/display.var.2229907.0.put_your_questions_to_labour_candidate_mark_dempsey.php

The first thing I noticed was the number of questions and comments that Dan Whittle managed to post.  Can anyone confirm if he's the same Dan Whittle that is described by Anne Snelgorve as being her parliamnetary assistant and her only permanent employee in Westminster?

http://www.annesnelgrove.co.uk/9d3a9bea-456c-1254-7930-9f1c2b80f915


If so, Are the other parties all playing this game as well?  Can any of them be trusted not to try and spin every situation?   :bash:



Offline ZPW

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
  • Bob Wright better do a stellar job
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 09:22:51 PM »
This session was a little disappointing.

I'm not so concerned over how many questions Dan posted, more concerned over how many of his questions were answered.

Offline Alligator

  • Twitter - @Alliflowchart
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
  • Gender: Male
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 08:33:55 AM »
The only thing I take from this is some pleasure in seeing that such a blatant attempt to hijack the forum was seen through.

Whittle is the snot that interviewed me after the Meg Hillier meeting last year.  Funnily enough I don't think they could find anything in the interview that was pro NIR and therefore I think it wasn't deemed worthy of being published on Anne's website.

Offline Tobes

  • Regents
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4951
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 08:58:07 AM »
It is interesting to note that the conservatives mobilised so many of their associates - 'Catti' on that thread is, I suspect could well be kutti who works for Rod... so with Justin's presence as well, I think there was balance, so I'm less concerned to be honest. However, Like Zippy, I was concerned by the way mark selected the questions he wanted to answer, rather than going through in order like Justin did.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Alligator

  • Twitter - @Alliflowchart
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
  • Gender: Male
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 09:22:29 AM »
Tobes I think you're right in saying that the tories will have had representation and, to be honest, I'd be surprised if this thread gets much input from any councillors afterall, when it comes to media manipulation and any accusations relating to it, the main parties all live in glass houses.

My main objection is that Whittle lives in London and presumably only put the postcode for Anne Snelgrove's office on his profile to try and add some credibility to his whitterings.

Sadly I won't be able to follow the forum 'live' today, but it will be interesting to see if an independent candidate gets the same attention from the parties.


Offline Tobes

  • Regents
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4951
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 09:53:12 AM »
Hmmm - an interesting reflection upon and evidence of the way in which politicians 'engage' (or not) in public and with the public... We even see the trend here on TS - councillors and politicians are drawn like moths to a flame when they hear themselves being discussed - especially when they or their policies are being criticised... But getting them to participate seems nearly impossible. (There have been a few notable and honourable exceptions like Keith, Juston, PG and Dave - but these are few and far between) Whether thats due to the constrictions of the 'Standards Board' provisions, I have no idea (beyond my ken - anyone else know?) BUT what I find quite depressing is the 'aka' underlings who post the party line here and on the Adver comments pages.

Very few of our politicians actually seem to be interested in open debate. Snipes, side swipes and snidy in-jokes seem to be the order of the day. Whether thats a reflection upon the values of their politics I guess is something for the electorate to judge. Maybe they have and its another reason for low turn-out?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Alligator

  • Twitter - @Alliflowchart
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
  • Gender: Male
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 10:55:29 AM »
This could be a can of worms.

As I see it, things go wrong when people either agree or disgaree with something simply because their party supports/opposes it.  All too often we see common sense and consensual politics swept aside because the personal ambition of any given politician is better served by standing by a party than by their convictions.

If the political parties were to be swept aside and we all started again, it would be interesting to see what our political landscape would look like.  Sadly though I suspect that the party political mud slinging and cheap point scoring is endemic in the politicians psyche and would be difficult to shift.

The disappointing thing about it is that all these politicians seem to fail to understand that the good and valid points that they raise are often lost when they're delivered with a side order of party political jibes and cheap shots.  This only serves to detract attention from their core and valid points which could have otherwise been well made.

Locally we have seen evidence of the party political psychology at work, why did those councillors who left their party decide to join another party?  Surely the convictions that drove them to distance themselves from one group doesn't autmoatically mean that they have to be a member of another. Why not stand by what they believe in and show faith in their voters to appreciate that they are standing up for them?  It seems all too easy to say "I can get so much more done if I work with such and such a party".

If you take any political issue being discussed in Swindon, I think it defies probability that the positions taken by all councillors would naturally fall along party lines, and yet all too often we see this happen.  Take the canal as an example, is it realistic to expect that all the blues think it's a great idea while all the reds all think it's a festering pile of poo and all the yellows will neither be for or against it but somewhere in between?

If I were given the choice I would much prefer to be represented by a politician who's not afraid to stand up for what he/she believes in rather than what they're told they beleive in by some unelected spin doctor or a senior ranking politician from another constituency, whose election I had no say in.  In my view Frank Field and Boris Johnson are examples of a good politicians, they may embarrass their parties from time to time, but at least they tell it how it is.


Offline Tobes

  • Regents
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4951
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2008, 11:35:31 AM »
i really couldn't agree with you more! Its also interesting to note how many other people feels the same. I suspect that sooner or later this status quo will be challenged. When it happens, I want to be in the vanguard.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Mart

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5249
  • Where's my cow?
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 04:06:08 PM »
I want to be in a tank.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Peter Mallinson

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 52
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2008, 04:40:17 PM »
As I am sure everyone knows, I was a Labour councillor but am now a Conservative.  My time in the Labour group was to say the least turbulent, I did not agree with most of their ideas of manipulating people nor could I stand the incompetence rampant within the group.

I eventualy was dismissed from the party, I did not cross the floor as is often reported.  I did however join the Conservative group the next day.  I must say that my time in the Labour party and group was a complete waste, they achieved nothing and made me feel embarassed to be part of them.

Since then I have stayed in my ward and left it to the local people to decide my fate, unlike some people who left for safer places.

Why is it that some people on this web site think that all, I repeat all councillors are the same.  They are not, they are all individuals with their own values and reasons for doing public duty.    Some are much better at it than others but at least they are willing to try.

So how about trying to understand this and maybe thank them for their efforts.

Offline Tobes

  • Regents
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4951
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2008, 05:32:36 PM »
Come on Peter - wind your neck in!  ;) Whilst I can understand your frustration, surely it's up to you to correct misaprehensions?! You're a politician - principally a communicator. Its up to you to share your message with your electorate and the public, surely? Until you spoke up (eloquently by the way) I had no idea as to the reality of the situation. If you'd done that clearly when you were first aware of the inaccuracy of people perceptions of you, you would have nipped it in the bud.

People think councillors are 'all the same' - as, sadly many of them SEEM very very similar!!! The irony is, I suspect, that the party system seems to attract birds of a feather who flock together.

Some councillors most definately DO deserve thanks - and actually, I think if you look through TS you'll find plenty of examples where people have praised them for their work. Sadly, there are others who seem to behave arrogantly - or frankly, with such subterfuge, that no one has a clue as to what they actually do! In those circumstances, you can hardly be surprised if the odd rotten apple taints the barrel - thats just a sad fact of life, surely?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Mart

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5249
  • Where's my cow?
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2008, 05:50:21 PM »
Rough with the smooth fella, rough with the smooth.

Politicians of whatever status are enjoying a period of particularly low public esteem, perhaps on par with estate agents, lawyers and Sir Alex Ferguson. Factually that low esteem may well have been earned by a mendacious, deceptive, untrustworthy and opportunistic minority, but it has been earned, and now the whole political tribe has been blighted with that image, from the lowliest spearcarrier to the mightiest minister.

Consider, for a moment, how the public might perceive some recent events. Perception is so very, very important in modern politics, isn't it? That perception matters is illustrated by the gaily printed leaflets we are receiving at present, these leaflets often detail the same event, issue or debate spun in completely different directions. Residents parking for instance, lib dems and tory are claiming victories for commonsense and that the other party did nothing. So one party is clearly incorrect or misremembering. The actual fact is that permits still went up 100% for no adequately explained reason and visitors permits still time expire. So commonsense actually came off a poor second from a residents point of view, which makes both parties puffers of hot air and piffle. Persist in that vein and you will indeed all be treated with contempt and ingratitude, yet persist you will.

Anyway, some recent events and issues. Councillor buggers off to spain, continues to collect allowance, nobody notices. Country turns to poo, PM simply buggers off. Credit crunch, eu referendum, id cards, Post Office closures (I'm still waiting for the tory branded rescue package specifics by the way) olympics (why?) mp's expenses, the blitz style landscape in swindon, why does council tax go up every year (and don't give me 'but it's only 3.5%' if it's 'only' try waiving it) alternate weekly refuse collections from Victorian terraces, the invisible police, tolerance of drunk and disorderly, why the council offices look so spiffy and potholes just get a lick of paint, why the council has failed to address it's sick absence performance, where did the £200k come from for that sodding great telly, why are there so many council departments with silly names (I dare you) when political literature contradicts the other parties why does nobody apologise for being wrong, why do people who don't work get housed in the same conditions as someone who does and pays rent (ooh, that's a tricky one for you) why are ghettos allowed, why in god's name did someone approve a 17 storey steel phallus adjacent to victorian terraces, why do we think an open air coffee shop legitimises any half arsed development, why is the 'a canal a good thing' movement always validated with the 'it won't cost us nuffink argument' (if there is £52 mill sloshing about I can think of better uses) wot the frig is that 10p tax all about, do you agree the channel tunnel redefines the UK as a cul de sac, why does it look like the Somme out at Blunsdon, where's my market gone.

You get the idea, and that was just a free thinking stream from knuckle dragging old me. Imagine what a clever person could list.

You see the public cannot, or cannot be arsed, to distinguish between a good tory or a poor tory, a crappy labour or good labour or the various levels of beige in the lib dems. It's our perception of events and how they effect us that matters. The politicians standard comment for every indignity the electorate suffers basically runs : ' it wos the uvver party wot don it and we would not ave don it, and if we 'ad it would ave been better ere's a graph proving it. Vote for me' Simply doesn't cut it anymore.

Politicians drove the importance of image and spin and profited from it, politicians glammed up and enjoyed it, politicians seperated themselves from the society they were supposed to represent and politicians allowed the mendacious, deceptive, untrustworthy and opportunistic minority in their midst to bring all politicians to the point where they are universally viewed, by a growing portion of the voting public, as pondlife.

Politicians may well be individuals, yet how can we square this when they blindly adhere to party dogma persistently voting along party lines, and for whatever reasons, these deeply held convictions can be set aside and replaced with a set that are directly opposed to those held the morning before, where each success over the other party is crowed about and every failure concealed, when a party holds power it's performance is apparently perfection. Yeah, right. As a group treat us with dignity and respect and perhaps you, as a group, will get some back.

Politicians may be individuals, the electorate is not, it is a body consisting of many parts. That's why political messages never start 'Oi, Mr Bludgington, yes, the one who lives at 43 Groyne Street in Hull. This message is for you'. That's why we are assigned group names. By politicians, we, the 'Great British Public', the electorate, or the vomit inducing 'my constituents', I was not aware receipt of my vote conferred ownership. Mmm, not patronised at all.

Choice you have, fella, is to either whine about it, which would kind of conform to the currently held image, or grab some dignity, collectively get your own and your colleagues arses in gear and start fulfilling some expectations with a bit of quiet style and professionalism.

Perhaps then you will receive the respect and gratitude you feel you are due.

I can drive a tank by the way. A big one.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Alligator

  • Twitter - @Alliflowchart
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
  • Gender: Male
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2008, 08:51:50 PM »
As I am sure everyone knows, I was a Labour councillor but am now a Conservative.  My time in the Labour group was to say the least turbulent, I did not agree with most of their ideas of manipulating people nor could I stand the incompetence rampant within the group.

I eventualy was dismissed from the party, I did not cross the floor as is often reported.  I did however join the Conservative group the next day.  I must say that my time in the Labour party and group was a complete waste, they achieved nothing and made me feel embarassed to be part of them.

Since then I have stayed in my ward and left it to the local people to decide my fate, unlike some people who left for safer places.

Why is it that some people on this web site think that all, I repeat all councillors are the same.  They are not, they are all individuals with their own values and reasons for doing public duty.    Some are much better at it than others but at least they are willing to try.

So how about trying to understand this and maybe thank them for their efforts.

So, Peter now you've got this off your chest, were the convictions that drove you to stand and serve as a Labour councillor so cheap and inconsequential that you could trade them in the following day and join another party?

Why not stand as an Independent?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 09:21:07 PM by Alligator »

Offline Claire Ellis

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 46
  • Gender: Female
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2008, 09:12:36 PM »
It is very disconcerting that you feel that way about all politicians. There are Machiavellians in all walks of life, not just in politics, that is human nature. This shouldn’t detract from the people across all parties who are genuinely putting in hard work and effort, to improve standards for all.

I have not spent the last three months treading the streets to waste my time talking about the inadequacies of the opposition, that doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I have been trying to find out what the residents issues actually are, which is the reason I am standing. If I wanted to join a debating society then I would.

I do not have a political background, I just know that what is going on is not right and it doesn’t matter if you agree with me or not, that is the whole point of our democratic society is it not? Don’t you think the fact that you are getting worked up and responding to each other is brilliant? Because it means you care, have opinions and want to shout about them, I know I do.

I have to add at this point that I am new to it all, so I am doing this the way I believe it should be done.  I am however disappointed that no one has taken me up on the offer of joining me out and about, but there is still two days to go, and I am still out there getting wet!!

I await to be annihilated by your responses!!

Offline Alligator

  • Twitter - @Alliflowchart
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
  • Gender: Male
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2008, 09:20:16 PM »
Hi Claire, you certainly won't get annihilated by me. 

I don't really disagree with what you say.  Your motives appear genuine and in the interests of the people of Parks. But what you also fail to say is why you feel that you can do this as a conservative.  Why did you feel the need to stand as a representative of a party?

Offline concerned_of_Old_Town

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 481
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2008, 09:26:11 PM »
I've been quite impressed with the format of the advertiser web forums but I seem to have meetings when they are on so never get round to asking questions.

 I hope after the election they continue with the web forum for various Swindon movers and shakers obvious people be Rod Bluh, the chief executive of swindon council can't remember his name!, Peter James? (bloke in charge of new swindon company), Maurice Malpas anyone else?

Offline Simon

  • Jnr. Jedi
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2274
    • Swindon Climate Action Network
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2008, 09:48:56 PM »
It is very disconcerting that you feel that way about all politicians. There are Machiavellians in all walks of life, not just in politics, that is human nature. This shouldn’t detract from the people across all parties who are genuinely putting in hard work and effort, to improve standards for all.

I have not spent the last three months treading the streets to waste my time talking about the inadequacies of the opposition, that doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I have been trying to find out what the residents issues actually are, which is the reason I am standing. If I wanted to join a debating society then I would.

I do not have a political background, I just know that what is going on is not right and it doesn’t matter if you agree with me or not, that is the whole point of our democratic society is it not? Don’t you think the fact that you are getting worked up and responding to each other is brilliant? Because it means you care, have opinions and want to shout about them, I know I do.

I have to add at this point that I am new to it all, so I am doing this the way I believe it should be done.  I am however disappointed that no one has taken me up on the offer of joining me out and about, but there is still two days to go, and I am still out there getting wet!!

I await to be annihilated by your responses!!


Hello Claire, it sounds like you're getting involved in local politics for all the right reasons, and I feel I must wish you the best of luck on election day, even if I don't really approve of the party whose rosette you've chosen. I just hope that, if elected, you will keep all those good reasons in the forefront of your mind when doing your duties as a cllr, and that you won't ever let party politics grind you down, or let the party bully you into putting their interests above those of the people you represent.

 O0
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline David Sammels

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72
    • My Council Blog
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2008, 10:33:24 PM »
Well naturally people in the same political groups will agree on many of the same issues - after all - that's why we band together in parties.  When groups have group meetings they decide what their policy will be as a group and go forward with it.  That doesn't mean that everyone in the party agrees with everything; personally I am in favour of votes at 16, abolishing tuition fees and am against elected police chiefs (I don't like politicising the police) - all things where I take a view that is against the party line.
Conservative Cllr for St Philips (Upper Stratton)  My Blog - http://davesammels.wordpress.com

Offline Claire Ellis

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 46
  • Gender: Female
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2008, 10:42:27 PM »
Hi Claire, you certainly won't get annihilated by me. 




Offline Claire Ellis

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 46
  • Gender: Female
Re: Advertiser web forum for election candidates
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2008, 10:50:24 PM »
I am standing as I believe the current government are ever increasingly falling short, I cannot in good faith idly sit by and watch what they are doing to the country.  I am scared to bring my children up in such an environment, where the word family has little or no regard, where our safety is of no importance and the repercussion is of no consequence.  On a local level, people are being left to fester in their own problems.  I will not sit and quote facts and figures as I would neither be able to, nor do I feel I need to.  Just going out and meeting the local people is telling enough.

I believe that the Conservatives stand for the things I believe in.  I am also glad that Simon does not agree with what I believe to be right, because that will ensure that all governments will not become complacent.  I do not want to be complacent, I want to make a difference, and I truly believe that I can with the support of some great people within the conservative party and in the local area who really do care.

I also agree with Cllr Sammels, I will not be behind everything, but as I have stated before I am new to all this, and I know that the Conservatives reflect my views.