Talkswindon

Coffee Talk & What's On => Rm 101. Misc. Odds and Ends => Topic started by: Tea Boy on October 17, 2012, 04:28:42 PM

Title: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tea Boy on October 17, 2012, 04:28:42 PM
After reading the adver today, have we a Jimmy in our midst? :wink: :wink:

yeah, but without the looks or the money >:D now then. now then......
Title: Re: Jimmy Saville.
Post by: I Could Do That on October 17, 2012, 05:05:08 PM
Ah but, 'ows about, 'ows about?  >:D
Title: Re: Jimmy Saville.
Post by: the gorgon on October 17, 2012, 06:10:47 PM
Goodness gracious, guys and gals.

Jangle jangle, jewellery jewellery (or doesn't the deputy get the nice big necklace?).

 >:D
Title: Re: Jimmy Saville.
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 17, 2012, 06:39:31 PM
At least Nick Martin is alive and able to defend himself, which I expect him to do vigorously.

Having been accused by the police on a Saturday Night, when you would expect they would have more important issues to deal with, of taking photographs of Children in Walcot Library I know exactly how he feels.  Although I offered immediate access to my computer to show them the photographs I had taken, they refused, which at the time made me very angry.  If I have one regret is that I did not turn it on its head and instruct a Barrister for damages.  But that then, as they say is history, but it still rankles.

As for Jimmy Savile I am very uncomfortable about the whole business and whilst I agree it should be investigated and counselling and assessment of the affected people should be given, it should be done out of the public eye and away from the 'injury' lawyers who are set to make a fortune.

As for the article it makes interesting reading from which you should make your own deductions.

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9988295.Swindon_s_deputy_mayor_vows_to_fight_sexual_harassment_claim/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9988295.Swindon_s_deputy_mayor_vows_to_fight_sexual_harassment_claim/)
Title: Re: Nick Martin - Abuse claim (topic split)
Post by: Tobes on October 18, 2012, 09:02:10 PM
Good idea to split this topic. This is likely to be a big story over the next few weeks.
Title: Re: Story in Adver
Post by: Tobes on October 19, 2012, 08:46:45 PM
News on this one will be out over the next couple of days...

The case was heard today...
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 20, 2012, 05:55:39 AM

Quote from: Cllr Martin
“By some coincidence, on May 21 an officer who had responsibility over Lydiard Park lodged a complaint against me, and that disabled any value for money or management reviews I could have conducted.”

What is it with Lydiard Park?, I remember the politically inspired nastiness - including politically generated lurid rumours of the sexual relationship between a high profile officer and former business sponsors of Lydiard Park which appeared to concidentally peak with the ousting of Sarah Finch-Crisp from her former position at Lydiard.  I'm wondering whether a recurring modus operandi is being uncovered here and if someone is reaping a bitter harvest of their own sowing.  Sounds like Cllr Martin is alleging that the complaint is made by someone being fearful of losing their job because of his interest in them.

Coun Martin said:

Quote
“The full finance and weight of the borough’s HR department seems to have supported the person making the allegation, whereas I’m being obliged, out of my pension, to pay for my own barrister to give me appropriate advice in the circumstances, which is extremely unfair.”

Ah, it seems that, having gotten away with treating the public like shit for so long, it comes as something of a surprise to Cllr Martin that Council employees enjoy some protection from abuse. 

Coun Martin also said:

Quote from: Cllr Martin
“Just because somebody else from the cultural area of the council corroborated the words doesn’t necessarily mean I said them.” 

But it also might well mean that he did say them, and did act in the manner alleged.

It seems a bit odd that Cllr Martin has formally engaged a barrister although no criminal charges have yet been laid against him. I would have thought his mate Russell would advise him pro bono publico, (with Cllr Martin being 'the public'), but perhaps a misconstrued/perfectly well understood* comment about his Bono in Publico is what lies at the root of the allegation against him..... 

* Delete as approriate
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: jennyb on October 20, 2012, 07:37:34 AM
Cllr Martin's comments regarding the need for him to pay for his own legal advice ( whether this is premature instruction or not) is on it's own quite instructive.

If he feels that it is not fair that he has to pay for expert advice to deal with this Council.. then why is  this not fair when it comes to the public?

Is the £ in the public's pocket of less value or easier to earn or save than the £ in Cllr Martin's pocket?

Or he is issuing the standard politician's lament.... oh woe is me?

On another note... how did a standards complaint get into the Adver before it was to be heard? Did Cllr Martin compromise confidentiality by speaking about this?

If a member of the public who had raised a complaint spoke to the Adver about it before it had been heard by the panel... what would happen?

Or is there one set of rules for Cllrs and another for the public.... again?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 20, 2012, 12:00:13 PM
Its a VERY interesting case...

Anyone heard what the result was? PLENTY of rumours rife it seems...  ???
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Terry Reynolds on October 20, 2012, 12:02:48 PM
report in the adver, seems he has to write a letter of apology, do some 'training' etc etc, so it would aslo seem found guilty !!.
some da that was !! :wink:
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 20, 2012, 12:20:15 PM
Quote
it should be done out of the public eye and away from the 'injury' lawyers who are set to make a fortune.

Why does it make you so uncomfortable? Savile was not only bang to rights, given the huge amount of evidence and witness statements coming to light - but its also a very important insight into how people in positions of authority can use their influence to subvert the course of justice. (Also, those same people often have pockets deep enough to hire expensive lawyers or barristers to try and slew an advantage...)

Savile was a shameless self-publicist, and someone who used his public position to get close to his victims - but you want the investigation to be run in private? Why? I think this should be done as much in the public eye as possible. What should be limited is the prurient aspects - but as long as the majority of the population hungrily devour the pap fed them by the tabloids, I guess that's unavoidable. Its car-crash media. Instead of people bleating about the worst aspects of fleet street - they should exercise some judgement and stop buying the papers who are the worst offenders...

BTW, your comment about injury lawyers seems somewhat 'misguided' - you clearly can't sue someone for injury when they're dead.

[EDIT - this reply was to Richard Symonds post which seems to have been deleted...?]
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Bassettina on October 20, 2012, 12:57:41 PM

On another note... how did a standards complaint get into the Adver before it was to be heard? Did Cllr Martin compromise confidentiality by speaking about this?

If a member of the public who had raised a complaint spoke to the Adver about it before it had been heard by the panel... what would happen?

Or is there one set of rules for Cllrs and another for the public.... again?

Rather concerning. I'm not sure the victim would have been allowed to do something similar. It also presents a worrying insight into what people (including staff) could face when they challenge councillors.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: jennyb on October 20, 2012, 02:08:10 PM

On another note... how did a standards complaint get into the Adver before it was to be heard? Did Cllr Martin compromise confidentiality by speaking about this?

If a member of the public who had raised a complaint spoke to the Adver about it before it had been heard by the panel... what would happen?

Or is there one set of rules for Cllrs and another for the public.... again?

Rather concerning. I'm not sure the victim would have been allowed to do something similar. It also presents a worrying insight into what people (including staff) could face when they challenge councillors.

It is of concern that a cllr with so many years of experience and who, as it stands, will supposedly represent Swindon as Mayor in 2013 is deemed to be unable to recognise what is inappropriate behaviour.  Just who will deliver this 'training' and what will it be? How will this be monitored? Will it have to be signed off/assessed within a given period? 

Is the gentleman appropriate Mayoral material?

As to insight into what the public face when challenging councillors... from personal experience it can be very shabby and intimidatory. 

Thankfully not all councillors behave in this way. 

Sadly several do.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 20, 2012, 02:43:16 PM
jenny B, Just who will deliver this 'training' and what will it be? How will this be monitored? Will it have to be signed off/assessed within a given period? 

I had some concerns with this being lumped with comments about Jimmy Saville, in my opinion the two cases are not comparable and still hold this opinion.

However if the adver have fairly reported what was said and decided, then I'd agree with Jenny and question the validity of who does what from now on.  A lot of best practice and values around this sort of thing, i.e. how you treat people etc. have been dumped by SBC - no not dumped, just not promoted, not learned, not bothered with, rather than a purposeful 'dump'. 

I think it will be up to all of us and colleagues to keep an eye on that 'who does what' from now on.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 20, 2012, 05:03:57 PM
Quote
I had some concerns with this being lumped with comments about Jimmy Saville, in my opinion the two cases are not comparable and still hold this opinion.

OK, agreed. Thats why I originally asked for a topic split. Lets all please keep this thread on subject from now on.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Mart on October 20, 2012, 07:31:32 PM
jenny B, Just who will deliver this 'training' and what will it be?

Oooh, me, me!

I absolutelyfeckinguarantee success. I'll bring me own car battery and crocodile clips.

A preview of my training methods can be found in Tom Sharpe's Rioutous Assembly. Most efficaceous.

Anybody who surfs the wave of public opinion and affection gets no sympathy from me when the wave crashes down and they suddenly get a craving to be 'normal'.

Dear gawd, they'll expect the Queen to pay road tax next or MP's to pay full whack in their restaurant.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 20, 2012, 08:41:23 PM
Seems to me that some councillors act properly and some don't . I've seen plenty of both over the past couple of years.

Seems overdue to show the door to the " We can do what we like" attitude of some old school ones - and for a raising of standards to match the behaviour of the best of the councillors.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 20, 2012, 09:36:18 PM
Seems to me that some councillors act properly and some don't . I've seen plenty of both over the past couple of years.

Seems overdue to show the door to the " We can do what we like" attitude of some old school ones - and for a raising of standards to match the behaviour of the best of the councillors.

Hear, hear....
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Beale on October 20, 2012, 10:39:23 PM
As an ex-council officer who had regular contact with Nick Martin. A bully? Yes, but then so are other councillors. Certainly not to be trusted under any circumstances, we were warned about Nick Martin almost straight away. I would trust him as far as I could spit him. 

Would just like to add another thought. Sexual harrasment is gross misconduct for SBC employees , as such if your caught you can be instantly dismissed.

Shame the same can't be said of our elected representitives. Looks to me like they get a slap on wrist and told not to do it again.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 20, 2012, 11:26:24 PM
The verdict is out - Coun Martin acted inappropriately towards Helen Miah a senior officer by touching her hair, using the phrase 'Ducks Arse' in describing her hair style and saying he had wanted to say and do that all night.

Let's see if that is what any reasonable person would call sexual harrassment. Starting with the easy issue of the three. The dictionary definition of 'Duck's Arse) is 'The duck's ass (or, in the UK, duck's arse) is a haircut style that was popular during the 1950s'  - I think a reasonable person would accept that if Coun Martin referred to Ms Miah's hair cut as being a 'Duck's Arse' he was being descriptive and not offensive.

As for touching her hair - given he was not found guilty of 'running his finger up her neck' as claimed, but only of touching her hair, have we truly reached a situation where a person's hair is now off limits in the same way as parts of the anatomy quite correctly are

As for his silly schoolboy comment that he had wanted to touch her hair and tell her it was 'Duck's Arse' - that is quite pathetic but hardly the stuff of a sexual harrassment claim.

I know Helen and feel sure she is more than capable of dealing with the likes of Coun Martin or indeed any man who seeks to invade her space. Sadly there does appear to be a festering sore between the two of them with Helen having made a complaint about Coun Martin on a previous occasion some years ago. This does have the whiff of 'timely vengeance' about it.

Having said all of that I do think Coun Martin needs to be more careful as we have reached a stage in the evolution of relationships where to smile 'wrongly' might be deemed a 'lear' by some, why didn't she just hit him if she was so offended   or was this a case of 'revenge is a dish best served cold'

To be clear I think Coun Martin to be a prat but nothing else
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 21, 2012, 03:04:02 AM
The verdict is out - Coun Martin acted inappropriately towards Helen Miah a senior officer by touching her hair, using the phrase 'Ducks Arse' in describing her hair style and saying he had wanted to say and do that all night.

"He acted inappropriately" - Agreed.


Let's see if that is what any reasonable person would call sexual harrassment. Starting with the easy issue of the three. The dictionary definition of 'Duck's Arse) is 'The duck's ass (or, in the UK, duck's arse) is a haircut style that was popular during the 1950s'  - I think a reasonable person would accept that if Coun Martin referred to Ms Miah's hair cut as being a 'Duck's Arse' he was being descriptive and not offensive.

I think an even more reasonable person, having already agreed that Cllr Martin had acted inappropriately toward Helen Miah, might be more likely to consider that his actions and words did constitute sexual harassment if Helen Miah felt that she had been sexually harassed by Cllr Martin.  An offender may claim that their intent was not to sexually harass another person, but stating that after the act had happened obviously doesn't stop the 'victim' feeling that they had been sexually harassed, either during the event or afterwards. They may later understand and forgive an accidental or even a deliberate act of harassment, but how does one remove the feeling of being harassed at the instant of speech or contact?  You can't retrospectively remove or cancel a persons feelings from yesterday any more than you can make a broken leg not-have-happened. 


As for touching her hair - given he was not found guilty of 'running his finger up her neck' as claimed, but only of touching her hair, have we truly reached a situation where a person's hair is now off limits in the same way as parts of the anatomy quite correctly are

That the committee found him 'not guilty' of touching her neck doesn't mean that he didn't do it, just that the comittee have taken his word over hers and produced an official version of events in which he is 'only a little bit guilty'.  I'm afraid that years of watching SBC committees agreeing on versions of truth which are politically expedient, rather than accurate and truthful, has left me cynical, pedantic and willing to scrutinise every word said in defence or praise of all of them.  It's a shame that Helen Miah didn't make a police complaint - I'd have far more faith in a CPS decision to prosecute/not prosecute than I'll ever have in an SBC standards committee 'report'.

As for his silly schoolboy comment that he had wanted to touch her hair and tell her it was 'Duck's Arse' - that is quite pathetic but hardly the stuff of a sexual harrassment claim.

Why not?, had Cllr Martin been caught making comments and stroking the hair of a Sikh gentleman, would that gentleman be wrong to say he felt racially or religiously harassed by the actions and words?  Applying a different moral standard to women who object to being touched against their will feels like a very backwards step to me.  I'd also point out that, to any women smaller than a Russian shotputter, Nick Martin could never appear 'schoolboy'ish'.  He's a big, ex-rugby playing bloke who towers over most women.  Other big blokes are usually very aware of 'looming' and accidental intimidating birds, other do it deliberately. 

I know Helen and feel sure she is more than capable of dealing with the likes of Coun Martin or indeed any man who seeks to invade her space. Sadly there does appear to be a festering sore between the two of them with Helen having made a complaint about Coun Martin on a previous occasion some years ago. This does have the whiff of 'timely vengeance' about it.

Or not. It is equally possible that Cllr Martin has now behaved inappropriately towards Helen Miah on at least two occasions that we know of.  That she has complained twice does not make her a liar and shouldn't lessen the degree of scrutiny applied to each complaint. Lets not forget that Cllr Martin has just been found partially guilty of something he altogether denied so the suggestion that Helen Miah is somehow crying wolf or being vindictive doesn't really seem to fit the evidence or the circumstances. Lest we forget too quickly, Cllr Martin told the Adver:

Quote from: Cllr Nick Martin
"I think it’s outrageous.  “That’s because the allegations are untrue. And the words that are being invented, they’re out of character of the sort of things I would say at a public function. “The words put together might have been a little rude, but I didn’t say them.

“Just because somebody else from the cultural area of the council corroborated the words doesn’t necessarily mean I said them.”

But the 'outrageous' accusations were true, weren't they Cllr....

Having said all of that I do think Coun Martin needs to be more careful as we have reached a stage in the evolution of relationships where to smile 'wrongly' might be deemed a 'lear' by some, why didn't she just hit him if she was so offended   or was this a case of 'revenge is a dish best served cold'

Revenge for what Des?, what do you know that we don't?  As for her thumping him, that may actually have been his intent - because only a fracking moron would deliberately approach, touch and pass personal comments to an employee of the council who had already made one complaint against him. 

Cllr Martin has already indicated that he thought there was a connection between this complaint against him and the actions he intended to take towards the council department in which Helen Miah works, and this cause me to wonder whether his actions were a calculated and deliberate attempt to pressure/incite the woman into doing something rash, (perhaps, as Des suggests, strike him in response), which could then be used to remove her from the political equation. 

Similarly provocative tactics, (although not overtly sexual), were used to oust Sarah Finch-Crisp from her post at Lydiard Park.

To be clear I think Coun Martin to be a prat but nothing else

Would your public opinion of him be harsher if he wasn't a Mason Des?  Just asking....  :wink:

General Question: How long do we think Helen Miah will last at SBC?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 21, 2012, 09:11:45 AM
Quote
Or not. It is equally possible that Cllr Martin has now behaved inappropriately towards Helen Miah on at least two occasions that we know of. 


Not sure this is true. Helen made a complaint about his conduct in relation to her department, I am not privy to why and I never stated it was about a similar type of incident. I suppose its natural to make the assumption that the two events are of the same nature but its not neccessarily the case

Quote
That she has complained twice does not make her a liar and shouldn't lessen the degree of scrutiny applied to each complaint.


Couldn't agree more

Quote
Would your public opinion of him be harsher if he wasn't a Mason Des

Geoff when you 'just ask' on TS it generally means that its what you think. Frankly I am bemused that such a question is asked of me with the inference being that because I am a Freemason I would defend Coun Martin irresepective of the truth of the matter. The exact opposite is the case, Coun Martin being a Freemason is totally irellevant to my views on the matter.Indeed i can give you my word that I neither thought or considered his being a Freemason when placing my post.

And yes I accept my views are not in line with the current movement where every nuance, every action and indeed every thought must be carefully considered just in case offence is given. I am sure the fact that we both like brass band music would not be worth a mention. I am happy to state my public and private opinion of Coun Martin - see end of post

I accept 100% the right of Helen Miah to be offended by any action or comment made to her, indeed I reserve that right to myself so it would be hypocritical for me to think otherwise. However, taking offence is one thing, using the might of SBC to deal with the matter is another (in my view) and yes i agree with you she could and possibly should have referred this to the police; although I think they would have given it short thrift whereas the officer core of SBC would 'support her'. Which I fully understand.

I consider Coun Martin's actions to be those of a 'prat' - others may think differently.

I actually don't like Coun Martin as a person, he is a bit of a bully boy in the mould of one of his former colleagues  but then he probably doesn't think too well of me - that's life, we can rub along through life.

Now let me ask you a question Geoff - if Coun Martin wasn't a Conservative with a knack for good election organisation would you be so quick to condemn him?

Finally to your final question. I think Helen will be fine at SBC just as many other modestly competent officers will be.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 21, 2012, 09:46:09 AM
Quote
The exact opposite is the case, Coun Martin being a Freemason is totally irellevant to my views on the matter.Indeed i can give you my word that I neither thought or considered his being a Freemason when placing my post.

So, your word is good, despite a potential conflict of allegiance...  but you imply that Helens word may be less so...? I'm interested to know your benchmark for presuming bias. In your earlier post you imply that Helen 'may' be biased because of previous encounters with Nick, but you can take the moral highground and assume we're not going to smell a rat due to your shared membership of a secretive big-boys club which lists mutual assistance as one of its criteria for membership...

That said...

Quote
Now let me ask you a question Geoff - if Coun Martin wasn't a Conservative with a knack for good election organisation would you be so quick to condemn him?

Des has a point here, Geoff, just as valid as the one you make about his free-masonry membership. Once you condemned Labour almost without respite or exception. Now, thanks to your open loathing of Bluh and his associates, you do the polar opposite. How sure can you be that you're being equally objective?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Mart on October 21, 2012, 10:16:30 AM
We live in an age where there are some things you can't do.

You could do these things in previous times and indeed hold positions of responsibility and be generally respected while you were doing them.

There was a time where patting ladies on the bum and calling them 'treacle' was considered quite enlightened in the workplace, now it's the stuff of parody.

For someone who professes to hold a position of responsibility, I suppose that's what you'd call it, to fail to grasp that indicates they are either a dumb arse or ignorant, or possibly both. To then do something so outwardly questionable to someone with whom you have previous suggests that person is either dumber than the average dumb arse or a teeny bit arrogant.

I enjoy fairly amicable relationships with many people but the list of females, or males now I think of it, I would lay hands on in any way is very short, as short as one probably. To then accompany that unsolicited touching with a, in my view, slightly unsettling comment kind of reinforces the impression the action was entirely inappropriate.

My employer would almost certainly have fired me regardless of how I wore my trousers or how I voted and I would not have been at all surprised, diversity, bullying and harassment policies are all on the books and, I thought, commonplace.

You may have a view on that if you are of a certain age or gender, but that's where we are so you'd either get with the programme or accept the consequences.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 21, 2012, 11:17:14 AM
Quote
but you imply that Helens word may be less so...? I'm interested to know your benchmark for presuming bias

I actually have not implied that Helen's account of the incident is wrong or that her honest conviction to being distressed is in any way less than genuine, and if that is how i have come across I apologise.. I have most certainly questionned the decision to refer this to the standards board but equally accept that it is a matter for Helen to decide upon. I also am concerned that there appears to be 'history' between Helen and Coun Martin, a history which suggests that her first complaint was not actionned in the way she might have hoped for. It is, I suggest perfectly fair to raise the issue of the prior complaint in considering why Helen might have felt it necessary to elevate this matter to her boss.

Helen's decision to take her complaint 'up the ladder' cannot be based on bias as bias doesn't exist - it's a matter of fact she felt uncomforable with the actions of Coun Martin.

I am not biased in favour of Coun Martin, indeed Helen will (if she could) would tell you that we know each other and enjoy a love of the arts in swindon and we have worked together on at least one major musical project in the town. I consider her as someone I know well enough to feel able to exchange what is commonly called a 'social kiss' upon meeting.

I do like your reference to "your shared membership of a secretive big-boys club which lists mutual assistance as one of its criteria for membership"  Freemasonry is not a secret organisation - everyone knows about it, where Freemasons meet and what Freemasonry does in the town and further afield. It is no more secretive than Rotary,the Lions or the Buffs. It does excellent work in supporting local charities often with little fanfare. Yes we do enjoy a convivial meeting where we have a supper, again just like a Rotary lunch.  As for 'mutual assistance' if you are to quote selectively you allow me to place the context which is 'in all your laudable undertaking' I believe we would both agree that there was nothing laudable in what Coun Martin did and so 'mutual support' could not be forthcomimg.

Incidentally the Christian Faith like many others has a similar tenet which is expresed by the term 'do good unto all men but especially those of the household of faith'


Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 21, 2012, 11:48:39 AM
Seem to me like a culture of bullying and unacceptable behaviour has been able to exist and to continue in the borough apparently often unchecked for decades, alongside more positive work & relationships.

Some old style councillors ( not just party specific ) seem to have acted  for years as though perfectly entitled to " do what they like"  knowing that they have the full weight of their position - and in some cases - colleagues - behind them.
Are we now reaching a tipping point where more people have had enough, want better and are standing up to insist on this?

Winkling out the bad and highlighting the good seems like a start.


Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 21, 2012, 01:29:29 PM

Quote from: Geoff Reid
Would your public opinion of him be harsher if he wasn't a Mason Des

Geoff when you 'just ask' on TS it generally means that its what you think. Frankly I am bemused that such a question is asked of me with the inference being that because I am a Freemason I would defend Coun Martin irresepective of the truth of the matter. The exact opposite is the case, Coun Martin being a Freemason is totally irellevant to my views on the matter.Indeed i can give you my word that I neither thought or considered his being a Freemason when placing my post.

Not at all Des.  If I were convinced you were conducting damage limitation for Cllr Martin out of lodge loyalty I would say so directly.  I expected you to clarify the level of support/non support of Cllr Martin and you didn't disappoint.




And yes I accept my views are not in line with the current movement where every nuance, every action and indeed every thought must be carefully considered just in case offence is given.

I'm fairly sure most readers would accept that mine are similarly non-aligned, but we are discussing the offensive and hypocritical (in my view) actions of a Councillor, current deputy Mayor and future Mayor, who happily supported a 'Vile Gentleman' hunt, (because I'd dared to mention that their political behaviour towards Council tenants reminded me of how the embryonic Nazi party behaved before WWII),......

....shortly before he himself committed an inappropriate act against a female employee of the council - an act which he later denied, (in fact it seems to me that he publicly lied in order to save himself and discredit his accuser), and the political 'ilk' muster just enough concern to give him a very gentle slap on the wrist by finding him a little bit guilty. 

The attendant irony and civic/political hypocrisy is self evident and, I suggest, that it is within this hypocritical and very selective application of 'standards' that the greatest amount of offence is felt by ordinary people.  Cllr Martin is still holding public office at Swindon Borough Council despite having been found guilty of behaving innapproriately towards a female employee of the council.  Moreover Cllr Martin deliberately tried to discredit the employee by claiming (in the local paper), that her complaint was untrue.

Personally I think he's even less fit to occupy public office than he and his colleagues claim me to be.  Dr Owen Lister was hounded from office for a much lesser transgression than Nick Martin's.


Now let me ask you a question Geoff - if Coun Martin wasn't a Conservative with a knack for good election organisation would you be so quick to condemn him?

I like to think so - I'm not as partisan as other would like you to believe and, (believe this or not, it makes no odds to me), I actually like Nick Martin, but I can phrase my answer better by saying this:  If my Son held a similar position of responsibility as that held by Cllr Martin,  and I found him to have behaved as Cllr Martin did to a subordinate or employee....he would have been sporting a black eye shortly afterwards.  I might also be missing a couple of teeth, but you get the point.  That said I have every faith that Da Mellon wouldn't behave like that, it's not how he was brought up.

Wouldn't it be fairer to show or find me an opposition councillor who is/has behaved in the same way and then judge any political bias I hold by what I say/do in relation to that event?

Incidentally, it may be of interest to learn that what Cllr Martin did, i.e touching someone without their consent, can be described as either 'assault' under common law or 'battery' under criminal law.  I think Nick Martin would have genuinely needed his barrister had Helen Miah chosen to make a police complaint.

Finally to your final question. I think Helen will be fine at SBC just as many other modestly competent officers will be.

I reckon she's on the list, at least until the majority of one vanishes.


Finally:

Seem to me like a culture of bullying and unacceptable behaviour has been able to exist and to continue in the borough apparently often unchecked for decades, alongside more positive work & relationships.

Some old style councillors ( not just party specific ) seem to have acted  for years as though perfectly entitled to " do what they like"  knowing that they have the full weight of their position - and in some cases - colleagues - behind them.

It goes hand-in-hand with the last vestiges of quill pen democracy and the holier-than-thou attitudes of a few 'eminent' and 'Old Guard' Borough Councillors who still believe that they are entitled to respect from the very people they regularly and freely abuse.


Are we now reaching a tipping point where more people have had enough, want better and are standing up to insist on this?

Winkling out the bad and highlighting the good seems like a start.

Perhaps we are. I certainly hope so.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Brian V Cockbill on October 21, 2012, 01:55:15 PM
As a person who sat through part of the Hearing on Friday, including the evidence given by Janice Banks and Helen Miah, examination and cross examination by Cllr Martin's barrister a Mr Parry (I believe).   Can I offer a few bits of information that I witnessed at the hearing as opposed to Des Morgan who was not present.
Ms Banks evidence was clear and factual and was congratulated for her presentation from all sides with which I would concur.    Mrs Miah, came across as one, irrespective of the outcome and rightly or wrong was genuinely upset by the incident at the social event.    Cllr Martin's legal representative tried to imply that Mrs Miah held a grudge against the Cllr. regarding his policies and views about Lydiard Park.    I was not convinced by this argument nor it appears were the Panel.   Although I was not present to hear Cllr Martin's evidence I gathered he was going to dispute he touched Mrs Miah and certainly not in any way that might have been considered in a sexual manner.   It looks as if the Panel's finding falls somewhere between the two views of the parties.   However, the barrister did no service to his client by an inappropriate remark to Mrs Miah and was forced by the Hearing's Chair, Cllr. Fay Howard to apologise and withdraw it - but like all such incidents the damage and distress had been caused.   
Finally , I would just say that Des Morgan's langauge regarding his views about Cllr. Martin ("prat") doesn't sound very good coming from one brother freemason about another.
Brian V Cockbill       
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Moffatt on October 21, 2012, 02:19:33 PM
I think we should have a debate about just what bullying is.
Is bullying using physical prowess, wealth, position or intellectual ability to humiliate and or control another person. Can bullying also be achieved by falsely presenting as being oppressed by another person. In industry and commerce how do we separate the effective manager who demands the best from all they contact from the bully who exploits their position for ego gratification? Should we accept that position gives someone the right to implement bad decisions? Is the TU rep who mimics the managers stutter to make that point behaving inappropriately?
There are people around who appear to those in positions of power as complete bullies. Should we note how they treat the office cleaner before deciding if they are a bully? If you sneeringly presume that all Councillors are corrupt don’t be surprised if they react. The Councillor who can be deflected easily by aggression, sarcasm, the office holders wisdom or position or even the data protection act is of no use whatever to the elderly recently widowed woman who had unwarranted legal action threatened for non-payment of Council Tax.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: oldtowner on October 21, 2012, 02:25:27 PM

I'm fairly sure most readers would accept that mine are similarly non-aligned, but we are discussing the offensive and hypocritical (in my view) actions of a Councillor, current deputy Mayor and future Mayor, who happily supported a 'Vile Gentleman' hunt,

The attendant irony and civic/political hypocrisy is self evident and, I suggest, that it is within this hypocritical and very selective application of 'standards' that the greatest amount of offence is felt by ordinary people.  Cllr Martin is still holding public office at Swindon Borough Council despite having been found guilty of behaving innapproriately towards a female employee of the council.   
 

And where is the 'strong' Leader in all of this. He was quick to go after the 'Vile Gentleman' but has been conspicuously silent when it is one of his own.

Just as he never took any action when Cllr Bawden made his 'Children die outside schools.....'statements. Statements many people found offensive.

The strength of a stong Leader is to be fair and consistent. Cllr Bluh is ,in the eyes of many, neither.

Cllr Bluh should be removing Cllr Martin of the deputy mayor role. I am sure that the people of Swindon do not want civic dignatries who have behaved in such a manner to attain the position of Mayor.

The people of Swindon deserve better.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: oldtowner on October 21, 2012, 02:35:45 PM
I think we should have a debate about just what bullying is.

My starter for 10 would be a prospective local council candidate and agent who threatened to take legal action against an independent prospective local council candidate for allegedly "identifying' him in her election leaflet.

Yet when a major political party actually name the local council candidate no action is taken against the party or the candidates on the leaflet by the individual or the agent.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: jennyb on October 21, 2012, 02:43:25 PM
As a person who sat through part of the Hearing on Friday, including the evidence given by Janice Banks and Helen Miah, examination and cross examination by Cllr Martin's barrister a Mr Parry (I believe).   Can I offer a few bits of information that I witnessed at the hearing as opposed to Des Morgan who was not present.
Ms Banks evidence was clear and factual and was congratulated for her presentation from all sides with which I would concur.    Mrs Miah, came across as one, irrespective of the outcome and rightly or wrong was genuinely upset by the incident at the social event.    Cllr Martin's legal representative tried to imply that Mrs Miah held a grudge against the Cllr. regarding his policies and views about Lydiard Park.    I was not convinced by this argument nor it appears were the Panel.   Although I was not present to hear Cllr Martin's evidence I gathered he was going to dispute he touched Mrs Miah and certainly not in any way that might have been considered in a sexual manner.   It looks as if the Panel's finding falls somewhere between the two views of the parties.   However, the barrister did no service to his client by an inappropriate remark to Mrs Miah and was forced by the Hearing's Chair, Cllr. Fay Howard to apologise and withdraw it - but like all such incidents the damage and distress had been caused.   
Finally , I would just say that Des Morgan's langauge regarding his views about Cllr. Martin ("prat") doesn't sound very good coming from one brother freemason about another.
Brian V Cockbill     

I was not aware that these meetings were open to the public.

It is good that they are.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 21, 2012, 02:46:09 PM
I recently asked a resident of Central Ward if she knew what the electoral connection between Cllr Des Moffat and Old Town Independent Candidate Kareen Boyd was during the 2012 local elections. She came up with the following quizzical answer after less than a minutes worth of thought:

Quote
"Were both of them bullied by Bluh during their campaigns?"


Makes 'yer think, don't it?

One was scrutinising the closure of the Banking Hall at Watt Tyler House and the other was scrutinising the decision to build a pop-up school on Croft and standing against Bluh in the election.  None of the former proved popular with Roddy.

Please see: Conservative Control By Coercion - Now Verging On Victimisation? (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php/topic,8596.0.html)

and:

Bluh Allegation Against Candidate Found To Be False? (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php/topic,8591.0.html)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: jennyb on October 21, 2012, 03:29:10 PM
I recently asked a resident of Central Ward if she knew what the electoral connection between Cllr Des Moffat and Old Town Independent Candidate Kareen Boyd was during the 2012 local elections. She came up with the following quizzical answer after less than a minutes worth of thought:

Quote
"Were both of them bullied by Bluh during their campaigns?"


Makes 'yer think, don't it?

One was scrutinising the closure of the Banking Hall at Watt Tyler House and the other was scrutinising the decision to build a pop-up school on Croft and standing against Bluh in the election.  None of the former proved popular with Roddy.

Please see: Conservative Control By Coercion - Now Verging On Victimisation? ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php/topic,8596.0.html[/url])

and:

Bluh Allegation Against Candidate Found To Be False? ([url]http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php/topic,8591.0.html[/url])


My experience took place over a few weeks after Cllr Bluh 1st told my husband of his intent.

Cllr Bluh  came to my home some days later to hand deliver his letter through my letterbox.

Although my home was clearly occupied, he did not attempt to speak to either me or my family.

He was observed by friends in my home at the time as he walked away. 

I felt it inappropriate that someone came on to my property uninvited to deliver a letter of such a nature.

Quite why Cllr Bluh singled me out is unclear.

Kareen
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Outoftowner on October 21, 2012, 04:10:48 PM
Quote
Quite why Cllr Bluh singled me out is unclear.

Kareen

Because he knows, that you know, what he is up to?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 21, 2012, 04:34:59 PM
 I dont believe that " all councillors are corrupt" any more than " all councillors are bullies."
I've met
a) many good ones
b) some bad ones
c) some good ones who sometimes behave badly
d) some who lie
e) some who tell the truth.
f) some who sometimes tell the truth
g) some who say they tell the truth ... then lie.
h) some who want to do better, but allow bad stuff to happen
i) some who want better standards in future

So.....  plenty of opportunities for improvement?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: jennyb on October 21, 2012, 04:36:53 PM
Quote
Quite why Cllr Bluh singled me out is unclear.

Kareen

Because he knows, that you know, what he is up to?


All I have tried to do is joined up thinking... why would that be a worry ?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 21, 2012, 05:00:07 PM
Quote
Quite why Cllr Bluh singled me out is unclear.

Kareen

Because he knows, that you know, what he is up to?

All I have tried to do is joined up thinking... why would that be a worry ?

Because he feels threatened Jenny, simple as that.

But he is completely unaware of the tenaciousness of the Scots Lass who knows what's right and what's wrong and is prepared to fight for it.

All these events colectively will turn a stream into a torrent, it is only a question of when!
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 21, 2012, 05:14:23 PM
Lil' Eric :-D (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97JIFQzw8NM#ws)

In case Helen wants to know what to do the next time - last few seconds of the film.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 21, 2012, 06:39:19 PM
Quote
Finally , I would just say that Des Morgan's langauge regarding his views about Cllr. Martin ("prat") doesn't sound very good coming from one brother freemason about another.

Brian - you actually make a good point but I am glad to say that calling someone a 'prat' as opposed to a 'pleb' doesn't quite stir the emotional response of being traumatised, hurt and generally to suffer a fit of the vapours.

I am sure Coun Martin (who incidentally i have never ever met or seen at a Freemason's Lodge) is more than capable of telling me whether he is offended by my description of him in relation to his conduct. 
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 21, 2012, 06:46:01 PM
 
Quote
like to think so - I'm not as partisan as other would like you to believe


I know that Geoff, as I know you know that i would never ever refrain from 'having and expressing' a view that I felt deserved an airing

Having been on the receiving end of what i believe was 'bullying' in respect of treatment meted out by Coun Bluh, Coun Perkins and Coun Foley (all of which were dismissed when i complained) I think I can speak with some degree of knowledge on the subject.

Des Moffat speak about his experience and eloquently draws attention to the various degrees of bullying behaviour.  I hope Bob Wright will expand this with me on the radio tomorrow
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Alex on October 21, 2012, 07:06:58 PM
Having worked with people who have been bullied / harassed for many years- and having experienced it myself, and been instrumental in trying to eradicate it in the workplace,  I have found the work done by the late Tim Fields to be valuable :  http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/bully.htm#Difference%20between%20bullying%20and%20harassment (http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/bully.htm#Difference%20between%20bullying%20and%20harassment)

He clarified  the different types of bullying and what constituted harassment.  He was very insightful and  it is useful to have this as a reference when you feel you may have been the victim of such behaviour .
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: AnnCalsox on October 21, 2012, 10:17:51 PM
Given his behaviour and the finding of the investigation is it appropriate for Cllr Martin to become Mayor next year?

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 21, 2012, 10:26:30 PM
I can think of people who have held the office who had done things which were more inappropriate.

On a scale of 1 to 10 where does this issue sit and at what point in the scale does Coun Martin's conduct warrant his removal from the role of Deputy Mayor?

For my part, I didn't think he was the right person for Deputy Mayor in the first place.  This issue is only a side show and probably does not resonate with the public outside of the Civic Offices and us hardy souls on TS.

I do think it strange that his Leader has become akin to a Trappist Monk - surely he has something to add to the debate or will he now luxuriate in the discomfort that Coun Martin now finds himself.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 21, 2012, 11:40:00 PM

I do think it strange that his Leader has become akin to a Trappist Monk - surely he has something to add to the debate or will he now luxuriate in the discomfort that Coun Martin now finds himself.


I expect he is enjoying it, afterall, Cllr Bluh has worked extraordinarily hard to keep Cllr Martin at the very margins of the political wilderness since the wholly invented and fake leadership challenge of April 2009. It was another episode in which Cllr Bluh played the 'Poor Me' card. (now exhausted).

See: Business leaders back Bluh's leadership (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/4330792.Business_leaders_back_Bluh_s_leadership/)

Quote
"Coun Martin has denied he is challenging for either Coun Bluh or Coun Foley’s role"


If I remember correctly the Perkinator first betrayed Nick Martin and then abandoned him, bleeding in a political ditch [figuratively speaking], before skipping merrily off to accept a remunerated cabinet position from Cllr Bluh who had again cracked open the pork barrel in self defence.....

I'm also pretty sure that another innocent casualty of this action was Mayor Wakefield who, whilst in office, was unable to defend himself against the political machinations of his former 'colleagues'.


I haven't yet found the TS thread which discussed this properly, but here's another Adver article about the fake challenge (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/4321712.Leadership_bid_hots_up/), in which Cll Martin said:

Quote from: Cllr Nick Martin
“Any rumours about a leadership challenge have not been started by me. They have probably been generated by issues between the leader and other members of the administration who have then used them as a stick to beat me.

“I think the people spreading these rumours are being very mischevious. 
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 22, 2012, 08:53:00 AM
Thanks for the link Alex, although it was a lot of reading, I did, not because of this thread, but there is an issue in the community at the moment.  I found this most interesting, not saying it's appropriate to this thread, but still interesting, sort of leaving myslef a post-it note memo: 

Personality Disorders

There's more on Personality Disorders at http://www.toad.net/~arcturus/dd/ourdesk.htm (http://www.toad.net/~arcturus/dd/ourdesk.htm)

Avoiding acceptance of responsibility - denial, counterattack and feigning victimhood

The serial bully is an adult on the outside but a child on the inside; he or she is like a child who has never grown up. One suspects that the bully is emotionally retarded and has a level of emotional development equivalent to a five-year-old, or less. The bully wants to enjoy the benefits of living in the adult world, but is unable and unwilling to accept the responsibilities that go with enjoying the benefits of the adult world. In short, the bully has never learnt to accept responsibility for their behaviour.

When called to account for the way they have chosen to behave, the bully instinctively exhibits this recognisable behavioural response:

a) Denial: the bully denies everything. Variations include Trivialization ("This is so trivial it's not worth talking about...") and the Fresh Start tactic ("I don't know why you're so intent on dwelling on the past" and "Look, what's past is past, I'll overlook your behaviour and we'll start afresh") - this is an abdication of responsibility by the bully and an attempt to divert and distract attention by using false conciliation. Imagine if this line of defence were available to all criminals ("Look I know I've just murdered 12 people but that's all in the past, we can't change the past, let's put it behind us, concentrate on the future so we can all get on with our lives" - this would do wonders for prison overcrowding).

b) Retaliation: the bully counterattacks. The bully quickly and seamlessly follows the denial with an aggressive counter-attack of counter-criticism or counter-allegation, often based on distortion or fabrication. Lying, deception, duplicity, hypocrisy and blame are the hallmarks of this stage. The purpose is to avoid answering the question and thus avoid accepting responsibility for their behaviour. Often the target is tempted - or coerced - into giving another long explanation to prove the bully's allegation false; by the time the explanation is complete, everybody has forgotten the original question.

Both a) and b) are delivered with aggression in the guise of assertiveness; in fact there is no assertiveness (which is about recognising and respecting the rights of oneself and others) at all. Note that explanation - of the original question - is conspicuous by its absence.

c) Feigning victimhood: in the unlikely event of denial and counter-attack being insufficient, the bully feigns victimhood or feigns persecution by manipulating people through their emotions, especially guilt. This commonly takes the form of bursting into tears, which most people cannot handle. Variations include indulgent self-pity, feigning indignation, pretending to be "devastated", claiming they're the one being bullied or harassed, claiming to be "deeply offended", melodrama, martyrdom ("If it wasn't for me...") and a poor-me drama ("You don't know how hard it is for me ... blah blah blah ..." and "I'm the one who always has to...", "You think you're having a hard time ...", "I'm the one being bullied..."). Other tactics include manipulating people's perceptions to portray themselves as the injured party and the target as the villain of the piece. Or presenting as a false victim. Sometimes the bully will suddenly claim to be suffering "stress" and go off on long-term sick leave, although no-one can quite establish why. Alleged ill-health can also be a useful vehicle for gaining attention and sympathy. For suggestions on how to counter this see the advice on the FAQ page.

By using this response, the bully is able to avoid answering the question and thus avoid accepting responsibility for what they have said or done. It is a pattern of behaviour learnt by about the age of 3; most children learn or are taught to grow out of this, but some are not and by adulthood, this avoidance technique has been practised to perfection.

A further advantage of the denial/counter-attack/feigning victimhood strategy is that it acts as a provocation. The target, who may have taken months to reach this stage, sees their tormentor getting away with it and is provoked into an angry and emotional outburst after which the bully says simply "There, I told you s/he was like that". Anger is one of the mechanisms by which bullies (and all abusers) control their targets. By tapping in to and obtaining an inappropriate release of pent-up anger the bully plays their master stroke and casts their victim as villain.

When called to account for the way they have chosen to behave, mature adults do not respond by bursting into tears. If you're dealing with a serial bully who has just exhibited this avoidance tactic, sit passively and draw attention to the pattern of behaviour they've just exhibited, and then the purpose of the tactic. Then ask for an answer to the question.

Bullies also rely on the denial of others and the fact that when their target reports the abuse they will be disbelieved ("are your sure this is really going on?", "I find it hard to believe - are you sure you're not imagining it?"). Frequently targets are asked why they didn't report the abuse before, and they will usually reply "because I didn't think anyone would believe me." Sadly they are often right in this assessment. Because of the Jekyll & Hyde nature, compulsive lying, and plausibility, no-one can - or wants - to believe it. ........................................

Reflection

Serial bullies harbour a particular hatred of anyone who can articulate their behaviour profile, either verbally or in writing - as on this page - in a manner which helps other people see through their deception and their mask of deceit. The usual instinctive response is to launch a bitter personal attack on the person's credentials, lack of qualifications, and right to talk about personality disorders, psychopathic personality etc, whilst preserving their right to talk about anything they choose - all the while adding nothing to the debate themselves.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Brian V Cockbill on October 22, 2012, 09:19:42 AM
TS members might be ionterested I have tabled the following question for the Leader at this evening's Scrutiny Committee Meeting.
Brian V Cockbill
4 In the light of the Standards Committee's Hearing
Panel's decision on Friday 19 Ocvtober 2012; are changes in
the composition of your Cabinet to be made?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 22, 2012, 10:06:43 AM
For my part, I didn't think he was the right person for Deputy Mayor in the first place.  This issue is only a side show and probably does not resonate with the public outside of the Civic Offices and us hardy souls on TS.

I do think it strange that his Leader has become akin to a Trappist Monk - surely he has something to add to the debate or will he now luxuriate in the discomfort that Coun Martin now finds himself.

I am not in any surprised that he was chosen to be Deputy Mayor this year. 

Why?  Well quite simple really, Rod doesn't want him in the Cabinet but he doesn't want he outside the proverbial tent either, so what better place to sideline him for two years than the positions of Deputy Mayor and Mayor, where is neutered for the duration.

I am surprised he did not forsee it that way though!  Did his ego get in the way?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 22, 2012, 06:17:02 PM
Latest in the Adver here...

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9998146.Officer____freaked_out____by_deputy_mayor___s_action/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9998146.Officer____freaked_out____by_deputy_mayor___s_action/)

Question is for me, why did it all get to this ridiculous state?

Why weren't the two parties able to resolve this in private?
Why did (presumably...?) Nick Martin decide to splash this confrontation all over the Adver?

 :-\

One occasion when I will agree with Richard mind you - ego is definitely at the centre of all of this.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 22, 2012, 06:36:02 PM
I was surprised to see that this took over a year to come to a decision.   

I can't see how a complaint like this can be settled between the two of them, it needed to go to Standards or beyond.

And why did it take 18 months, did the elections in May delay the outcome?

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Chav on October 22, 2012, 09:42:50 PM
Could It be that Cllr Martin was just being friendly and the hairstyle situation being nothing more than a focal point for engaging in conversation ?

Would it have been taken in the same context if the recipient were Male ?

This appears to be so simple yet so complex with regards to the situation.

Anything can be read into a situation, as any email,text message can be read in any context by the recipient.

There is one thing for sure though ! ........ It has certainly been a learning curve for both parties.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 23, 2012, 09:06:27 AM
No Chav, anyone that's has been involved with SBC for some years, should have known the 'etiquette' of it.

Goodness knows we had it drummed into us on the outside, so they should have known on the inside.
For goodness sake have they no pride in their postiion in the community?

Some people are naturally tactile and some people don't like to be touched. And sometimes there are good reasons why people don't like to be touched - had a bad experience in the past etc.  Them that touch, and them that have been watching all evening for an opportunity so to do, should respect that.

Personally I think that the 'looking' for the opportunity an whole lot creepier than the actual touching.

Maybe a one off is a matter of forgiveness but after one has said they don't like to be touched it should stop there.  To do it again is not just a disrespect but a challenge too.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 23, 2012, 10:04:54 AM
Question is for me, why did it all get to this ridiculous state?

Why weren't the two parties able to resolve this in private?
Why did (presumably...?) Nick Martin decide to splash this confrontation all over the Adver?

 :-\

One occasion when I will agree with Richard mind you - ego is definitely at the centre of all of this.

Thanks Tobes you made my Day   O0

You make a very interesting point as to why it couldn't be resolved in private, to which I would add that having, allegedly, reported it to her boss the following week, why it took eighteen months to get to Standards, a period during which the Defendant was elected Deputy Mayor?

Methinks there is more to this than meets the eye!!
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 23, 2012, 10:12:02 AM
No Chav, anyone that's has been involved with SBC for some years, should have known the 'etiquette' of it.

Goodness knows we had it drummed into us on the outside, so they should have known on the inside.
For goodness sake have they no pride in their postiion in the community?

Some people are naturally tactile and some people don't like to be touched. And sometimes there are good reasons why people don't like to be touched - had a bad experience in the past etc.  Them that touch, and them that have been watching all evening for an opportunity so to do, should respect that.

Personally I think that the 'looking' for the opportunity an whole lot creepier than the actual touching.

Maybe a one off is a matter of forgiveness but after one has said they don't like to be touched it should stop there.  To do it again is not just a disrespect but a challenge too.

M, if you are not careful no one will be able to ask Officers anything controversial for fear of upsetting them!!

You missed a whole evening devoted to Communities at Scrutiny last night, it would have been interesting for you to have been there.

Vera was in full flow via the script, but got a bit lost when she was asked questions and had to defer to her officers.  Reminded me of full Council when Peter Mallinson was being asked questions about the privatisation of the Adult Care Team and didn't seem to know the answers!
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 23, 2012, 11:46:18 AM
M, if you are not careful no one will be able to ask Officers anything controversial for fear of upsetting them!!


Ah, you blokes are numpties when it comes to thing like this, there is asking and asking - when I'm dealing with an officer unless I know them very very well, I would not comment on their person, but get on with the issue.   I dont care what they look like and I hope they don't judge me by what I look like,(although I know that some of then do) do  it's the bit between their ears that I'm interested in, (although I know some of them aren't when speaking to me) if a robot had the answer I'd be happy.

I may not have been at the Civic last evening, but I was still dealing with community issues here, as I had been all day.  If it was devoted to community issues, why don't they invite community reps,  was a time when when we had direct information on what was on and why.

As an aside we learnt last week that the next SSP Conference MAY be organised by the voluntary and community sector - would be worth having ringside seats at that. No set date yet. Are you with any community or voluntary group at present?  If you are, are you likely to be chosen to represent them at something like this?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Bassettina on October 23, 2012, 05:01:41 PM
Ah, you blokes are numpties when it comes to thing like this, there is asking and asking - when I'm dealing with an officer unless I know them very very well, I would not comment on their person, but get on with the issue.   I dont care what they look like and I hope they don't judge me by what I look like,(although I know that some of then do) do  it's the bit between their ears that I'm interested in, (although I know some of them aren't when speaking to me) if a robot had the answer I'd be happy.


Very well put, Muggins!
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Chav on October 23, 2012, 06:33:43 PM
Ah, you blokes are numpties when it comes to thing like this, there is asking and asking - when I'm dealing with an officer unless I know them very very well, I would not comment on their person, but get on with the issue.   I dont care what they look like and I hope they don't judge me by what I look like,(although I know that some of then do) do  it's the bit between their ears that I'm interested in, (although I know some of them aren't when speaking to me) if a robot had the answer I'd be happy.


Very well put, Muggins!

I know a man with a big quif .... I always wondered how it stays in place and what products he uses !  :wink:

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 23, 2012, 06:51:20 PM
Ah, you blokes are numpties when it comes to thing like this, there is asking and asking - when I'm dealing with an officer unless I know them very very well, I would not comment on their person, but get on with the issue.   I dont care what they look like and I hope they don't judge me by what I look like,(although I know that some of then do) do  it's the bit between their ears that I'm interested in, (although I know some of them aren't when speaking to me) if a robot had the answer I'd be happy.


Very well put, Muggins!

I know a man with a big quif .... I always wondered how it stays in place and what products he uses !  :wink:



Yes, well it's all very well to wonder, but take my advice (though I know you won't) don't go over and run your fingers through it!  Don't say "that's what I call a big greasy quiff" and certainly don't wait all evening to go and say it to him.   PS, I hope you haven't said it to him before.  ::)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Chav on October 23, 2012, 07:33:12 PM
Ah, you blokes are numpties when it comes to thing like this, there is asking and asking - when I'm dealing with an officer unless I know them very very well, I would not comment on their person, but get on with the issue.   I dont care what they look like and I hope they don't judge me by what I look like,(although I know that some of then do) do  it's the bit between their ears that I'm interested in, (although I know some of them aren't when speaking to me) if a robot had the answer I'd be happy.


Very well put, Muggins!

I know a man with a big quif .... I always wondered how it stays in place and what products he uses !  :wink:
K


Yes, well it's all very well to wonder, but take my advice (though I know you won't) don't go over and run your fingers through it!  Don't say "that's what I call a big greasy quiff" and certainly don't wait all evening to go and say it to him.   PS, I hope you haven't said it to him before.  ::)

No I haven't , but I have had the urge to chase someone once when I over heard them say 'she's a big girl' ....... I had the urge to chase them whilst shouting ' the belly' s gonna get ya' and then slap them and say ' you've been tango'd .  >:D

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: I Could Do That on October 23, 2012, 08:36:59 PM
Yes, well it's all very well to wonder, but take my advice (though I know you won't) don't go over and run your fingers through it!  Don't say "that's what I call a big greasy quiff"

What about....

mmmm that looks like a big cornish pasty made of liquorice slurp slobber munch munch

(yes I've made myself feel a bit queasy too)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Chav on October 23, 2012, 09:43:57 PM
Yes, well it's all very well to wonder, but take my advice (though I know you won't) don't go over and run your fingers through it!  Don't say "that's what I call a big greasy quiff"

What about....

mmmm that looks like a big cornish pasty made of liquorice slurp slobber munch munch

(yes I've made myself feel a bit queasy too)

Oh no !
You've just put an idea into my head !
This weekend I am going to make sweet type mini pasties with a blackjack and fruit salad ( yes the chewy sweets themselves) filling .
I have been thinking of something weird to make for Halloween and now I have it !  >:D
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Brian V Cockbill on October 24, 2012, 03:04:36 AM
Can anybody remember what happened to the last Deputy Mayor to have a standards complaint upheld at a Standard's Hearing?    What did Dr Lister do?   Should Deputy Mayor Martin go the same way?
Brian V Cockbill
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 24, 2012, 06:26:12 AM
for those who don't remember...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/4287994.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/4287994.stm)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Chav on October 24, 2012, 08:49:14 PM
for those who don't remember...

[url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/4287994.stm[/url] ([url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/4287994.stm[/url])


I remember  :-\

Every day communication is all about the sender, receiver, the context and the play on words including meanings and sub-meanings.

What is normal these days with language and communication ?

There is debate, banter, innuendo, phrases, sayings,  idioms, the body language , gesture, facial expression, tone and contex.

And how we present ourselves ........... Well that depends on personality, mood, environment , situation and frame of mind or mindset


We are complicated beings aren't we  :)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: boothill on October 25, 2012, 01:14:31 PM
Complicated beings ?    YES !

Only last week a lady friend of mine asked me for an example of double entendre....so I gave her one !
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Chav on October 25, 2012, 02:37:06 PM
Complicated beings ?    YES !

Only last week a lady friend of mine asked me for an example of double entendre....so I gave her one !

 :o
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Bassettina on October 26, 2012, 04:39:09 PM
Quote
COUNCIL leader Rod Bluh says he is still backing Coun Nick Martin to be Swindon’s next mayor – even though he has been penalised for behaving inappropriately towards a senior officer at the civic dinner.

In a statement, he said: “The findings of the standards hearing do not detract from Coun Martin’s ability to discharge the office of deputy mayor. “Custom and practice is that the person who is deputy mayor is nominated to succeed to the position of mayor and there is no reason for this not to be the case again next year. Coun Martin can continue the traditional mayoral role of being an excellent supporter of charities and community groups in Swindon.”

However, opposition parties, whose support could be key in the vote, say they are reviewing their support.

Coun Jim Grant, the Labour group leader, said: “Firstly, I want to stress the importance of all of Swindon’s councillors behaving appropriately and respectfully to all residents and council officers.

“For the mayor and deputy mayor, with their higher public profiles, this is perhaps even more important.

“I think the allegations and the judgement made against Coun Martin does make it more difficult for the Labour group to support his nomination to be the mayor of Swindon next year.” However, the Labour group will not make a final decision until closer to the time of the annual council meeting, when Swindon’s councillors decide who will be mayor and deputy mayor.

Coun Stan Pajak, the Lib Dem group leader, said: “It’s so unbelievable anybody could be so silly and do that type of thing, and that may be reflected in our support. But it’s hard to know without knowing the full facts.”



http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10008640.Nick_Martin_can_still_be_mayor__says_council_leader/ (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10008640.Nick_Martin_can_still_be_mayor__says_council_leader/)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 26, 2012, 05:46:06 PM
Quote from: Roderick Bluh
“The findings of the standards hearing do not detract from Coun Martin’s ability to discharge the office of deputy mayor.


The verdict of the standards committee concerns his behaviour, not his ability to 'discharge' anything other than his pocket rocket. Allegedly.

Quote from: Roderick Bluh
“Custom and practice is that the person who is deputy mayor is nominated to succeed to the position of mayor and there is no reason for this not to be the case again next year.

I rather think there are several reasons to carefully consider whether Cllr Martin, having recently been found guilty of inappropriately touching a female council employee, is a fit and proper person to continue as deputy Mayor, let alone become the Mayor next year.  There is also the matter of whether he deliberately lied, attempted to smear the complainant to save himself, and conducted his main defence in the local newspaper to consider.  Had the complaint been a criminal one he would have been guilty of contempt of court. 

Quote from: Roderick Bluh
Coun Martin can continue the traditional mayoral role of being an excellent supporter of charities and community groups in Swindon.”

I wonder what the charities themselves, and the people benefiting from the assistance of those charities, feel about Cllr Bluh's endorsement of Cllr Martin?, presumably some of those charities will be involved in caring for women who have been the victims of sexual abuse/harassment etc?  Has Cllr Bluh canvassed opinion on the matter or has he issued another of his grand 'not a shred of evidence' proclamations.....oh, yes, I see that he has, via his "no reason for this not to be the case again", comment.


And the opposition?

Coun Jim Grant, the Labour group leader, said: [my bold emphasis]

Quote from: Cllr Grant
“Firstly, I want to stress the importance of all of Swindon’s councillors behaving appropriately and respectfully to all residents and council officers. “For the mayor and deputy mayor, with their higher public profiles, this is perhaps even more important.

“I think the allegations and the judgement made against Coun Martin does make it more difficult for the Labour group to support his nomination to be the mayor of Swindon next year.” However, the Labour group will not make a final decision until closer to the time of the annual council meeting, when Swindon’s councillors decide who will be mayor and deputy mayor.

A predictable 'politically safe' answer which is also ambiguous, weak and politically expedient.  The standards committee published their verdict last week but the Labour group will wait another 7 months before it will announce what its position is?   This isn't an encouraging sign from someone who wants - expects in fact - to be leading the council at some point.

A short piece of advice Jim: Get real, real fast.....or get out of the way.  Swindon doesn't need or want another Bluh in the big seat, and it certainly doesn't need a political prevaricator who will wait to see which way the wind is blowing 7 months in the future to give a straight answer in the here and now ffs.


And Old Pinnochio himself?


Coun Stan Pajak, the Lib Dem group leader, said: [my bold emphasis]

Quote from: Cllr Pajak
“It’s so unbelievable anybody could be so silly and do that type of thing, and that may be reflected in our support. But it’s hard to know without knowing the full facts.”

How does that old saying go? - "Everything before the 'but' is bullshit".  I level exactly the same criticisms at Pinnochio that I levelled at Jim Grant.  I'm singularly under impressed by their lack of moral fibre and the level of political slipperiness present in the careful choice of words deployed whilst saying nothing relevant or substantial about the here and now.  The careful propping-open of the fire escape door is so obvious as to be puke making.

Similarly, I continue to be disappointed-but-unsurprised by Cllr Bluh's inability or deliberate refusal, to acknowledge that one of his political colleagues has been found guilty of perpetrating a genuinely vile act upon a female employee of the council which he, Roderick Bluh leads. 

In the absence of any statement by Cllr Bluh to the contrary, and noting Cllr Bluh's multiple expressions of support for Cllr Martin, and his very clear statement that there is "no reason" why Cllr Martin should not be Mayor in 2013.....

....I'm of the opinion that the Leader Of Swindon Borough Council disagrees with the decision of the Standards Committee and does not see anything wrong with the behaviour for which Cllr Martin has been found guilty. 

I don't like the regressive attitudes being displayed by any of the political 'leaders' at present and we're not hearing much from female cllr's. Why is that?




Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 26, 2012, 06:03:14 PM
I wonder what the Women's Sections of the political parties are thinking about this? 

And exactly how many charities and commmunity groups will be inviting him anywhere?

Seeing as how it's mostly women that lead them?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 26, 2012, 06:44:00 PM
Nick Martin has been found guilty by what is effectively a jury of his own peers.

He has made no public apology (aside from the private letter he has been asked to write to Helen Miah), has he? . Surely, regardless of his personal opinion as to what constitutes sexual harassment / inappropriate behaviour - or whether he believes that the complaint was motivated by a personal grudge, he has been found guilty. Any normal honourable person would either apologize - or step down as deputy mayor until such time that the issue of their suitability was fully resolved.

I'd suggest someone worthy of representing the town - and who genuinely WANTED to show the place in the best light - would offer a public apology as a matter of course. I would also expect his political colleagues to be pressuring him to publicly eat a very large piece of humble pie, rather than appearing to endorse his actions by being openly supportive.

Does it seem strange that certain councillors are eager to cite personal offence when it comes to satirical articles and to play on their jewish heritage - and yet so singularly fail to speak out in support of someone who also genuinely felt physically as well as mentally violated - and was judged to have been so by the perpetrators own political colleagues?

 ???
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Bobby Bingo on October 26, 2012, 07:45:40 PM
Remember Dr. Owen Lister 6th March 2008  A precedent has been set.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Moffatt on October 26, 2012, 08:24:23 PM
Contributors are relying on what the Adver says was the verdict of the Standards Committee.
When the actual minute emerges from the Council sausage machine I will post it
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 26, 2012, 10:11:44 PM
The fact that Cllr Martin apparently chose to vehemently deny any wrongdoing  - as plastered across the front of our local paper  - just days before the standards meeting   could well have led to more sleepless nights for an officer due to present her case just days later. How was this in the paper in advance of the hearing?

Did Cllr Martin consider her wellbeing at any stage  or was his sole concern the attempted protection of his own reputation ?

Did he care about the impact on her life during the lengthy process?

By denying his conduct in such a way, was he aware that he was questioning her truthfulness in the most public of ways?

Was due concern shown for her reputation by the public implication that her version wasn't the truth ?

Who advised Cllr Martin ? Whose values are being respected or protected?

By rejecting the findings of his own colleagues , does he trust in their ability ? or in due process?

I have no personal experience of Cllr Martin but agree with Tobes statement that " Any normal honourable person would either apologize - or step down as deputy mayor until such time that the issue of their suitability was fully resolved.

Seems clear that higher standards are needed as a priority - Are the best of our councillors demanding this ?

Who is actively leading on this?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 26, 2012, 11:16:02 PM
Quote
The fact that Cllr Martin apparently chose to vehemently deny any wrongdoing  - as plastered across the front of our local paper  - just days before the standards meeting   could well have led to more sleepless nights for an officer due to present her case just days later. How was this in the paper in advance of the hearing?

One can only conclude that this was a deliberate decision taken by councillor Martin. A very questionable decision for the reasons you outline - and one not vindicated by the results of the panel, either.

Quote
Did he care about the impact on her life during the lengthy process?

By denying his conduct in such a way, was he aware that he was questioning her truthfulness in the most public of ways?

Was due concern shown for her reputation by the public implication that her version wasn't the truth ?

Who advised Cllr Martin ? Whose values are being respected or protected?

By rejecting the findings of his own colleagues , does he trust in their ability ? or in due process?

I have no personal experience of Cllr Martin but agree with Tobes statement that " Any normal honourable person would either apologize - or step down as deputy mayor until such time that the issue of their suitability was fully resolved.

Seems clear that higher standards are needed as a priority - Are the best of our councillors demanding this ?

Spot on.

I can only speculate that Mr Martin would argue that as he disagreed with the accusation that he behaved improperly, he had no option but to fight the case... but that said, it seems to me that this was very much about how he made - through his own actions - someone in a subordinate position feel. Given that, I wonder if the whole pantomime and stress would have been saved if he'd simply held up his hands and said 'I'm genuinely sorry if I made you feel awkward, I was merely trying to be friendly after we'd not got on in the past - I accept that you found my actions inappropriate, I am sorry for making you feel uncomfortable'. Instead, he foolishly indulged in a PR battle by leading the story to the Adver and announcing that he'd taken on a barrister (? a strange choice, given that this was not a court of law). Why a prospective mayor thought that this was a good idea, Lord only knows. Who was advising him, one wonders?

Quote
Who is actively leading on this?

Therein lies the main problem with SBC and the party system. A large flock of sheep, dominated by a few ruthless (and often bizarrely naive) wolves.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 26, 2012, 11:42:27 PM
Contributors are relying on what the Adver says was the verdict of the Standards Committee.
When the actual minute emerges from the Council sausage machine I will post it

Thanks Des, that will make for interesting reading although, considering the steady erosion in quality, integrity and credibility of council minutes, the Adver articles, bolstered by the personal integrity of the authoring journalist, might yet remain the most credible source :-)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 27, 2012, 09:13:29 AM
Tobes - you wrote that : " I wonder if the whole pantomime and stress would have been saved if he'd simply held up his hands and said 'I'm genuinely sorry if I made you feel awkward, I was merely trying to be friendly after we'd not got on in the past - I accept that you found my actions inappropriate, I am sorry for making you feel uncomfortable' Who was advising him, one wonders?"

 I wasn't there so I can't comment on what happened , but I know that the SBC officer involved isn't the type of person to cry wolf , she is a credible  individual and if she said that she had been distressed and concerned, in normal life shouldn't this have been addressed immediatly?

I don't know Cllr Martin at all , but would hope that anyone ( particularly in any position of authority )who felt that they had caused hurt or  harm - whether intentionally or not - would feel able to put their hands up - if highlighted properly - and apologise.
The quicker faults are highlighted, the sooner the upset is mended & damage is limited.
The longer it is allowed - or promoted - to fester, the worse it feels - both for the victim, who feels the further injustice of the delay - and probably the person accused too.

What may have begun as being distasteful becomes amplified 10 fold because of poor handling after the event.

" Sorry"  is  5 letters long & takes only 2 seconds to say , so is it culture,  position, politics, fear or self protectionism that seems to get in the way too much of the time ?

Whoever is advising anything other than  face to face open, honest, transparent dialogue isn't helping at all.

I must still have a few bits of idealism left in me as I don't fully agree with your line about SBC " a large flock of sheep, dominated by a few ( bizarrely naive) wolves ."

 I agree that the party politics , block ( sheep) voting definatly seems to get in the way and some  wolf types lurk about - but I also see enough real councillors and officers and residents of swindon who are more than decent and able enough to make a real difference.

I can't remember the exact words - but there's a quote about " all it takes for bad to happen is for good people to do nothing."

There are more than enough good people throughout who , for whatever reason have allowed some bad stuff to happen - whether intentionally or not.

Isn't it time  to put more energy and emphasis on contributing to more of the  "good" in place of "bad"  and to create higher standards from now on?

Isn't it in everyone's interests to do this? Isn't it better for our town and all of us who live here ?

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 27, 2012, 11:04:12 AM
Quote
There are more than enough good people throughout who , for whatever reason have allowed some bad stuff to happen - whether intentionally or not.

Just a thought, but a 'good' person who does nothing and allows bad things to happen is essentially well on the path to being bad themselves. If unintended consequences are repeatedly to blame, then the very best that can be said about the supposedly 'good' councillors is that they're incompetent.

There's far too much apathy, vacillation, self-interested line towing and lack of integrity going on within the walls of SBC.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 27, 2012, 01:35:12 PM
Ah, it's that old Martin Luther King quote again, something like  "It's not the violent acts and vitriolic words of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people"   etc.

But true Tobes.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 27, 2012, 02:40:08 PM
I can think of plenty of good people who may well have made some bad decisions in their time - but it doesnt necessarily make them bad people... does it depend on how scale and frequency?

Does it make someone a " bad person" for putting out 5000 leaflets to assure residents in their ward that " The Croft Experience" could NEVER happen there...and then intervening to prevent a truly external review as wanted by the people who lived through such an experience ...... or is that a good person behaving badly? Or a good person thinking they are acting well? Or none of the above.

If more people insisted on better, maybe standards could rise more quickly. There seem plenty of decent enough people around that could reflect on their contribution and ask what Martin Luther King would think!



Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 27, 2012, 03:51:30 PM
Don't know what he would think, but would love to be able to ask him.

It's like most things, not done with venom, but with ignorance.

i think he was talking about non action, not a mistaken action.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 27, 2012, 06:56:09 PM
Good point , well corrrected Muggins - you're right -Martin Luther King spoke of  non action - not mistaken action.

Agree - ref not venom.... but not sure if ignorance is the right word - or whether it was done to satisfy a different agenda?

I'm personally inspired by courage, integrity, clear accountability and in people who step up to create better - whatever the background.  There seems to be plenty of scope.

At the Rivonia Trial in South Africa, Nelson Mandela said :
" I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

Maybe this explains a little about why so many people refer to Mandela as one of the worlds most inspiring people.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 27, 2012, 08:21:55 PM
************************* to which I would add that having, allegedly, reported it to her boss the following week, why it took eighteen months to get to Standards, a period during which the Defendant was elected Deputy Mayor?

No one has answered this question and how his niomination was not challenged as a consequence?

As for Roderick, as I have said elsewhere on this thread, will be desperate to keep Nick Martin where he is in The Deputy Mayorial and Mayorial positions which in effect neuters him politically until May 2014.  It is my opinion that Rod sees our Nick as his greatest oponent and will take expedient action to ensure that he cannot Question or Challenge him on Absolutely Anything for the next eighteen months.

And the opposition?

Coun Jim Grant, the Labour group leader, said: [my bold emphasis]

Quote from: Cllr Grant
“Firstly, I want to stress the importance of all of Swindon’s councillors behaving appropriately and respectfully to all residents and council officers. “For the mayor and deputy mayor, with their higher public profiles, this is perhaps even more important.

“I think the allegations and the judgement made against Coun Martin does make it more difficult for the Labour group to support his nomination to be the mayor of Swindon next year.” However, the Labour group will not make a final decision until closer to the time of the annual council meeting, when Swindon’s councillors decide who will be mayor and deputy mayor.

A predictable 'politically safe' answer which is also ambiguous, weak and politically expedient.  The standards committee published their verdict last week but the Labour group will wait another 7 months before it will announce what its position is?   This isn't an encouraging sign from someone who wants - expects in fact - to be leading the council at some point.

A short piece of advice Jim: Get real, real fast.....or get out of the way.  Swindon doesn't need or want another Bluh in the big seat, and it certainly doesn't need a political prevaricator who will wait to see which way the wind is blowing 7 months in the future to give a straight answer in the here and now ffs.

I think a number of people are looking at Labour and asking such questions. 

We are fast approaching the Highworth bye election and I understand that Jim is in charge of the Labour campaign.  In many ways the result, against a Labour lead in the national opinion poles of some 10% will determine as to whether or not the people see the Labour Party in Swindon as a viable alternative to the Free Spending and at the same time Master of Cuts Rod Bluh?

As for the Liberals they don't even count!
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 27, 2012, 10:04:05 PM
might seem a bit of random thread but here goes....

Just saw XFactor and the fantastic performance from Jahmene  - from what I hear from people who know him,  a truly lovely person who has had some terrible times in his life, but coming through it with enormous grace and clearly a fantastic talent.

I read somewhere that he has become seen as a big inspiration to many who have had troubling times  - brilliant - I don't know him personally but feel proud of this Swindon lad who is moving forward with such courage , dignity and spirit.








Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 28, 2012, 12:33:59 AM
Quote
Maybe this explains a little about why so many people refer to Mandela as one of the worlds most inspiring people.


He is indeed recognised as ' one of the worlds most inspiring people' but he didn't actually achieve his stated aims 'I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities'

He promised so much but actually achieved very little - but that said no one can deny he has charisma a plenty.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on October 28, 2012, 07:56:42 AM
"As for Roderick, as I have said elsewhere on this thread, will be desperate to keep Nick Martin where he is in The Deputy Mayorial and Mayorial positions which in effect neuters him politically until May 2014.  It is my opinion that Rod sees our Nick as his greatest oponent and will take expedient action to ensure that he cannot Question or Challenge him on Absolutely Anything for the next eighteen months."

If anyo9en wanted to neutalise anyone, surely the way to do it in this situation is not to ignore the action and the 'verdict', surely that way it would effectively finish a career in politics or at least push the 'offender' to the very back benches.  Surely by supportting him, Bluh is keeping him where he is, much closer to the crown?

Des, if Mandela said 'I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities'. then he wasn't making any promises, he was expressing an ideal. And it seems to me that he kept true to that idea, even if he never able to produce it.
somethign i might add, he could never have done all by himslef anyway.

I read your last sentence as one of 'he had plenty of personality but no substance' and I'm fairly sure he did more than that.

 

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 28, 2012, 08:31:22 AM
If anyo9en wanted to neutalise anyone, surely the way to do it in this situation is not to ignore the action and the 'verdict', surely that way it would effectively finish a career in politics or at least push the 'offender' to the very back benches.  Surely by supportting him, Bluh is keeping him where he is, much closer to the crown?

Des, if Mandela said 'I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities'. then he wasn't making any promises, he was expressing an ideal. And it seems to me that he kept true to that idea, even if he never able to produce it.
somethign i might add, he could never have done all by himslef anyway.

I read your last sentence as one of 'he had plenty of personality but no substance' and I'm fairly sure he did more than that.

M I don't think you understand Roderick's modus operendi!!

Any discussion about Nick Martin even emanating from him detracts from any attention to himself.

As for Des' comments about Mandela he is absolutely right, wonderful ideals but in the end it achieved very little.  The violence that prevails in South Africa today is nothing to be proud of and sadly I see this as being more of his legacy than the emancipation of the black majority.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 28, 2012, 09:03:02 AM
Quote
Des, if Mandela said 'I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities'. then he wasn't making any promises, he was expressing an ideal.

And that in a nutshell is what is plainly wrong about the 'political class' - they have wonderful ideals (don't we all' but ) b]actions speak louder than words[/b] and what we see with monotonous regularity is a plethroa of fine words but little action to back them up. And where action does take place it against the background of idealogical frameworks and not neccessarily for the good of the whole country.

Mandela 'promised' to eliminate poverty in South Africa to raze the townships to the ground and build proper homes for the poor and displaced of South Africa. He became a global superstar, wined, dined and feted where ever he went. Whereas Tony Blair would have loved to be considered messianic, Nelson Mandel all but achieved that status in the eyes of his followers.

I recall any number of charismatic leaders achieving the same status and not one of them fulfilled the promises they made. 'By their works she shall know them' - works not words.

I daresay Coun Bluh has often cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. Does that make him an effective leader and has it enabled him to fulfil his 'promises' in our town. It does nothing other than single him out as idealistic, a nice quality to have but !!!!!!!
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 28, 2012, 09:16:55 AM
Interesting where a thread goes ...what a complex world we live in.

The quote by Mandela was made at the trial - before imprisonment.
 I completely agree with Muggins about the ideal that he spoke of - In a world where attempts to bodyswerve away from taking responsibility seem to happen all too often ( when the potential penalty for saying the truth is so much slighter ) what a contrasting powerfully  statement he made both then & on leaving jail many years later.

We live in a very imperfect world - so where do you see perfection ? Who inspires you? What would you do differently?

 


Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 28, 2012, 10:05:19 AM

We live in a very imperfect world - so where do you see perfection ? Who inspires you? What would you do differently?

Ooh crikey.... it's Sunday morning and I'm not going to church today, but I see the above as an invitation to climb into the virtual vile pulpit and deliver a sermon  >:D

Bacon and eggs must come first though, I don't fly well when partially fuelled :)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Jean on October 28, 2012, 10:40:20 AM

We live in a very imperfect world - so where do you see perfection ? Who inspires you? What would you do differently?

 


An interesting question, Carole and worthy of its own thread.

My inspiration and campaigning spirit came from my parents - both left wing (met at Speakers Corner!) - who fought for what they believed to be right with regard to equality, justice, peace and social issues. I believe that they brought me up with a strong moral code to do the right thing; to do as I would be done by and not to be a sheep. I may be a misfit in society but I would not do anything differently apart from the career I trained for (a dentist) for which I was totally unsuited mentally.   
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 28, 2012, 10:41:18 AM
Thanks Jean ,  I also had a great dad who inspired me , he came from a very poor background, little formal education & with one of the best brains and hearts Ive ever known. Never forgot where he came from, gave to everyone who he thought needed him without patronising in any way. He was an entrepreneur with a ingrained social conscience,  died when I was 15 & missed to this day.

As for Geoff......Go for it ! ( Crispy)  bacon & eggs sound good , funnily enough my dad ( being jewish but loving bacon ) would eat bacon " out " of the house" but could never bring himself to feel it was ok in  the " fridge"  - he knew it was hypocritical ( & very unlike him) but his way to handle it ...!

Enjoy your breakfast & look forward to reading " what inspires" at some stage.
ps - As an anorack ,  I only recently learnt how much fuel goes into the wings.... helps to  fly.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 28, 2012, 10:51:48 PM
Quote
Mandela 'promised' to eliminate poverty in South Africa to raze the townships to the ground and build proper homes for the poor and displaced of South Africa. He became a global superstar, wined, dined and feted where ever he went. Whereas Tony Blair would have loved to be considered messianic, Nelson Mandel all but achieved that status in the eyes of his followers.

I recall any number of charismatic leaders achieving the same status and not one of them fulfilled the promises they made. 'By their works she shall know them' - works not words.

Richard and Des agreeing on something?! I predict The Apocalypse!

As two people prepared to be extremely condemnatory and critical, I would offer this slightly alternative view on your unflattering judgement of the achievements of Nelson Mandela. As Carol said, aspirations and dreams are what we aim for. Delivering them is a collective responsibility - not just that of the mouthpiece who expresses what the masses yearn for.

What those of us who were in South Africa in the early 90s think of as his real achievement is to have successfully managed a transition from a form of fascism to a more egalitarian form of government. Of course it is still flawed, riven by corruption and stymied by a mixture of greed and naivety, but most South Africans who I know are still amazed that the transformation took place within such a spirit of hope and reconciliation and most believe it was an enormous step forward for their country. That was and continues to be one extraordinarily positive legacy.

NOT something which Blair, Brown, Cameron or Clegg are going to be able to claim.

I think Madela's achievements speak rather louder, don't you?

BACK on thread - If Nick Martin's actions and words don't show any contrition or acknowledge that he was judged to have done wrong, do people feel that he's still an appropriate individual to be Mayor...?

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 29, 2012, 09:01:48 AM
Tobes I agree that Mandela is a wonderful man who prevented a blood bath following the transition of power from a white to a majority black government.

What I have a problem with is that I believe the truth was available under the old regime and now it is not.  Take Johannesburg in the 1990's.  It is a fact that British Airways crew were not allowed out of their hotels without an Armed escort.  What does that tell you?

Also I met a man in Lincoln in 2001 on a sales call and he told me he had just returned to this country after a thirty five year stay in South Africa a country which he loved.  So I asked him why he came home to which he replied 'when your brother and your best friend are shot dead at traffic lights you do not feel too safe.' 

I have sadly heard similar stories elsewhere, but this does not detract from the fact that it could have been a lot lot worse and the credit for that has to go to Mandela.

As for Nick Martin, I am disappointed not to have heard some form of comment from him.  Does this imply guilt or has the Conservative Party damage limitation machinery in the form of their political assistant, someone extraordinarily involved with everyday Swindon, come into play?  One thing is for sure unless someone makes something of it now Nick will be Mayor next May.  Over to you Jim Grant.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Rochelle on October 29, 2012, 11:47:19 AM
Was away last week at a social services conference, so have been catching up what's been happening here since getting back...this is an interesting thread to say the least.
The people who most inspired me were my grandparents, Robert and Ellen Hunter ( for whom my children are named).They taught me all I needed to know about how to live a good life, I will be eternally grateful to them.
When I was younger I did  a lot of bar work. Obviously there was a lot of banter, some inappropriate behaviour etc. Nothing I couldn't handle. After all, I'd signed up for it with a level of awareness of what the work entailed and the job suited my personality. I never felt out of my depth.
However, when my boss was inappropriate, I reported him because that was something else, it was about misuse of power, exploitation and was definately not something i'd signed up for. We are all entitled to be treated with respect and dignity, whatever our job or position. It is not easy to take that step and complain and it is not something to be undertaken lightly, but it is worth doing, for your own sake and for the sake of others who may find themselves unable to take action if they find themselves in a similar situation.
I would expect any man of mature years to have learned to moderate his behaviour and know how to behave in a professional manner. There are a number of reasons why he might not do so, most if not all of them unpalatable
I would also expect any man who fell short of the standards of behaviour expected of him to step down from any role which conferred upon him any level of recognition or enhanced status. If he did not so willingly and I had the power, I would force him. Failing that I would/will withdraw my support ( had I given it in the first place...)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on October 29, 2012, 11:50:21 AM
hmm, Rochelle a very interesting and thought provoking post.   :coffee:

so are you going to have a word with your leader?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Rochelle on October 29, 2012, 03:55:13 PM
 I will certainly be making my feelings quite clear to the rest of the group including the leader yes
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: jennyb on October 29, 2012, 04:24:51 PM
If the deputy mayor does not have the ability to judge what is or isn't appropriate behaviour in a business situation in which he is in attendance in an official capacity then that is of concern.

In my opinion that renders him unfit to hold elected office.

He should do the right thing and step down.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 29, 2012, 06:35:27 PM
Quote
He should do the right thing and step down

Whilst i agree with the sentiment - your opinion is precisely that 'yours' and not necessarily shared universally.

Some might say that the issue is a 'storm in a teacup' and their opinion is just as valid.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 29, 2012, 06:46:31 PM
Quote
Tobes I agree that Mandela is a wonderful man who prevented a blood bath following the transition of power from a white to a majority black government.

Yup. Whatever else his failings (his choice of megalomaniac wife being a good start!) - he will be remembered and revered for that at least.

Quote
What I have a problem with is that I believe the truth was available under the old regime and now it is not.  Take Johannesburg in the 1990's.  It is a fact that British Airways crew were not allowed out of their hotels without an Armed escort.  What does that tell you?

It tells us that life in SA is cheap. I don't need second hand anecdotes to convince me either - in the relatively short time I was there I had a loaded .44 magnum waved in my face, I saw someone get shot in the head at point black range, I tried to stop a man who turned out to be a serial rapist and a murderer and had a gun forced into my hand and was told to shoot someone.... And when I expressed 'mild concern' as to the nature of the place, I got the 'Ach maaaan, something far worse happened to me last week' from the people living there. Its since got a LOT worse too!

What happened under the old regime is that, thanks to the Group Areas Act, this kind of hideous violence was contained and concentrated within the townships. As a black friend of mine said (with a doleful shrug) when I told him that I thought the explosive escalation in crime in joberg showed something was going wrong; 'Man, this is the kind of kack we've been living with our whole lives. All thats happened now is that the whites are seeing it on their doorstep'. Out of interest, this same guy was being given a hard time by some old-school bone-head at the company we worked at. One day he took me to one side - 'You know what pisses me off more than anything about this Boer idiot? That for R100 I could speak to a Tsotsi and have him taken out tomorrow.'  Its the reality of that kind of cheapness of life which makes glib observations of the supposed 'failure' of Mandela all the more silly in my view.

As to the 'truth'? The crime stats are there for all to see, aren't they? J'oberg is a crime war-zone and renowned as such worldwide.

Quote
Also I met a man in Lincoln in 2001 on a sales call and he told me he had just returned to this country after a thirty five year stay in South Africa a country which he loved.  So I asked him why he came home to which he replied 'when your brother and your best friend are shot dead at traffic lights you do not feel too safe.' 

Yup. Some genuinely terrible things have happened since to some of my closest friends living out there. Horrific.

Quote
I have sadly heard similar stories elsewhere, but this does not detract from the fact that it could have been a lot lot worse and the credit for that has to go to Mandela.

Agreed.

Quote
As for Nick Martin, I am disappointed not to have heard some form of comment from him.  Does this imply guilt or has the Conservative Party damage limitation machinery in the form of their political assistant, someone extraordinarily involved with everyday Swindon, come into play?  One thing is for sure unless someone makes something of it now Nick will be Mayor next May.  Over to you Jim Grant.

I guess there's a difficult line to tread regarding being seen to be being politically opportunist, but yes, this ought to be followed up. If there's no contrition or recognition of the offence/stress/upset he caused, then serious questions ought to be asked - as this man is going to be the figurehead for the Borough for a year, representing everyone in it to the rest of the country, and through twinning, internationally too. Step up the the plate, Jim.

Quote
Some might say that the issue is a 'storm in a teacup' and their opinion is just as valid.

... And I'd say 'some' were talking errant balls to try and down-play an issue which Nick Martin himself unnecessarily blew into a storm. Unless of course you believe that the pre-panel Adver vstory wasn't an orchestrated PR release?

Surely the way Nick Martin has handled this issue shows very least shows an appalling lack of diplomacy or judgement - two aspects of character key to being a good Mayor?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Mart on October 29, 2012, 07:57:57 PM
I wonder if Mr Blair would be averse to being banged up for 20 odd years?

I think it is worth the gamble as I for one would respect him so much more, in fact I'd recommend it as a means to add gravitas to anyone's political persona. A bit of suffering for one's beliefs could be a surefire hit at the ballot box.

You know it makes sense.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 29, 2012, 08:07:56 PM
Quote
... And I'd say 'some' were talking errant balls to try and down-play an issue which Nick Martin himself unnecessarily blew into a storm. Unless of course you believe that the pre-panel Adver vstory wasn't an orchestrated PR release?


I am 100% sure it was not an orchestrated press release from Coun Martin  :coffee:
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 29, 2012, 08:33:46 PM
The TV was on in the background in my house on sunday  & if I heard it right - there was a big feature on the BBC West politics show about the upcoming election for a mayor in Bristol . I think that there were c 10 people putting themselves forward to be spokesman and role model for the town - lots of competition for the role , lots of different perspectives seemed to be on show.
I could be naive, but it didn't seem like an automatic choice.

There were also a couple of other politicians speaking about the importance of the role - not only as a spokesperson to represent and speak up for Bristol - but also as in important face - and spokeman for the whole of the West country.

As I'm not knowledgeable enough about these things, I'd be interested to understand more... what does a mayor do in their role?  what skills / qualities are needed ?The impression from the Politics show was that it is an important and professional role - I thought  it was a valued role geared towards goodwill relationships on a more local level ... less external "ambassadorial " duties ?
I may well be wrong as I didn't pay enough attention to this - so appreciate a better explanation if possible!




Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: I Could Do That on October 29, 2012, 08:43:54 PM
I don't think it means so much in Swindon as it's just another cabinet councillor taking "their turn"
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 29, 2012, 08:49:24 PM
The Mayoral position being contested in Bristol is a real position of power - Swindon Councillors opted to choose the Strong Leader and Cabinet model citing little interest in the Mayoral model of local government for being the reason.

The Mayoral post in Swindon is largely ceremonial and was always intended to be a reward for Civic service as opposed to party political support.

 
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 29, 2012, 10:01:41 PM
Thanks for explaining - seemed like a bit of disconnect so its good to understand why.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 29, 2012, 11:05:56 PM
The Mayoral position being contested in Bristol is a real position of power - Swindon Councillors opted to choose the Strong Leader and Cabinet model citing little interest in the Mayoral model of local government for being the reason.

The Mayoral post in Swindon is largely ceremonial and was always intended to be a reward for Civic service as opposed to party political support.


I didn't produce the threatened sermon yesterday, but this re-hash of a post I published more than four years ago should serve instead.....

....readers from Croft will notice a familiar face in this sad tale of banana republic politics.


How and why Swindon voters were deliberately denied the chance to choose who leads the Council



In April 2008 an Institute of Public Policy Research report confirmed that elected Mayors have proved highly capable leaders overseeing improvements in the performance of their councils and developing innovative policies. The IPPR argued that having more towns and cities with mayors could potentially reinvigorate local politics.  It also recognised that the current system is biased against introducing them and a referendum to elect a mayor can only be triggered by a majority vote from councillors or a petition signed by five per cent of constituents.

The Local Government Act 2000 made local councils adopt modern management structures and for the first time gave the electorate the choice between directly electing a Mayor to lead their council or allowing a 'leader of the council' to be chosen by the largest political party in the council chamber.  The Act of Parliament was meant to further empower citizens to choose who leads them in local government.

In 2001, during a chaotic and angry meeting of Swindon Borough Council, 55 Councillors denied the town, its people and itself a genuine opportunity to improve when it carried a motion rejecting public demand for an elected Mayor and taking the power to appoint leaders onto itself.

As per the terms of the Local Government Act 2000, the public of Swindon had to be, and were, consulted by the council before it changed its constitution.

Unfortunately for Swindon, a couple of ambitious and ideally placed Councillors interpreted the consultation results in a manner biased toward preserving the party-political status quo and presented a motion to the council which recommended adopting the leadership system we suffer under currently because, it said: The public had shown "Little support for elected Mayors" when it was consulted.  Most of know the sort of low quality 'consultation' so often employed by Swindons great and good.

I believe that the motion should never have been passed by Swindon Borough Council on the 27th of September 2001. It is of great concern that the leadership structure the council has used ever since was nodded through without debate immediately after a vote of no confidence in the council and mass resignation of the cabinet. (Read below for more detail)



I Say That...










The review panel stated that the leader and cabinet option was the 'preferred' option.  I ask: 'Who preferred it?"   



I Know that...


Sitting on the 2001 review panel charged with considering the reports summary and making a recommendation to the council were the 3 leaders of the the political parties in Swindon. Sue Bates (Labour), Mike Bawden (Conservative) and Mike Evemy (Lib Dem). Each had a vested interest in the leader and cabinet model being adopted.

The 2001 review panel met, reviewed the report summary, and decided to deliver their recommendation to council at a time of intense political and civic turmoil in Swindon.  I think it should have deferred it's decision to a much later date but each of the three thought it politically expedient to push ahead.....

At the full council meeting on the 27th of September 2001 the review panel recommendation was placed, perhaps deliberately, a long way down the agenda at item 59: 'Council Constitution – Recommendations of the Review Panel on Consultation on New Political Structures'.   This important item was preceded by discussions on minimum voting ages, garden composting, Swindon Town Football club, waste plans, bus lanes and the local library plan, but events had taken a dramatic turn before item 59 even came up.

Agenda item 49 was a Motion of 'No Confidence' in the council. It was 'moved' by leader of the Conservative group Councillor Mike Bawden and was only carried with the assistance of the Liberal Democrat leader Coucillor Mike Evemy and Councillors of both groups. (remember that Cllr's Bawden & Evemy were two of the three leading members of the 2001 consultation review panel)

The motion of no confidence was successful. The Labour leader of the council, Sue Bates, and the entire Labour administration, immediately resigned and the council meeting had to be adjourned for about 15 minutes while some order was restored.

(http://www.swindonlink.com/feature_content_image/image_url/229/Link_Nov01_extract_angle.jpg)


The councillors filed back into a chamber which now contained a council with no leader and no executive members.

Even so and within a matter of minutes, every single remaining agenda item, including item 59, was 'put' to a vote and 'carried' with no discussion or debate.  To put it crudely, the remaining council business had been simply 'nodded through', after which the councillors rushed out of the chamber to discuss the nights excitement with their colleagues.  I'm told that Cllr Bawden was 'ecstatic' that his plan had worked.

So, there you have it. A misleading, inaccurate report summary, politicians jockeying for control of your council with eyes firmly fixed on the 'leaders seat', and a successful power grab. In the middle of this political battle your right to choose how your council leader is chosen had fallen victim to party politics and been trampled by councillors determined to retain that power for themselves.

...but you can still choose whether to think of Swindon as a fully functioning democracy, a Rotten Borough or a Bluhnana republic.  That choice can't be taken away from you. Yet.

Thus endeth todays sermon.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 29, 2012, 11:13:55 PM

From Swindon Link November 2001

Quote

Swindon to continue shambolic cabinet system, after 56% of citizens panel support directly elected mayor

As the business of the Swindon Borough Council degenerated into chaos on 27 September (2001) after the controlling Labour group resigned following a vote of no confidence, the irony of a decision taken at the very same meeting escaped notice when councillors voted to continue with the leader and cabinet system of local government.

Most people won’t have noticed a consultation exercise by Swindon Council asking for views on three options put forward by central government on how the council should be run:

1.    the present leader/cabinet arrangement;
2.    an elected mayor with a cabinet;
3.    a mayor plus council manager.

Swindon Council did more than many other authorities by circulating every household with a leaflet asking for comment, but without a public awareness campaign for an arcane subject like local government administration, response was always likely to be low.

The report presented to councillors on the outcome of the consultation positively asserts that there is clear support for retention of the existing system. But how clear is this? The details in the report muddies the water.

First, response was perhaps too low to justify such a positive conclusion. Only 9% responded to the household survey and a conference of interested ‘stakeholders,’ a main indicator of support, was attended by under 40 people.

Secondly, a common theme in different consultation forums was a lack of knowledge about the existing system and uncertainty about the options.

Thirdly, the rules were skewed, not by the council, but unintentionally or otherwise by the government, as the vote by those wanting a directly elected mayor was split between two options.

Thus, the Swindon People’s Voice ‘citizens panel’, heavily relied upon in the report’s conclusions, sought the views of 2,640 local residents. Just over 50% replied, the best response of any of the processes used. The leader/cabinet system won most support at 44%.

But if the votes in favour of both systems involving a directly elected mayor are combined, the picture is different, with 56% wanting a change from the cabinet system.

Swindon resident Martha Parry is planning to challenge the proposal by the council to the government to continue with the leader cabinet system, if she can attract 6,000 signatures on a petition. “At present the leader of the council is the choice of a party political group. The benefit of directly electing a mayor is that all voters across the town choose the person who will have responsibility for leading the decision making. It would connect voters with how the town is run and could lead to less partisan behaviour by councillors.”

Might need to split this thread......
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 29, 2012, 11:21:12 PM
Quote
I am 100% sure it was not an orchestrated press release from Coun Martin

... then l you must be 100% sure from whence the story did come from...?

Leaked to the Adver by a councillor or officer?
Briefed by Helen Miah?
Briefed by SBC PR?

'sbout the only options.

Do tell.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: the gorgon on October 30, 2012, 08:05:23 AM
Quote
I am 100% sure it was not an orchestrated press release from Coun Martin

... then l you must be 100% sure from whence the story did come from...?

Leaked to the Adver by a councillor or officer?
Briefed by Helen Miah?
Briefed by SBC PR?

'sbout the only options.

Do tell.

What about a disgruntled Lodge member?  >:D :wink:
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 30, 2012, 02:30:21 PM
Should be working but took a 2 minute break.....interesting to read this earlier post.

"Agenda item 49 was a Motion of 'No Confidence' in the council. It was 'moved' by leader of the Conservative group Councillor Mike Bawden and was only carried with the assistance of the Liberal Democrat leader Coucillor Mike Evemy and Councillors of both groups. (remember that Cllr's Bawden & Evemy were two of the three leading members of the 2001 consultation review panel)

The motion of no confidence was successful. The Labour leader of the council, Sue Bates, and the entire Labour administration, immediately resigned and the council meeting had to be adjourned for about 15 minutes while some order was restored."

Also be interested to hear the answer to the 100% question.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 30, 2012, 05:18:33 PM
Quote
Also be interested to hear the answer to the 100% question.

Couldn't possibly offer any further comment beyond what i have said, which is that Coun Martin did not orchestrate the story.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 30, 2012, 06:29:41 PM
Quote
Couldn't possibly offer any further comment beyond what i have said, which is that Coun Martin did not orchestrate the story.

What a cop out!

Why? If the knowledge was confidential, you've already buggered that, surely?

All this selective gnostic communication - all very Lodge-worthy, indeed.  :-X

(Oh, which reminds me - earlier on, you complained that described the Masons as a 'secret' society. I noted that was a [deliberate?] misinterpretation of what I said. I said it was a secretive organisation...)  :wink:
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: I Could Do That on October 30, 2012, 06:58:21 PM
I am 100% sure it was not an orchestrated press release from Coun Martin

What's the point of making such a bold claim then refusing to elaborate on it?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Mart on October 30, 2012, 07:34:15 PM
P'raps it just wasn't orchestrated.

Not much seems to be orchestrated at SBC except shambles and that's a bit of a paradox now I think of it.

Maybe it was an inadvertent press release accompanied with a gentle 'I couldn't possibly comment'. A negligent oral discharge if you will.

I know, but you don't, is a bit shit though and hardly in keeping with this forum.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 30, 2012, 08:02:20 PM
The only time(s) I've ever claimed to be100% positive that someone else could not have done 'x', was when I'd done it myself.  ;D
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Mart on October 30, 2012, 09:29:09 PM
The only time(s) I've ever claimed to be100% positive that someone else could not have done 'x', was when I'd done it myself.

Which is normally when I claim I didn't do it.

I don't even know what it was I didn't do most of the time.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: I Could Do That on October 30, 2012, 09:58:01 PM
I wasn't even there at the time.....

Whenever it was
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Mart on October 30, 2012, 10:13:17 PM
Whenever what was?

I can see a whole career unfolding in front of me. Government spokesman.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 30, 2012, 10:31:52 PM
 If its right to ask  for greater openness and transparency from certain councillors... shouldn't this standard apply more broadly?

 Des - by writing  that you are 100 % certain that a statement wasnt given by a particular councillor - don't you feel that  think you should be open and transparent by saying how you know?

Bearing in mind peoples lives have been affected - seems right to me - or am I being too idealistic?





Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 30, 2012, 10:48:27 PM
Quote
Des - by writing  that you are 100 % certain that a statement wasn't given by a particular councillor - do you think you should be open and transparent by saying how you know?

Actually no I don't think i am under any obligation to explain how i can be so certain.  It's for you and others to either accept or reject my comment.  I was answering a query raised which made a suggestion that Coun Martin might have been a lead party in releasing the news to the press. I know that to be 'not the case' and as such i thought it proper to say as much.

It's not a cop out.  I answered a legitmate query with an equally legitimate answer.

Not sure how asking councillors to be open and transparent equates to me having to do anything beyond assist in preventing people from making a false assumption. Of course whatever i say can be disregarded if you believe i would deliberately lie simply because Coun Martin is a Freemason. I would hope people on TS know me well enough to know that I would not lie nor would i seek to let a wrong assumption gain a hold in peoples minds.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 30, 2012, 11:14:33 PM
Quote
am I being too idealistic?

Alas, so it would appear...  :-\
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: I Could Do That on October 31, 2012, 12:27:37 AM
Indeed :(
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on October 31, 2012, 02:09:17 AM

Ah, I think we're in danger of being a bit harsh on Des.  I also know why Des is sure, but to explain further would unfairly place a trusted source in an uncomfortable position.

I don't think any of us want to get to a point where sources won't share....because if we do the Rod Bluh's ans Garry Perkins of the world will have won the quill pen war.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 31, 2012, 10:49:58 AM
Des, ref your sentence :

"Of course whatever i say can be disregarded if you believe i would deliberately lie simply because Coun Martin is a Freemason. I would hope people on TS know me well enough to know that I would not lie nor would i seek to let a wrong assumption gain a hold in peoples minds. "

From what I do know about you , I believe you.
I think it was your emphatic " 100% statement " that added interest!

Equally , I now understand that some "sources" can't be shared openly , though I guess it creates interesting  dilemmas.


Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Chav on October 31, 2012, 11:50:12 AM
Lets not lose sight of what this thread is about.

Back to the allegations which led to Cllr Martins' appearance in front of the standards board/ panel .....
How I perceive it, and I only speak for myself here, is that maybe it was just a compliment about a lady's hair do that went wrong!

Yes , I think he crossed the line by allegedly touching her, however there are some people who are feely touchy by nature ( I have come across a few - nothing that a loud ' excuse me' , an assertive stare and moving away won't sort out . Failing that , a hard nudge with the elbow) .

As for the ducks arse DA bit, factually , that's what the hairstyle used to be referred to .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck's_ass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck's_ass)
http://www.fiftiesweb.com/fashion/ducktail.htm (http://www.fiftiesweb.com/fashion/ducktail.htm)

Other names for it are ducktail , duck butt (very American) and ducks ass.

I think he was just saying that as it was. I would have referred to it as a ducks ass, just as I would have referred to a very tight curly perm as a Vera Duckworth perm etc .

However , the alleged ' I've been waiting to do that all night'  phrase was probably not the thing to say as it comes across as quite sinister if taken in that context.

I think this has happened, it's been addressed and lessons have been learned.

I would also say that we are all human and I know I have said things or done things in jest where other people have probably cringed and thought it was inappropriate.

I bet there is not one person on here who hand on heart can say that in all their lifetime they haven't offended someone .

We learn from it, appologise and move on don't we ?

My post by the way isn't meant to offend anyone, I am just looking at things from my perspective of real life.

Chav



Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on October 31, 2012, 06:42:11 PM
Quote
Yes , I think he crossed the line by allegedly touching her, however there are some people who are feely touchy by nature

'Cuddly' Nick Martin?  :2funny: Yeah, right - that's the guy SBC employees talk about [NOT!]...

Maybe it was a compliment that went wrong. Maybe it wasn't.

Maybe a simple heart felt apology would have stopped this escalating into a rather silly public spat?

Maybe a simple public apology after being found guilty would show some contrition and diplomacy from a man soon to be put in a position of public responsibility and who will be representing everyone who lives here...?

Quote
I am just looking at things from my perspective of real life.

Same here - though I am trying to apply a filter based on what I know of the two main protagonists and what was most likely...

Ultimately, who really knows? Well, apart from Des.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: carole bent on October 31, 2012, 07:49:00 PM
 
Well said Tobes.

I don't know Cllr Martin & accept that we each have different levels / limits of personal boundaries but it is clear ( & supported ) that the officer involved neither invited nor encouraged the physical contact with him.

Reading back through the article , she reported the event straight away and has waited a very long time for this to be dealt with.

To highlight something like this can't have been easy - so I hope she is getting decent support now.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Chav on October 31, 2012, 10:01:29 PM
Quote
Maybe it was a compliment that went wrong. Maybe it wasn't.

Maybe a simple heart felt apology would have stopped this escalating into a rather silly public spat?

Maybe a simple public apology after being found guilty would show some contrition and diplomacy from a man soon to be put in a position of public responsibility and who will be representing everyone who lives here...?

Maybe .......  :wink:

Quote
I am just looking at things from my perspective of real life.

Quote
Same here - though I am trying to apply a filter based on what I know of the two main protagonists and what was most likely...

Ultimately, who really knows? Well, apart from Des.

Totally agree - the ones who really know were the ones involved , I'm just basing my opinions on what I have read and as we all know we all have differences of opinion .  O0
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Des Morgan on October 31, 2012, 11:32:49 PM
Quote
Ultimately, who really knows? Well, apart from Des.

Ah Tobes - you are being a rascal.  I misinterpreted something you said recently when i misquoted you by using the word secret as opposed to your word secretive - I apologise.

What i have claimed is that Coun Martin was not the originator of a story played out in the SA not that I know anything more than the rest of TS contributors as to the circumstances behind Helen Miah's complaint. And to be clear - I don't know anything beyond what has been made public.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: jennyb on November 01, 2012, 12:54:09 PM
Quote
Ultimately, who really knows? Well, apart from Des.


What i have claimed is that Coun Martin was not the originator of a story played out in the SA not that I know anything more than the rest of TS contributors as to the circumstances behind Helen Miah's complaint. And to be clear - I don't know anything beyond what has been made public.

This being the case, Cllr Martin was however in control of his response to the SA journalist.

It would have perhaps ( in my opinion) been wiser to have been somewhat less pugnacious in his response.

He would not get my vote as Deputy Mayor.. if I had one. 
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: oldtowner on January 02, 2013, 01:23:37 PM
Look what it cost - that could have paid for half of the mayor's chain (assuming nick actually gets to wear it). my personal opinion is that I dont think his behaviour merits him becoming mayor.

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/10133333.__5K_spent_by_council_on_deputy_mayor_probe/?action=success (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/10133333.__5K_spent_by_council_on_deputy_mayor_probe/?action=success)
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Bobby Bingo on January 02, 2013, 01:44:28 PM
Why does he have to keep opening his big trap? surely you would expect the following reply from a person that is currently the Deputy Mayor of Swinmdon.
"I have no comment to make. The matter has been dealt with and as far as I am concerned is now closed"
Will the Labour Group have the balls to vote against him becoming the Mayor in May this year? Or will they just sit on their hands and allow Nicks cronies to vote him in? I wonder what some of the past mayors of the borough think, obviously with the exclusion of one that brought the office into disrepute. 
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Muggins on January 02, 2013, 01:48:02 PM
I hadn't got to the end of that last sentence before I started  :santa_grin: :santa_grin: :santa_grin: :santa_grin:
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: concerned_of_Old_Town on January 02, 2013, 03:46:20 PM
I have been very disappointed with Labour / Liberals in their failure to act as an effective opposition.  They seem to go along with the status quo. 


I would like them to make a stand on this  and put some real pressure on the current administration.

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 02, 2013, 04:40:10 PM
I have been very disappointed with Labour / Liberals in their failure to act as an effective opposition.  They seem to go along with the status quo. 

I would like them to make a stand on this  and put some real pressure on the current administration.

Well concerned if you attended Full Council you would know that the Liberals do not have a voice of their own and so it is up to Labour to make the difference in 2013 or be challenged by others in 2014!!

I doubt if they will challenge Nick Martin as Mayor as they have yet to voice an official opinion on this issue hitherto.

As it took more than fifteen months for this to come to light anyway you have to suspect 'others' at work to discredit him.  His relationship with Rod is, in my opinion, somewhat similar to that between the leader and Mike Bawden and regular readers of this site know exactly what that means!!
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on January 02, 2013, 05:54:06 PM
Quote
I have been very disappointed with Labour / Liberals in their failure to act as an effective opposition.  They seem to go along with the status quo.


I would like them to make a stand on this  and put some real pressure on the current administration.

Totally agree - BOTH parties.

Got the balls to agree, Richard? Or are a mere three Liberal councillors who were voted back in a ward you don't live in (but can't help but comment upon in every thread) to blame for all the ills of SBC? Please remind me, how many Labour councillors are there...?

Just sayin'....
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 02, 2013, 07:32:24 PM
Tobes, in order to put pressure on the Administration all four Liberal Councillors have to turn up to Council meetings and at the last one in December it was just Stan and the Lady from Wroughton, that is a 50% turnout and on one vote the Administration won by one vote.

The Liberals hold the balance of power, but almost always vote with the Administration

nough said I think

Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Jodie Maggio on January 02, 2013, 08:19:17 PM
I have been very disappointed with Labour / Liberals in their failure to act as an effective opposition.  They seem to go along with the status quo. 

I would like them to make a stand on this  and put some real pressure on the current administration.

Well concerned if you attended Full Council you would know that the Liberals do not have a voice of their own and so it is up to Labour to make the difference in 2013 or be challenged by others in 2014!!

I doubt if they will challenge Nick Martin as Mayor as they have yet to voice an official opinion on this issue hitherto.

As it took more than fifteen months for this to come to light anyway you have to suspect 'others' at work to discredit him.  His relationship with Rod is, in my opinion, somewhat similar to that between the leader and Mike Bawden and regular readers of this site know exactly what that means!!

Does that mean Rod has had a tarring from Nick's brush  :santa_grin:
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on January 02, 2013, 10:24:37 PM
Richard, we may be at daggers drawn on other issues - but if you can cite examples of votes where the Libs are misrepresenting the beliefs and interests of the majority of Swindonians (ugh - 'ites'??) - or failing to honour the mandate given them by their ward - I'd be genuinely interested to know.

Quote
Tobes, in order to put pressure on the Administration all four Liberal Councillors have to turn up to Council meetings and at the last one in December it was just Stan and the Lady from Wroughton, that is a 50% turnout and on one vote the Administration won by one vote.

What was the vote on?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 02, 2013, 10:29:01 PM
Does that mean Rod has had a tarring from Nick's brush  :santa_grin:

Not that I am aware that way around, but I do believe that he stood up to Rod and was thereby 'brushed' out by the man.

So is he a Bluhligan?  No, but only to the extent he is not one of the inner circle.  He still acts like one recommending the flogging off of anything that will raise a penny.  For example the new car showroom under Shaw Forest, which will spoil the view, and a small piece of ground on Old Shaw Lane show all the hallmarks of his work!!  So sadly to all intents and purposes Nick Martin is a Bluhligan and would do nothing to imperil the Conservative Administration.
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Richard Symonds on January 02, 2013, 10:35:17 PM
What was the vote on?

Will answer that one tomorrow Tobes as I am on a borrowed computer in deepest Hertfordshire and need to look up the debates that took place.

Suffice to say though that for every motion that Labour raised there was an Amendment despite the validity of the original.  Why do they have to do that every time and why aren't copies of these Amendments made available to other than Councillors which again makes it very difficult to follow from the sidelines? 

Is this also deliberate?

I suggest this is another example of a Big Conversation which isn't!!
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Tobes on January 02, 2013, 10:39:00 PM
Quote
Will answer that one tomorrow Tobes as I am on a borrowed computer in deepest Hertfordshire and need to look up the debates that took place.

Thank you. My interest is genuine and sincere.

Quote
Suffice to say though that for every motion that Labour raised there was an Amendment despite the validity of the original.  Why do they have to do that every time and why aren't copies of these Amendments made available to other than Councillors which again makes it very difficult to follow from the sidelines?

Is this also deliberate?

Sadly, given the behaviour of the current incumbents, almost certainly  :santa_embarassed:

Quote
I suggest this is another example of a Big Conversation which isn't!!

Does ANYONE believe in the validity of the Big Conversation...?
Title: Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
Post by: Geoff Reid on January 02, 2013, 11:34:05 PM
Nope, Bluh's 'Big Conversation' falls into the category of Eric Pickles' 'sock puppets' and the hypocrisy of this administration holding what it claims to be a worthwhile 'consultation', (when a mountain of evidence and experience proves that the administration actively tries to suppress conversation, scrutiny and proper consultation in regard of its activities), is as predictably mendacious as it is functionally impotent.