Author Topic: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too  (Read 2540 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« on: September 12, 2008, 04:49:36 PM »
While Rod Bluh was on holiday recently, his deputy leader, Councillor Foley, supplied the article below to replace Rods usual column.  Initially I found some of her comments surprising but my surprise soon gave way to another feeling entirely.

 



If Cllr Foley is looking for a pat on the back, she's going to be disappointed...as is any other councillor looking for one.  Respect is earned, not demanded, and she'll be waiting a long time if she continues displaying such arrogance in the local press. 

For starters, the elected councillors do not employ 8,000 people, we do.  The elected bods supply political direction and concoct policies, the chief executive of the council and officers clerks below him do their best to both act on the political whims of our elected finest and operate the councils day to day business of cleaning the streets, emptying the bins and undertaking a thousand and one other daily tasks that the Councillors like to regularly tinker with to provide opportunities for claiming resounding successes.

If it were true that Councillors seek election because they care about their community and wish to make a difference, I would expect the entire Council to abandon the party political system and pull together properly, in roughly the same direction as a properly functioning council should do. Councillors have multiple reasons for seeking election, not least of which is a party political belief and allegiance.  I suggest that most Councillors are party political animals first, second and third, and representatives of communities last which, in my eyes, makes her mauling of those she describes as 'pressure groups' all the more galling. 

Marylyn Beale responds to Foleys whinging so adequately that I don't think I can add anything to her words, except to say: well done Marylyn!.



In summary, if Councillor Foley isn't satisfied with her lot, resents criticism and doesn't like people she labels as complainers....then she can resign and make space for someone that can.  Her idea of 'allowing' people to shadow councillors and in her words: even cabinet members is interesting, but even that comes across like another whine. I also predict that only 'shadow' observers who can be expected to give a positive opinion will be invited along for the inevitable PR and press opportunity.  TS members need not apply, you're all too damn honest to be allowed anywhere near a serving councillor. 

So I'm sorry Fionuala, Tory leaflets already carry so much smug and self congratulatory back slapping nauseating pap, and make claims that are often proved false or unreliable, that the rest of us don't feel the need to encourage it by adding to it.  Public service is a thankless task at the best of times....and we're a long time away from those. 

Councillor F should acknowledge that a public servant is what she is. She wanted the job, if it's not now to her liking she can very easily get out of it. If she does want it, she should stop whining and just get on with it.

Every other Councillor seems to manage it, and the ones I spoken to recently seem a little embarrassed and perhaps belittled by her words. 




« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 01:43:49 AM by Geoff Reid »



Offline Nan Smallgrope

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Re: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2008, 06:45:44 AM »


Quote
We have to translate legislation, reports and budgets into the decisions and actions that will make people's lives better.

Yes, you do love. When are you going to start doing it?


Quote
The easy option is to sit back and complain. My challenge to complainers is this: stand up and assume some responsibility for making things better.

Let me see, it's on the tip of my tongue - ah yes, I remember what I was thinking now: HOW DUMB ARE YOU EXACTLY ?  you have already stood up and made promises to hopeful electors, you said you could make things better, you said you knew how to do it. Now it looks like you're bitching about catching some flak along the way. Get over yourself woman. Your electors already assumed some responsibility for making things better by believing whatever you promised them to get yourself elected and by voting you and your ilk into office.  If you can't do the job without complaining about the reason for doing it, i.e people, then let yourselves out and don't let the door hit your sorry arse on your way out because you're in the wrong job and wrong office lady.

Take this from a Parlimentarian that has a considerably more significant majority than yow: Once you've prostituted yourself on the altar of party politics there's no going back and no 'Cherry-repair' service for the politically broken-in. 

You make your own bed and you lie in it come what may.  ;)

Labour's Newest Member of Parliament: Nan Smallgrope MP      * Born 08.07.1957     * Tescos Clubcard Holder.     * Paid Up Member Of The Tufty Club  

Offline Mart

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Re: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2008, 05:39:04 PM »
I am mad keen on denigrating anyone who seeks public office, at any level, and then gently slides into 'I know better than you' mode. At the lower level of political life I will often border on the slanderous to those elected types who place party before electorate. Face it, you can't be right all the time, admit it now and again. It could be the first teeny tiny step on the path to that much craved respect.

My party is always right, therefore I am always right Utter bollocks.

To my parochial view this forum is a pressure group, you will have views on it's effectiveness, and you may even be right, but it's single most significant achievement is that all are equal, and there is no prevailing political allegiance, this means we can discuss all manner of things without worrying if we have queered our pitch as it were. Many politicians at many levels would be so much more respected if they would shut their yap and listened and delivered.

People may moan that all they see the council do is collect rubbish and clean the streets? Not in this bloody town they don't dearie.

Anyway much as I like to sit back and moan, cos it is so very damn easy these days, I am metaphorically jumping up and down and waving my arms, I will go into the white hot heat of SBC. I would be extremely happy to be a shadow.

Is there a smoking room?
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2008, 06:18:48 PM »
Quote
To my parochial view this forum is a pressure group, you will have views on it's effectiveness, and you may even be right, but it's single most significant achievement is that all are equal, and there is no prevailing political allegiance, this means we can discuss all manner of things without worrying if we have queered our pitch as it were. Many politicians at many levels would be so much more respected if they would shut their yap and listened and delivered.

Mart oh Mart - another perfect summary as far as I can see. Aren't you getting bored of 'post of the week' nominations?!  ;)

I have to say, I started out agreeing with the broad point MS Foley was making about the ease of knocking councillors, who at the end of the day, do their best... but as I read on, I found myself becoming a bit pissed off with her santimonious tone. Some of her comments also smelled of buring martyr - afterall, she chose to stand for election! Her recent involvement in the apparently broken promises regarding the Headlands school development is a perfect illustration as to why so many of us find it difficult to hold politicians in much other than contempt. Yet, according to this piece, she seems to be suggesting that criticism of bodged policy, concern about soon-to-be-bodged policy or outrage at misleading statements is just 'whingeing'.

As for the balls about pressure groups walking away from an issue once resolved - what point is she trying to make??! Last time I checked, councillors served terms before coming up for election - which frequently means that their electorates are left saddled with the mistakes of their tenure when they lose their seat and 'walk away'. Whats the fricken' difference?! How many numbskulled councillors are still serving who were responsible for the decision to turn the centre of town into an after-dark no-go Chavopolis of alco-pops and fistfights? Did they stay on to undo the mayhem they created, or did they too 'walk away'? The letter from Marilyn Beale eloquently sums up the reality.

(Incidentally - the care of the vulnerable is provided NOT by councillors - but by social workers and civil servants: people who, if you speak to them, often comment on the time wasting and irritating interference of ignorami councillors who think they know better...)

HOWEVER - she is right on one thing, we as a populace are pretty ignorant of the pressures under which councillors work - as well as the lack of influence or room for manoevre which their positions afford. My limited experience of the inner workings of council politics has taught me that things are rarely as simple as they appear from the outside. What saddens me though, is that so many councillors, weaned through years of subservience and ladder climbing within their own political parties, seem to actively encourage the continuing obfuscation of what they do and how its done. Its their private club game, usually hidden from the public and only opened up at election time. The rest of the time, deals are done and decisions made with little or no consulation with or even awareness of the public or their views on an issue. Thats a shame, because it plays into the hands of central government who can enforce unpopular policy and leave the council taking the blame for a situation not of their creation. Her specific mention of the rubbish issue is particularly apposite: afterall, this was a central government imposed scheme, which, instead of being questioned by a conservative council (and subjected to proper scrutiny and criticism) was waved through for short term expediency.

Still, having criticed her, I do have to say that the idea of shadowing councillors is a brave, progressive and imaginative move. Unfortunately though, I suspect it'll get little or no take-up. Some of us prefer to have our thoughts and opinions un-filtered by party policy or loyalty - so shouting from the sidelines is sometimes the best position from which to state the real truth rather than the politically expedient positioning statement. If councillors want our empathy, they ought to spend a lot less time following party policy and spend a lot more time listening to their electorate and take time to EXPLAIN whats happening and why - as well as to try and represent and react to the views, wishes and concerns of their electorate. The ball of responsibility isn't in our court - its most definately in theirs...

Anyone on TS tempted to take her up on the offer?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline komadori

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Re: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2008, 08:08:16 PM »
Quote from: Arrogant self-centred councillor
My challenge to complainers is this: stand up and assume some responsibility for making things better.

I regard complaining as an essential part of making things better. Without criticism, complaint, and vigorous examination, incompetent, inept or criminal activities would go unchallenged. It's part of holding elected representatives accountable for their actions, and any councillor who is uncomfortable with that should not be a councillor.

Yes some of the 'complaint' is quite aggressive, but if the likes of Ms Foley were more prepared to listen to the legitimate concerns of the electorate rather than putting party-politics first, they might find the tone of the argument rather calmer. Ms Foley needs to listen more and lecture less.
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Offline Mart

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Re: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 08:44:12 PM »
I want to go, I would love to do a bit of shadowing, I'm reasonably sure I will not be corrupted, unless of course my allotment application were to be 'facilitated'.

I am dead serious, I'd love to see lots of not walking away, bit of budget balancing, bit of legislation interpreting, bit of providing for children's futures, bit of caring for those less fortunate, bit of decision making, bit of action taking, bit of caring for all members of society (well, maybe not all, there are some who may need something a bit more, erm, firm)

Come to think of it, all of the above is what 'normal' people do every friggin day, and it's made a bloody sight more difficult by those who are elected, supposedly, to make it easier.

So how about it then, look, I'm standing up, I may be able to offer some comments, I may stretch to a bit of criticism if it's warranted.

Will you come and let me have a go?
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline ZPW

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Re: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2008, 01:41:29 PM »
When i firsy read fierce foley's ( bornanbred, bornanbred) blether, i rattled off a few choice words and there you go i gotr distratcted , so this post comes in much calmer moment, it reads kinder, gentler than my original post would've.

Whata pompous whinging sanctimonious rattle-brat she sounds.
poor me, poor me, poor me... woe, bins, woe parking tickets, woe woe woe.
how poxing dare she criticise volunteers, pressure groups, these being the unpaid, unknown people that give all the bornanbreds a sturdy stage on which to set up their soap boxes..
what is she on? she is she after? gratitude? i suspect she gets all she needs from seing her name in print and her photie in papare ( but what price would she give to have the file photo expunged from the archives).

and truly a  bit wrong of her to diss those that moan about her and hers - anyone heard her at the civic when she's in full moan mode? to hear her moan,moan,moan about kevin smallish and his lot....takes moaning to another level. esp. as they are both able to spit 'bornanbred bornanbred' at each other.


anyway... sorry to be unusually kind to this careersist bornanbred bin sorting ( it is her that sorts bins isn't it? no wonder then that people associate her with bin emptying... a misplaced bit of pr methinks... ) moaning leader for two weeks ( the ultimate position of power...? has she met gavin the rocker? doesn't she know that he is actually in charge and she is actually a sort of Temp? )

Stellar-Mart for shadow I say.
can he, or we choose who he shadows...? i vote for tossing curls that way we can have absolute proof she is a councllr... or perhaps david-watch-behind-you JT- sammels.... i think he also drinks lager..


Offline Bobby Bingo

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Re: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2008, 05:33:18 PM »
If you want to shadow "Tossing Curls" you will have a major problem. Her presence in St. Phillips is equal to her record in Central - zero.
Ref. Fin Foley check her declarions of interests and the property she owns etc. No wonder she has no idea what the voluntary sector and the action goups are all about.
If every volunteer was paid the minimum wage for the work they do for this borough it would cost the council thousands and thousands of pounds per annum.
Bobby

Offline Pandora

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Re: Councillor Foley airs a couple of whinges..... So I do too
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2008, 07:42:01 PM »
If you want to shadow "Tossing Curls" you will have a major problem. Her presence in St. Phillips is equal to her record in Central - zero.
Ref. Fin Foley check her declarions of interests and the property she owns etc. No wonder she has no idea what the voluntary sector and the action goups are all about.
If every volunteer was paid the minimum wage for the work they do for this borough it would cost the council thousands and thousands of pounds per annum.

Volunteers and action groups play a huge part in the community.
A few months ago we had Rod Bluh,  Cllr Colin Lovell and Cllr Ray Fisher visit Penhill.
The purpose of the visit was for us to show them what we have managed to achieve with so very few community volunteers and the projects and plans regarding working towards our Community Plan.

I think there are so few volunteers because, people are either busy or they loose interest in what is happening because things do not happen over night.

Take the Old Penhill Paddling Pool site as an example, we could do with a bit of support from SBC to help us achieve turning the site into a Splash Park for the kids and families, not just from Penhill but from all over.
We only have a few volunteers for this project and we could do with some more, untill then our dreams of a splash park have been put on hold.

The outcomes we wanted for the visit was:

1. The Councillors will gain a better understanding of the estate than they had previously
2. They will understand the hope that both John Moulton Hall (now) and the
Uplands School site (in the future)can be locally managed, and that this
management can be seen as a prelude to Neighbourhood Management of the
estate as a whole.
3. They will appreciate the importance of good local communication;
particularly in the form of a monthly community newsletter and an local
"Information Shop".
4. They will see the importance of building an Adventure Playground and
Splash Park in Penhill Park.
5. They will appreciate the value of community action regarding
anti-social behaviour  (information boxes).


The outcome of the visit was that it was certainly an eye opener and food for thought for our visitors.
I hope we can rely on a little support from them from time to time to help make things happen.

                                  Pandora  >:D >:D

P.S I have used Penhill as an example as I know community groups and volunteers in other area's of Swindon work very hard in trying to improve the lives of people in their communities. We all want the same.
http://www.penhill.blogswindon.org/ I AM NOT WHERE I NEED TO BE, BUT THANK GOD, I AM NOT WHERE I USED TO BE.