A Unconvincing Argument

spring A convincing argument is something different than the comment my friend Nigel Bakhai, head of the local Liberal Democrats, produced in their February 2010 pamphlet.

The article comments on the planned closure of public toilets, and conversion of a couple of benches (typically only used by people holding beer cans from breakfast time onwards). Both are owned by the Lidl supermarket chain, who wants to replace the benches with trees, and probably assumes that the Hanwell Public Toilet Scheme (another Ealing Council brainfart) compensates for the removal of their own public toilets.

The Lib Dems’ article is entitled Inconvenient Truth. I was looking forward to find a good old rant over the fact that Ealing‘s current conservative council is asset-striping the borough, failing to provide basic public services (such as road surface maintenance or, indeed, the provision of public toilets, trees, benches, or aid for those in need), yet find it fit to refund £50 “overpaid” council tax to almost every household in the borough.

A great opportunity to make a point in case. Sadly, Nigel knew nothing better to say than “It is a shame to lose the toilets and seats, but especially as this area is not being put to better use apart from a few extra trees.”

Trees are important, Nigel. So are public services, and so is the care for this unfortunate ones beginning their day with a can of extra-strong lager.

It is early in the 2010 election campaign. Let’s hope Nigel picks up sense, strength, speed and arguments on the way.

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Local Excitement

mela_2005-02 We’ve got results!

Labour won (41.48%, -7.28), Liberal Democrats came second (27.63%, +3.19) and the Conservatives came third (22.48%, +0.91%). Others under also run, including the Green Party (3.1%, -1.52%) and the Monster Raving Loony Party with an astonishing 188 votes.

(See the BBC for more detailed results.)

So, we’ve got our peace back. It’s a shame, in a way. Because by-elections allow a focusing on such a small area, I have never seen a campaign like this before, with countless leaflets, papers, brochures and flyers, plus personal visits and phone calls. At the end even with a little scandal, as the Labour Party complains about alleged electoral offences.

If, and only if, the effort put into a campaign was a good measure for a candidate’s suitability for the job, surely  Liberal Democrat‘s Nigel Bakhai should have won. I guess it is hard to overthrow a long-standing Labour stronghold. At least Tony Lit didn’t get much of a foot down.

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More Local Politics

recycling After my recent rant about the local conservatives, you can’t imagine my excitement when the local Liberal Democrats left their letters – two different ones in fact. The Ealing Southall by-elections are calling for voter’s sympathies.

Funny you should mention yourself, I thought. I had all but forgotten about you since Charles‘s sad departure from the party.

I am happy to acknowledge they haven’t made fools of themselves by use of incorrect grammar, or obvious ways of suggesting that I should be a fool. So far so good.

Reading on, however, its just the same old. Crime and dirt will be best tackled, so they suggest in their suggestive questionnaire (one per leaflet), by providing more street cleaners, and more police.

Wrong!

It’s not a matter of throwing more cleaning staff or police at the issue. It is a matter of educating people at large and overcome the what-do-I-care-I-just-throw-my-fast-food-bag-over-the-shoulder-and-am-happy-to-live-in-a-pig-stile culture.

For crime, vandalism and drug use, it is a matter of providing purpose and meaning to life. Something a local politician might actually be able to do something about: social clubs for young and old come to mind, social workers instead of police enforcement, and so forth.

I told them by return mail. No one should say they didn’t know. Now they do.

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Not So Liberal After All?


Kennedy’s on the booze, Oaten had his toy boy, Hughes his own homosexual past, but what do I care?

Loosing the plot halfway through an interview is a bad thing for a party leader, I give you that. But who’s shagging who, when, why and how (consenting adults provided of course), what the heck do I care? Can anyone please explain to me why any such preference would disqualify from party or nation leadership while it’s OK for almost any body else?

A more liberal mindset, and fewer double standards, would do us all good, in politics as well as in our day-to-day life. This ends today’s lecture, thanks for listening.