Friday, 1 February 2013

A political party in all but name

I have commented previously on the con trick which the Southend "Independent "Group continues to play on the residents of the Town. Their constant refrain is that they are distant from the party political process being a group of true independents who only cooperate at council level to ensure a fair distribution of committee seats. As I have said I do not how this can be true when they campaign together, share election material, usually vote together. This is not to mention their angst when any true Independent Candidate stands and risks deflecting votes from their allegedly official independent candidate! In addition their "leader" happily accepts the allowance paid to the leaders of all opposition groups in recognition of the additional duties relating to the leadership of a party team. Well the farce reached a new level last night at scrutiny with their Leader Martin Terry, introducing his comments on the proposal to remove black sacks, confirmed that whilst he was personally a strong supporter of recycling and could see the logic behind the proposal he was reflecting the decision of his group to speak against. So now we have the Leader of a formal group speaking against his own views in compliance with a group decision but still avoiding the apparent perils of party politics. Ironically I would never expect a member of my Group to speak against their beliefs and as leader of the group I would certainly not do so. Indeed I have never applied a party instruction or whip in my six years as Leader as I prefer to win hearts and minds by logical argument - something which perhaps Martin finds too challenging! it seems to me that our Independent Party now offer the worst of all worlds. They seek to impose a party line but because of their diverse slate of members ranging from right wing economists through rejected Tories, unwanted Lib Dems and unsuccessful Labour candidates it is impossible to predict where they will end up on any issue and obviously for the same reason they fail to give any clear pledges in their election campaigns.I am not suggesting that a number of their candidates are not well intentioned but the organisation they have joined is little more than a Trojan Horse!

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