Saturday, 27 April 2013


 Politicians are a strange breed.

In my view many of them are attracted to the role by wanting to be important. One local, noteworthy politician I am told started life as an electrician working alongside a one of my friends on the fringes. He turned to him and complained "No one takes me seriously- what can I do about it" - "Become a copper." Later he became a man with a gold chain round his neck.

Now I quickly recognise a the trait. Another wimp of a girl I knew thirty five years ago who at the time had a crush on another married friend of mine became a Councillor. When I came across her five years ago she had been a politician for twenty years in an important capacity. Those that had put her forward could find no one else to stand at the time. However the transformation had been amazing - she could walk into a room with 'presence' she could speak on a subject convincingly - she had had twenty years of schooling at 'being important'. Meeting and talking occasionally in impressive buildings- being 'important'; representing a safe seat - many felt very badly - being returned time and time again by her party faithful.  Now she is out of office she appears to have drifted into obscurity.

John Clough has been a councillor for a year now. When I first contacted him he blacked me out writing "I've been warned about you" even though I complimented him about his enthusiasm. He didn't like what I understood to be reliable information that he had talked a little through his hat when he 'spoke out' about an issue he didn't understand correctly.

Now he is making the right noises when he writes in his election leaflet "I WILL keep in close touch with you all throughout the coming four years". I wrote


Will you use a blog?

If not - why not?"

I received the reply:

" I use Twitter and find this as a quick way to communicate, I am willing to use a blog but as you know you can always email me. "

Being willing to isn't the same as doing it. Twitter is a start but can be very trivial- see James Airey's and you'll see what I mean. Time Farron's is no better. It tells us little about what they are doing as politicians in government: It's a PR job and extension of the wittering we hear at election times. Something we can do without.

It seems to me that politicians when they step into 'office',  believe they now become 'important people'. Yes they may reply to emails but it could be just to blank us out and avoid giving us information. I get the distinct impression that they consider themselves a little superior to the rest of us and are only willing to scatter what crumbs of information they choose to from the 'high table'; nothing substantial as to what work they are involved with particular on issues.

If on reading this John is feeling particularly expansive then may I ask:

Where exactly are we regarding providing a face-to-face CAB service here in Ulverston.

Do we have a room ready for use at the Town Hall?

When will clients be able to talk to someone here in Ulverston? - Now, in a week, in a fortnight, in a month, really not sure.

When will clients be able to be able to reach someone by telephone at Windermere at the first call within 5 rings of the phone (80 % of the time within their stated opening hours)? - Now, in a week, in a fortnight, in a month, really not sure.

John, can you start now on the straight and narrow by giving us honest answers and not "the  Matter is in Hand" of Jayne Kendall, the clerk of the Ulverston Town Council.

So what does "I WILL keep in close touch with you all throughout the coming four years" mean.

Please start by answering my few questions.

Thanks .

Further insights: The phrase - "I use Twitter" is perhaps a tease as I can find the "John Clough"  I know and I've been through very carefully - I'm writing to ask for help.



Anonymous said...

What a memory !
Veritas odium parit !
How dare you question any of the officials motives.
Corruptio optimi pessima.

You really do need to apply tact and a little bottom licking or you will never get on!

Geoff Dellow said...

Tack is not my speciality. I prefer to be 'assertive'. Is that different?

If someone has told an outright lie ( assuming that exists): can it be tactful to call them a "liar"? If not, what do I call them and remain honest myself?

Geoff Dellow said...

Secondly: Do I want to "get on" in this kind of environment?

Perhaps I actually enjoy the life of the Gadfly?

Th regular politician's irritant