W(h)ither local democracy (in Swanage)?

It’s a funny old world; yesterday i have a lovely conversation with Jason Haisleden about last week’s Swanage parish council meeting and things general, i mention my duncancer blog which has bumbled along these last months, he checks out the ‘One Party State of Swanage’ piece, says he likes it on faceache and the blog has it’s best viewing figures ever. My feelings are conflicted, the vain part of me smiles whilst the modest part of me questions. Then, such is the nature of our interweb that when trying to check if Jason has a blog on WordPress as the site suggests i ‘google’ Jason’s ID and top of the list is an amateur porn site!

Also checked out the possibility of me standing for mayor in Swanage, seems somewhat unlikely as the mayorship is voted for (or whatever process the tt councillors cook up amongst themselves) between the councillors. I feel that perhaps they might not consider little old me. So it will have to be plan B to resurrect local democracy. Although i suspect that terminology isn’t right as you can’t resurrect something that’s never existed.

Now, in the interests of truth and accuracy, i intimated in a previous blog that all our town councillors are tory when we actually have one Labour councillor and eleven tories. The Labour councillor, Avril Harris, pipped john lejeune by a mere 4 votes last year. Must have been galling for the tts to have failed to get a clean sweep by such a small margin and one must ask why mr lejeune failed to get the 1000 plus block votes typically garnered by the other tory candidates? Anyway, must be fun for Avril at all the committee meetings.

What bothers my small and fevered brain is that our sweet little voting system produces such an unrepresentative council. In last year’s elections 13673 voted tory and 9534 voted other, an overwhelming tory win one might think. It certainly is in terms of representation on the council (would’ve been even more overwhelming if mr lejeune had pulled his finger out). But this is how a ‘first past the post’ system works at a local level, which is somewhat different when compared to the same system applied at the national level. In our national parliament whilst there is a tt majority (helped brought about by dodgy funding in key marginals, thanks to Channel 4, which is now under threat of privatisation by whiplash) there is at least the opportunity for a number of differing political perspectives to be considered. This doesn’t happen in sleepy old Swanage, and whilst I’m sure it happens in local councils across the country of different political persuasions, it does mean that our local council is not representative and leads to ossification. This is not good for Swanage, it denies the opportunity for fresh thinking, new projects, creating a dynamic local community (think housing, business, young folk, old folk, health, my thalassotherapy dream and much more) and encourages nepotism and dodgy handshakes.

In the absence of my mayorality what options might there be? Proportional representation? All non-tt candidates standing under one moniker such as ‘not the tory party’? Direct action? Any other ideas?

So, in my lovely chat with Jason yesterday he told me of the council meeting this week which seems to be have been appallingly chaired by some chain-wearer. After the chain-wearer’s wobble at last week’s parish council meeting he took it further this week and threw all his toys out the pram and the meeting will now be reconvened next week. I thought tories were all for efficiency? I must bear witness next week.

And at a national level it is becoming increasingly clear to all the evil nature of thatch and co with the unlawful killing verdict with regard to the Hillsborough tragedy. Even now bernard ingham, thatch’s press secretary at the time, is continuing to promulgate evil lies and falsehoods. An example of the class war she and others have wrought and are continuing to wrought. Let’s have all those evil doers in the dock: the politicians, the press, the police and shine the light of truth for all to see. I know, truth is yet another subjective concept, but it is time for some proper balance and representation, just like in Swanage.

steve bell 280416-650

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

PS good luck Steve, he’s standing as a Green candidate in Brizzle local elections.


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