24 June 2006
Would you trust this man to run Brighton & Hove?
The latest issue of Insight City News has an interview with B&H Conservative leader, Brian Oxley.
It's also nice to see the paper put forward the case for electoral reform on its front page;
"The current 'first past the post' system is hotly disputed as a method of deciding who gets into power, and a growing lobby, headed by the Electoral Reform Society, is seeking to implement the arguably fairer system of proportional representation."
It goes on to highlight the ludicrous situation of the many councils "Haringey, Kingston, Islington, Camden, Brent, Hounslow, Bolton, Birmingham [etc]", in the country that are controlled by a party that didn't get the most votes. They point out that Brighton & Hove is such a case. Of course Tory leader Conley has no inclination to change the system. He knows 'first past the post' is the only way to get absolute power on a minority of the vote.
With the Tories on 22 seats and Labour on 24, it does emphasise the importance of re-electing Labour councillors in Regency - both the Regency Labour ward and Brighton Pavilion Constituency party support electoral reform. If the Lib Dems win in Regency that will mean a Tory run council that most people don't want. Conley's ideas are typical Tory ones of public service cuts and yet more cars clogging up the city.
Despite trying to imply that Conley has come from a poor background; "a mining village in Derby", he is precisely the sort of mollycoddled career politician most people abhor. A member of the masonic lodge, a parliamentary assistant to Michael Howard, Teresa Gorman etc from the age of 27 after most of his life before that in academia,
So what is his vision for Brighton Council if they 'win' in 2007?
"The Council is the servant of the people and not the master: we would endeavour to empower local people".
This is the sort of vacuous soundbite statement that we should be very scared of. He is basically saying; 'I am not telling you my policies because you wouldn't like them.'
"We need to talk tough to the government about our high rates of council tax."
So massive cuts in services then!
"People don't think they're getting value for money."
Beware anyone who says they can make efficiency savings. The cuts will hit frontline services, they always do. The Tory voters are the ones who can afford to pay, it is always the poorest voters that are hit by Tory councils.