Saturday, November 06, 2010

Just how far should politicians' go

My personal opinion that the judgement of Phil Woolas that he should lose his parliamentary seat, is more than justified and it would be fair if he repaid his salary since the last election and paid for the by-election.

We are all used to dirty tricks, politicians claiming credit for things that go well and side stepping disasters, but it appears that Mr Woolas plumbed new depths, using vile untrue racially motivated accusations to win a tight election.

Its good to see that Labour have seen fit to suspend Woolas from the Party, perhaps once Woolas has taken any legal steps to appeal or indeed side-step his outrageous election tactics Labour might make his suspension life long. Well done to Harriet Harman for an unequivocal condemnation.
Locally I question the judgement of Cllr David Green Mayor of Ramsgate decision to report on fellow councillor's recent court appearance, since this was reported elsewhere in the media, with the local newspapers also mentioning an addictive illness which whilst not excusing his actions, does give context.

None of us are perfect, alcoholism is as much an illness as any, Green's posting added nothing to our knowledge, the man in question clearly needs help, my view is perhaps best summed up by this quote in the Gazette from Cllr Ezekiel, " Justice has been done. But Ewen is battling an illness and I hope he can get the treatment and support he needs".


  1. On the same basis that the case of the drunk Thanet councillor was reported in the press, so has the details of Philip Woolas claim also been reported in the press. So if cllr Green is wrong to report one case so are you for reporting the other.
    But I am sure you see that bloggers are entitled to free speech and many people do not read local newspapers and use blogs for information mainly because newspaper are not impartial due to their advertising income.

  2. 10:56 AM The difference between Dave Green's post and that of Tony was that the former was done simply to highlight the fall from grace of a Tory councillor whilst the latter raises questions about how far electoral campaigning should go. Tony also has the decency to applaud the Labour party on its own swift condemnation of such behaviour by removing the offender from its ranks.

    On your further comment about some people not reading papers, I think you are falling into we bloggers dream world that we have real impact. At the moment we are but a handful who have both the time and inclination to spend our leisure surfing the sites. The vast majority of people still get their news through the mass media of TV and newspapers so Cllr Green is not serving public interest but party posturing. If it were not so, why mention that the man was a Tory?

    Finally, whilst newspapers and ITV may be accused of being influenced by advertisers such should not be true of the BBC whose local radio station broadcast the news of the councillor's sentence. Just how impartial is any blogspot run by a politician or political activist?

    Sadly, sir, your points are totally invalid.

  3. 10 56 Phil Woolas quite clearly abused the electoral process Harriet Harman was quite clear in her condemnation, David's posting appeared to have little of no purpose.

    Phil Woolas although no doubt under pressure chose to lie "said things that were not true, knowing them not to be true" Harriet Harman, in the most vile way possible in my opinion.

    David Green's post referred to a person who, we are told in local newspapers is ill although Ramsgate Mayor either was unaware or didn't think it note worthy.

    There is a difference.

    And the newspapers have mission to report news which of course, they did although, I doubt their coverage has a political dimension

  4. The local councillor may have an illness but as the court found, driving while drunk is totally unlawful and can can have appauling consequences for the general public.
    There are many ill people but they do not choose such reckeless actions as driving, not once but twice.
    A drunk driver merits no sympathy.

  5. Cllr Green clearly 'forgets' ex labour councillors such as chris wright jailed for defrauding the council, or ex councillor mayo who did similar!

  6. 12 30 Nobody has condoned the driving offences however David Greens post seemed and was without merit on pretty much any level.

    Agreed a drunk driver, deserves no sympathy that aside from that, those effected by addictive illness ought to receive support and help.

    Mr Woolas and his election team are deserving of nothing but contempt

  7. 'Mr. Woolas and his election team' raises an interesting point, Tony. The offended literature distributed by Phil Woolas and his campaign team must surely have been approved by central office. Even if not, all the local campaign team and party activists must have neen aware of what was going on and, presumably, condoned it.

    Should they not all be banned rather than just the candidate?

  8. I have sympathy with Ewen as a person. What has happened to him is devastating. I hope he gets all the help he needs.
    However, he is also a councillor and is supposed to be representing the people in the ward he was elected for. A three month sentance means automatic disqualification, but this could and should have been dealt with earlier by the party he represented. Action then might have helped Ewen also.

  9. When a member of the public is caught drink-drinking they are branded a villain.

    When a tory councillor does the same he is "ill".

    Get real you lot!

  10. Redit surely a councillor is a member of the public

  11. Tony, A councillor is a member of the public, a servant of the public and should treated like a member of the public.

    Drink driving is an offence and KILLS.

  12. You only have to attend any after town hall meeting or full council to see plenty love a bit more than a tipple.

    But it seems if you can give a funny hand shake it doesnt matter what you get up to.

  13. Harriet Harmen taking the moral high ground may be she should be eating humble PIE instead ???

    Wonder why the Labour party has been less than swift in its condemnation of such behaviour ?

  14. Cllr. Green still seems to be trying to make the drink and drive issue a party politicial one. How can he possible say the party should have done something to help the councillor before it went too far.

    Many friends and fellow councillors tried over a long period of time. The councillor himself resigned from the party when most recently charged.
    His absence from the office to which he was elected is indeed regretably but what else could be done. What might the Labour party have done in the same circumstance.

    I return to my original point. There is no condoning of drink driving, whoever does it, but it is not an issue for political point scoring.

    As to the funny handshake nonsense, it is but once again the perceived back cratching amongst masons from the ill informed. How nice it must be to be able to blame everything on something one knows nothing about. Almost primitive man in its concept.

  15. Readit

    Some people go out, drink too much and then drive. That is criminal but they are not all alcoholics.

    Alcoholics reach a point where they simply cannot help themselves. If they drink and drive their action is still crminal but they are also ill.

    It doesn't matter what their politics may be and there have been Labour ones, Tory ones and, even, quite a famous Liberal Democrat one.

    The only person suggesting one party's offenders are treated differently is you but then that is par for the course in your case. Please try to remove the blinkers.

  16. Bluenote the freemason OR just an expert on them might explain alot?

  17. Bluenote, there is no difference between Flaig's actions and Green's actions. It simply suits your Tory political bias to try to say - unconvincingly - that there is. To my mind, both subjects are fair game. Woolas has been convicted of malpractice, and Cameron has been convicted of being drunk behind the wheel.

  18. 2:51 PM

    If by implication you are suggesting I am a practising mason you could not be more wrong. I am, however, aware that there is the myth of some secret society who do all sorts for each other even to getting let off offences.

    It is cobblers and clung to by those wishing to have something like a secret society or sinister establishment to blame. Largely we are masters of our own destiny in life and it does not make much difference whether you are a boy scout or not.

  19. I'm afraid Bluenote's and "Doctor" Moores' comments are just blatant political hypocrisy. Tony Flaig is in good company. In "personal" cases such as this, all Parties do it, unfortunately, usually on the grounds of damage limitation. Locally, the Tories and their friends are trying to gloss over Cameron by pointing fingers elsewhere and saying "it's all different in this case". Crap.

    Woolas is a bad egg, and so is Cameron. Both deserve what they got and both are legitimate subjects for comment. As another has commented, a member of the public without the connections and friends that Cameron has would be treated like something brought in under the shoe.

  20. 3:31 PM

    Are you not by accusing Bluenote of Tory political bias thereby demonstrating your own bias.

    Certainly I can see that there is an issue to discuss over what, and what does not, constitute fair practice in electioneering. There really isn't much to discuss about someone being convicted of drink driving except that justice has been done.

  21. masons & boy scouts and justice being done, nope this definitely doesnt go together in one breath or should it be brethren

  22. Brethren or comrades it all comes down to the same thing. An illusion of influence or power that inflames the passion of others. Many on the left think that the brethren wield undue influence whilst those on the right hate the militancy and disruptive practices of the comrades.

    In truth they, like the rest of us, are but pawns in the game with little or no ability to change anything.

  23. Tony,

    Interesting development, perhaps worthy of your literary wit, is the intervention of Dr. Rowan Atkinson, the Archbishop of Canterbury, on the political scene.

    Here is a man who has persistently procrastinated, like some hairy druid waiting on the perfect solstice, whilst his church seeks leadership on issues of faith. Under his guidance there have been breakaways groups within the Anglican communion, Bishops defecting to Rome and, recently, a whole church congregation converting to catholicism. From Lambeth Palace in all this mayhem comes a deafening silence.

    But, the government announces a plan to get the long term unemployed back into the work mode, and up pops the holy one. Before the details are known there he is condemning the proposal and, committing in the process the sin of taking sides in politics.

    One wonders if the good doctor has ever toured his churches in the shires and provinces. Has he seen the congregations of middle class, middle aged to elderly parishioners who, even by their hair rinse, would tend to show blue leanings.

    Methinks the wise old sage is perhaps not so smart after all unless, which is always a possibility, he is a closet muslim hell bent on wiping out the C of E.

  24. Could be that he gets a little brown envelope per convert from the Pope?

  25. Raoul Moat. Anabolic steroid abuser. Asked authority for help a number of times. His steroid persona carried out horrific acts.


    Thanet Councillor drink drives. His alcoholic persona needs treatment and he deserves sympathy ?

    The question re Moat is his culpability for indifference to the consequences (well published)when he first chose to take steroids.

    The question re the councillor, similarly, is not about his alcholic persona but his decision not to put car keys beyond reach before bowing to his addiction. His sober indifference to the consequences being akin to Moat's steroid free indifference to the consequence once he started steroids and became addicted.

    At some stage there was a culpable indifference to the consequences of one's future actions.

    And if the cllr had killed half a dozen children you would be condemning him just as the public condemns Moat.

    Fact is the cllr was indifferent to the consequences and was lucky not to hurt someone.

  26. Was Raoul Moat condemned by the public? didnt many think of him as a hero standing up to the abuses within corrupt government after all didn’t the SS get involved with his children. weren't they setting him up to fail ? those tapes were harrowing

  27. this is all getting rather boring even for me, particularly reference the last couple of comments

  28. this is all getting rather boring even for me, particularly reference the last couple of comments