Sunday, 29 April 2012

Are Southend Labour insulting residents intelligence?

I am grateful to Julian Ware-Lane for making me aware of the Labour election advert in the Leigh Times.

I was intrigued to see that the headline of the advert was to use the local elections in Southend on Thursday as the opportunity to send a message to Cameron and Clegg.

Flicking through the archives of the election literature that I have amassed over the years was a section from a piece of election literature sent to residents in West Shoebury during the 2006 by-election campaign.

I had to have a chuckle as the Labour candidate claimed that this election was about local issues and accused Conservatives of 'insulting peoples intelligence' if this election was about sending a message to Tony Blair the Prime Minister of the day.

Before I get numerous comments that local Labour Party personnel have changed since 2006, the Labour candidate Lars Davidsson is the Labour candidate in Chalkwell on Thursday and his agent was Cllr Ian Gilbert the Labour Group Leader and Labour candidate in Victoria pictured in the group photo.

Whilst I openly admit that I do not agree with Labour politics and on many occasions vehemently disagree with my Labour opponents but I didn't expect them to resort to using sheer hypocrisy. 


Robert Brown said...

I could do the same with the Tories. Cllr Seagers accused me of playing on the national issues this year (apparently Rochford's police is national). Yet the Tories ran on a heavy national platform when fighting the same seat in 2010.

Some voters will vote on national issues, some will vote on local issues. Anyone seriosuly arguing the opposite (including my colleagues) are simply wrong.


In Southend the choice is simple. Punish the government who are screwing you over, or punish the local Tories who are screwing you over.

Cllr Tony Cox said...

Rob, I agree that some will vote on national issues and some will vote just on local issues. There will be some who use a combination of the two.

I am pleased that you have offered no defence of the hypocrisy. As I have always said, be careful what you say and do as it can always come back and bite you on the bum!

Gray Sergeant said...

I agree with what Rob has said. Although I should add that of course local elections are mainly fought on local issues I think national issues are important but a distinction should be made. For example I believe that it is right to remind residents of the effects that Tory cuts are having on their lives, the suffering its caused as well as the double-dip recession and increasing unemployment. It would not be acceptable to use the current Hunt BSkyB scandal as a reason to vote Conservative councillors out. The same applies to foreign policy mistakes which do not impact people in the way the economy and public services do.
Furthermore, while I will never defend hypocrisy (and I do not know the context in which this by-election letter went out in) there is a difference in situation.
Firstly, for the Tories to hold West Shoebury (a seat they have held since its creation and continue to do so) in a one off by-election is not going to send a message to the government of the time, I it would be laughable if you claimed this in your leaflets.
In comparison, during a set of national local elections for the Conservatives to loose safe or marginal seats in Southend it will most likely push the council into no overall control, at Tory HQ this will be noted. I'm not saying its going to make them change course but for the Tories to loose control of a whole council (with 2 tory MP's) on the 3rd of May is going to be far more significant than the Tories holding a pretty safe seat in a stand-alone by election in West Shoebury in 2004.