Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Party Politics

Its election time again, and the parties are busy bashing each other in leaflets, or in some cases literally. They say things they know are ‘made up’ for their effect, they are assuming people are too stupid to know better. Greens think if they tell the truth, the voters will understand them, and this policy has seen increases in our vote as people loose trust in the three big parties.

In the last 2 days we have twice been attacked by Labour over their confusion to understand our policy on rubbish. If they really wanted to know they could look it up on our website, read our leaflets, or ask us. They want to give the impression that we are playing the same old game of opportunist soundbites that they play, but it doesn't work. I was watching todays politics show and found the reason for Labours confusion. Yesterday Tony Blair was interviewed and said he preferred weekly waste collection(1). Around four out of 10 councils have moved to fortnightly collections, so this isnt really a party issue as all the big parties are involved. Reading incidentally are at 140th out of 353 at 18% recycling (2). Wokingham is at 61st on 22%, West Berkshire is at 255th at 14%. So all local councils were doing badly compared to the rest of Europe, where 50% is often achieved, and so the idea of boosting the numbers with the alternate weekly collection was born. Paris and Rome have collections daily (3), in Germany those living in private homes can request rubbish collection twice or three times a week, and pay extra in their rates for this service.

(Probably) soon to be ex Cllr Paul Gittins in his Minster Matters newsletter emphasises his 4 year experience as Cllr as a reason to vote for him. With that logic he would have been voting for John Major in 1997 not the inexperienced Tony Blair.

Cllr Maskell says ‘end cow lane misery’. The Labour majority is so large that it wont change with this election, so no difference will be made do this or any other development, Labour will use their numbers to push through unpopular measures as usual. The logic that removing one bottleneck at great expense will make a difference to the grid-locked traffic is nonsense.

The Tories talk about ‘vote for us to end one way IDR scheme’. Again they wont control the council regardless of this election, and that decision has already been made. They also imply that they are the only ones against the scheme, where almost everyone not Labour is against it. On the big day of the meeting to decide on the fate of the IRD, I was with many others campaigning. Most of those there weren’t affiliated to a party, including the originator of the petition. However the Lib Dems on that day implied that it was their campaign. Clearly this is a political trick that the big three parties play. I prefer honesty myself, and trust in the intelligence and good sense of the voters.




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