It was a tough choice holding the balance of power in Reading We were between a rock and a hard place and tried to choose the least bad option. A Lab minority administration at leadt means we can combine with other oppositiion and vote down their worst policies.
An alliance with the Tories and LD would be far worse news. They have cut services and made the most vulnerable suffer. Their response to our actions has been to invent a promise from Rob to back a Tory Mayor. Why he would do this they dont explain. Rob says he made no pledge and thats good enough for me. I suspect its a strategy to distract from their poor record, but that will not work.
Before the election they tried something similar, claiming a green vote was the same as Labour. Actually this may have helped us, a Tory telling ordinary voters that we were at least as good as Labour.
When we started in politics in 2004 all the parties said we couldnt possibly win, that we were a wasted vote. We kept trying and in 2009 triumphed, proved them all wrong. They then said it was just Rob, we could never repeat it. Once again they were wrong, the next election in 2011 saw a second triumph for us with Melanie.
Clearly they could not go on saying we couldnt possibly win. That required a channge of tactics, so now we are said to be "pledge breakers". How very bad, or is it just a red herring, a distraction from real events. If Reading people liked what they did last year they would have voted for more coalition not less. Its they that made the choice. Tories, you should learn from your mistakes. Or repeat them.
The mayor making was quite a night at the council as we didnt back any of them. Abstaining and letting them battle it out has resulted in a minority Labour administration. If/when Labour do something we dont like we opposition can combine and defeat them.
In 2008, I think it was, the then opposition Tory and LD (pre coalition) combined to put in their choice of Mayor and outvoted Lab. So making the mayor political. They hope people will have forgotten this. Hypocrites.
This year much the same has happened, a Tory deputy mayor got replaced by a Lab candidate for Mayor So thats the precedent for this year.
The LD and Tories now say "How dare we treat the deputy mayor in this way". Just the way they treated the then deputy in 2008. its not personal, just politics. See
www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2028675_new_mayor_ill_ensure_fairness where the depty who lost was one Debora Edwards, who becomes Mayor now. Some would say justice is done.
The LD have a different tactic. They are now claiming to be the party helping those in poverty. And they are talking up what they have done to tackle climate change and support cycling. There record in power tells a different story they backed a Tory administration that cut services and did nothing to reduce emissions. Shame on them for claiming one thing and delivering another. A single extra cycle parking place would have helped, but no all the money went on making traffic worse. Unsustainable transport gets all the money, its an old story.
So thats the choice, not much choice as it happens. All the big parties have a similar agenda. Last year the LD did a "labservatices" spoof. Fair play Would mean a "Libservatives" one, with Clegg as Camerons poodle. Thats how voters see them. Local spoof site muckspreading could do it, if it wernt so biased.
At least in Reading we have a real opposition noe, two Greens who will stand up for the people who voted for them. This fact changes everything, it can give some backbone to to other opposition parties who are all to often ineffective.
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