Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Local Opposition

Verumi commented on my previous post on how the Council don't seem to care about the massive expansion of flights from the neighbouring London City Airport but do seem to have an interest in the more distant Heathrow.

"We have a council that is hypocritical and shameless. Lets hope the question is raised in chambers" he/she says.

Well we can hope, but it's not going to happen. We in Greenwich are as badly failed by the opposition as we are by the Council. They won't kick up a stink about this, well they haven't so far and by past form I can guess that they won't.


Conservative Councillor Nigel Fletcher surely knows what an opposition party is meant to do, he proudly proclaims that he's "writing a Doctoral thesis on parliamentary Opposition."

So therefore he must know that the role of the opposition is to, well, oppose.

So why the silence?

Well as I've said before I believe that the opposition see Greenwich as merely a step on to bigger and better things at Westminster. This Borough will never be Conservative no matter how badly the Council seem to treat us and they know it.

So I see it as either being the opposition simply not caring about Greenwich at all, or in a far more mercenary fashion they realise that making a noise will draw attention to themselves. That attention will then focus on their lack of action in tackling the Council and in making things better, which is the sort of attention they won't want, so they keep quiet.

Heading back to Concillor Fletcher for a moment you can see clearly where his emphasis is by looking at his blog.

Here's a summary of his posts so far this year:
National Government's Rubbish: 2
I'm David Cameron's Mate: 1
I'm Boris Johnson's Mate: 2
London Mayoral Election: 3
The Conservative's are great: 3
China's Bad: 2
Cutty Sark: 2
Charlton House: 1
Death of a Constituent: 1

So in total:
Non-Local Issues: 13
Local Issues: 4 (all in January, not one since)

We could give him half a point in that one of his "China is bad m'kay" posts takes a pop shot at some Greenwich Councillors who took a trip to China. However I contest that that's hardly a major local issue when you've got rubbish piling up in your street and thousands of extra planes going over your head.

Of the 4 posts about local issues not one of them is about anything of real substance, not one is about tackling the Council over it's policies. Yes we know it's bad the Cutty Sark caught fire, yes Charlton House does look nice and I agree it's sad that you lost a Constituent in a car crash. However is that really all you have to say about your ward?

Not one word about the tens of thousands of extra flights going right over our head from London City Airport and how the Council are ignoring it?

Nothing to say about the cuts in Council Services?

No interest in the new rubbish collection scheme and it's "head-in-the-sand" approach to problems and hygiene issues?

Latching himself onto Boris' band-wagon seems to be something that Nigel prefers to spend is time on. Since January the election for Mayor seems to have captured all of his attention.

So basically with our Opposition Councillors' eyes fixed on bigger political ponds than Greenwich don’t expect there to be any real comment on the genuine local issues they're supposed to care about.

In the interests of political neutrality I will be returning with a post taking some more shots at the Labour Councillor's that do in fact run our Borough as soon as I get some proper time to spend on it...

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