Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Conservative "Opposition"

Councillor Spencer Drury has recently been in touch with me about the state of my street and my struggles with the Council to get them to sort it out.

I am wary of becoming a mouthpiece for the Conservatives, which could happen quite easily given my refusal to accept the disdain and contempt with which the ruling Labour party treats us locals. I've said similar things before and one of Spencer's comments to me was "I know that you are somewhat suspicious of Conservatives".

Well I'm not sure if suspicious is quite the right way to put it, what I said back to him was:

"Yes I am indeed somewhat suspicious of the local Conservatives. Too many of your Councillors, or would be Councillors, seem far more interested in what is happening in Westminster than what is happening in their own borough. To be ignored by the local Labour party is bad, to then feel that the local opposition seem interested in using the area as little more than a stepping stone onto bigger things is depressing."

So I thought that that statement needs some qualifying, so I looked into the three local Conservative bloggers of which I am most aware.

Simon Emmett, Conservative Candidate for Shooters Hill Ward
Nigel Fletcher, Conservative Councillor for Eltham North
Conservative Council Group Leader

So what do those people blog about?

Is my statement that they're seemingly more interested in national rather than local politics based in truth?

At this point I'm quite literally going to find out, I've not checked out the results before starting this entry so I could very easily be proved wrong, let's see.....

Simon Emmett
1Labour Suporting Media Show How Much They Are Out Of TouchNational
2Representing The Constituents?National
3Having Your Pension ScrewedNational
4Obsolete I.T.Local
5London MarathonLocal
6Promise on the CommonLocal
7Fly the Flag TodayOther
8George Osborne’s Response To The BudgetNational
9Economic Competence?National
10Brown's Expenses ReviewNational
Councillor Nigel Fletcher
1Bin and GoneLocal
2Celebrating St. George's DayNational
3Day 3 of the Henry trailLocal
4Henry VIII and modern GreenwichNational
5Newsflash: The King is Dead, Long Live the King!Other
6A Labour man with an internet planNational
7Oysters in the ThamesLocal
8Boris pledges to protect Greenwich ParkLocal
9Normal service is resumedOther
10Mandelson's Custardy BattleNational
Councillor Spencer Drury
2Conservatives write to residents about roadworks on A2Local
3More help needed for Greenwich and Woolwich’s small firms during the recessionLocal
4Labour reject Conservative proposalsfor increased police numbers and reduced council taxLocal
5School closure is short-term panicked decisionLocal

Well all told they did better than I expected.

Simon Emmet managed a depressing 30% of his posts with a local focus. On the one hand I enjoy reading his national commentary, on the other shouldn't a prospective candidate be generating more posts about his area? Isn't there something going on of importance like the bins around me?

I've commented on Councillor Fletcher's focus before and since then he's improved, he was on about a 25% local post rate and he's now doubled that to 50%.

Councillor Drury did impress me, a 100% local focus. On the downside though he's managed 5 posts since the end of February. As I've said about Simon Emmet isn't there something local to post about?

So in conclusion think my initial impressions have been pretty much justified. It's not as bad as I felt it was but the local opposition doesn't seem that interested in local issues, or at least in blogging about local issues. National issues also take up a higher proportion of their posts than I would hope or expect when in opposition against a Council as rubbish as Greenwich.

Please note though that I'm not saying that the local Labour Party is any better, but then you only have to look at the state of our streets to know that they don't care.

However all the links and posts are up there, so take a look and make you're own mind up as to how interested the opposition is in Greenwich and your lives.

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