There’s a slightly peculiar article in the latest Rayleigh Times this week,? from the UKIP candidate John Hayter. It’s called “THE SCOURGE OF THE PARTY WHIP? – ITS IN THE PARTY’S INTEREST NOT THE ELECTORATE”. As you can guess, he’s not keen on the party whip system.
The article begins:
The local elections are fast approaching with 11 wards to be contested in Rochford District. There will be several key issues . There is the matter of the party whip employed by the three main parties – the Lib Dems,? Labour and the Conservatives…
… The Conservative councillors are told which way to vote, and do so for their party, and not for the electorate. The same applies to the other two main parties in councils…
And that’s just incorrect . Because the Lib Dems haven’t had a whip on the District Council for years? and there haven’t been any Labour councillors at all for years.? It shows a pretty shocking lack of knowledge about the council.
And then the article goes on to describe things that UKIP are committed to doing in our district.? Which is weird. Because how can UKIP promise in advance how any UKIP councillors would vote – without having some kind of a whip themselves?
Chris – indeed a poorly researched statement , but I notice you do not
dispute the Conservative Whip which is correct – that is exactly what
happens in RDC voting.
Oh yes, of course the Conservatives have enforced a very strong whip. Which has had some damaging results for the community, and is now actually damaging their own party.
Yes it is a poorly researched statement, but the point Jim has made is so valid. That is what UKIP will hammer home, the whip has damaged local democracy and the local community. If they can break the Tory stranglehold on RDC and actually get things properly discussed and voted on in a way that actually reflects the way people think and what they want for their community then good luck to them.
Pity the Lib Dems can’t afford to stand in every ward as you do have a proven track record of independent voting which could well appeal in the current climate.
Talking about appeal – there was an article in the i newspaper last week, explaining the UKIP thing ( I’m not a fan by the way but it did help understand their rise in popularity):-
The essence was that with the 3 main parties firmly entrenched in the middle ground they have alienated the Colonel Blimps (Tory) on the right and the Working Class (Labour) on the left, so
strange bedfellows but attracted by the same thing.
If that assessment is right then it could cause uproar at the General Election , I’m not suggesting that UKIP would win (no strength in depth) but that left & right protest vote
might well create havoc in “traditional” seats.
Like you Christine I hope it does because the ‘system’ definitely needs shaking up.
In local elections it is very important to look at the quality of the candidate more than or as well as the party name. Most of the work is related to speed limits, note plan to reduce Teignmouth and Exmouth Drives to 20mph, or parking near schools, or dog fouling etc. It is not national issues like the E.U. or migration of workers. Hope voters bear this in mind.
Christine , its not lack of money that prevents us from putting up candidates, its a lack of good candidates coming forward each year.
We’ve had some very good ones in the past , and they have been very capable , capable of doing many things well. But after trying once or twice they’ve understandably tended to go off and accomplish some of those other things- concentrate on their careers , other activities or family life – rather bash their head against the brick wall of local politics any more times.
I agree with you Bruce, and indeed I often vote differently locally to nationally, however, I think perhaps the candidates need to bear that in mind as well as the voters. The current majority at RDC have proved time and time again that the party whip is far far mightier than local thoughts, needs or wishes.
Yep , local stuff is different from national , I always vote for Chris locally but not the Lib Dems at the General Elections – however it is a fact that the party political whip does now dominate locally and that is wrong ( and needs changing ).