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Local elections

From Paul Clarke

Monday, 2 May 2011

Flicking through my Lib Dem Hocus Focus I spotted amongst all the pointless pictures and self justification a priceless statement - This election won't change the national government.

Surely this can't be same local Lib Dems who went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about the Iraq war turning every local election into a referendum on decisions taken in Washington and London.

No Hocus Focus leaflet was complete without a picture of Blair and Bush despite the fact the then Labour MP voted against the war.

So for them to say that national issues have nothing to do with the vote in Calder on Thursday is utterly bizarre and typically disingenuous. In fact, it is worth considering that while the war in Iraq was wrong it never had the same impact on local services that their government's draconian cuts will have on every Calder voter.


  • if you are concerned that fewer police officers along the valley will lead to crime going up rather than down as it has for the last few years then don't vote yellow
  • is your child about to lose EMA then don't vote yellow.
  • are you terrified that the NHS is about to be dismantled before our very eyes then don't vote yellow
  • is your child one of those who will face tuition fees of up to 9K because the Lib Dems lied about raising them in the general election then don't vote yellow
  • are you one of the 73% who think tuition fees will deter young people from going to university then don't vote yellow.
  • are you looking forward to paying a £1 parking fee every time you visit Shibden park (which we own) then don't vote yellow.
  • did losing free swimming for young people or older people cause you extra financial strain you didn't need then don't vote yellow.

I could go on but you get the point.

It is worth remembering that after a few drubbings in the local elections Labour had to listen and change tack and by voting out Lib Dem councillors or candidates you send a very clear message to a floundering party that is down to 9% in the polls.

Local issues matter but so do national issues especially when we are facing the worst cuts since the second world war which impact on every council tax payer in this ward. Give them a clear message that we won't put up with it.

It is also very interesting that there no pictures of Call Me Dave/Calamity Clegg - or even Clegg himself -on the leaflet. The local Lib Dems may well be ashamed of what their leadership is doing but they should say so not just ignore the fact that they support this government. In the meantime, let's give them a reminder of real people power on Thursday

From Linda Shaw

Monday, 2 May 2011

Many thanks for your posting. You have reminded me why I will not be voting Labour in the upcoming local elections. I hate the tacit bullying and the disingenuous postings that occur on this board. I can't imagine that I will be the only one to feel this way, either.

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Linda, thank you for your post but I think the bullying comment is a cheap shot especially from someone as principled as yourself.

If you had read what I said instead of what you think I said then you will note that I never suggested that anyone vote Labour. I was merely sugesting that voting yelllow is not a wise move in the current climate.

I've often thought that for town that prides itself on self proclaimed non-comformity this message board is very tame. It is worth checking out other boards and seeing that the discussion here is usually considered and on the whole friendly in comparison.

I think you mistake robust views for bullying and that is a shame because unless we have an open discussion then we sleepwalk towards disaster which is not healthy in a democracy.


From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I see a pattern here: Paul likes to accuse others of making cheap shots but is rarely shy of making them himself. All the 'Calamity Clegg' and 'yellow' stuff is getting very tedious.

From Tom Standfield

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Paul, much of what you write on this Forum I agree with. However, I cringe each time I read a post from you as I think your tone isn't going to convince anyone; in fact, it is going reinforce views held to the contrary. You make good points but then you ruin your arguments by not very clever name-calling and childish innuendo.

I am a longterm socialist and see a leftwing Labour Government as the best hope for our country. But in order for this to happen we need to convince people it's the right way. Your posts, I fear, often do the opposite.

From Paul Clarke

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Tom, thanks for your comments but I'm always amazed how po-faced people are round here especially around the knockabout stuff on a message board.

Take a look at other boards and see real hand to hand combat.

What I find cringy is the craven way we are not holding our candidates to account.

Since the election was called we have had a minor spat when the Lib Dems decided to help an independent in Fairfield. A spat that I started but was on the whole adult and good natured.

And now this thread and that's it. For a town that thinks of itself as so independently minded that is simply pathetic.

So if my posts opens any form of discussion before Thursday that is good. Sorry if you think a bit of fun whilst making a point is childish and it is not my intent to try and change people's mind. That is the job of those who seek public office.

Graham, what is tedious is the cuts we have to endure in services not using the word yellow.


See also

HebWeb News: Words and photos from local candidates