What to Do?

We’ve had both the Labour candidates and their Conservative counterparts canvassing this past few weeks in the lead up to the local council election. Which is itself interesting, as they have never bothered overmuch before.

Our ward swung from Labour to the Conservatives back in 2007 and is up for reelection next week. Back then, I indulged in a  little tactical voting. Going by the significant swing away from Labour, I wasn’t the only one. All three sitting councillors lost their seats. I suspected at the time, that this would see Roger Berry ousted at the general election. I was not wrong.

This time around, I’m really not sure. The Conservative chappie was all smiles and told us that he was concerned about local issues such as the parks –  and, importantly, the lorries that do a three-point-turn at the bottom of the road. Well, yes, I know they are keen to stop this as are their Labour opposite numbers. We get leaflets telling us about the campaign and how important it is that it be stopped.

Here, perhaps, I might give a little background. Our road is a horseshoe type cul-de-sac. This leads out onto a road that is partially one-way due to the narrowness of the road up the hill under the railway bridge to the left as you turn out. There is a 7.5t limit on the road under the railway bridge. As you turn right, there are small trading units. As you traverse this road, to your left is a small estate that was once a factory and on the right small businesses such as a timber merchant. At the end of the road is a car franchise. All of these businesses have deliveries and the trucks that deliver have to come into what is a eventually a residential road and get out again. Because of the weight limit, they have to get out the same way they get in. Ergo, they come to the bottom of our road and use it as a turning point. Residents, apparently, are angry about this. I am a resident and I have never been asked if I am angry about this. Maybe I should get angry that I wasn’t asked?

Okay, fair enough, I don’t live on the corner, merely a hundred years or so further up, but I have had my journeys slightly delayed waiting for trucks to complete their manoeuvres. No one has asked if I am angry about this. Maybe I should be angry about it –  maybe I should be angry that no one has asked if I am angry that my journeys have been delayed by a few minutes. They could have been important minutes. As it is, I just select neutral, sit back and let them get on with it. I wasn’t aware that it was a big issue until I saw the election leaflets. Apparently it is and the local councillors have been getting bollards put up –  I wondered where they came from –  and 7.5t limit signs at the entrance to the road. Apparently, though, the one for going ahead is in the wrong place which is why the truckers are still turning into our road. The campaign, we were told, continues until this sign is re-sited to the correct side of the road. That way the trucks would have to pass it to conduct their manoeuvre, whereas at the moment, they don’t. And people are angry about this.

Once this happens –  as it will –  the only alternative for the truckers is to reverse out into a main road onto a mini roundabout –  those that don’t deliver to the old factory, that is.

When this chap went, Mrs L made the comment that none of what he was on about bothered her in the slightest. It doesn’t bother me, either. Perhaps there’s something wrong with us. The trading units don’t cause me any problem and the trucks are, at best, a minor inconvenience on the odd occasion that they delay my journey.

All of which leads to what to do on next Thursday. I’ve stopped caring about the colours of the rosettes. I have no interest in the local campaigns to stop people doing things and while parks are nice, it’s not a burning issue for me. The stuff they think is important is of no consequence to me. All I want from the council is the bins emptied and the streets lit. I would prefer it if they didn’t piss my money up the wall on traffic management schemes and more traffic lights, but that’s about it –  and it’s a lost cause anyway. Maybe I should start a campaign. Labour, Conservative –  or that rare bird around here, the Lib Dems –  won’t actually change the status quo. They are all part of that status quo. They like the status quo. It works in their favour after all.

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that voting merely encourages them. It changes nothing other than the rosette.

So, what to do? Nothing, probably.

13 comments for “What to Do?

  1. May 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I’ve had both Labour and Tories around my way, not seen or heard anything about the other candidates yet. I do try and vote local on local issues though and have no problem with my current ward councillors.

  2. Paul
    May 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    We have an election up here. The two candidates are communitarian progressive law and order status-quo Tory types. Including the Independent. I don’t like either of them as people, so I won’t vote for either.

    I think I’ll spoil my ballot.

  3. William
    May 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    The Tories delivered their leaflet last week.
    It was posted back to them without a stamp.
    The Labourites delivered theirs today.
    It is being posted back to them tomorrow without a stamp.

    The twin AV leaflets were also returned to sender sans postage.
    I don’t ask these people to pollute my letter box and I have no interest in their government. It is theirs not mine 😀

    • May 1, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      “Silence betokeneth consent,” as Sir Thomas More observed.

      • William
        May 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm

        Nope.
        Don’t hold with that. I’ve had that quoted at me many a time.
        If I don’t vote I cannot complain!
        If I don’t vote I can have no say over policy!
        If I don’t disagree my agreement is a given!
        If I don’t speak out I acquiesce!

        To which my answer is ‘cobblers’.

        I am of the opinion that the democracy on offer in this country is a not one I can subscribe to. I have had conversations with a local independent councillor whose experiences prove this to be the case.
        He is standing down because of the state of local democracy. He went into politics believing it was democratic and he could do his bit for the people of the town. When he got there he discovered it is a beaurocracy run by and for the benefit of the paid official’s, their backers and contemporaries. Golf course democracy is his term for it and it cannot be changed from within as there is too much vested interest at risk.

        The local MP was parachuted in by the Labour Party. He was allegedly elected by 120 local Labour Party members in a town of 70,000 people. Of those votes 54 were postal. If that is true democracy in action I am Barry Obama!

        So I have decided not to play their game any more. I have stopped interacting with the state in as many ways as I can and am investigating how to remove as many of its tentacles as possible.
        I am not daft enough to believe I can extricate myself completely in one go but there are routes opening up which are proving promising. Trusts for example are looking like a cast iron way to move all assets away from the grasp of the state and moving to cash based ‘gypo’ style economy is another way to take a state monkey off my back.

        It isn’t easy and I may be barking up the wrong tree but I am totally convinced that the humans running the state don’t care about consent or whether we the slaves give it or not. It isn’t on their radar and neither are we. Doesn’t stop me saying NO on the odd occasion a state drone gets in touch though. It’s great fun watching them spit feathers!

      • May 2, 2011 at 8:25 am

        Actually, voting is a form of consent – it is consenting to the rules of the game.

  4. Andrew Hunt
    May 1, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    All candidates are shown all the spoilt ballot papers to get their assent that the papers are indeed spoilt. The number of spoilt ballot papers is also recorded in the offical return. This gives disenfranchised voters like me the chance to send a message by writing the word CUNTS in large letters on my voting slip.

    • mikebravo
      May 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Sold!
      I will be adding that to my spoilt ballot paper along with my demand for an EUSSR in/out vote.

      • Paul
        May 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm

        Thanks for reminding me.

        I think something like “I demand a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. We want our democracies back.” or similar should fit the bill.

  5. May 2, 2011 at 12:15 am

    No labour round here. We’ve had Cons. Libel Dems and UKIP around. Con candidate seemed surprised at my attitude to the Burk, said he was a good constituency MP, ie a branch of the CAB.

    I did 8 years in the 80s as a Thatcherite in local government. I remember my first meeting of the ruling group, the leader of the council said we were all elected because we wanted to do something. I got a very sharp reply when I said yes I’m here to stop the spending. He didn’t seem to think that a valid position.

    Why did I stop being a con? Some idiot said “if it is isn’t hurting it isn’t working”. It hurt my manufacturing business and if that was what the cons wanted stuff them.

    The real issue is of course local elections are irrelevant as long as the majority of funding comes from local government. Councillors rearrange the deck chairs nothing else.

    I will hang out a large UKIP poster and support them and yes to AV as a protest. It won’tmake a difference this year but maybe one year. Since I’m not going to start a rebellion I have no other way to encourage change.

    To those that don’t vote, that’s your choice, but what are you doing, even in a small way, to encourage change?

  6. May 2, 2011 at 6:13 am

    We’re not having an election in my local area. Mind you, I had to Google that to find out, since I couldn’t rely on the lack of bumf pushed through the door; we didn’t get any last year either, when elections were held…

    It’s odd about the things that annoy people, though. Last year we had a visit from the neighbourhood PCSO wanting to know if we’d had any problems with mini-motorbikes, as people around the green had been complaining.

    We had to admit that we’d heard and seen nothing! She asked us if we wanted to add our names to the complaints anyway… 🙄

  7. Uncle Badger
    May 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Though I admit the referendum is an irrelevance, I will vote against AV, on Thursday. I will do it simply to help frustrate the LibDems – even if it also frustrates UKIP, whom I tend to support.

    However vile and poisonous Labour might be, nothing is as vile as the smug, ‘progressive’ liars and traitors like Huhne, Clegg, Cable and their fellow travellers.

    But the local elections? I will look for any independent and vote for him or her – even if they are barking mad. Perhaps especially if they are barking mad.

    As was said earlier, local gummint is run not by elected councillors but by council workers, many of whom are entryist politicians – notably of the (deeply) Green persuasion, allied with sundry Trots, Marxists and other lunatics.

    The main political parties go along with this, so a vote for any of them is wasted. An independent might not achieve much, but at least can function like sugar in the fuel tank, or sand in the gears.

    • Obligato
      May 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      No visits at all and only conservatoives and local independent have delivered any literature – so I had to go out and seek it – what I find is that I’m left without a choice at the local elections – You see the big local issue is over a desire to install a waste-to-energy plant nearby – which would burn waste to generate electricity, create 50 + jobs, save council some landfill tax etc – Every single candidate opposes it (chasing Nimby vote) on specious single argument that it would increase traffic in the villages – which it will but by a barely noticeable amount – probably less than the bloody Ocado/Tesco/Sainsbury vans the same Nimbys increasingly summon instead of buying at the local village butcher /greengrocer /baker. So I have no one representing my views. The same happens on every local issue – Nimbys oppose building new housing – including low cost housing (‘It’ll change the nature of the village’) – “So where do you want your children to move away to?” – I ask their dumbfounded spokesperson. Nimbys oppose expansion of the excellent local science park providing high quality jobs etc etc – Everyone wants the rewards of development but no one is prepared to take any other consequences

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