Saturday, March 22, 2008

You've got to Hand it to him........the Tories in Turmoil

On Tuesday evening I was sat in Portcullis having a quick cuppa with Bedford MP Patrick Hall to lobby him on behalf of a local charity, when I received a phone call from Toryboy Cllr Peter Hand to ask if I had seen the Beds on Sunday website. I hadn't, but he informed me that he had decided to stand against his group leader on the County Council, Madeline Russell, which was now big news in Bedford! I had no sooner put the phone down than it rang again. This time it was my other Toryboy, Cllr Andrew McConnell - had I seen the Beds on Sunday website. No...........but clearly there was great excitement in the anti-establishment Tory ranks! There is clearly disquiet about Madeline's decision to go on wasting local tax payers money pursuing a judicial review with regard to the unitary decision. Sure, if Beds CC was a high performing authority there may be an argument, but they have sadly failed the people of Bedfordshire miserably for years.

I have to confess, I did not personally have that good a relationship with Madeline when I worked for Beds CC. It may have had something to do with the fact that she tried to get me disciplined twice. Firstly for writing a critical letter to the Beds on Sunday, clearly stating I was doing so as a Lib Dem councillor. All my previous letters (written as Branch Secretary of Unison) she had ignored, but as soon as I wrote as a councillor the knives were out. Secondly was when she demanded to see my line-manager and the Director of Education at 7.30am because of an email I had sent regarding the Stop the War campaign. This included advice to school students on school protests against the war and was sent to a colleague who then sent it on to a pupil in a local school. The allegation was that I was inciting students to walk out, despite the fact that the email had not been sent to a single young person. Of course the fact that my daughter then lead her school out later that week didn't really help! So I have to say I saw her as someone who was a tad vindictive and submerged in the same sort of ideological dogma as her predecessors, a mantra of private good, public bad that really did so much damage.

Anyway, if I had a vote, I know who I would be voting for, good on you Peter, never any harm in stirrin' the pot!

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