Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Shhh, Don't mention the election

A reporter from our local newspaper the Chronicle and Echo phoned me today to ask me for some information on a rather tame story to do with the Borough Council's Community Centre strategy. I got the phone call because the only answer they could get from the Council was that they "Couldn't comment due to election purdah" The Purdah is a period whereby no council officer or Councillor can say anything that in any shape or form can be seen by others to be political or preferring one party over another

Although the Borough Council has no elections it was felt that as some Councillors are members or candidates on both authorities then this ridiculous rule should apply to all it's officers and members.

Equally our local press are reluctant to publish "political" stories and as such we have to suffer a pretty lame month of "equal" coverage for the three main parties, it seems at times to the exclusion of anything else.

In essence what the establishment are saying (now backed up by the local press) is that the only time that local politicians cannot be political is at election times!

What a complete nonsense this purdah rule is. It wasn't always like this, and it shouldn't be like this now. Has Parliament closed for a month because we are in purdah? Did the Daily Telegraph think about "purdah" before starting it's current exposure of MP's abuses of their expenses?

How on earth can voters make informed choices if someone is "controlling" the political information they receive?

In my view this is just another example of how our local governance is being sanitized and made ineffective and remote from the masses. Turnout at local government elections is already at an all time low and whoever decided that this years "local government trend of the year" would be election purdah, needs their head testing.

Let parties and candidates say what they want, let the electorate see them warts and all. Let the press print (within the laws of decency) what they see fit to print. The public are not stupid, we can see through the spin, we don't need all our information censored by big brother, and if someone goes over the top then Councils and/or the police should take action against the offender rather than punishing everyone else who wishes to stand for election.

The press maybe have another, perhaps more understandable reason for their stance, perhaps by only concentrating on the "big three" then they can deny fascists like the BNP the oxygen of publicity? but why should I as an Independent candidate or the Green Party or some of the smaller local party's suffer in order to silence the unsavourable?

How will people know how ridiculous the BNP's policy's are unless they are allowed to judge for themselves? I as a political animal take an interest, I think it is laughable that the BNP have a leader who believes the holocaust did not happen, and have a policy to repatriate all non white Briton's (bang go our chances in the next World Cup if the fascists ever get in!)

So to hell with censorship I say, let them all do their worst and in doing so give the public some credit for being grown up enough to spot the difference between political spin and genuine intent.

After all at the moment the only people benefiting from election purdah seem to be the big three parties? Perhaps if they didn't get preferential treatment then they might all become the little three? and perhaps that's why they reinvented political purdah in the first place?


  1. I wish people, including you, would start talking about the BNP's common sense policies rather than dragging up stories which are years old for which Nick Griffin has seen the error of his ways and apologised a thousand times. I'm sure you regrat some things you have done in the past like getting an ICF tattoo! If any party's know about what it is like to be censored it is the BNP.

  2. anonymous, it's the BNP's current policies that worry me not what they have said in the past. Regret is only genuine if you change your ways and not continue to walk in the same footsteps. Of course I regret what I did when I was sixteen, who wouldn't but as they say:

    "When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things"

    Feeling hard done by, regretting the way life treats you, is understandable (I left school under Thatcher for christ's sake) but those who rule over you and deny you power and justice care not about the colour of your skin. Real justice and advancement comes from unity of purpose.

    Divide and rule if you must but for me the pain of my brothers and sisters is still felt deep regardless of their backround or ethnicity.

  3. Can I ask a daft question?
    Why do the BNP supporters seemingly not want to put their name to anything?
    Surely if "Anonymous" is happy to support such a party then he should be comfortable to put his name to any comments he makes?
    Or is that just my logic?
    On another note... I was told once not to regret anything in your past as it makes your into the person you are today!!!
    And anyway, we all love ya to bits Tony!!! hehe...




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