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?