Wednesday, 7 October 2009

I wish I had just moved that Bl**dy Car

***STOP PRESS*** 5.30pm Wednesday 7th Oct 2009 NEWS JUST IN OF PRESS RELEASE DUE FROM NBC BEFORE 6PM ANNOUNCING THAT TONY WOODS HAS STOOD DOWN AS LEADER OF NORTHAMPTON BOROUGH COUNCIL AND AS LEADER OF THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT GROUP: ENDS

News reaches me from yesterday standards board hearing that the Potentate Tony Woods was found guilty on two counts of breaching the Councils Code of Conduct.

Not news in itself as most of us who followed the story from the start knew he was guilty from day one. In fact I often wondered why in the face of such irrefutable evidence why TW didn't just come clean, get his apology in early and make a suitable donation to the Mayors charity to cover any cost or advantage assumed.

But as I alluded to previously the issue was never about the car, it was always about attitude, and whether or not Tony had it in him to either accept or admit his guilt or apologise not for an error of judgment but for the act in itself.

In many ways the standards board could not have been more severe with him yesterday, many will think he is lucky not to have been suspended outright, but Tony would have welcomed that as it would have gave him the right to appeal to a higher body and prolong the pain further. But to order him to write and apologise and to dictate to him the words he will use in the letter was the very worst punishment you could ever dish out to someone totally unwilling to accept the part they themselves played in this whole sorry affair.

I am told he spent the whole day blaming everyone but himself? John Dickie got an earful, as did the Chronicle and Echo, as did members of the Standards Board at the end. Although the act of loudly clicking a ballpoint pen on and off in the face of the chair whilst she is trying to read the judgement seems bizarre behaviour in the extreme.

But on top of all this I understand I too got a walk on part. Woodsie it seems was very upset by my blog entry of August 19th

http://tonyclarkeindependent.blogspot.com/2009/08/astragate-fallout.html

where I shared with readers the Market Traders reference to TW as Il Duc'e and my own observations as to the pictorial likenesses between the two. But my fellow independent Fitzy must take the original credit for the character observation which was first seen in his blog in January when he wrote:

"Portly Woods sauntered to and fro like a latter-day Benito Mussolini, gesturing behind his own back as he spoke, which is a particularly interesting habit if you've ever studied body language and psychology."

http://www.fitzynorthampton.co.uk/archives/61-Nick-Clegg-Whitewash-Meeting.html

What this all has to do with him abandoning his car is difficult to fathom? but I was told that TW is now considering reporting me to the Standards Board or even suing me for daring to publish my view.

Well Tony if that's your answer, then bring it on, I will add it to the collection of knives regularly pulled from my back in the shape of pointless references to the Standards board for varied trivial reasons, and also in the shape of Councillors who won't sit next to me in the chamber and draw up secret pacts not to talk to me or work with me!

Why you as Leader of the Council, or for that matter any other group of Councillors on the Borough Council are so worried about one independent Councillor is beyond me. But I thank you all for the compliment.

But if we do fall out over my previous posting (let alone this one) then all I will say is that I sincerely wish that you had spent more time reading the advice I gave within the post and in the Council Chamber rather than concentrating on what was meant as nothing but humour.

If it helps jog your memory , I said to you at full council earlier this year that

"It's never the big things that bring administrations and Leaders down, it is often the smallest sometimes trivial events such as leaving your untaxed car in the Council car park for months which will get you in the end."

And in my post of August 19th I commented on your case by saying that:

"It is the air of arrogance and indifference when questioned that condemns him, not his actions alone" after the reports from yesterdays hearing I stand by this completely."

I also offered the following advice:

"Sometimes saying Sorry at the outset not at the end is a far better policy. Sometimes remembering that whatever the title says on your post that you are no more important now than you were first achieved office and supposed greatness is also very good practice."

"It's humility, and genuine remorse that will save you Tony not belittling your detractors and undervaluing their opinion."

I honestly feel that you should have heeded this advice far earlier and before you were forced to do so. Imagine if you will, standing up in the chamber in January and saying:

"Mr Mayor, this was an error on my part, I should have moved the car earlier, I apologise to the whole council for not doing so I have now moved the vehicle and I will make a donation to the Mayors charity by way of recompense for any cost incurred or privilege wrongly taken"

Hindsight I know is always easy, but I believe you had plenty of time before then to come up with a better defense than denial and obstinacy.

The other part of my advice in my blog of August 19th was that:

"The local standards board committee will of course have the final say, and that's how it should be, but the damage to his reputation and the Lib Dem group on the Council not to mention his standing within his own group are probably damaged far beyond the level they need to be."

The standards board have now had their say, nothing to do with me, or your pictorial likeness to Il Duce, and I understand that the Lib Dem group will do likewise on Friday.

No one Councillor of the forty seven serving NBC is better than any other, not one of us should be treated or be expected to be treated any differently either, all of us are in control of our own actions, and each of us should learn that disrespect for each other outside of the normal political knock about and disrespect for our office will comes with an expected ricochet when fired out into the public arena.

So write the letter, accept that you were wrong and move on, one thing on which we will both agree on is that at present the council has far more important things to worry itself about and spend its time and energy on than your 12 year old astra.

Whether you are able to lead that challenge is now in the hands of your own members.

But please, please stop blaming me and everyone else for your own actions and ommisions.


1 comment:

  1. A valuable post and it much helpfull to all.Thanks a lot for your post.

    Thanks,
    Karim - Positive thinking

    ReplyDelete

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Thank you for visiting "tonyclarkegreenparty" The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are made by me personally in my own capacity as free citizen and not as representative of any outside body or council that I may serve on or be employed by. However if anyone is offended by any of these comments or feels that they should be corrected then please contact me in the first instance at tony.clarke@email.com and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.

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