Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Its getting nasty out there!

Peter Oborne, the one-time political editor of the Spectator wrote a fascinating little book a couple of years ago called 'The Rise of Political Lying' detailing how politicians are often 'economical with the actuality' to use the late Alan Clark's words.

Well I shy away from calling them liars but a couple weeks into the local election campaign and Labour are making the most extraordinary claims in Southampton; some of them are truly unbelievable!

The most serious one comes from the Labour MP for Southampton Test Alan Whitehead. On his website he claims that the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems plan to close Oaklands pool in Southampton. In fact at the recent city council budget setting debate, the Conservatives proposed to keep funding at the current level for the pool, the Lib-Dems proposed to cut the subsidy and therefore the pools opening hours and Labour proposed budget cuts that in the words of the independent council officer, would result in the total closure of the facility in 3-5 months!

Secondly in his letter to the Daily Echo of Sat 17th Feb, David Furness, the Labour Candidate for Sholing, said that "only Labour was offering pensioners in Southampton a free Hampshire wide bus pass that was costed and budgeted". In fact only the Conservative budget included such a scheme; there was no word of it in the Labour budget and certainly no money for the scheme!

Finally my Labour opponent in Shirley has put out a leaflet attacking one of my fellow councillors in my ward, alleging that he does not effect road repairs where he lives. This is most unfair as Terry Matthews is retired and is virtually a full-time and most diligent councillor. He has been most effective in ensuring that Shirley has had its fair share of monies to repair Southampton's crumbling roads and pavements. The reason why the Council won't fix the pot holes the Labour candidate is pointing to on his leaflet is because the previous year the Lib-Dem and Labour councillors voted together to cut the roads and highways budget and shockingly as a result of Labour's cuts, the hole is not bad enough to get fixed!

No wonder people are becoming disillusioned with politicians!


Anonymous Gavin Dick said...

I true have read this book and would recommend it regardless of your political views.
I believe the problem is the Labour group in Southampton have not allocated funds for projects in there budget this year. They have subsequently forgotten to tell that to there candidates and MP’s. In Sholing I pointed out to Mr Furness that Labour were not going to fund travel over Hampshire for Pensioners but still he is saying they are. I hope someone from his group will have word as it looks bad for all politicians.

11:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt, if what you are saying is true (and its a big if), I am shocked at Labour's behaviour!

5:45 pm  
Anonymous David Furnell said...

I don't mind you mentioning me on your blog but please get my name right, it is Furnell not Furness.

4:57 pm  

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