Thursday, 16 August 2012

Today sees an election for a vacant a seat on Wyberton Parish Council* following the death of former councillor and former Boston Mayor Albert Tebbs - with four candidates chasing the vacancy.
As we pointed out last week, none of them has declared any party political affiliation, and whilst two have call themselves “Independent” candidates, the other two have not entered anything at all in the “description” box.
One of these is Conservative County Councillor Paul Skinner, who also stood unsuccessfully for the Tories in last year’s borough council elections.
Somewhat tongue in cheek, we asked him whether this is because a declaration as a Conservative representative might be deemed to be counterproductive to the chance of success – to which he replied: “I believe at parish council level all should work for the benefit of the community. Party politics do not apply.”
Mr Skinner - who won Boston South for the Conservatives from former BBI leader Richard Austin at the County Council elections in June 2009 - points to a track record in Wyberton that has supported the community in various ways, and adds: “Until I stood in the borough elections nobody knew which political party I favoured.”
The point he makes about party politics at parish level is one that is often made – but we think that it is relevant higher up the local governmental chain as well.
We wonder how much better Boston might be doing if the ruling Conservatives had been less determined to scrawl their shaky political signature across the current chapter in the borough’s history rather than to apply themselves to the problems the borough faces.
Boston does not need to be run by a political mafia that seems more intent on getting its own way rather than doing what’s best for Boston and its people.
What we need is a group of concerned individuals with Boston first and foremost in their hearts and minds.
Nothing that our current leadership has done to date has any relevance to the Conservatives with a big ‘C.’
Many of its achievements to date could well have been notched up by the Official  Monster Raving Loony Party rather than the Tories – in fact we sometimes wonder whether there is a closet Loony faction within the cabinet.
Looking back to last year’s elections, a hastily cobbled together manifesto – drawn up by a party that confessed afterwards that it  did not expect to win – promised: “YOU the public can be assured that we will look after YOU and work for the people who need our services the MOST.”
Forgive us if we say that the claim now soundsmore than a little hollow in the wake of the disabled parking brouhaha and the clandestine selling-off of the Assembly Rooms with the likely closure of the public toilets as a result.
The latter also gave the lie to the promise to “bring an end to ‘behind closed door’ policies” since this important issue of the disposal of a 190 year-old listed publicly owned  building was done … err … behind closed doors.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the manifesto fibbed on: “We will publish salaries and consult over expenditure and investments in our community. All councillors and the Boston Borough Council Executive (are) to be open and accountable to YOU the tax payer.”
It is impossible to imagine how much better things might have been if our leaders – rather than trying to dress up in the top hat and tails of their masters – had simply put aside party politics and done their level best for Boston.
Paul Skinner is right to declare that party politics has no place at parish pump level – and the current situation in Boston Borough shows that it should have no place there, either.

*Four candidates are contesting the vacant seat on Wyberton Parish Council. They are: Independent candidates John Edward Jenkinson and Simon Robert Wilkinson, Henry Herbert Matiti, and Paul Anthony Skinner. Voting is between  7am and 10pm today at the Parish Hall on London Road in Wyberton.

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  1. Scouter 41August 16, 2012

    In politics, an authoritarian government is one in which political authority is concentrated in a small group of politicians.

    Political Science 101 ........

  2. Scouter 41August 16, 2012

    I should have added that the same 101 lecture concerning authoritarianism, recognises the following characteristic - which has a Worst Street 'feel' about it;

    "...decisions being made by a select group of officials behind closed doors, a bureaucracy that sometimes operates independently of rules, which does not properly supervise elected officials, and fails to serve the concerns of the constituencies they purportedly serve."