Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bad PR

It is quite common for MPs across all parties, across every decade, and independent of the economic situation to talk of public restraint in pay demands but be perceived to be not following suit. While I have some sympathy with the comment made by Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, Dame Angela Rumbold, in reply to an OAP's letter concerning MPs' £9,000 pay increase 'I am really rather fed up with people who complain about a rather modest increase. ... If pensioners were working 90 hours a week, as I am, maybe there would be more sympathy for your case', the way she said it did little for her case. This is equally the case with the fact that two Councillors in Poole, Dorset have been disciplined for voting against an increase of up to 67% in expenses for some councillors. The councillors, who may well be fighting an election soon perhaps won themselves more votes when one of those, Carol Deas (pictured), is quoted as saying “I’ve been thrown out for representing the residents.” but the image of the Conservative party does not look great if this goes unanswered and there is no more to it than simply that two councillors decided it was not a good move to increase their expenses in a time of economic crisis and when they represent wards full of elderly and less well-off individuals struggling to pay their council tax. They seem to have public support, their ward's resident's association minutes that "The Southern Poole Chairmens’ Group had issued a unanimous protest since these Councillors were respected for their support for Residents’ concerns". If politics is all about perception then this does the party no favours while enhancing the independent status of the councillors in question.

1 comment:

Tom Thurston said...

Great Article!

Yes Carole Deas is the best councilor we have - in my personal experience she's the only person who can be bothered to listen to residents concerns (the schooling situation here is unbelievably bad and she was the only councilor who bothered to get in contact with us - we even got berrated by some chap from the council for attempting to bother other councilors with our schooling problems - Poole council wanted our 4 year old to go on a 10 mile taxi ride to school!)

That's the reason why we love Carole Deas - but I never heard anything but praise for her from anyone else either!

With kind regards,