Monday, 6 December 2010

Councillors have a go .. at each other!

Oh, it's always sad to see old comrades fall out. Especially when one accuses the other "of using the tactics of fascists."
This has happened in Caerffili Council where a Labour Councillor, Ray Davies has incurred the wrath of Independent Councillor, Ron Davies. He  is most unhappy with a leaflet sent out by Comrade Councillor Ray.
The leaflet alleged that "two independent councillors called for an end to free prescriptions, free bus travel and free swims, since they were only gimmicks."
Ex-Comrade Councillor Ron reacted angrily, accusing him of "deliberately trying to mislead people about what Colin [Hobbs, the other independent in the coalition cabinet with Plaid Cymru] and I have done in the ward. You should know, given your long political experience, that it is frauds and totalitarians who have to rely on lies and half truths."
He goes on to warn Comrade Councillor Ray "do not fall into the trap of using the tactics of fascists. If you have something to say, say it honestly."
Now there the matter would end as a local spat, an everyday occurrence in our valley councils. In such areas, political discourse is more cage boxing than the Queensbury rules.
But the spat has now taken a turn for the worse with a formal complaint being made to the Caerffili Council about Ex-Comrade Councillor Ron's diatribe.
Many outside Caerffili may know  'independent' councillor Ron Davies in another guise, for he is a Plaid Cymru prospective candidate in next year's Assembly elections.  For where? For  Caerffili?
In such circumstances it is understandable that Plaid Cymru candidate Ron would not want the electors to be mislead about such populist policies as free bus passes, free prescriptions and free swimming.
And he should know better than most about the winning potential of such policies.
In a fringe meeting at the Plaid Conference reported by Tom Bodden of the Daily Post  whilst Ron Davies, was in political purgatory before entering the heaven of  Plaid Cymru. He dismissed Labour flagship policies of free prescriptions, free bus passes for the elderly and free hospital parking as a "strategy to prop the core vote."
In a looming period of cuts in public spending, after 10 years of growth, any move to axe these flagship freebies would prove politically difficult.
How true.  And how understandable that you would want to appeal to the core vote.

For those interested in such political shenanigans and want to follow the exchanges, they are produced below.

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