The Wyre Forest Agenda: Positive negatives
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Thursday, 22 March 2007
Positive negatives
by Nigel Addison

Well, I have checked my calendar, and it confirms the following:
(1) Red nose day for Comic Relief was last Friday
(2) April fools day is not for another ten days.

Therefore I can only assume that this comment, taken from the Conservative web Site is a genuine statement, and not, as it first appears, a comical one.

"Elections should be about beliefs, commitments and positive campaigning."

The reason why I find this statement so comical is as follows- In the past few weeks, comments have appeared on here and the Conservative web site as follows:

(1) Criticising Tavis for his support of Graham Ballinger, and saying that Tav, who is a "prospective Independent Candidate" at the next district election has shown his true colours and is not independent after all.

(2) Criticised local political parties for not announcing candidates before nomination day for the St Chad's By-Election, and then complaining that the Liberals, like the Conservatives themselves, announced their candidate the day the election was called, implying some sinister motive.

(3) Have been allegedly been involved in calling the By-Election by devious means, and then speaking out about the waste of money.

(4) Criticised Health concern candidate Howard Martin for standing in several seats, when their own candidate Tracey Onslow has done the same.

(5) Criticised Graham Ballinger and accused him of "having his strings pulled by Fran Oborski"

(6) Criticised myself for arranging a visit to Wolverley by our Member of Parliament, to see for himself the poor services etc being provided by the local authority.

(7) Called Health Concern a "bunch of political novices" despite the fact that they have had a Member of Parliament elected twice, and also ran the District Council for two years, during which time they implemented many schemes which have now been adopted by the Conservatives.

(8) Falling out with themselves over the way the election was called in St Chad's.

(9) Falling out with themselves by trying to push candidates onto wards contrary to the local members wishes.

So, this is what is called positive campaigning. I would hate to see the Conservatives at work with Negative Campaigning.

Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000
The Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act, A Liberal Party guide...


Nigel Addison
23 Mar 2007
I see that the Conservative weblog has once again attacked me with what seems to them positive campaigning.

Once again they have pointed out that I was a member briefly of the liberals, but as was pointed out on here by the mystery Sam, I was never active with them.

As for my membership of Health Concern, it is called Independent Kidd... so that covers the independent then.

As for what I will do etc..... as there has been no election for three years I have not had the chance to say what I will or wont do, as I have not been a candidate.

And as for the Independent Health Concern Party... well we are and have been a party for ten years... registered under the relevant act... have fought and won two General Elections, fought and won many seats on the District Council, long before some people left school let alone entered the grown up world.

It is obvious that this election is going to be a very very dirty one in some quarters. We only have to see the appalling and diabolical comment that has recently been pasted by someone on the Liberal web site, obviously unhappy that Fran has had Conservative Councillors ringing her. The person who pasted this comment should be ashamed, and barred from local politics.
Most of us enter politics to make a difference, to work for our communities. Not to be insulted and abused by such scum.

Luckily we were told some time ago by WFDC that comments on web sites can be traced back to their origin, and action taken. This has been referred to them.

John Campion
24 Mar 2007
It is about time Nigel realised that local politics is about working all year round not just at election time. Why did he resign from the local parish if he is so interested in local issues?

People like Fran leaflet all year round, that is why they win elections. It is sad that these Health Concern candidates can stroll up at election time, not bother to tell the electorate anything about them, then still come high in the ballot.

Nigel has only joined Health as he thinks it will give him an advantage in the polls, and I think that is sad.

Nigel Addison
24 Mar 2007
Not that it has anything to do with you, but for the record I was elected to serve on the Parish Council as a Conservative councillor. I resigned from the Conservatives; therefore it was right and proper to resign from my appointments made as a conservative. It is called "doing the right thing".

Second, as you do not live in Wolverley, you would not know what I do all year round, or for the last three years for that matter. My electorate does....mind you; they often ask me who the local district councillor is!!! As for me joining Health Concern, what drivel! Is that why Tony Hinton, June Slater et al joined the Conservatives. Mind you they were weren't they... conned. Promises were made to them which were never delivered. So don't try and lecture me. You do not know much about local politics obviously... well you are a new boy so not surprising, but your constant drivel and negative attacks are certainly reflecting more on you than me. After all you are supposed to be a cabinet member as well as District and County Councillor, and Police Committee member. You certainly do not act with the decorum that those roles deserve.

John Campion
24 Mar 2007
Gosh, it's amazing how sensitive some people are when they get a bit of their own medicine!

Fran Oborski
25 Mar 2007
Oh dear! We really are in the silly season aren't we!

Since, as Nigel admits, Health Concern is a registered political party it is pure nonsense for its candidates to claim that, because the word Independent is in the Party name they are then all "Independents". In political/electoral terms an Independent is someone who is not a member of a political Party! That rules out Health Concern!

24 Mar 2007
Oh come on Fran you can do better than the old 'Health Concern registered party' chestnut. The act of parliament Nigel is referring to is the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. Health Concern have to register a party name with the act to appear on the ballot papers and to be accountable for donations, campaign expenditure and party accounts. They could act as a group of many individuals and go the elections as 'Independent' but how would the electorate differentiate between me (for instance) and the Health Concern group. Worst still an independent could go to the elections and be elected thinking they are part of Health Concern and turn out to be BNP, something you have warned could happen.

Also you do know about this act, there was a Liberal Party manual about it (see sources) whereby you welcome the 'Electoral Commission' for instance. In fact you use the act locally as you use the 'Liberal Party - Focus, Save Our Hospital' banner on the ballot papers. Note if it wasn't for this act anyone could stand in Offmore & Comberton as 'Oborski Libral Party', or in Areley Kings as 'Labor Party', or Blakedown as 'Conservetive Party', or even as the 'Independent Health Concern Party'.

Chris Newman
26 Mar 2007
My brief observation of the political scene is "how devoid of independent and original thought the conservative party is locally ". It does appear club-like.

The "school debating style of communication" as applied by John-Paul Campion lacks a serious input. I will be reassured that our district and county are in safe hands when I observe him in open debate.

The WFA does give him an opportunity to participate in a responsible way free from Tory party games and considering his power i.e. Chairman of the Wyre Forest Educational Review etc. then I would urge him to gain everyone's respect and not rely on a party aura/loyalty to gain the power he enjoys and seeks.

John Campion
26 Mar 2007
I would suggest Mr. Newman's observations are flawed. If you are thinking of getting into local politics for the power or glory, then you are sadly mistaken.

I got into local politics because I care about the surroundings I was born into, and choose to live in.

Nigel Addison
26 Mar 2007
Fran: My comments are not meant to be, nor do I think they are, silly. I am defending attacks being made by me by the controlling administration of Wyre Forest District Council, the Conservative Party. I say that because most of the comments, as the one about Tav were posted on the official Wyre Forest Conservative web site. Not a personal Web log, but the Conservative site. You even have to e-mail them if you have comments. Therefore one can only assume that comments that appear on there are official Conservative Policy, and the author is writing for the entire Conservative party of Wyre Forest, just as one assumes you write for the whole of the Liberal Party in Wyre Forest when you post notices on your Liberal site. On here is a different matter. That is why my personal opinions and comments are restricted to here. Any official statements or press releases are put on the Health Concern web site.

In the terms of being Independent, Health Concern are Independent of any national political party or national Manifesto, much the same as you are. We do not have to tow the party line of decisions made at Smith Square or wherever the leading parties make decisions.

I do apologise to Chris Newman because it seems he has been caught in the cross fire, by making a personal and considered observation, of the continuous venomous attacks that are being sent my way. I take it as a compliment ... after all if I was not a threat in the district elections no one would give two hoots what I think.

And one final point - tomorrow is the 27th March, when the District Council election is officially "called" - from that date I shall declare myself an official candidate in the election, and will therefore carry out that role with decorum and with a positive campaign. As such I will not be posting comments on here until after the election, whatever attacks may be made. Any false statements, lies, innuendos or untruths will be treated with severity and will not be commented on but referred to the Standards Committee of Local Government, or where applicable to the Chairman of the political party concerned. I hope that others will follow suit so that the election can be fought in a fair spirit, and not as a dirty tricks campaign.

26 Mar 2007
Good luck in the elections Nigel, see you here after it's over.

John Campion
26 Mar 2007
I would suggest that Nigel stops being either over sensitive or mellow dramatic melodramatic. I am neither "attacking" him or Chris Newman. Both are keen to point out when they disagree with other people point of view, and I will do the same. It is called an exchange of views.

26 Mar 2007
@John: Contrary to what I think people think of my reaction to your 'TAVIS PITT' blog, I'm not offended and don't see it as an attack. After all I'm not some guy out of the blue and I have been exchanging views publicly for the last 3 years.

@John: Although I see there is some 'history' between you and Nigel, the above exchange of views between you and Chris Newman seems all very civil.

Chris Newman
28 Mar 2007
Political ambitions are worthy ones.

Politicians are powerful - they may not seek power but power is "thrust" upon them.

Negative campaigning has been observed by the chairman of a local powerful party and with so many regenerative ideas and policies affecting the residential community of Wyre Forest it concerns me that local and county politicians do not seek the opinions of the community more.

I personally have no political allegiances. But the only district councillor who was prepared to talk with me on the issues surrounding the regeneration of Stourport-on-Severn was Mr. Jamie Shaw and he did so yesterday evening for more than one hour.

We did not agree about the extent of the housing developments and the impact on the transportation problems but we did part amicably.

Some councillors will not talk about issues and John when I phoned you and asked to discuss the progress of the Wyre Forest Educational Review my name and telephone number was taken but you have not responded despite a promise from the recipient.

I have no political ambitions many of you do and I respect that.

But I am concerned about the policy implementations and I am concerned that your cabinet, very much at the district level and also at the county level have reduced democracy to "we are first past the post - we have been elected on our manifesto and hence we no longer need to engage with the community ".

Now I may be wrong but it does appear that power is being abused. Probably I am totally wrong but there is very little discourse and an extreme push to be executive.

Power is sought by political parties and your party makes no pretence that it is seeking power locally. This might be as Fran Oborski calls it living in the real world.

So you will have to convince me much more than you did in your last posting here (and I do read your web-site) that you have not fallen prey to the addictive nature of power. I believe some of your colleagues have and it perhaps is a danger associated with the difficult job you do.

I would still like to discuss the educational review with you. You might even be able to tell me the differences in the mobile classrooms that are going to be in the Wyre Forest classrooms because I have it on good authority that "there are mobile and mobiles".

Now if I have been vague in my posting then that will be for others to judge but if I have been clear then you may be prepared to gain my confidence by responding in the same way that Dr. Richard Taylor has and Mr. Jamie Shaw and Mr. Phil Green and Mr. Mark Garnier.

Fran Oborski
28 Mar 2007
I am definitely going to buy John-Paul Campion a Dictionary!

"Mellow dramatic" sounds like a histrionic cheese to me!

Come on John Paul surely your expensive private education taught you to spell!!

Chris Newman
28 Mar 2007
@John: You are mistaken. The concept of glory never entered my thoughts. You must believe me.

Political life and success in political life is OK by me for those who have the capacity; the ability and an ambition for power.

Dr. Richard Taylor, in my opinion, must have wrestled long and hard before taking the decision to enter a new world for him.
I, personally did not support the health concern political campaign.
If the Worcestershire health planners obtained a poor deal with the private finance sector then that has caused considerable suffering in Wyre Forest. Whoever was responsible for the negotiations obviously came second best to his opponent. I would like to ask whether the educational and public employed negotiator for the Bromsgrove Educational review and the Financier's negotiator opposed each other better; when that PFI initiative was adopted by the conservative party at county hall.

However, the Health Concern party worked hard in local politics and county politics.

The present administration will be judged on:
The Wyre Forest Educational Review;
The improvements to the infrastructure;
The sustainability of the retail industry;

The employment prospects especially modern technological ones both in Stourport and on the British Sugar site and can you influence your political bosses from Malvern District and Alvechurch, both with their own economic corridors.

Young people's hard work in Wyre Forest Schools should be encouraged by our civic leaders supporting their efforts not - on the basis of a flawed testing philosophy , slamming the schools and the youngsters on the basis of apocryphal and narrow minded attitudes to education. (The independent sector, and I have worked with it, avoid SATs and it is not because they have already achieved high educational standards).

Debate this, John, and try not to perpetuate education as a political vote catcher locally. (It probably will always be so in national party politics but with the economy as it is and the school leaving age having to be raised for, I would argue, economic/political reasons then this is an area that requires cross-party political support and not "county hall propaganda and in-fighting").

Whoever is in charge of Forward planning and the economy please, please tell me how our cabinet is working; and how the community can assist; so that our young people can obtain employment training other than in the Tourist Industry.

There is almost arrogance for the county council's rulers to decide that Stourport-on-Severn should be a Tourist Town and fund initiatives from this narrow minded commercially driven perspective.

Not all young people at Stourport-on-Severn High School want or need to go to University. Down sizing; on your bike exhortations; training paid for by the tax payer that involved making the tea and cleaning the M.D's car (yes I know this occurred) surely is no longer sensible.

Those who have observed the excitement of young people about to leave school - I personally couldn't wait to do so - are depressed since they know that the honest hard working youngster does not receive opportunities to gain self respect. John, as an employer and as the chairman of the Wyre Forest Educational review have you ever watched a young person being trained in the retail industry. These youngsters are well educated by the state; their expectations are high when they leave because that is the nature of the teacher - led propaganda that the league tables inspires i.e. you must work hard for your G.C.S.E's and then they spend nearly all day stacking and labelling goods. So please do not tell them they have been poorly educated; that the educational system in Wyre Forest has to change.

Some of them may have grade B's and grade A' in science and mathematics. The efforts that they put in (and believe me course work is most demanding, ask any parent of a 15/16 year old) is often greater than the average grammar school student in the 1950's; 1960's and 1970's.

So when you are debating the economy; education; employment and how to get people to spend more money in the Wyre Forest community .. link them.

Huge amounts of money are spent in schools and businesses benefit considerably more than the youngsters.

Teachers do not require just wonderful buildings; expensive equipment and the joined up economical advantages of the changes that take place in schools. They are often nothing to do with education and learning.

Christopher Whitehead School would not necessarily improve the learning experience or even better SATs results using a TESCOS contract to relocate. The quality of medical services have not been improved at Kidderminster hospital, I would argue by the spacious changes that have taken place in the reception area.

Debate these issues with the public John, Fran .....................politicians used to; and still do in some countries.

John Campion
29 Mar 2007
I've never been able to spell, I put to down to my dyslexia............ another great word though, I had to look up histrionic too!


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