TUPSLEY BY-ELECTION WATCH: Another elitist gets elected

Cath NorthIt was an election campaign that barely needed to be fought: a popular community campaigner standing against a liar and a dull hotel manager.

It’s Our County’s Cath North was announced as Tupsley’s newest councillor late on Thursday night after scoring more votes than both the Liberal Democrats and Tories combined.

IOC’s Head of Facebook Statuses was hardly magnanimous about it all, opting instead to arrogantly taunt the other two candidates.

“Sorry Lucy [Hurds] – what was that you were saying?” in reference to the Lib Dems’ claims it was either them or the Tories that would get elected; and “Yesterday’s news … Sorry Jason [Kay], who’s county is it?” Fearing an It’s Our County win, the Tories took out an ad claiming “It’s not their county… It’s yours”.

“I love my community and I am so pleased they have come out in support of the work I have already done on the ground,” said Cllr Cath North.

Cath has been an active member of the Central Tupsley Community Group, which was nominated as environmental champions in the recent Hereford Journal Pride of Herefordshire awards.

The distinction between community group and councillor is an important one, and one that helps explain why we have opposed this by-election, and the institution of councillors and MPs as a whole.

Community associations, such as the Central Tupsley Community Group, are open to all residents in the area. Despite having positions of responsibility, they operate on a more or less equal basis and committees and secretaries are accountable to the members (their friends and neighbours) in a far more democratic way than councils could ever be. Anyone can make proposals and anyone can get involved in the various activities, playing an active role in their communities.

Contrast that with the (lack of) democratic credentials of a councillor. Once every few years you are afforded the luxury of participating in an election. This is your one single contribution to the democratic process. From then until the next election the individual that is elected will make decisions on your behalf, without your consultation, and give you no opportunity to get involved.

This so-called system of democracy is elitist and, as of Thursday, has elevated Cllr Cath North to a position above that of her neighbours.

Inevitably she will make decisions that will go against the wishes of some of her constituents. She will claim a mandate at the ballot box as her justification for being allowed to make such decisions. You won’t be able to be a part of this, you can merely sit on the sidelines and watch.

It’s the same old undemocratic process of privilege on the one side and alienation on the other that has been repeated over and over for centuries.

Replacing dull screws with shiny screws won’t fix a machine. There comes a time when that machine needs to go straight in the bin.

6 thoughts on “TUPSLEY BY-ELECTION WATCH: Another elitist gets elected

  1. Nice one Heckler. It’s the old chestnut “Democracy doesn’t (shouldn’t) end at the ballot box”, but in our mad system it does. That’s why sites like this and the shite that “mendacious oddities with little grasp on democracy” throw about are so important. In France, when they don’t like what the local government is doing, they take the mayor hostage, or they set fire to some dead sheep or spray the place with slurry, but here in good old England we just continue to bend over and get shafted by bastards, march down Whitehall in an orderly parade after being given permission and wave a few placards about whilst shuffling our feet apologetically. If someone sneezes in the wrong tone of voice they are struck off the HT blogging site or made to face the fury of the monitoring officer. We need to be far more robust in our continuous scrutiny of those in office, have the power to throw them out at any time and perhaps make them pass exams on procedure and what their roles are. Chancers and mountebanks should ruthlessly exposed, fined and jailed. In 2011 I was out leafleting and an old boy said “Why do I want that? It’s all lies. They’re all liars.” “Cynical old twat” I thought, but now, a couple of years later, I’m beginning to think he had a point. How long will it be before Cath North succumbs to deals and back room shenanigans? How quickly will she find herself saying “Yes but we had to give them that so they would give us this”. Humbuggery will set in as sure as eggs is eggs.

    I thought the same about IOC and its behaviour since Tupsley and had even looked up the quote “In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity”, before I saw this post of yours. They are coming across as smug, but with Hubbard as their chairman that is rather inevitable, I would hazard. It’s a shame because they have some talent which is being eclipsed by his sanctimony and self satisfaction. IOC would do well to remember what happened to Neil Kinnock when he thought he had the election in the bag in 1992 and made a complete arse of himself shouting “We’re alright” three times over in Sheffield the week before the election, only to be destroyed at the poll. I remember his looking as if he’d aged 30 years overnight when the results came in. Is IOC just too young to recall that salutary lesson? Take the electorate for granted and they will punish you, mercilessly.

    PS – it’s Heards, as in heard instinct, not Hurds as in turds (and as for my views on her stand on Halal see http://www.broadernews.wordpress.com I’m awaiting to see what La Wiggin has to say on the subject but he is being unusually coy and slow this time, considering there’s a crucial by-election coming up, or perhaps because there’s a crucial by-election coming up.)

  2. Wouldn’t it be great if all who posted and commented on this site stood for election on these very principles – or is it because of these very principles that they do not want to recognise the current process?
    Every ballot paper should carry the “none of the above” box that should be ticked by the voter if no candidate has gained their confidence, and for every person that votes £10 should be knocked off their Council Tax bill and for those that do not bother a tenner should be added. Well done Kath by the way and commiserations to the two spirited candidates that stood against her – I spoke to Jason Tory Boy and he was a decent and knowledgeable bloke. Lots of love.

    • People used to say that if you dont vote you cant complain, i believe the opposite is now true. If you cast a vote you are supporting an undemocratic system that hands power to individuals and parties, so don’t complain when it comes back and bites you on the arse. Politics is about more than voting now and then, it’s everyday life, it’s about how you live within your community. I dont want to tick none of the above because no-one will ever represent my views and i don’t wish to represent anyone elses.

  3. More abstainers than participants speaks volumes Keith -and that is a great pity which is why the option for “none of the above” on the ballot paper should be considered….. Bribery Keith, I would say reward or encourage. Much Love.

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