Thursday, February 11, 2010

Is John Denham Mugabe in Disguise?



So on top of falling out with his Permanent Secretary over the reorganisation of local government in Norfolk and Devon, DCLG Secretary of State John Denham has now decided to cancel elections! This May, the normal one third of council seats is up for election on Norwich City Council. but the new Norwich Unitary Authority won't be in place until Spring 2011. So Denham, in his role as dictator-in-chief has decided that elections to the existing City Council will be cancelled. Just like that. Now far be it for me to speculate that Labour would do badly in these elections and lose control of the Council, possibly to the Greens.

What's even more incredible is that the Green Party PPC for Norwich South and former leader of the Opposition on Norwich City Council, Adrian Ramsay, has barely raised a whimper. Perhaps he is relieved that he won't have to actually take responsibility for his party's crackpot ideas.

John Denham, I thought was a different kind of Labour politician. He resigned from the government out of principle over the Iraq war. And yet he thinks that cancelling elections and going against the wishes of the majority of the people of Norfolk for party political advantage is OK.

He is about to find out that it is not.

Note: The above extract is from a letter from DCLG civil servant Paul Rowsell to all the chief executives of Norfolk councils.

17 comments:

MikeyP said...

I thought the Dear leader was Mugabe personified

WC-H said...

Whilst I appreciate that both sides of the house have at various times been guilty of boundary shifting and a gentle massaging of the system... surely it's time it stopped, now, isn't it?

Iain, how do we stop this Gerrymandering?

tremulous said...

I'll be in the fortunate position of being able to vote against Denham in the forthcoming election - a right I'll exercise with unrestrained pleasure.

trevorsden said...

"John Denham, I thought was a different kind of Labour politician"

There you go again ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi9y5-Vo61w

Sorry iain, but there cannot be any Labour politicians left who you thought were honest and decent - but have let you down.

Don't you 'get it'? They are all out to get you - and then me. They are socialists - its what they do.

(Appols if this is a repeat - as Open ID seemed to throw a wobbly)

Jimmy said...

"Is John Denham Mugabe in Disguise? "

You spelt "Maggie" wrong.

This line of attack is becoming increasingly desperate.

David Boothroyd said...

If you're in luck in East Surrey, and the Conservatives are in luck nationally, and you are made a Minister, will you let your civil servants push you around? Or will you put through your policies for which you are accountable to Parliament?

Iain Dale said...

It's a fair question, but you'd be on stronger ground if this had been a Labour manifesto pledge or if there was genuine support for it in the areas concerned, or if it could be shown to be financially viable. Unfortunately neither you nor Denham can demonstrate any of those three things.

I would like to think I would not have let it get to this embarrassing stage.

Not a sheep said...

John Denham postponing elections in Norfolk today, Gordon Brown postponing the general election in April/May?

starfish said...

Why the surprise?

Cornwall's unitary council was pushed through in the teeth of local opposition

And it hasn't covered itself in glory since it formed either

Still, councillors' allowances have gone up so it is not all bad.....

Chances of Labour winning any seats in Cornwall?

Bridget Mackwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vervet said...

Surely there will be some staunch citizen of Norfolk prepared to mount a legal challenge against postponement of an election ?
Come on Bernard Matthews - your county needs you !

Anna said...

I think the Mugabe comparison is wildly over the top. I have relations in Zimbabwe who have trouble getting regular supplies of water, food, electricity, petrol, internet access. It is not yet so bad here!

However I agree that Labour politicians are mostly convinced that they know what is best for the peasantry, and with rare, honourable exceptions, I hate them to a man... and woman!

Anna said...

PS: I am terminally bored with whatever the polical commentariat thinks. Besotted as it is with the Westminster Village, it bears no relation whatever to what the electorate - the peasantry - thinks. You know that. Focus groups aside, and no normal working person has the time to contribute to them, poll after poll reveals that what the peasantry - the electorate - wants is far removed from what their 'representatives' vote for. Why are there 'free votes' in Parliament? Shouldn't MPs be voting for what their constituents want? I don't care about my MPs conscience, I want him to vote according to his electorate's preference. Which he mostly doesn't, being Jeremy Hunt and a Cameroon.

Oliver Drew said...

The Mugabe comparison is a little bit crass and OTT. But the cancelling of elections is a disgrace. Denham should be ashamed of himself.

George said...

Didn't Hitler use something similar to cancel elections and stay in power, some sort of Order in Council?

Does Denham have that sort of power, to deny democracy to local people in this cavalier manner?

Viva la revolucion, let the tumbrils roll in Norwich and Norfolk.

Jimmy said...

"Didn't Hitler use something similar"

You're thinking of Section 2 of the Local Government (Interim Provisions) Act 1984. A little after Hitler but an understandable mistake.

King Athelstan said...

Not yet Anna, not yet.