Saturday 12 December 2009

Poacher turned gamekeeper?

Over the last few days, Don’t Call Me Dave has received many e-mails and messages from readers wanting to know what he thinks of Rog T’s decision to stand as a Liberal Democrat candidate for Mill Hill ward at the next election.

Whilst expressing surprise that Rog has joined the LibDems, DCMD’s response is quite simple. Good luck to him!

DCMD is well aware that the mere act of wishing Rog T good luck will cause illegal car parker Andreas Tambourgreedy to phone Conservative Central Office demanding that he be expelled from the party, but the reality is that democracy is strengthened when ordinary citizens put themselves forward to serve their communities.

At national level, the federalist inclinations of the LibDems is not to DCMD’s liking, but it must be acknowledged that at local level, they have proven themselves very effective in questioning Mike Freer over the Icelandic banking scandal. Cllr Wayne Casey, who is standing down in May, made mincemeat of the outgoing leader when the council debated the issue. That a Conservative party member can recognise this does not make him any less Conservative. Indeed, it is not healthy to be blindly partisan. For democracy to flourish, there must be a strong and effective opposition, who will scrutinise the Executive and hold them to account.

Most Conservatives recognise that the Labour MP Frank Field is a respectable and honourable politician, whose presence enhances the reputation of Parliament. Similarly, LibDem MP Vince Cable, who famously compared Gordon Brown to Mr Bean, was the first to have correctly called the state of the economy and is widely acknowledged to have a better idea than most as to how to deal with the mess the Prime Minister has caused.

Another LibDem, Norman Baker, has earned himself a fearsome reputation in Parliament for asking searching questions of the Government and uncovering abuses of the allowances system. No wonder Don’t Call Me Dave admires him!!

Libertarian Conservatives, like DCMD, believe in small government - at local level as well as national. We have seen how our democratic institutions have been undermined and abused by a Labour Government which won a landslide majority of seats, without winning a landslide majority of the votes. Whilst the public want a strong government, especially in times of crisis, they resent an authoritative and overbearing administration that is out of touch with the people they were elected to serve.

DCMD believes that the future shape of Barnet is best served by a proper Conservative administration, whose councillors are motivated by a public service ethos rather than big fat allowances, and whose decisions are subjected to rigorous debate and scrutiny at every stage of the democratic process.

DCMD disagrees with Rog T on many political issues, but believes that he cares passionately for Mill Hill and the wider Barnet community. If Rog is elected to the council, there will be no question about his commitment and dedication, even if you disagree with his message.

If faith in our democracy is to be restored, we require more Rog Ts of all political colours to stand for election, and fewer troughers of the Hillan / Coleman / Freer / Tambourgreedy ilk.


Rog T said...


Thanks for your comments. I'd like to see a few new faces on the Conservative side who are prepared to stand up for the people who voted for them. God knows we need them.

We live in a democracy and I have no issue with Conservatives who implement Conservative policies which have been given a popular mandate. That is why I don't criticise Boris for dropping the western congestion zone even though I disagree strongly with the policy. I would even go as far as to say I'd criticise him for betraying his voters if he reneges on this.

I was at a friends tonight for dinner who is a natural conservative. We discussed an arguement we had in 2004 about the then newly elected Conservative administration. He challenged me to acknowledge that at least the green belt would be safer under them.

He then showed me a copy of a recent letter from a Barnet Council official stating that Barnet were acquiring green belt land as an investment. The only reason for an authority to want to buy green belt fields is in the hope that the restrictions on development will be eased. He stated that he is totally disillusioned with Barnet Council and the Conservative administration and has admitted that I was right to say that they couldn't be trusted on this issue.

DarkKnight said...

Rog T says "I have no issue with Conservatives who implement Conservative policies" but it begs the question why the LibDems didn't implement LibDem policy when they allowed Brown to sign Lisbon without a referendum...

At the last general election, the LibDem manifesto (The Real Alternative) said "ratification must be subject to a referendum of the British people". Yet they abstained on the referendum vote in the commons, and voted against it in the Lords!

As a Barnet Councillor, I don't suppose Rog will have much influence on European issues. But if he is elected, I hope he will be "prepared to stand up for the people who voted" for his party and stick to manifesto promises.

Unfortunately, Clegg (like Brown) can simply not be trusted.

Rog T said...


I must confess that I am not really interested in the European debate. I'm broadly pro European, but will be the first to admit that the EU as it stands is not what it should be.

As to how the LibDems voted, I wasn't a member then and as I'm not that interested in the issue I don't know the background. I only joined the party a month or so ago and hadn't even considered the move until shortly before that. I joined because of their local policies and presence. I'm still familiarising myself with their national policies. One thing I will say is this. Vince Cable is the only politician who has emerged with much credibility from the credit crunch and unlike our local Tory and Labour MP's, London Lib Dems have not troughed with second home allowances. This matters to me.

I'm more interested in issues which there is some chance of changing and in my case thats local issues.

If I'm elected I'll stand up for anyone who needs standing up for regardless of whether they voted for me or not. I'm not going to come out with a load of old cobblers to get in. I suspect that many people will vote for me in spite of my views and who totally disagree with many of them, purely because they no I'm not afraid to speak my mind.

I'm sure people will try and catch me out by saying "Lib dems say this and you disagree with it". Well so what? I'm not a robot and even whole parties change their views. The Tories were Europhile under Ted Heath.

One further thing. If Cameron wins and does a couple of terms in office, I am 100% sure that at the end of his reign we'll be deeper into the EU than we are now. The only person to give us a referendum was Labour under Harold Wilson. I doubt that will change

DarkKnight said...

Rog T,

I do accept that you are not personally responsible for Clegg's duplicity in this matter, but you are joining a party that did not honour its manifesto pledge.

Admittedly a LibDem manifesto is at best a wish-list as there is no hope of them ever winning a general election, but that said, the party should do 'what it says on the tin'. Not doing as they promised was a betrayal of the voters.

Frankly, Labour and LibDems are both guilty of an election fraud and neither can be trusted, particularly whilst their current leaders remain in place.

I do understand your interest is in local politics and Barnet in particular. But you cannot totally divorce national and local party politics as they are part of the same organisation. If, as you say, you are not afraid to speak your mind, then I hope you will not sit quietly when the party you have chosen to join does not honour its own manifesto.

Rog T said...


All I can say is that it isn't just the Lib Dems & Labour who've not lived up to all of their promises. If only it was that simple. I think it's fair to say that if you read my blog it isn't riddled with inconsistency. It is a local based blog, but it has criticised all manner of parties and views. Whilst I'm sure there are all sorts of obscure LibDem election manifesto pledges I disagree with, I think they offer the best solution to specific problems in Barnet at this point in time. If anyone claims 100% agreement with any party manifesto, they are either a zombie or not telling the truth.

DarkKnight said...

Rog T

I'm sure many LibDems would like to sweep this issue under the carpet, but the cast-iron promise of a referendum was hardly "an obscure election manifesto pledge".

Yes, this isn't a major issue for Barnet Council and not really on the radar of local politics. But I'm afraid it all comes down to trust.

Can LibDems be trusted? Clearly not! A manifesto pledge should be regarded as contractually binding. Politicians who say they will do one thing whilst seeking votes, but then do the complete opposite when in office are guilty of an election fraud!

Rog T said...


As to the general principle of renaging on election promises. In Barnet in 2006, the people elected a Tory party lead by Brian Salinger, the week after Mike Freer staged a palace coup and deposed him, despite Salinger increasing the Tory majority. Freer embarked on a range of policies which have nothing to do with the manifesto. I cannot possibly think of a greater example of electoral fraud than that. In my opinion the Barnet Tories are the least trustworthy bunch I've ever come across.

Many Tories will be spprting me in the local election because they agree and hope that it will give Hillan and co a much needed wake up call. They will do even though they disagree with my views. What does that tell you?

DarkKnight said...

I think what it tells us is that people are fed up with politicians, local and national, who forget that they are only there because people have given them their votes on the basis of trust. Once politicians start thinking that they are more important than the rest of us, or believing that they somehow know what is best for us, voters will quickly turn to other parties. But the idea that only the LibDems can be trusted is a mistake. Their track record is not good!

Rog T said...


There are politicians of all parties who I trust and ones I don't. I wouldn't say only the LibDems can be trusted, because that would be dishonest. Anyone who stands up for their principles deserves support and those who have no principles deserve none. That is why I always refer to don't call me Dave as Barnets most sensible Tory and agree with much of what he writes. If he was selected for the Conservatives I would urge people to vote for him, as he's a proven track record of being right, unlike many of his colleagues - unless he was selected in Mill Hill :^).

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Fear not Rog! Even if I wanted to stand for public office (which I don’t) I can’t imagine that Barnet’s Conservatives would ever select me as their candidate.

Talking of selection contests, my sources tell me that Lynne Hillan scraped through her re-selection contest in Brunswick Park, some distance behind Lisa Rutter and Andreas Tambourgreedy. How embarrassing for the new council leader that she is not very popular in her own ward.