Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Ipswich Tory in blast at Ipswich Tories!
It seemed quite obvious to us fighting to win seats at the local elections in Ipswich last year, that the Tories were either not expecting to win St Margaret’s Ward or were not attempting to win it so that they could still guarantee the support of the 5 or 6 Lib Dems left on Ipswich Borough Council.
But once the votes started being counted it became obvious that the Tories had got their campaign all wrong, losing Rushmere, Stoke Park and Whitton but with little if any work ending up winning St Margaret’s.
Since May the true nature of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition has come to light in the town, they may have run the town together but there was little love lost between the parties. This has now seen attacks on each other in Full Council and the Tory supporting blogs have been keen to inform us that they never had any time for their former colleagues in power anyway.
But what may have surprised many is that some Ipswich Tories are stating that they always expected to win St Margaret’s. The Tory blog ‘A Riverside View’ has even accused Ipswich Labour of getting the facts wrong about St Margaret’s. Kevin commented here that we were wrong to say this – “Former Cllr Stokes didn’t look too chuffed at winning St Margaret’s ward in May. Tories didn’t work it and it fell into their lap”
He also commented on the Ipswich Spy website after they stated that they thought the Tories were surprised to win this – “Tories were surprised to win the seat in May? We were surprised that it was by such a small margin of votes but we were expecting to take it. Next May the Lib Dems four will be reduced to two.”
Now he may be right, there may be only two Lib Dems left come next May but he certainly got it wrong (lied?) by stating they expected to win.
Now Labour thought that, the local press and Ipswich Spy thought that, but ‘A Riverside View’ egged on by the Ipswich Tory twitter account have rewritten history. How do we know?
We know because the Tory who won the seat in May has told us. In an Evening Star article on Saturday the 10th September she doesn’t hold back in her attacks on her former colleagues.
Sarah Stokes resigned last week after just 4 months as a councillor and it has only taken a few days for the real reasons why she has given up to come to light.
She states she was not an active member of the Tory Party and only stood at the last minute after the original candidate had dropped out (or moved to the Rushmere Ward to lose?) She was not made aware of the level of commitment required to be a councillor.
But her most damming comments prove that many of us were right and that ‘A Riverside View’ is being very economical with the truth.
She states that “I had a load of leaflets dropped at my house to be delivered. I asked who could help me, I was given three names – one had just had a hip replacement, one was suffering from bunions and the third was on holiday!”
So much for expecting to win, or did they think it would be so easy they did not have to bother to campaign?
She then informs us that only two Tory councillors were willing to help her, and those two names certainly do not include the name of the Tory leader, John Carnall.
Senior Ipswich Tory Paul West then chips in to inform us they find it difficult to recruit volunteers (not a problem we seem to have at the moment).
But though all above does not make great reading for the Ipswich Tory Party, I expect they may have a chance of retaining the seat whenever the by-election is held – even though up to Sarah resigning, it had only been Ipswich Labour who had delivered any sort of leaflet in the St Margaret’s Ward since May.
But what may surprise many residents but will come as no surprise to us who have witnessed the local Tories both in power and in opposition is that Sarah found she was not being given the opportunity she would have wanted to help voters with their problems.
So we seem to have the had a glimpse of the true Ipswich Conservative Party, one not interested in helping residents or even letting their councillors do so.
Of course a by-election will cost thousands of pounds to be held, and we all know that John Carnall hates to see money wasted; maybe we would not be in this position if they had taken more care when it came to the selection of candidates. Maybe we should send the bill for the election to the local Conservative Association? Local Tories are often critical of Officers when things go wrong and believe they should be held to account. Well this time we know who is to blame for wasting Ipswich tax payers money- are you going to stump up the cash John Carnall?