Sunday, 6 October 2013

What is regular? - Yet another 'pop' at Ben Gummer! (Not John)

Recently, Ipswich Spy has started a regular Saturday Diary column- I say regular because as the name of the column indicates it comes out each Saturday - you could call that regular.

In this weeks column, Ben Redsell mentions that I do not have the best working relationship with our local MP, the Tory Ben Gummer. That point I can't or would not want to argue with but where I will be critical of Ipswich Spy is their comment which seemed to wish to compare my criticism of Mr Gummer with some of the attacks the daily Mail has made on Ed Miliband in the last week.

Ipswich Spy wrote: "Cllr Ross used to regularly target his father, Lord Deben, in an attempt to get at his son. He doesn't do that anymore, which is just as well given recent events."

Now I know I have mentioned John Gummer in the past but was certain that I had not made a regular habit of targeting Lord Deben.

Now Ipswich Spy is not the first to accuse me of this act this week, Tory Councillor Nadia Cenci, used twitter to say that I had attacked John Gummer to get at Ben, this tweet was in a conversation about the attacks on Ed by the Daily Mail - which Nadia Cenci seemed to be defending.

I did email Ipswich Spy, as I thought they would have checked all my blog posts to see how many comments I had made about Gummer Senior. No answer so I decided to check myself.

I first mentioned John Gummer in a blog post in 2007 and since then have mentioned him another 3 times, so that is 4 posts that John Gummer is mentioned in, the same period has seen me post 530 blog posts - so is 4 out of 530 regular? Two of those mentions were in 2007, one in 20010 and I repeated a 2007 post in 2012!

Now did Ipswich Spy just take Cllr Cenci's tweet and think there had been a series of posts about John Gummer? Now I have not checked all my 18,000 tweets or comments on other blogs but I would think you will find that even on twitter the number of tweets mentioning John Gummer would be less than 20 (out of 18,000)

The other point on the blog posts the four posts were not all attacks on John Gummer. One did show a picture of him feeding a burger to his daughter and in another post it mentions that Ben Gummer was one of the few Tory candidates attempting to get elected for the first time who did not mention the expenses scandal- I indicated this maybe was because Chris Mole was never accused of mis-using his expenses whilst John Gummer did seem to spend considerable amounts on looking after his garden, including a claim for removing Jackdaw nests!

So I think the comment from Ipswich Spy is wrong- and to try and link it to the attacks by the Mail on the Labour leader is just in poor taste. So the only real link with the Daily Mail is the poor research that has taken place with the original Ipswich Spy post, something the Mail might be proud of!

Looking back through all the posts that mentioned Ben Gummer there had been critical posts, and even apologies plus a well done (for getting Chantry school back on the rebuilding programme.) The attacks on Ben had been on various subjects, from his silence on NHS matters, use of interns and his own attacks on the capabilities of councillors. But there was one recurring theme and that was the poor quality of his MP website. Now in his defence it is not paid for by public money but I for one would be happy if it was - as long as it provided Ipswich residents with a service and source of information.

In the past I have criticised him for the website being so out of date, when I mentioned that his performance data was over a year out of date this then caused Cllr Cenci to attack me, claiming it was due to all information being wiped clean at the start of the year, not for the first time she was wrong. We were then told that his campaign manager was going to take the role on and we did suddenly see the data on casework updated but she never did get round to updating the information on 'Ben in Westminster'. But since August they now seemed to have again stopped updating the performance data on the website, maybe his campaign manager is now spending time campaigning?

But maybe it is time for Ben Gummer to either tell his staff to update the website, or remove the sections that have not been updated, or even inform people reading his website that it is not up to date as he saving public money by not spending on it. Ben can be congratulated for not using any public money on his website but I am sure many residents would be happy to see public money used as long as it is correctly claimed for and the website provides a service to Ipswich constituents - something it current does not - and I can't even blame John Gummer Senior for that!

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