Friday, 29 January 2016

Cameron can't answer questions and Ipswich Tories can't ask them!

At Prime Minister’s Question time this week not only did David Cameron fail to respond to any questions he was asked with a thoughtful answer (on Google, Saudi arm sales) he also managed to demean the role of Prime Minister by describing those who are living in atrocious conditions in Calais as a ‘bunch of migrants’ – remember this the same week we mark ‘Holocaust Day’.

Many believe this was not a slip of the tongue but a pre-medicated move to either take the focus away from the Google cock up or to try and look tough on migration so to appease his Eurosceptic colleagues. Whatever the reason, it was not the sort of comment that a Prime Minister of the country should be making.

Unfortunately his comment looks quite Liberal when you compare it with the right wing drivel (and scaremongering words) that were posted on a blog by the Ipswich Tory leader, Nadia Cenci. Her comments declaring that many stuck in Calais were possibly terrorists on their way to UK, were quite sickening to read and again not the sort of words you would expect or hope to see from an elected politician. – all the infiltration of terrorists (and I bet there's quite a few of them at Calais so frustrated at not reaching our shores as easily as Merkel's now very new and unrecognisable country). “

She then turned her piece into an anti EU rant, using such terms as “EU and all it's horrible socialist experiments” and “if the EU doesn't collapse before then under the weight of it’s own corrupt, poisonous and egotistical head. “

We are informed by many that our Tory MP, Ben Gummer is pro EU – if he is, he should now stand up and inform his constituents that he does not agree with the comments of his local Tory leader.

There are so many rumours and bits of miss-information floating round, it is important that politicians stick to the facts, the comments of Nadia Cenci do not help. Last night we invited a local refugee charity to a Labour meeting so we could discover the truth.

I was shocked how little Cameron intends to do- in the next 5 years, the Tories propose to allow 200 Syrians to settle in Suffolk- just 40 a year, so expect about 10 families at the most – whilst at the same time Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have millions of refugees living in their countries.


If Cameron can’t answer questions it seems Nadia Cenci and the local Tories can’t ask them! On Wednesday I attended Ipswich Borough Full Council Meeting, and as always at the start we have a series of questions, mainly from the opposition and sometimes the public. This week we saw 10 questions from the local Tories and even independent observers had to admit via social media that the quality of questions was very poor. In fact even being very generous only two were worth asking, one from Cllr Pope about IBC working with the college and Cllr Debman on the number of football teams now using park pitches.

Even then Cllr Pope failed to follow up his questions with a good supplementary whilst Cllr Debman is correct that park football now does seem a thing of the past, it is not IBC who are to blame, the FA for one should look at their own actions quite closely and Ipswich dies provide quality facilities at Gainsborough, Whitton and now Ransomes.

Cllr Pope is right in questioning how much work has gone on between the council and the college but his timing was poor as this week the college has launched it’s own ‘vision’ document which will see more cooperative work between the organisations.
Then we had the really  bad questions starting with Cllr Cenci! She asked how much to council spend to cover their union facilities agreement, but she could not help herself and turned it a pre-election statement and asked how much does it cost the council tax payer. The amount is £45,00 but she was quickly informed that only a small percentage of that comes from council tax, we could have added that Tory run Suffolk spend more on when the Tories were in power in Ipswich they did not try and stop paying this money- which is probably the most economical way to run Human Resources at the council.
We then had Cllr Phillips ask how much our legal costs were for work on the Ravenswood inquiry, seeming to forget the fact that we were only having an inquiry because Pickles and Gummer called the project in as a blatant piece of electioneering.
But that was not the end of it, we had Cllr Vickery ask about the Olympic 2012 legacy, only weeks after the local paper had published a report that lavished praise on Labour run Ipswich for all the work we had done with sport but he made even more of a mess of an earlier question when he asked why groups such as the Friends of the parks were no longer invited to the Culture and Leisure working group, he did not seem to realise that parks had not been part of the culture portfolio for the last 8 months.
What the night did highlight is that this group of Tory councilors and candidates are not capable of running a council, and let us make sure in May that they never get a chance.

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