Over a week ago, I was re-elected to Ipswich Borough Council, to represent Rushmere Ward. there is no hiding the fact that the Ipswich Labour party did not have a great night, we expected to lose some seats after probably over achieving when these seats were up for election last in 2016, but it was still very disappointing to lose a number of seats on the Borough and County Councils.
We also lost some very good councilors and many were also very good friends, but they will return and it is up to us who are left on the council to continue their good work.
Ipswich is a well run council, we have gone the extra mile to help our residents and businesses during the pandemic - but we still lost seats, why?
There is no doubt that the Tories locally are better organised than they have been for a while, and they now campaign in wards where they would never have been seen before. Unfortunately they also seem keen to copy Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and even Corbyn in acting as 'populist' politicians - hiding away from the real issues, real facts or bothering looking at the costs. More worryingly they also in some cases act like our local Tory MP and seek to divide our local communities, willing to allow certain communities to be used as scapegoats.
No surprise then, that they have allowed former UKIP candidates to stand for them in local elections, many of the UKIP policies were openly racist however I hope that those former UKIP members now elected as Tory councillors in the town, do not hold those racist beliefs that many UKIP politicians were proud to display.
I hope for the sake of this town, that Shayne Pooley and Tony Gould look to represent all their constituents fairly and we must give them the opportunity to show that they are willing to do so and not revert to UKIP rhetoric of 'send them all back'.
But back to why did we lose seats? - We have made mistakes locally, we have concentrated on protecting our town during the pandemic and maybe needed to spend some of our time on telling residents what we hope to do in the future, I am sure residents will be very impressed with what we have got planned for the next few months, however it was not possible to go public with what we have in the pipeline, in particular some interesting announcements about the town centre.
It is also obvious that Boris Johnson is popular, even if in the end it will be shown that he has lied to Parliament on a number of occasions and at times was more interested in his own wallet than the future of this country. He has benefited from a vaccine bounce, but we may see a similar drop in his popularity at the end of furlough. Worryingly, he may 'ignore the science' and we will continue with his 'roadmap' out of the pandemic even if the Indian variant starts to kill many of our population. as he is loathe to go back to a further lockdown.
Keir Starmer and his front bench have also struggled to get their message over to the population, difficult as Johnson has managed to fool voters in forgetting that the Tories have been in power for 11 years, a trick Mr Hunt attempts in Ipswich when talking about crime - who would think the Tories have had 11 years to sort it out but high crime rates are still not the fault of the Tory Government or the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, some even attempt to blame me!!
We also still have the problem of Corbyn, most former leaders, tend to keep a low profile, whilst we have Corbyn who is very happy to go in front of the press to say where Keir went wrong in May! No humility at all. I for one hope that most Labour members will see by the way the far left have behaved over the last few months that it is now the time they are given the message from members, that they are no longer wanted in our party, never before have I seen a protest group within the party act like Momentum have - we are fighting elections whist at the same time they are having campaign strikes! Time they were kicked out, they are not wanted in Labour by most members and in particular by labour voters.
What I can say to Rushmere residents, is that I will continue to represent you to the best of my ability- it doesn't matter if you did or did not vote for me, and as lockdown measures ease, you will see plenty of myself and our local Labour team on the doorstep over the next year.
Rushmere Ward - Declared
One seat contested.
Turn out: 43.62%
|ROSS||Alasdair Donald Mackenzie||Labour||1,208|