Letter: The Island must come before party political loyalties

Islander John Luckett shares his observations on the upcoming council elections and explains why he believes party politics stops things getting done.

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We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers. This in from John Luckett from Whippingham. Ed

What a breath of fresh air and a privilege it was to meet Martin Bell OBE last week on his visit to our Island, a true gentleman – and both interesting and inspirational. No Party Whips; party leadership dictates or “Block voting” for this man, oh no!

Cynics may say it is the start of the “silly season” as our Local Elections approach – but in all seriousness, I believe this is the most important electoral choice for generations. The choices Island voters make which will shape the Islands fortunes for the next generation. It is VERY IMPORTANT that the 70% who didn’t vote the last time round (no matter what your allegiances) become more involved and have their say on how the Island is to be run.

Straw poll finds current administration out of favour
The only people I have encountered who appear happy with the current state of affairs is the Conservative ruling group themselves, I have not met anyone who thinks the incumbent ruling group are doing a good job – and I meet a lot of people in my daily life as a health professional. The lack of confidence in its leadership also being confirmed with the e-petition calling for Cllr Pugh’s resignation more than doubling since being reported last week.

The Island is currently on the edge of an abyss which threatens our very special quality of life. As a Belgian politician once said – “We are standing at the edge of the precipice, ready to make the great leap forward”. Sorry folks, but I am not ready to jump, thank you very much!

The Island must come before party political loyalties
I fear nothing will change positively on the Island until we have a Council led and managed by people who are independently-minded and committed to putting the Island before party political loyalties (I include ALL parties in this) – is this really too much too ask? Consistent and blatant “block-voting” by the current ruling group has undermined democracy beyond measure and resulted in what I think amounts to a “licensed tyranny” over the last four years.

There has not been one example of any Conservative breaking ranks on any issue over this period because they are told by their Party leadership how to vote. Although I was told by one Conservative a while ago that “…we have a jolly good bun-fight behind closed doors” – so why do they do it? Because they will get expelled from their party if they do – their rule book says so! How can the Island electorate have confidence in them if their own party leadership do not trust them enough to make up their own minds?

Many driven to despair
Like many people I meet, this Conservative council by their actions; broken promises; and sadly by their personal conduct have driven me to despair – but I do remain positive and know that there are people capable of seeing us through these difficult times, most of whom are existing or prospective candidates of an independent persuasion.

To be fair I also know there are some genuine and talented people in the parties too (but only some!) and it is my fervent wish that they work together after May and get the Island back on its feet. I also want us Islanders to be proud of our Council and the people who work for it too.

Bell: “…reconnect those that govern with those who are governed”
The Conservatives maintain their power on people’s apathy and disillusionment, together with a loyal “party faithful” and a well organised machine that successfully gets their “faithful” to the polling booths on Election Day. The biggest challenge facing every candidate is as Martin Bell said is to “…reconnect those that govern with those who are governed”.

No-one can deny there is an almost total breakdown in this relationship here on the Island.

Party politics stops things getting done
My own three years experience of campaigning/activism on Island issues (which at times has been a steep learning curve!) has taught me beyond doubt that practicing party politics stops things getting done and has no place in Local Government. Also one party having all the power stifles democracy.

Martin Bell’s visit was of true significance and proves that one can succeed and make a difference at the highest level whilst still maintaining their personal integrity, credibility and freedom of expression, and I wish all the independent candidates success in May and I will be actively supporting and campaigning for some of you.

Burke: “All it takes for evil to prosper is for good (people) to do nothing”
To those 7/10 people who did not vote last time I remind you of the words of Edmund Burke who said “All it takes for evil to prosper is for good (people) to do nothing”.

Please take an interest and ask your prospective candidates lots of questions and make them earn your vote and trust, it has never been more important for the Island.

John Luckett, Whippingham

Image: Secret London 2013 under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 26th February, 2013 9:36am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2axC

Filed under: Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. RosiePosie

    26.Feb.2013 10:04am

    Totally Agree.

    We need and ‘Island First’ campaign.

    • Resurrecting the failed Island First thing would be a bad idea.

      How we re-engage people in politics is a huge challenge. Unfortunately on here you’re preaching to the converted. Pinging out the election ‘event’ on Facebook to all your IOW dwelling friends and then encouraging them is something everyone on Facebook can do and I’d encourage everyone to do it!

  2. steephilljack

    26.Feb.2013 10:15am

    I agree with everything you say John and I also attended the Martin Bell session. I had expected him to be the warm-up act before we got down to discussing the Independent election campaign tactics.
    We already have the Independent website at http://www.independent-island.co.uk/index.html
    and that is a very good start. But it seems that candidates are left to organise their own ward campaigns. I’m sure there are many people who want to be out there helping Independent candidates with leafleting etc.and I’d like to know a bit more about what’s going on. Is anything being planned ?

  3. Ken Thomas

    26.Feb.2013 10:23am

    What an excellent letter from John Luckett. It is exactly right. In aiding the “Independant Campaign” funds will be needed for publicity. I do hope that in the not too distant future,those of us who cannot go out and about to spread the message will be told where we can contribute.
    We must not lose this opportunity to stop the rot in May. There is so much to be done to put things right.

    • Is this a letter promoting Indpenednts or a letter pushing for local politics over party politics.

      I have no time for Martin Bell, who had the opportunity to use celebrity status to remove hand picked opposition and succeeded famously on one occassion and failed in all others…are we really promoting celebrity over politics..when we should be promoting hard working local candidates instead.

      I’m standing as a Labour Party Candidate and my locals will always come first, they may elect me and it is their right that I represent them locally before party politics..I very much doubt I’ll ever be in a position where my party affiliations will ever be of prime importance.

      I am driven to do more for my town first and to rid the Island of this council second. This drive has led to a number of traditional Tory voters supporting me..thats the way it should be..not this mindless attack on anybody who is not an Independent

      Remeber..across the country a great number of refugees from the extreme right wing parties are now standing as Independents because they see it as giving them credibility.

      Vote for the best candidate to represent your location, no matter who they are.

      We have to work together to make sure of change on the Island and personally I’m finding all this ‘pro Independent’ instead of pro ‘good candidate’ frustrating and offensive.

      Independents will not have a majority at the next election, but 1,2,or 3 Labour Councillors might hold the balance..lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater

      • wightywight

        26.Feb.2013 6:36pm


        You’d better beef up on the spending allowance for candidates then……remember, I’ve told you twice. It’s £600 + 5p per electorate head in your Ward.
        Surprisingly, going over that *can* be considered a criminal offence…
        Now, you might find it offensive to hear about the pro *Independent Campaign* but you are going to hear much more of it.
        The Labour Party fielded 16 candidates in 2009…for a possible 40 seats… do you think that is any indication of seriously trying to manage this Island…?
        You jeep on about your Labour ideals but that you put your Ward residents interests first…. forgive me but…..why on earth cannot an Independent do exactly the same thing?
        ….and more satisfactorily….simply because there are no Party Policies to work round.
        The whole problems that we now face have ben brought about in no short amount by the results of having Block Party Politics running the Council. Fact.
        Why? Because there have been n NO Conservative Councillors voting against the Conservative ruling group for 8 years. Just think about that for a moment….
        How, in 8 years, not one conservative Councillor had the self conscience and Local Interest enough to vote against a particular motion. That is what Party Politics give you. Block voting to force through motions and overall Council Interests rather than locality issues and locality views and locality voting.
        One thing you can be absolutely sure of is if you have an INdependent Councillor he/she will vote with their conscience and their belief and their considered decision for *their* locality. That’s how it works.

        Good luck in your attempts…but please, get wized up about the rules…they are quite stringent and serious. Don’t mess up


        • just because the rules say £600 + 5p does not mean the parties have that money to spend.

          The problems on the Island are not a result of party politics, it is as a result of the standard of councillor elected and the agenda of the ruling cabal.

          Being an Independent does not make you a good or better councillor.

          The Labour Party is totally realistic about the number of councillors required and our inability to ‘manage the Island’ as a party..but, as proved by Geoff Lumley and other prominant Labour reps on the Island we can punch above our weight in quality and determination..I intend to join that group..and not pretend I am anything but a Labour Party member. I’ll wear my colours on my sleave..not up it

          • Your up-front honesty about your political affiliation is appreciated No 5. I wish we could say the same about many of the independents. Perhaps all Independent candidates should declare which way they voted in last local and general elections – that way at least we would get an idea of their world view and the way they are likley to lean when it comes to votes/support if they are elected to the Council?

          • wightywight

            28.Feb.2013 11:45pm

            @No 5:

            I’ll take that as you agreeing then that the budgetary allowance is £600 = 5p per head of electorate in the Ward.
            Your previous postings telling me I was wrong were, in themselves,
            wrong! Don’t bother apologising.
            There is very much wrong with this Island due to Party Politics…the very Party Politics that have resulted in the ruling group Block voting for 8 years. Every single member on every single occasion no matter what the issue…..That’s not democracy in action…
            Is it the entire problem…? Of course not. In addition to the block vote we have seen a Political ethos and ideology that has underpinned many of the decisions taken.
            Together with a system that doesn’t work, Cabinets, Delegated responsibilities, inept administration, discredited policies and schemes (the PFI is one)and much more. Decisions being taken for no other reason than it is a conservative proposal…irregardless of the Local Ward electorate for each Councillor.
            …and you think the problems are not to do with Politics..!
            Frankly, it’s difficult to describe them as anything else.
            [btw, the “ruling cabal” as you describe it IS the Politics]
            Now, being an Independent Councillor does not make you a better Councillor……it sure as hell doesn’t make you a worse one either!
            And, hey ho, you don’t have to comply with Party Politics, dictat or central office directions. In fact, that is EXACTLY why an Independent Councillor is better for Local Government…they are not constrained by the Politics…like ALL other main Parties are…yours included.
            Now, you can fluster about Labour candidates…you fielded 16 at the last elections in 2009. Even with a 100% success rate you would not have achieved power. History tells us you would not achieve a 100% rate anyway.
            Punch above your weight….?
            Clearly you havn’t visited the Chamber when in full flight with a strong majority ruling conservative group running things. You will achieve next to nothing. Just as the opposition have achieved next to nothing in 8 years. It’s because POLITICS gets in the way….!!
            There’s nothing wrong in your Labour values and ideals and in many ways, like Cllr Lumley, you know what you are going to get because…”it’s written on the tin”.
            You (Labout, that is) will not achieve power on the Island ..that’s a sad fact, I’m afraid.
            All you might achieve is splitting the votes that allow the conservatives chances to gain some seats and maybe even retain power. The only clear way out of this mess is Libdems (make your own mind up about them!) or it’s Independents.
            Labour, I’m afraid are not at the races on this.


          • wightywight

            28.Feb.2013 11:58pm


            Why is it really so difficult to understand with Independent Councillors that they are NOT affiliated to any Political Party…!
            Why are you obsessed with trying to put these Councillors into little (political) boxes that you then feel you can make sense of..?
            Independents stand for a wide range of values, ideals and beliefs…they are Independent of one another and they are Independent of any Political pressure. They WILL vote on matters according to a range of factors which include their electorate. It’s called democracy.
            Your idea that you can deduce which way non political Councillors will vote on every matter is a complete fallacy. We don’t even know WHAT matters will come for voting upon let alone anything else.
            Look, it’s part of the whole problem and one that Political activists and Party members try to agitate on. There is NO need to have any Political ruling block in power in County Hall to successfully manage this Island. It can be managed on the basis of what’s best for the Island and what’s best for the residents….and NOT what’s best for a Political Party….something we have tirelessly had for 8 years now.
            Unless or until you come to understand what exactly an Independent Councillor is you are going to struggle with this whole issue.
            You can’t measure someone who is not Political by Political measurement…!
            What could happen quite easily is that we actually get a group of people into power to manage this Island for the benefit of the Island…that is really not too much to ask for, is it?


      • John M Luckett

        28.Feb.2013 11:04pm

        It is quite clear that I state that I will be supporting independent little i) candidates.

        Basically I would like to see people elected who put the Island first and have the intelligence and integrity and clear policies to work for their wards and to be able to work in a civilised and consensual manner to get the Island through its difficulties. I also want to see Islanders vote in their droves…and if the Island want the Tories back they they shall have to take responsibility for it and not moan when it goes wrong, which it would.

        I think most genuine candidates will be happy to answer direct questions about their beliefs and values. I hope you do the same. Good luck with your campaign by the way.

        Personally I would prefer to vote for an independent if they met what I was looking for but will vote ABC on May 2nd – Anything But Conservative!

        I can only speak from experience that the IW Councillors who have supported me and encouraged me in my causes have been independents – I have also been encouraged to stand independently – and would have done this time around had my circumstances been more suited however would want to give it 100% and felt I could not do this, so am not which was a tough decision. Hope that helps!

  4. Interesting post No.5. I find it amusing that at the General Elections you proudly stood up and announced you were voting Lib Dem in order to keep the Conservatives out on the Island. Here we now find you promoting Labour, and I have no gripe with that, one of our best Island Councillors is Geoff Lumley and if he were standing in my ward I would be voting for him. Why? Because he does what you are suggesting, he puts the people of his Ward before party politics. However he is not standing in my area.

    We are already seeing dirty tricks going on. Where party politics are being put before local issues and needs and it seems the conservatives have not learnt their lesson.
    Only last week we saw the issue of Brading Post Office being highjacked by the local candidate Mary Collis. This lady has self promoted herself at every opportunity. Dressing up as a gnome or something to promote Brading Station, inviting only Conservative “dignatories” to the opening of the community post office.

    She stated she did not have time to pick up the phone and invite those who had worked to get this project off the ground. By this I mean the Mayor and Councillors of Brading Town Council and their two clerks. Yet surprise, suprise she was able to pick up the phone to Andrew Turner, Daniel Hannen and the other local Conservative candidate from Bembrigde Geoff Giles. For good measure she pulled in the innocent Mike Bulpitt to her little stunt. This shows that conservatives are only there for self gratification and self promotion and will always put party politics before the needs and recognition of residents.

    Strangely enough the Isle of Wight Country Press pulled the story from its website and also the letters about the issue.

    Mary Collis is standing in my ward and she would be well advised to look closely at the two independents that have served this area for the last four years and learn from them. (One of them a known conservative who has never put politics before the needs of us, his residents). These two guys, Patrick Joyce and Jonathan Bacon have done a fantastic job in a quiet, unpromoting and diligent way.

    You may be standing for Labourn just as I am supporting the Independent’s but at the end of the day we all want what is best for this Island. Little threats such as that contained in your last paragraph to the Independents stink of Nick Clegg! Come on put the Island first, learn from the mistakes of the current administration and if groups have to work together let’s forgo the party politics if all councillors (or want to be councillors) could do that what a great place the Island would be.

    • Great letter from John Luckett. @ Sam Salt. Your story about Brading Station and Brading Post Office confirms my suspicions about Conservative tactics. You mention Geoff Giles who attended Mary Collis’s little beano. To my surprise, in a leaflet he distributed a few months ago introducing himself as the Tory candidate, he claimed responsibility for saving Bembridge library. That came as a bit of a surprise to those who really did fight for it including Jonathan Bacon.
      One to watch…

      • Black Dog

        26.Feb.2013 4:58pm

        Mr Giles lives in a parallel universe where dogs don’t bite and the sun always shines. Councillor Giles has not been anywhere near Bembridge Library, It was the work of all the volunteers and the Steering Group that secured and continue to secure the future of Bembridge Library.

        Councillor Giles was to oversee (part of the many, many delegated decisions made by this regime) the closure of ALL Bembridge’s Public Toilets. He did not even know about the agreement in place with the IWC about the toilets at the Lifeboat Station – The RNLI had agreed to rebuild and maintain the toilets that were there (At least the RNLI knows the value of Public Toilets on a Holiday Island). It took a lot of hand holding to show/convince him that he needed to look into the matter as opposed to blindly following the leaders vindictive policy against an area that did not return a Conservative IW Councillor.

        Councillor Giles was described to me by one of his class mates as NOT THE SHARPEST PENCIL IN THE BOX – No Change then!!!!

        • Black Dog I think there may be some confusion over Cllr Giles. We have Cllr Edward Giles, elected member of the IWC and a member of the cabinet. This is the Cllr Giles you are writing about.
          We also have Cllr in Waiting Geoff Giles who both Darcy and I were referring to. Mr Geoff Giles is an ex Parish Councillor. It is this gentleman who Darcy referred to with regard to the library not Cllr Edward Giles.
          I can see that the name is going to cause some problems during the coming months.

          • Black Dog

            26.Feb.2013 5:25pm

            Apologies I have got the two of them confused. However, my comments about Bembridge Library still stand.

            No Isle of Wight Councillors other that Jonathan Bacon were involved in the campaign to save Bembridge Library.

            Once again my apologies for getting your Councillor Giles mixed up with Councillor Edward Giles

          • @ Black Dog And everything you said about the toilets and the vindictive behaviour of the Pugh Boys to Bembridge is spot on and won’t be forgotten. Thanks for highlighting this issue again!

      • You do have an excellent Mayor in Brading ;)

      • Keith Fagan

        1.Mar.2013 12:23pm

        As the former Chair of The Bembridge Library User Group (BLUG) I can confirm that I do not know of Mr. Geoff Giles or of any involvement by him during my time as Chair of BLUG.

        I trust this clears this matter up.

      • Darcy let those of us supporting the Independents keep the fight fair and not stoop to the tactics of the Conservatives. I have today sourced the leaflet Mr Giles distributed and at no point did he claim responsibility for saving Bembridge library. What his leaflet stated was his wife was a volunteer at the library. I know the Conservative tactics leave a very bad taste in the mouth but I would hope those that I support are above this sort of underhand behaviour.

        • @ Sam Salt
          If you read any of my comments, I usually go out of my way to make my comments fair and balanced. I’m out of the country for eight days and so am unable to access the leaflet in question. I’m positive that the document I received through the door made it clear that he was involved in saving the library. I will check on my return. As you say, he did also say his wife was a volunteer as I am. I was also heavily involved in the group which negotiated with the Council to ensure it survived.
          I take exception to being told I have stooped to the level of the Conservatives. If my contributions are unwelcome, I will make no more.

          • Quote from leaflet dated November 2012: “Bembridge Library: Although a contentious decision at the time, the establishment of a community library is working well. Geoff’s wife enjoys being part of the team of volunteers who work on a rota basis in the library. Some residents have indicated they would like to see more frequent stock rotation by the IW Council and we would welcome feedback on this issue”.
            This was the only mention of the library in the “Bembridge News”. However there were a number of other misleading comments in this document written by the Conservatives which I will comment on in the future.
            I know Darcy and know that without his and others dogged determination the library would not have survived and be the wonderful success it is today.
            My comment was purely to say that I consider Indpendents are honourable and that they deal with fact and let’s fight this election on fact not spurious notions as are being put out by the Conservatives.
            WW I have not seen any second leaflet, is there one going round?
            Darcy keep posting you put a lot into this site with your views and dare I say your sense of humour. Enjoy the rest of your time away (and don’t log into On the Wight if it raises the stress levels!).

        • Dragonfly

          2.Mar.2013 9:41am

          I recall seeing the leaflet mentioned by Darcy last year and am pretty sure it referred to Mr Giles involvement in the library. Were there more than one? Seems a bit unfair to acuse Darcy of underhand behaviour though.

          • wightywight

            2.Mar.2013 10:18am

            clearly there is more than *one* leaflet doing the rounds…!!
            Darcy is referring to an older leaflet, I suspect, where that might have been *suggested*
            The latest campaign leaflet doesn’t appear to make the same claims…. :0)
            Lets keep the pressure up on this administration….ANY statements they make need substantiating, older or current, in leaflets or claims or wherever..


          • @ Sam Salt
            Thank you. You know me – moderation in everything! I think we may be talking different documents as I’m sure the one I saw was published by the Conservatives, and was earlier than November. Of course, I may have been having another senior moment…

  5. Billy Builder

    26.Feb.2013 12:13pm

    Any form of whipping imposed by the party system is a corruption of democracy, whether at local or national level, as your member or parliament or council is not able to exercises his vote on behalf of his constituents.

    With regard to what is currently happening in the Council, they are able to act with impunity, and certainly are not representing the best interests of the Isle of Wight people.

    We need to remove the corruption and self serving interests of the current Council leadership both at the member and senior officer level. Any new administration should, on taking office, instigate a comprehensive examination of the failures and failings over the last few years, and if people are found to have deliberately mislead or deceived the islanders, then they should be held to account. Ideally a public inquiry should be instigated to investigate the failure of Children’s services, the failure of the Cowes school delivery and the extremely suspect roads PFI.

  6. what threat?

    we need to work together to be rid of the tories….voting tactically didn’t work for millions lasr time

    as stated, I will represent my locality over politics and wish every luck in brading

  7. Any grown up person who needs to be ‘led’ by David Pugh should take a long hard look at themselves.

    I will certainly be voting independent.

    Don’t know who the candidate will be as the only person who has paid a visit to my home so far is the new candidate for Wootton, one Edward Giles. His Tory propaganda was not wasted. I lit the fire with it.

  8. Mason Watch

    26.Feb.2013 5:04pm

    Ah, Eddie ‘ET’ Giles, a man who would attend the opening of a bag of crisps if he thought there would be an opportunity for self promotion. There’s a simple answer to the current lack of coherent leadership and management …… Don’t vote for the utterly incompetent conservatives! If you are in the booth, pencil in hand just remember the gurning vision of Pugh, Giles and the rest of the gang.

  9. Island Monkey

    26.Feb.2013 6:26pm

    Eddie Giles in Wooton?

    More evidence the dire Tories are so frit, they are moving council seats to save themselves.

    Sorry Eddie, David and team, wherever you stand people will know your track record. There is no hiding place.

  10. Tory majority in Giles” former seat was 16- following the Asphalt Plant farrago it is likely to be lost in 2013 so presumably he is looking at a new ward where the 2009 majority was 578.

    For safe Tory ward do you think Cllr Scoccia (majority 7)and her other vulnerable party companions will seek election in 2013? Where will Cllr Whittle end up- the one who changed his political ideology to Tory after being elected as an Independent with a 46 majority?

  11. Don Smith

    26.Feb.2013 7:11pm

    Inappropriate behaviour – Spit it out for God’s sake.

  12. playingthenumbers

    26.Feb.2013 9:20pm

    Political bubbles such as those we have witnessed by the incumbents’ block voting and delegated decision making two-step, are, like all other bubbles including the housing & financial ones are our fault. We have allowed the environment to exist, which has encouraged these metastasising menaces. Sometimes through apathy, sometimes through lack of motivation to vote for any of the candidates, sometimes because the candidates have nothing to say worth listening too let alone give up 5 minutes of telly & vote for.

    It could be said that some Cllrs won almost by default last time, (voters voted for the badge, not the candidate), denying the proper natural selection processes of democracy. The result being that now voters’ trust in politicians is historically low.

    Whatever happens, the victors in May will have a nightmare of a job trying to unpick years of shoddy workmanship. The public accounts wont look good. So I hope they have a backbone, don’t appreciate sleep, can balance very complex matters & can see and plan for the consequences. They’re also need to be innovative. I’d like to see some enterprise too, working to attract sustainable investment to the island, that creates sustainable local employment, not attracting the smoke & mirrors guff like PFI, that immediately offshores ‘investment/our money’ to foreign special taxation vehicles, or sees parcels of land & other assets given away to over-leveraged developers. Ideas such as contacting the owners of the HMV site & seeing if it could the used as an indoor market for local producers, if the alternative is a boarded up shop, for example. Of course, they’re have to do all this whilst maintaining their dignity & showing genuine compassion (which means doing something) for those who are the real victims of this ”torrent-up’ rebalancing.

    I see a world that is changing radically before my eyes, it feels very fluid. So I’m in the mood to demand rigour in my representatives, I don’t want anymore enthusiastic amateurs – that’s too much like deck chairs on the titanic for me, besides the allowances Cllrs receive suggests we should attract the right crowd. The Tories have already validated Yeat’s 2nd coming “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”. It is time for a change, perhaps we should try the right people for the job next time, regardless of their party affiliation or none; more women, more skilled, more honesty, more open, more accessible, more motivated, more considerate, more collegiate, more iconoclastic and more likely to be effected by the impact of what they do, because they’re members of the human race.

    • Black Dog

      2.Mar.2013 11:57am

      I fully agree with you playingthenumbers. I see within the ranks of the independents real passion supported by talent and all important ingredient – experience.

      Like the MRSA problem in hospitals I would advocate a DEEP CLEAN. I believe that the workers at the coal face, not only know of the problems we have, but know how to fix them.

      I would immediately halt the sale of all assets, look closely at any/all contracts negotiated with mainland companies, review the proposed waste contract (there is money to be had from rubbish) Review the so called PFI contract, set immediate priorities like children’s services and education. The list is very long indeed and I am sure it can be achieved without the arrogance (we know better) shown by Putin, Brown, Beynon and Love

  13. wightwighty

    27.Feb.2013 7:39pm

    budget passed …. no surprise!
    23 for. 12 against
    someone needs to tell Cllr Pugh what makes an Independent councillor because he truly doesn’t understand that you can run a Council without Party Politics.. badly doesn’t get that!

  14. wightwighty

    27.Feb.2013 7:46pm

    just to add, conservatives in some force in the public gallery… maps, plans, foot soldier routes and roads for canvassing, almost sneers when Cllr Stephens spoke…. it really is unpleasant to witness … just sitting quietly beside them… not good … but shows the strength of this Party and the prospect of what we shall get after May on e again …….unless we act. please offer help to your local Independent if you are so minded….

  15. Robert Jones

    27.Feb.2013 9:16pm

    I haven’t much concern about how people will vote, since almost anything would be better than the present set of incumbents. But don’t think that plonking Independent in front of a candidate’s name is going to make him or her any better in itself. Independent groups have their own rules; and did, here on the island, in the past. An Independent in Cornwall has just refused to resign from his council after saying that disabled children should be put down at birth; no party to expel him from, no one can force him out of office.

    I daresay all the independents here will be God’s own gift, but …. I seem to remember a few of them flying under other colours; and they were deeply unimpressive then.

    Martin Bell has convinced himself that the problems of British democracy stem from political parties: but parties weren’t formed by accident – there were good reasons why they were needed. His own ineffectiveness as an MP, which he now seems to be trying to make up for through other people, shows why parties were formed in the first place.

    Well the past was the past, and now we’re in the present; and I should be quite happy to see a strong Independent showing, especially if it saw off the worst of the Tories, the most clueless, embarrassingly vapid, and opportunistic of the Liberals; and I would criticize Labour too, in the interests of even-handedness, if there were more than one of them. There have been genuine Independents – Heather Humby from Sandown, and Ian Stephens, for instance. But I’d want to know a damn’ sight more about them before voting for a candidate who declared him or herself “independent” – such as, and what did you use to be,before you found this a convenient electoral label? When did you cease being a card-carrying member of the party you represented when we last saw your name on a ballot paper? And by the way, are you a Freemason?

    People concerned about lack of democratic accountability and transparency in local government should also look at the structure of the council once councillors are elected: the “cabinet” system is a complete disaster in local councils, excluding councillors who aren’t in the favoured group from any meaningful role at all; this is one of the reasons why social services/adult services on the island failed so comprehensively: no one but the lead councillors got a look-in.

    Concentrating power into a few hands, whether those hands are Tory, LiberalDemocrat, Labour, or Independent or anything else, is ALWAYS a bad thing – all the more so on the island, where talent at such a level is in short supply, and always has been.

  16. wightywight

    27.Feb.2013 10:19pm

    Couple of comments…..
    Don’t confuse National Politics with Local Politics…they are vastly different animals. So, Whilst MB arrived at his position it was in respect of being an MP and not a Local Councillor.
    All systems stem from somewhere…..but they evolve and change to suit the prevailing forces and ideologies and ethos.
    It’s really no good keep harping back to the *coalition* of Independents who were, don’t forget, the minority partner in that coalition. It’s passed and as Independents have changed so have philosophies.
    You are right about any large majority…it is undemocratic in actions if not by definition but one thing is abundantly clear…. This administration have not only made a complete and utter mess of things over 8 years (no one to blame but themselves after this amount of time…)they have demonstrated the utter undemocratice and ruthless drive to achieve Political ends by Block Party voting for EVERY motion ever presented. You need to let that dwell a bit….
    Every single conservative motion has been block voted through over the 8 years…and that’s before we even start to consider what they have voted through.
    I’m not going to list them all…I’m sure most readers here are well aware of the constant, continuing, inept and maladminstered actions taken since being elected. They are numerous and breathtakingly devastating in their content.
    You talk of the Cabinet system but there is only one way to change that….vote in a majority of Councillors that also share that view. Guess who that *might* be…?
    Certainly not the conservatives.
    I won’t bore you with the details now but I could talk to you for hours about Social Care and how and why it has got to where it is now…the reasons are for a multitude of reasons that go way beyond *cabinet* responsibility.
    However, choices are short here.
    We (by that I mean Islanders)really should not want another 4 years of this *rabble*….should they? Another 4 years of closures, of vicious cuts, selling off of Council Property and much more….if that is really what is wanted then do nothing. Because the conservative Campaigning machine will eat up the seats.
    As individuals, we cannot organise how the Wards will respond and in what Political way they will vote…making it impossible to vote in a balanced Council.
    All each and everyone of us can do is vote for how we think/feel/see or believe.
    If you discount the conservatives who’s left…?
    The Labout Party fielded 16 candidates in 2009 …if that’s the state this time round they cannot be elected into power (notwithstanding they’ve never been voted in here).
    Libdems….? Possibly. Over the years they’ve had the best overall success at being elected into an administration….. but…they’ve never been exposed at National level like they have since forming a coalition with the conservatives… there may well be enough displeasure at all of that to prevent them making headway.
    Four seats last time out of 35 standing for election. Not great.
    That leaves….guess who?

    Which is why there is probably a good argument for going Independent when voting. The conservatives and the Libdems will ALWAYS pick up their core voters…the dyed in the wool flocks that will vote how they have always voted..whatever or whoever the candidate is. No change there then.
    The answer, because there really isn’t too much choice (when ruling out the conservatives) is to vote Independent. It may be that voting any other way is a vote lost to change….


  17. peaceful_life

    27.Feb.2013 10:47pm


    It’s an interesting paradox to observe that the independents are the best shot at recognising that we’re all interdependent, perhaps the function of diversity is to best equip the whole.

    When you mention ‘change’, what is it you’re envisaging?


    • wightywight

      28.Feb.2013 12:16am

      Clearly there is merit in having elected representatives actually representing their electorate….
      That sounds to me to be a pretty good recipe for democracy…?
      Whether we like it or not, this administration has demonstrated, by its’ actions over 8 years, on voting for schemes and processes that impact and affect the Island and its’ residents(after all, that’s what they’re there to do, isn’t it?…manage the running of the Island?)that Block Party voting patterns are NOT democratic or representing the electorate of each Councillor in his Ward.
      Thus we have had, amongst other things, a majority of conservative councillors (it could have been Labour/Libdem…..but it wasn’t!) who have *herded* into voting for the ruling group, without fail, come what may, on every occasion to support the ruling group motion…..whatever the issue at hand was.
      So, what we have had, irregardless of the Political strategies – which for many, many people have been extremely questionable anyway – is no democratic balance, no alternative, no voting from a conscience perspective or from a consideration for the electorate. We have had a voting pattern to follow, support and suit a Party Political agenda.
      I suggest that one way to change that – on the understanding that *one* wants to change that (god help us if people don’t!) – is to vote in candidates at Local level who are not confined by Party Politics or Political group dogma and who can truthfully vote on issues according to their principles, their beliefs, their concern for their Ward residents and for the sake of democratic process.
      That cannot be said for ANY credible alternative.
      So, in my view, there are some clear pathways lighting up.
      Ask yourself if you are happy and content with the block Political Party administration and look at the past 8 years whilst considering that… If you think that Local Government is better for that system….then vote for it.
      If, however, you feel that Local Government can be run equally or better by NOT having Party Politics involved in decision making (and process, strategy and future planning) then there is only one option left.

      It’s as simple as that.

      The change you refer to would, of course, be that change for a start.
      Changing the structure of the Council…getting rid of a whole structure of senior management, possibly disposing of *Cabinet* operations, an alternative budget – for one exists – savings made to be put into opening toilets, TIC’s and some libraries..stop selling off property, engaging with Ferries, travel companies, creating job prospects by investment in projects for young and old alike and, surprise, surprise… start working with the elected MP for the Island.
      This abject administration cannot even get that right and they come from the same Political sphere!
      Let’s not get caught up in the idea that this (conservative) administration has all the answers and there is only ONE way of managing this Island. That’s foolish calculation.
      There’s nothing wrong in getting to a point where change is a better solution. Politics is fraught with it over the past 150 years…each Party having a *go* and then getting ousted when people get fed up with what has been achieved.
      I suggest this Island has got to the point where nothing has been achieved apart from negativity and cuts …and the time has arrived for a change.
      My view is that only die hard conservatives will not see it that way and that for the most part, many, many people would vote for a change.
      That’s the first step. The second is to get those people into the Polling stations.
      The third and final piece of the jigsaw is to get them to see that you can run this Island very successfully without Political bias.
      Vote Independent…whoever they happen to be.


  18. hazel wyld

    27.Feb.2013 10:59pm

    I so agree, I have been a tory all my life but will be voting independant from now on, we need councilors who vote with their conscience not with their parties.

  19. Dear Mr Luckett, Im sorry but you’re writing idealistic nonsence. The Independents block voted against the budget. Any rational for that?? The facts are that ‘Group’ strength lies in voting together. Do you expect me to believe that every Independent voted against a freeze in Council Tax because it was what their residents wanted them to?? No, it was politics pure and simple. If you think it will be any different if they get into power then you will be very very disappointed.

    • wightywight

      28.Feb.2013 12:34am


      Would you want them to not vote for well thought out strategies and policies if they were in power…?

      I mean, there’s only a yes vote, a no vote or an abstention (no effect on the vote)

      The whole ide of democratic process is to allow people to vote for their electorate. If the Policies were sound I’d EXPECT the majority of Councillors to vote for it…not against.
      The difference in all of this si that Independents, whether they are a *group* or not will NOT be voting on POlicies that are entrenched in Political Dogma.
      They will vote on the merit of the issue to hand.
      And if you believe otherwise then you have no idea what being “Independent” means..


      • @ bayboy. So the ruling group block have now voted for a council tax freeze for three years while inflation has continued at between three and five per cent per year. Who do you think will have to pick up the pieces of this reckless policy?
        Had they raised council tax by just one per cent per year (well under the inflation rate), your friends at County Hall might have been able to retain TICs, toilets, libraries, and supported social services much better.
        They might even have been respected.

    • John M Luckett

      1.Mar.2013 10:54pm

      Dear BayBoy – quite happy with being an idealist, perhaps the fact that I challenge people to think for themselves and have the courage of their own convictions a bit of an alien concept for you. I fully welcome your challenge to my views – I was beginning to think nearly everyone agreed with me :) !
      I think it is more democratic to have people who will vote on the merits of the issue in front of them rather than our current state of affairs. Please..you cannot tell me that all the Conservative ruling group have agreed on everything for the last 8 years. Far from disappointed I will be happy for there to be differences – much fairer and equitable decisions will be made. Is it too much to ask people to think outside the box and see what can be achieved without this “herd mentality”?

  20. Remember the saying – United we stand – divided we fall. Independents never stay united and thus fail.

    • wightywight

      28.Feb.2013 12:28am


      Hang on….. you can’t have it all ways (Pugh tried that tonight in the Chamber, btw)
      Firstly you accuse the Independents of *block* voting… then you follow that up with “Independents don’t stay united…”!

      The vote tonight was 23 for the Budget (ie: every conservative Councillor present) and 12 against (ie: all others…though one other abstained)
      The cute approach of trying to pin Block voting on the group who voted against is a fallacy. The budget is another disastrous approach, following on from previous disastrous approaches to fiscality that is objected to by many Councillors. Unfortunately none of them are conservatives who truly do *BLOCK* vote out of Party allegiance.
      If you care to study the voting pattern of the Independents you will find that some have supported Conservative measures over the 8 years. Not one conservative Councillor has supported Independent motions however…curious isn’t it?
      By the way, I would do the lottery if I were you come Friday….you have a remarkable insight into what the future holds for us… the correct numbers should be a piece of cake for someone with such insight….!


  21. peaceful_life

    28.Feb.2013 12:46am

    Thanks for the reply.

    ‘who can truthfully vote on issues according to their principles, their beliefs, their concern for their Ward residents and for the sake of democratic process’

    This quote is key.

    If we have an electorate that is unaware of the driving factors of the functioning of society, then how can they express their concerns about them?
    Similarly… if the candidate is also unaware of the driving factors then are we not left with a case of the blind leading the blind?…..irrespective of party or political persuasion.

    I don’t think belief is enough, it’s knoweldege that’s required for prudent decisions.


    • wightywight

      28.Feb.2013 1:27am

      @Peaceful Life:

      I do agree with you on this.
      The electorate – those that engage by voting – can only make a choice within the confines of the system we have. It’s ‘loosely’ democratic!

      That means simply by choosing a candidate…

      Those candidates can bring a whole plethora of skills and experience (or lack thereof)to the electorate and you are right in saying, I believe, that poorly *equipped* candidates could lead poorly advised electors quite easily. Notwithstanding that many people do seem to align with a Party Political view in any event.
      I have an open mind about whether or not experienced candidates (and therefore Councillors) are a better solution than those without such experience but possessing ideals and values in greater measure.
      I do agree however, that knowledge is an important factor in taking prudent decisions…. my point would simply be that an Independent is equally capable of that as the next person. Indeed, I might argue that the absence, as well, of Party Political dogma assists the knowledge in a more rounded and democratic way. You’re right also in saying belief is not enough….it clearly isn’t.


  22. peaceful_life

    28.Feb.2013 2:40am


    Again, thanks for the reply.

    Indeed, you are correct in making the point that an independent is capable of making prudent decisions, in fact…..more so than a candidate ensconced in political ideologies.

    Those days are gone, only the ones with the flexability to comprehend the physics of what can be done.. can adopt any kind of foresight to help them sculpt the correct egalitarian conclusions.

    It’s beyond politics, let common sense prevail.


  23. wightywight

    28.Feb.2013 8:59am

    …and the ONLY people capable of, perhaps, achieving that…? Independents of course!
    “Beyond politics” rules out all the major Political Parties.. :0)

    Which has been my underlying point from the outset….there is NO need to have Party Politics in Local Government…
    Achieving that *dream* may be a difficult task but it is a truism.


  24. I have just cut my grass for the first time this year and as I was doing so I asked myself the following question.

    “If you take the politics out of David Pugh, what qualities does he bring to the table?”

    No – me neither! Anyway grass looks nice.

    • A bit of gardening advice for block8. While you were cutting the grass, you didn’t come across Phallus ImPughdicus, otherwise known as the stinkhorn fungus. It is an unpleasant smelling fruiting body resembling a phallus. When it is mature you will find it covered in slimy, stinky spores sticking out of your lawn. The odor from the stinkhorn attracts flies that carry the fungus to other parts of your lawn. You must deal with this fungus before it quickly spreads.

  25. peaceful_life

    28.Feb.2013 5:50pm


    Absolutly, I agree that the independents are best placed, but.. without a good comprehension of what it is we’re dealing with… the end results will be the same.

    Our predicament needs a collective understanding, and looked squarley in the eye, only then can the independents facilitate the change needed.

    As Meadows et al laid bare in the early 70’s, there are ‘limits’.


  26. John M Luckett

    1.Mar.2013 5:24pm

    Hooray! Almost full version of my letter printed in IWCP today! :)

  27. Island Monkey

    1.Mar.2013 6:33pm

    Todays CP is extraordinary.

    You could almost believe that their friendship with ahem, certain people at IOW council has meant past coverage of successive council disasters has been somewhat muted.

    Today it seems they have at last had the courage to admit in print, almost for the first time that our beloved council stinks and has in fact been failing for years.

    OTW has of course been here for years, reporting the foul odour wafting from County Hall. Welcome to the party CP, better late than never.

  28. colours nail and winner come to mind

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