IW Tories claim Indies say they’d drop 50% of election ‘pledges’. Indies say ‘no abandonment of any commitment’

Conservative Press Release claims, “Cllr Ian Stephens, announced that ‘half of’ the pledges in the Independents’ election manifesto, ‘Framework For Change’ would be abandoned over the next few months”. The Indies say the points in the Framework weren’t ‘pledges’, pointing to its Executive Summary which stated, “It is aspirational and to suggest otherwise is to build castles of sand.”

Finger pointing

A row broke out earlier this week after leader of the Isle of Wight Conservatives, Cllr Dave Stewart, accused leader of the council, Independent councillor Ian Stephens, of saying the Island Independents would abandon “half of” the “pledges” contained in the Indies Framework for Change election manifesto.

The media were alerted to the claims in a press release issued by Cllr Chris Whitehouse.

It read,

Following exchanges at the recent meeting of the Full Isle of Wight Council (17th July) in which the Leader, Cllr Ian Stephens, announced that “half of” the pledges in the Independents’ election manifesto, “Framework For Change” would be abandoned over the next few months, the Leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr Dave Stewart, has written to the Council Leader demanding that he “identify now those elements which after just ten weeks after being elected the controlling group are saying will be ditched.”

“Cllr Stewart’s letter to Ian Stephens concludes: “It is quite disingenuous for the Independent Group to put to the electorate a Manifesto containing proposals which they now accept cannot be delivered. It is for this reason that I believe the people of the Island should be told, without further delay and obfuscation, which of your election promises you now intend to abandon.”

“Cllr Stewart also puts on record his profound concern that the Framework for Change document was published on the Council web site and in papers for the Full Council meeting as if it were a Council policy document. Speaking today, Cllr Stewart says: “It is quite inappropriate for a blatantly party political document to be presented in this way, logo and all, as if it were a Council paper. I would not dream of asking for a Conservative Party paper to be published in this way at taxpayers’ expense. We need an assurance that this sort of misuse of public resources and platforms will not happen again.”

During the meeting Cllr Whitehouse tweeted ….

Cllrs Stewart and Whitehouse’s interpretations are not shared by the Island Independents. More on this later in the article.

An aspirational document
About twenty minutes into the three hour full council meeting, during the discussion about forming a Steering Group to monitor the Root and Branch Review, Cllr Stephens said the Framework for Change document was a “purely aspirational document”.

He said,

“We’re looking to use this as the basis to move forward. If we thought this was deliverable as it is, we wouldn’t be forming a Steering Group and discussing membership. We would be asking you to vote on it as a policy document for the way forward.”

Stephens: “some things” “will be ripped out”
Cllr Stephens explained that the Island Independents were asking for councillors across the chamber to agree a pathway through to the deliverance of the Root and Branch Review, adding,

“Obviously there are some things in here that will be ripped out and taken out.”

He went on to address those councillors raising concerns about the Framework For Change (FFC) document being included as an appendix to the council papers,

“Please do not immerse yourself with the content of the documentation, it’s purely aspirational. Don’t dive in a start ripping apart the documentation, let’s start to build on it, flesh it out and take things out and put things in of relevance and the way forward for this council.”

What was relevant in aspirational terms to Island Independents may not be acceptable to some members. Let’s just work on things and get the pathway forward.”

Questioned by Cllr Whitehouse
A short while later, Cllr Whitehouse asked for Cllr Stephens to let him know exactly which items from the Framework for Change (FFC) document would no longer be deliverable.

Cllr Stephens once again confirmed that some of the contents of the FFC document were aspirational, adding,

“Some of this we found in the last ten weeks that possibly we cannot, if you like, take forward, the Root and Branch Review will help us, but I will tell you that some of the things that have been uncovered are in a pretty bad state. We need to actually address those issues.”

He then went on to say

“Let’s not start to dig into the flesh of it because half of that will be done on the – I daresay after – the first steering group meeting when we actually start to think about, flesh out where we want to go.”

Confusion over leader’s words
Before running Cllr Whitehouse’s press release, we felt it important to fact check the claims.

We spent a considerable number of hours listening to the recording we took at the meeting, playing sections back over and again, finally locating the part of the meeting that we believe Cllrs Stewart and Whitehouse were referring to.

Listen for yourself
We’ve embedded the snippet of recording for readers to hear themselves (best listened to on headphones)

It’s strangely pronounced (which is where the confusion could lie). It starts with a definite D but ends on, in the way you would end ‘Gone’.

“A pathetic attempt to divert our efforts”
Putting aside the confusion of what was actually said, Cllr Stephens has shared the response he sent to Cllr Stewart with OnTheWight.

“I am pleased to respond to your unfortunate misunderstanding of the Framework for Change and the content therein. I am at a loss as to why you didn’t raise your concern at Full Council.

“You are taking part in a Root & Branch Review of the Isle of Wight Council as part of a Steering Group and will have input into areas of service and budget, and this will give you an opportunity to put forward views on areas which may impact on the Framework for Change, as will the input of others….including officers.

“I know that others, including residents, IWC Officers and Members will be aware that the Framework for Change was set as aspirational to allow the rank and file to understand the position of (so called?) Island Independents. It could not be otherwise, as we did not know the depth and spread of the significant damage caused by the former Conservative administration.

“We have not criticised the former Conservative Council, and feel that your endeavours to seek out what will be delivered and what will not be delivered, and my response at Full Council (even referring to a colloquialism) is a pathetic attempt to divert our efforts to unite the Isle of Wight Council, and indeed stakeholders throughout the Island, in a positive effort to move forward from the dark place we are in at this moment.

“I hope you and your Group take the opportunity which allows you to continue to assist in an inclusive path for all.”

Bacon: Conservatives “attempt to try and play political semantics”
Cllr Jonathan Bacon told OnTheWight,

“We stand by the entire Framework for Change document. The Conservative group, despite trying to give indications that they would work together in a new approach have very quickly shown themselves to be the same old group to that led by David Pugh with nothing to offer the Island.

“This is amply illustrated by this attempt to try and play political semantics with the Leader’s words in Full Council last week. Councillor Stephens sought to be open and honest and indicate that in practical terms some parts of the Framework for Change are more likely to be achieved than others but in no way to alter the commitment to the aspirations contained in that document.

“Contrary to the snide implications of Councillors Stewart and Whitehouse there is no abandonment of any commitment and we are in no way in the situation of a few years ago when there was a complete reversal on election promises by the Conservatives in respect of changes to the education system, which broken promise the Island is now suffering the effects of.”

The Framework for Change
Cllr Stephens referred several times to the aims set out in the Framework for Change document as ‘aspirational’.

The Executive Summary at the beginning of the document states

Parts Two and Three reflect further development of the Island Independents’ detailed approach so we are now able to set out what we aspire to do in similar detail to how we intend the council to function.

Crucially, we consider there are significant uncertainties about the true current state of council services, as exemplified by recent revelations of serious service failings, which have come as unpleasant ‘surprises’. We are therefore led to the conclusion that a full set of strategies and detailed priorities, which are grounded in reality, must be based on an honest and thorough assessment of the current position of finances, service scope and quality of each service area. It is aspirational and to suggest otherwise is to build castles of sand.

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Image: J E Theriot under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 25th July, 2013 10:42pm

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Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, podcast, Top story

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165 Comments on "IW Tories claim Indies say they’d drop 50% of election ‘pledges’. Indies say ‘no abandonment of any commitment’"

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Steve Goodman

?Pot calling kettle black?…Please could everyone not let this get out of hand, and return to the more promising position of behaving in a manner seeming to offer us the refreshing chance of some transparency & co-operation during the difficult times ahead?

steve s

i spoke to several of my colleagues after tonight’s meeting. They all remain completely committed to the Framework for Change.
Nothing to see here, folks, except more political posturing. The real surprise is that Cllr Stewart has got involved.

Bystander

I think the Tories should be hanging their heads silently in shame for at least another two years yet. Have they apologised at all for what they have done to the Island?

retiredhack
The fact that Whitehouse was Tweeting his spin of the debate from the Council chamber suggests that he was more interested in promoting himelf and his views than in pausing to discover what the views of his Conservative colleagues might be. If I were Dave Stewart I might feel the need at this stage to remind Whitehouse who the Group leader is. And if this really is… Read more »
jonathan bacon
The plus side to this is that Chris Whitehouse is spinning so much he might just drill himself into the ground! It’s a shame that, apart from Julie Jones Evans, no Conservative member attended the Cabinet Meeting that took place tonight. If they had they would have heard the position clarified. As I stated at the meeting, we are not dropping anything from the Framework for Change… Read more »
peaceful_life

Jonathan, in all honesty, does the collective of the council fully comprehend the ramifications of peak oil?

We’ve got to get this set straight irrespective of political ideologies, because the laws of physics are now in control.

bayboy

Not quite as bad as all three Indie cabinet members failing to attend a scrutiny panel to which they were required to attend to answer questions!!

Bystander
“Ian Stephens made it clear we want to work with everyone who can be positive in the interests of the Island. As things stand that will exclude certain Conservative members!” So anyone who questions the islandindies commitment to their own stated aims is assumed to not be working for the positive interests of the Island? As for the suggestion to exclude certain Conservative members, that sound to… Read more »
woodworker
you have twisted Ian Stephens words so much that Im honestly not sure where to begin. The indies seem to appreciate being questioned on any number of items. What I think they, nor I suspect most sensible people appreciate is the Tories not informing the Council about meetings with Wightlink and not inviting any of the ruling group to participate in that initiative. I suspect they do… Read more »
Bystander
Indecisiveness and making blunders which he tries to bluff his way out of is nothing new for Ian Stephens, what is different now is that his position demands scrutiny of everything he says. He swaggers around walking the walk trouble is he also needs to talk the talk. Especially as talk is all we have seen so far apart from deferred decisions, caving in to officers advice… Read more »
woodworker

It strikes me that whoever is in power you would have something negative to say about them.

The tories are not the ruling group, and should not be behaving as if they are. End of.

Bystander
And it strikes me that you are always picking arguments here, as you do it all the time, and you take umbrage when you don’t get your own way. If I’m negative to all parties then I’m hardly bias then, which makes me the exception here then doesn’t it and it can hardly be claimed to be unrealistic to suggest that Independents could become so disillusioned with… Read more »
woodworker

Im expressing my opinion. If you want an argument, argue with yourself.

tryme

When many of us are pretty loved up with the Indies, Bystander, it’s healthy to have a sceptical angle put forward too.

Perish the thought that anyone else here would say anything ‘negative’!
(Butter, melt, mouth anyone?)

Bystander
OTW bloggers may be loved up with the indies tryme but that is hardly representative of the Island in general from what people tell me. People aren’t taken in by all this self praise and claims of being more open, blah blah. All politicians claim exactly the same thing and people don’t trust politicians, for good reasons. The Island Independents won the same number of wards as… Read more »
Cynic

@Bystander ” We have a cabinet member, for instance, who won their ward by just 3 votes”

I do not recall your complaining that the previous Council Chair held her seat by 7 votes….

Bystander

@Cicero I wasn’t commenting here when the Tory you refer to wan her seat, I am now.
You are implying that I am pro Tory? That’s a joke as you should well know having read my previous comments.

This is what accountability is all about isn’t it, scrutiny of actions in comparison to the promises. That’s what used to happen on this website.

Lady at the Back
Tsk. I am disappointed that we seem to have reverted to this type of petty point-scoring already. Yah-boo politics might sound fine on press releases and twitter accounts, but it doesn’t do anything to sort out the major problems which the Island is facing, not least of which is education. The “politicans”, and I use the word loosely, may think that this is what the electorate wants,… Read more »
peaceful_life
There are 4 words written in the document ‘framework for change’. They are as follows……. Peak oil, and…climate change. The first let’s you know the end of economic growth, at least within the current mechanisms of a debt based monetary system. The second is the one that ‘governs’ everything, brings another view on the word anarchy, eh? Physics just is, ‘it’ cannot be taken to scrutiny. Now,… Read more »
peaceful_life

The obligatory down tick thing.

Doesn’t change the fats though, does it.

peaceful_life

Facts*

Albert Street
Councillor Stewart is absolutely right (I am not his number one fan) I believe the majority of Independents have not got a clue and will forever remain officer dominated. Councillor Stewart needs to clean up some elements within his own group – As the old saying goes “People in Glasshouses ……………” Dave you need to examine the motives of at least two of your colleagues before you… Read more »
ThomasC
Albert, why not go read the Framework For Change document? A lot of time and effort was expended prior to the election in putting it together, whilst blind to the mess left in the finances/services by the Conservatives who’d been riding the IWC for the past several years. Of course parts of it won’t happen, but at the very least it shows a willingness, open-mindedness and enthusiasm… Read more »
peaceful_life

They may well be exceptionally talented, but…are they well informed on peak oil and climate change?….I mean, really, well informed.

tryme

You yourself do seem to be, (really well informed), peaceful life, so how about taking Phil Jordan up on his offer to talk about it one to one? (From a recent post of his, from memory). I appreciate reading what you have to say on this, but am worried that you really need face to face, and I don’t want you to miss your chance.

Bystander

PL cant do that as he wont be able to source his info from wikipedia in a face to face meeting :-)

tryme

..cheeky monkey…

peaceful_life
Hi Tryme. You’re actually quite right, for my sins, I am well informed. All I can say to you is that I’m not just an armchair poster. Here’s the problem, the council, any council, is a corporate entity, it’s soul existence is to facilitate ‘business’, it never used to be this way to such an extent, they were a council of elders to uphold the public ‘trust’.… Read more »
tryme

I’m glad to hear that you are engaging actively in person with people of influence, peaceful_life. I ‘get’ your overall outlook on this, I think, but quickly get lost on the detail.

It may have been a slip, but I think it very apt that a Council’s “soul” existence is to facilitate ‘business’.

peaceful_life

Again, Albert street, “a clue” about what?….and what clue do you have about peak oil and climate change, and the obvious ramifications of both?

Albert Street
You have obviously not read my blogs, I make no comment on the need for Tidal Energy other that a positive one. My concerns are that the deal 158% appeared to be badly negotiated and this was an opportunity (missed)to rectify that. Something as important as this should come under the gaze of scrutiny and did on the face of things fit perfectly with the promise of… Read more »
Bystander

You’re getting the usual OTW unwelcome, suspicion and demands for justification I see Albert. So allow me to take the opportunity to thank you for sharing your views with us.

peaceful_life

@Bystander.

I sincerely hope you’re not attempting to ascertain my intentions on questioning, Albert street, and then associate me as a type of blog lovey.
If so, it would pay you to hold these assumptions to yourself.

Albert Street

Thank you Bystander for your support.

peaceful_life
Than you, Albert street. I absolutely agree with most of what you’ve just written. Sure, the wiki definition just about covers it, but then there’s a huge amount of extrapolation and knock-on consequences to consider as to just what we have to do to readjust our lives accordingly, some still argue that we can technologically ‘advance’ our way out of this conundrum and maintain business as usual… Read more »
peaceful_life

May I extend that challenge to your understanding of peak oil (peak net energy really) and climate change?

tryme
Albert Street, you seem to be very confident in your disparaging assessments of individual Indies, and sound more like a political operator stationed here, OTW, as a means to disseminate these attitudes, than a regular onlooker-poster. You sound like someone wielding a dagger. “Here is an open challenge” – are you willing to tell us where you are coming from in terms of your political contacts and… Read more »
Albert Street
Certainly, I have no political views, I did vote Independent at the last election. The Island has always been my home and I am fed-up with incompetence, irrespective of politics. I have only recently entered the blog arena because I thought we would have real change and here we are nearly 3 months in and it appears that we are being served up more of the same.… Read more »
tryme
Surprisingly naiive of you, Albert Street, to have voted Independent and after only 3 months decided “I believe the majority of Independents have not got a clue and will forever remain officer dominated”. How embarrassed you must be at your lack of judgement in your voting! Perhaps we should watch out for it elsewhere. As you have posted on the tidal energy topic, “something here is not… Read more »
Albert Street
Oh dear Tryme! I thank you for your over opinionated views on my postings. I reserve the right to have an opinion and if it differs from yours so what? Clearly you do not like it when others post on OTW with thoughts of their own and now you seem to want to draw some sort of parallel between yourself, OTW and the Independents. In my opinion,… Read more »
tryme

I take it you allow me to disagree with you, Albert Street, though you seem to think I should let it go when I don’t.

I was referring to the influence of the posters OTW, not its management.

Everything I said to you still seems to stand, with notable lack of response from you on specific points I raised.

Bystander
You dont know whether Albert was posting prior to the indies victory tryme, there is a facility in the profile to change to a nickname so Albert might haver been posting previously and chosen to change his name in the same way as I did when I started using ‘bystander’. I welcome his perspective and if as you appear to suspect he has a sinister agenda that… Read more »
tryme

For the connoisseurs of such things, your suggestion that I don’t want people to post different views to mine, and whatever you were trying to say about a “parallel”, are good examples of diversionary Aunt Sallys…

Bystander

He isn’t obliged to justify himself to you tryme but has had the courtesy to respond

tryme

See A.S. post 26th July 8.43am, Bystander, for “I have only recently entered the blog arena because…”

I feel I have enough to go on to say what I have, without waiting longer!

(Obviously my post after yours just now was for A.S.)

tryme

But posters do respond to each others’ views, Bystander! Not the least yourself. Call it justification if you wish, but we do put our counter-points to each other all the time.

We don’t generally praise someone simply because they have ‘had the courtesy’ to post back in a thread. Though we sometimes might, we don’t expect it! It’s what we do here.

kevin Barclay-Jay
we have had this conversation time and time again and whilst PL post and talks in the manner as here, the shame is, he will mostly be ignored. Until he understands that people will not give up their TV’s and cars wholesale based on his posts and starts to offer compromise and further reaching plans in a language that us commoners ( and I also know tons… Read more »
tryme
We all have to make allowances for the manner in which different people communicate Kevin – even for you! I hope we aren’t telling some people that their voices can’t be heard because of the way they speak. In any case, some important ideas cannot be served and wolfed down like fast food, you have to appreciate the content more slowly. And if I have come to… Read more »
tryme

(only the Summary, mind…)

tryme
…and it’s hardly within his gift to offer “compromise”! As far as I can tell, (but we never quite know who’s hiding behind poster names, of course), peaceful_life isn’t a god. It’s the facts of the matter that dictate what is needed for the whole interlinked system – people, fellow creatures, plants and our planet generally, to survive into a self-sustaining future. You can’t negotiate with that.… Read more »
peaceful_life
Expect these conversations to increase Kevin, much of the current narrative is falling away, and I don’t view the majority of people as being lobotomised with PR, and even if they aren’t informed on things that doesn’t negate the actions from those that are. I have said that something will be offered soon, things aren’t quite there yet, but…you could always help out, there’s a lot to… Read more »
tryme
I get the feeling that the Conservatives are keen to get the Indies brawling on the ground with them, so that the Indies as rapidly as possible lose their image of being above all that, of being adults with integrity, working inclusively, in contrast with the previous administration. That has been the Indies’ USP and they don’t want to lose it. Lady at the Back is right.… Read more »
John M Luckett

Quite right, tryme. How can you be fully focussed on discussing important issues if you are on your mobile…I have seen this before and not just Councillors but Directors too…it is extremely bad manners!

tryme

…if you’re focussing on sounding good to your ‘followers’…

steephilljack
The Council Tories have consolidated into an ‘Opposition’ very quickly, despite having the opportunity to engage with, and participate in, the Framework for Change. This, of course, is what political parties always do: put their party interests before that of the electorate. That’s why we have an Independent majority on the Council, but the Tories just don’t get that. Even Andrew Turner can now work with the… Read more »
Nip
Of course they have – despite appearances the Tories still have the potential to control the council. They are still the largest single political group in the system. If the Independents are truly independent as they say and not a party with block voting, then the first divisive issue to come along, the tories only have to get a few on their side and they can control… Read more »
steephilljack

That’s how it is supposed to work Nip. If the Tories, a few Indies and the ‘odd’ UKIP all vote the same way then they win the vote.
After all, they all represent the poeple who voted for them. The days of ‘government’ and ‘opposition’ should be over, if only the Tories could come to terms with that and behave accordingly.

tryme

I enjoyed your comment above, btw. Sums it up nicely.

John M Luckett
Disappointing but not surprising… I know through campaigning beside them and personally contributing (with many others) to the “Framework for Change” document, that among the Island Independents and other parties, there are truly some good, honest and committed people who have the Island at heart running our Council. No one said it was going to be easy. I am sure that they will rise above this pathetic… Read more »
tiki

I’m astounded Cllr Whitehouse even has the time to be a Cllr, if you really want a jaw dropping read – have a look at his Register of Interests which is available on the IWC website.

Bystander

“..the Whitehouse Consultancy team works with clients to inform political and public debate and to influence policy development”

Chris sounds like another one the Island could very well do without to me.

mat
The Whitehouse Consultancy was established by Chris Whitehouse in 1998 as a specialist public affairs agency. Look up whitehouse consulting on the web. The Whitehouse Consultancy was established by Chris Whitehouse in 1998 as a specialist public affairs agency. The first clients including the British Olympic Association. Since then we have expanded and we now specialise in delivering integrated communications and events services for our clients across… Read more »
Bystander

Sounds like they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in paperclip circles then

Simon Perry

When the rumour of David Pugh having a job at The Whitehouse Consultancy first raised its head 1+ month ago, we asked Chris Whitehouse about it – he laughed. So, not likely.

Bystander

Surely a good old fashioned denial would have been more appropriate if he didn’t wish to raise suspicion and had nothing to hide Simon. laughter can be a reaction of embarrassment.

woodworker

David Pugh is now a Director at Cratus Communications.

Bystander

Apparently part time

“David works part-time for Cratus, with a particular focus on providing support on education, community engagement and campaigning initiatives.”

The mind boggles how they could possibly think this can do anything but damage to their reputation, so I guess we will have to share our experience

woodworker
David Pugh’s entry on the Cratus Communications website. For some strange reason it made me laugh. David Pugh David is a native of the Isle of Wight, where he still lives. Having ventured to the mainland at the age of 18, he spent six years studying and working in Wales and Westminster before returning to his island paradise. However David still enjoys his regular trips to England,… Read more »
steephilljack

They have a ‘Contact us’ button on their website if you want to say something about David Pugh:
http://www.cratus.co.uk/

tryme

How a person who declined to attend his own local hustings, apparently because he would only accept one-to-one contact, comes now to be “providing support on … community engagement and campaigning initiatives”, I really can’t imagine.

tryme

Thank you for my first laugh of the weekend, woodworker! Surely it was someone who had it in for him, who wrote that, it’s embarrassingly self-mocking otherwise. And in so doing, ridiculing the lives of Islanders in general.

Simon Perry

I should have been more clear. Chris Whitehouse said no.

tryme

The man from Del Monte…

Chris Whitehouse

Thanks for the clarification, Simon, greetings from the bottom of the Med off Cyprus!

Bystander

Ah Chris I’ve been tweeting you but you must have been too busy sipping Brandy Sour to notice. As you’re so keen on the virtues of Fracking would you be happy to see it taking place on the Island in general, and Newport West more specifically, and did you mention these controversial views in you pre election literature?

tryme

Tactful. Anyone know where the nearest Foodbank is?

tryme

While you’re on the line Bystander, can you ask him to refrain from tweeting (or other electronic communication) while he’s taking part in Council business? (He can always get you later). Some of us would like him to be concentrating on (gasp)- listening and talking- to colleague counsellors…

tryme

(..councillors)

Bystander
@tryme I will ask him on twitter if he doesnt reply here. @chris BTW do you think your twitter address @CllrWhitehouse is appropriate whilst you are tweeting your controversial views, given by the response, about fracking? Especially given your position as Education Spokesperson. It could be construed that the authority endorse your views in this money making venture for your business. Shouldn’t the two things be entirely… Read more »
tryme

He seems to pop into OTW without exchanging words with anyone, almost as if he’s tapping us on the shoulder, simply to indicate that “I’m keeping an eye on you, remember. Watch what you say”. Or I may be wrong, (she said, being careful of what she says). He may just think he’s creating a friendly impression.

tryme

(I don’t really expect you to twitter him on my behalf, thanks Bystander, it was only in case he replied here. You have enough already to tweet him about!)

kevin Barclay-Jay

Whitehouse was instrumental in blacking Pughs name to othe Tories and an outspoken critic of his educations reforms

tryme
Is Chris Whitehouse a lobbyist on behalf of all those types of groups? David Cameron (even), was saying before the last Election that interest group lobbying was “the next great scandal” waiting to happen. “The far too cosy relationship between politics, government, business and money…” I have no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of CW’s outside interests, nor make any suggestion as to his behaviour during… Read more »
mat
The “Framework for Change” was a democratic framework rather than a set of policies. The policies appeared during the election and were in the manifesto and seem to have been developed afterwards. It is therefore true that the Conservatives have been posturing of late. What I would like to ask is where the central plank of Independent policy concerning “Localism” came in as this seems to be… Read more »
mat
I accept that Simon, but the rumour has been revived again I think. Returning to the original thread, though, the “Framework for Change” was a democratic framework rather than a set of policies. The policies appeared during the election and were in the manifesto and seem to have been developed afterwards. It is therefore true that the Conservatives have been posturing of late. What I would like… Read more »
steephilljack

@ Mat “what brand of Localism do they mean?”
Maybe it’s an anarcho-syndicalist plot ?!

adrian nicholas
I’d comment that most changes will be sadly a direct further spending review dramatic central govt. IWC cuts by consequence of Cllr. Stewarts Coalition political associates and their dogma that threatens to fundamentally undermine the actual localist objective that they ironically publicly present to mask and put onus on LAs as both, scapegoats and practice depleted funding victims. That these Coalition LA cuts by engineered ongoing continuation… Read more »
Cynic
I hate that weasel word “aspirational”! It seems that manifesto promises of all parties subsequently to an election go through a PR process that weakens the commitment. Thus a “pledge” become an “aim” and then dwindles to an “aspiration”. If the Indies are following that route, it is extremely disappointing to the electorate (like me) that put them into power. Another political weasel word is “robust” as… Read more »
peaceful_life

@Bystander.

I just noted that, Albert used the wiki definition of peak oil, that doesn’t mean I use it as a reference myself.

Have you read the Feasta document on tipping point?….very interesting, but don’t spoil your weekend ;-0)

Bystander

I was very impressed at how you instantly recognised the wiki definition PL, you must be very familiar with it. Probably best I don’t read the document thought, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing eh? or so they say

peaceful_life

Depends on whether you think ignorance is bliss or not, but we’ll never provide a solution if we don’t know what the problem is.

Don’t be impressed, it’s the standard text used for the basics.

Bystander

Tell you what you update the entry you did on wiki with your new found knowledge and I can read it there

peaceful_life

The entry I did?

All academic now, best we do what we can to mitigate.

Bystander
I’m not particularly bothered about climate change bandwagon and running out of power PL, politicians and corporation use it as an excuse to screw more money out of us and aren’t concerned about anything further ahead than their current term. And if I’m honest I think all of us are only concerned about our life span and after that nothing really matters, basically we are all just… Read more »
tryme

“Don’t be impressed”.
Now I feel I can put: He won’t be!

peaceful_life

@Tryme.

I’m pleased that your glad, unfortunately, they’re not listening, and that’s because, far from simply being ‘apt’, it is the the mechanistic demands of the operating system.

Mammon, is the new religion of the scientific gods.

tryme

I am slightly put in mind of Eeyore with your tone this time, peaceful_life. I do hope that you accept that by definition you can only do what you can do, and have found some pleasures in living in this world, as-is.

peaceful_life
Can you justify that statement please?…..or would it suite you to just leave it hanging there as an example of vapidity? Tell me why you assume my pessimism? By what ‘definition’ do you mean, your definition?..my definition?…the definition of received wisdom? ‘you can only do what you can do’, pardon?..you see, little quips like this only serve the cerebral trickery that ones abilities are limited and restrict… Read more »
tryme
Your last sentence was all I was hoping for, peaceful_life. I’m sorry that my comment got across to you as it did, I had no intention of it doing so. I clearly misjudged that. I purely meant it as a light-hearted reminder that Eeyore (if you are familiar with him), had a way of saying something that kindof starts sounding positive, (“I’m pleased that you’re glad”), but… Read more »
peaceful_life
I’m familiar with the ‘Tao of Phoo’, no explanation needed. Tryme, we have done absolutely nothing about our operating systems, seriously..zero, the only thing we’ve done is believe in them and exacerbate the consequences of them, I’m not coming from a swivel eyed loon ideology of the hippy dippy here, I’m saying that at a scientific and analytical level things don’t link in and add up, it’s… Read more »
Cynic

@PL “I’m familiar with the ‘Tao of Phoo’ (sic)

“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.”
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”.

:-))

peaceful_life

OFSTED can’t re-cognise this.

tryme

“…your gift”, indeed… (fumes)

peaceful_life

Keep calm, and start a farm.

tryme
To be clear, I certainly don’t see you in the light of hippy-dippy, peaceful_life. I was making a passing reference to a personal aspect, but that in no way diminished the seriousness and urgency of the issues you are addressing, in my mind. I commonly experience both aspects running alongside. If you would rather not be treated as a person (for want of a more accurate term)… Read more »
Cynic

@tryme “Can you guide me as to whether I should feel better or worse for that, Cicero?”

Neither- the Tao suggests you just go with the flow. :-))

tryme

Can you guide me as to whether I should feel better or worse for that, Cicero? The one with the brain (that can’t be me), doesn’t understand anything; and if the Tao comes from Pooh, a bear of very little brain, that could well be me. Neither way am I capable of any understanding. I said it :-(

tryme

I can help you with ‘Phoo’ though, Cicero. Tao Phoo is a brand of tea.

peaceful_life
Yes, I fully understand and appreciate that, but the blog is read and monitored by more than the contributors, so I’m stating the point to all, forgive me for taking license to do so. Lets not get to wrapped up in egotistical wants and existential importance, take nothing personal, it’s a systemic thing, I’m more than happy to interact on a personable level, it’s just that stuff… Read more »
tryme

“Don’t ring me at the office darling, wait till I get home”

peaceful_life
Oh, it’s very real alright, don’t let the fact that people are prepared to make money out if it dissuade you from the reality that it is gathering momentum. Your point is fair enough from a personal (although polarized) point of view, however…’we’ must be careful with words like ‘us’ and ‘we’, in essence your referring to humanity, yes?…….going on this assumption that there are still to… Read more »
tryme

This was answering Bystander, but I have to say that this is beautifully put.

Bystander

I just came across this which I assume is a response to my post of 3:57pm

So what are you actually doing about it? Apart from attempting to persuade local councilors on a small Island through the pages of a local blog site.

peaceful_life
Yes, it was a reply to that post, sorry, I thought I’d clicked the reply button. I’m attempting to create employment and training based in and around restoration, but we need to all do our bit in reality, it would be beneficial if the people adopted things like the transition towns movement, incredible edibles, and the like. Ultimately the council can’t do what’s required by itself, but… Read more »
Bystander

The Council are having to operate within the confines set by central government who’s definition of employment and training consists of blackmailing people into working unwaged for multi national corporations who are also their donors.

peaceful_life

What’s the point your trying to make?

Bystander

How many are involved in your campaign other than you?

tryme

If we all “attempt[ed] to persuade local councillors… through the pages of a local blog site”, it would be a massive movement for change. Everywhere in the world is ‘local’, after all.

Phil Jordan’s point is that this isn’t what they were dealing with at the meeting this week. Notwithstanding, that doesn’t detract from what peaceful_life is trying to get across. The vision needs to be communicated.

peaceful_life
I and others do try our very best to communicate not only the problems, but also offer solutions, things seem very fragmented to people, but essentially….people are engaging and seeking a coherent path, we’re trying to leapfrog people straight to a solution by tying it all together, we’re getting there, nearly there. Regarding council issues, it’s difficult, because business is conducted in a compartmentalised fashion at the… Read more »
peaceful_life

@Bystander.

There are millions of people all over the place trying to adapt, I’ve already told you about Transitions towns, and Incredible edibles, and that’s just two examples. I don’t have a ‘campaign’ it’s just about adapting, and lots of people at local level are interested in that too.

Are you doing anything about things yourself?

Bystander
Never mind me this isn,t my crusade, how long have you been involved in this? Is it your latest pet project? Normally you come across as someone who considers yourself a superior intellect, you issue rambling monologues interspersed with the odd patronising remark and vague one line references to obscure topics which you fully expects us to toddle off and research. Now all of a sudden we… Read more »
tryme

Best to save your ire for those who are giving you a hard time, Bystander? You may not appreciate peaceful_life’s contributions, but maybe he’s someone you can live and let live without being unkind…

Bystander

That wasn’t my ire tryme, it was the standard text I use for the basics

peaceful_life

‘Don’t be impressed, it’s the standard text used for the basics’

‘it’s’.

peaceful_life
Bystander. I never suggested you should tackle anything. I don’t know why you even bothered, you’ve already said we’re all doomed anyway, instead of snipping and moaning try doing something, or do you think that moaning is going to get people out of workfare and away from foodbanks?…..I intend to offer reskilling to people in Regenerative food production, other than moaning…what are you doing?…because if that’s all… Read more »
Bystander
Ive been campaigning against this governments war on the poor for the past 2 years, I wont reveal the twitter ID’s as I’m not looking for any credit, it just needs doing. It was hardly a serious suggestion you being in the cabinet or scrutiny was it? After all you would have to wait at least 4 years to be elected. Lets see if you are still… Read more »
peaceful_life

Perhaps your campaign isn’t working out that well, have you looked at the numbers in the rise of people using foodbanks in the last 2 years.

Enough of this, at least from my part, it’s not going to do any good, please don’t think I’m being rude if I ignore anymore derogatory comments.

Bystander

The campaign not My campaign #chinchin

Bystander
@peaceful_life I’m sorry I shouldn’t have been so sharp with you for pursuing the path you feel is right, good luck to you with it My lack of compassion for my fellow man stems from my disgust at the universal cruelty to animals Three questions: Do you eat meat? Do you own a car? Do you take foreign holidays? My answer to all three is no, and… Read more »
tryme

‘Respect’ to you, Bystander, for your conciliatory approach to peaceful_life.

peaceful_life
Thank you,Bystander. In short, yes,no and no,but as we both know, things are far more complex than just that, the serving of the internet uses a huge amount of energy for example. You raise points here that bring about fascinating observations, because what lays at the root of most our problems is the production of food, and when we’re next asked what we do for a living,… Read more »
Bystander

besides that the part the evils of religion play ie torturing black dogs, and skinning foxes alive for their fur, just two instances of mans abhorrent routine cruelty but not to forget cruelty for entertainment and purely for its own sake.

peaceful_life

It seams that religion was a development from organised food production, before that it was hunter gather style, pantomimes would of been considered a luxury.

Craig

Hear hear steepy. If the three can’t see how they’ve dominated ‘what readers say’, they’re blind to their obsessive commenting.

Craig

Drat, just saw that ^^ comment posted in the wrong place. Was meant in reply to Steephill Jack at 8.41.

tryme

I hope you haven’t been frightened by seeing our names ‘dominating’, (or as we say, ‘being there’) in WRS, Craig! You’re talking as if there’s limited space. The ‘remedy’ (from your point of view), if you want to see other names there too, is to get posting yourself! Maybe next time it will be about something more interesting than us!

Bystander

It takes 10 minutes to open a free wordpress blog site tryme, we could discuss whatever we wish, free of heckling, and leave steephill and craig to the silence they crave

tryme

It seems that if there’s nothing else of interest coming to mind to post about, having a bit of a go at the presence of people who are in fact posting, is the next best thing. Water off a duck’s back!

steephilljack

@ peaceful_life, tryme and Bystander: can you three meet up somewhere else to carry on your personal ding-dongs ? You have become very boring and way off topic.
Thanks,
Steepy.

tryme

Sorry to hear that, Steepy.
I don’t really see, though, why you can’t carry on posting about things you want to talk about. It will attract people who are also interested, and then you can have your own ding-dongs.

tryme

I’m wondering what would be the reason to hide my comment above? (28th, 8.50pm). I’m assuming the technique is applied to offensive things, but I can’t see how that applies.

Simon Perry

There is no editorial judgement involved, it’s purely based on the number of down votes a comment has been given.

It’s something that we’re currently just trailing.

Seeing the comment is very easy, just by clicking the link.

woodworker

can you change the link so it reads “show / Hide…”
at the moment it says show comment when the comment is already showing.
Nit picking I know, but I hate nits.

tryme
Gosh Simon, harsh! I think it gives the impression that a comment should not be shown, and a reader needs to take responsibility for the unseemly choice of reading it, (like on Yahoo with offensive posts). It also implies that the majority (by 3, in my case), must be ‘right’. Whereas we know that it is often people with once ‘fringe’ attitudes whose views eventually become mainstream,… Read more »
Bystander

Quite frankly without us it would be like the Mary Celeste here.
Anyway on reviewing your comments on this article they aren’t strictly on topic either. As there has been no intervention by moderation I assumed the discussion was permitted to free flow.

tryme
It’s not as if cyberspace is limited here, there’s plenty of room for everyone. And we’re not here to provide ‘not boring’ entertainment. The whole thing depends on people pitching in. We’re all bound to be bored by some contributions / threads, not that one would necessarily want to pop up and say so. The best you can hope for is that the people actively posting are… Read more »
Bystander

Alternatively if he pitches in next time he’s bored we could start a thread relevant to the discussion on a local forum site, not sure the advertisers would be too impressed though

Simon Perry
We had the weekend off, hence the lack of intervention. Sadly this is the second time in less than a week that we’ve had to get involved with comments on here. It’s very rare that we have to get involved at all, because everyone making use of the comments system usually self-moderates and doesn’t become over-dominant. It would seem self-evident that if there are three people commenting… Read more »
tryme
This is a surprise. I’ve just had a slower look at the comments on this topic, and it seems to me that most of them are on topic or closely associated. The question of Island self-sustainability derived from Council business, and what kind of decisions were being said to be nodded through now, an ‘abandonment of committment’, as per topic heading. It was a serious discussion that… Read more »
Janet Scott

This is where VB’s Forum was so useful.

Craig

The VB forum does still exist and I’m betting S&S would agree it’s definitely a better place for Tryme, Bystander and Peaceful Life to have their weekend ding dongs.

Ventnorblog.com/forum

Janet Scott

Thanks Craig. I had no idea it was still alive.

Bystander

OK craig as you are now moderating this site I will take my comments elsewhere today as they aren’t welcome here

peaceful_life
I didn’t feel I was doing anything other than responding, there was no ding-dongs, or exclusion of other posters, you might well find some of the discussion boring, but, these topics are actually within the framework for change, which is part of the subject matter of the article itself. No matter what the political wrangling and ideologies , peak oil and climate change will, and indeed are,… Read more »
Robert Jones
Hate to offer advice to Tories, partly because it’s never appreciated, but try, lads, just to shut your dopey traps for a while, eh, and embrace a period of reflection? You fouled up – your councillors were crap on stilts, your officers were as bad as you were, and you listened to them uncritically in Social Services (hallo, Dawn, you dope!) and in education (who was the… Read more »
Bystander
Well said Robert, could it be this was Chris Whitehouse’s intended role given that the Tories lost the election? Some are of the opinion that as the writing was on the wall for Pugh the plan was to replace him with Whitehouse after they won the election. Of course that never happened, despite the best efforts of the Tory war machine, so instead we have a type… Read more »
Robert Jones
Bystander – I had a bit to do with Erica Oulton, who listened and was a shining example to councillors everywhere, and it’s sad that she was replaced by a perpetually silent clone like Colin Richards, who is a semi-mute dope, although probably harmless since no one is ever likely to give him a portfolio – stupid is as stupid does, after all…. However – for a… Read more »
Bystander
Dave Stewart describes the Indies Framework for Change document as a “blatantly party political document” Whereas Chris Whitehouse says on his IOW Council website page that he “will work hard for our entire local community, leaving party politics on one side”. Its unclear whether Dave Stewart claims to share Chris’s party politics commitment on his own Council webpage given that it is so out of date there… Read more »
ohmy

Friends,Romans and Countrymen,and all the others,just remember how long it took the conservatives to muck up this island,and you expect the independents to put things right in only a few months,you must be out of your minds,it’s going to take years of hard thinking.

Bystander

High time they did something other than procrastinating and praising themselves for being more open and transparent. Their liberal use of the adjective ‘more’ these days is an interesting development, more honest, more democratic, more accountable, more ethical, and a lot more aspirational.

Cynic
@Bystander criticises the Indies for their use of “more” as in “more open”, more transparent”, “more honest”, “more democratic”, “more accountable” “more ethical”… Well… given the performance of the last Tory cabal that either ran away from the 2013 election or was sent packing by Islanders, it would be difficult for the Indies to find a more truthful comparator. Are you suggesting they should use “less”?
Bystander
I’m suggesting that they should be accountable, democratic, open and transparent etc The use of vague terms like ‘more’ are little more than an insurance policy to get them off the hook when they fail to deliver any significant change. As you state they couldn’t be ‘less’ so then the Tories so very little improvement would be necessary to satisfy their claims of ‘more’. Not quite what… Read more »
phil jordan
@Bystander: One other way of looking at this might be to see the results for the Conservatives and the Independents since 2005..? In 2005: Con: 35 (though reduced to 29 on restructuring of Wards) Ind: 6 In 2009: Con: 24 Ind: 7 In 2013: Con: 15 Ind: 15 In reality, we have seen a decline over about 12 years (certainly since 2005) of conservative support and a… Read more »
Bystander
You have conveniently avoided mentioning the disastrous effect of the Island First coalition prior to 2005, which tarnished the reputation of Independents and Lib-Dems alike to such an extent that it acted as the catalyst for the 8 years of Tory rule which has just ended Phil. Lets hope we aren’t in for a repeat of that given all the ex Lib-Dems who are now swelling the… Read more »
Bystander

I have aspirations to win the lottery, and I don’t do the lottery.