The world of politics is a strange one, ever-changing. It makes people do funny things, which in the clear light of day shouldn’t happen. Perhaps it’s the excitement of it that gets to their heads. Some of the behaviour in the Council Chamber is definitely down to that.
As everyone and his/her dog knows, Cllrs Hart, Aldred and Clark brought up what was to them a rising problem of crime and their fears of vigilantism with the press and written a letter to the Police. OK, it’s not a new problem (I moved out of the area about 2 ½ years ago after being assaulted at my last home in Warwick Road) but they mean well and it is a genuine issue. They want the credit and it’s understandable they want the hat-tip for bringing it up, especially as Cllr Simon Moores has been discussing the problems in Westgate on his own blog recently. In the Gazette it’s made clear that there’s a planned increase in police provision in the area.
Thanet South MP Laura Sandys posts an article about going out with the local police and made comment on said problem which is a little firmer than it should have been. It’s an unfortunate error but not critical. Now if the Group of Councillors were new to the world of politics they would be really hurt and immediately write a further statement making it clear that the comment was wrong. They would make sure they got as much attention by demanding a retraction of the comment and an apology. Throwing in comments about their own high standing and how this has been brought up by a local resident who has suggested vigilantism as a possible action would bolster this statement.
Of course as we know, they are not new to the world of politics. Cllr Hart is the Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Clark is Chairman of the Council and Cllr Aldred is now into her third term as Ward Councillor. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a slur on their reputations which are firmly established and a short statement making it clear that the comment wasn’t correct would be enough. To demand a retraction and an apology is absurd and desperate.