I’d also like to give thanks to the lady who was working on the Rose Garden in Hawley Square Friday afternoon. Lovely job and Hawley Square looking gorgeous.
Back onto politics where, despite my best efforts, my point seems to have lost in the ether while debate, which started well enough with contributions from Cllrs Moores and Wells, reverted suspiciously back to the issue of Worrow who coincidentally has released another video rambling about the Conservatives. The video justifies my argument that the Conservatives must change their strategy towards him.
Continuing to tackle Worrow on the basis it will make Labour cut ties with TIG will only work for so long. Worrow’s history is well known, particularly the more controversial aspects, such as his previous two blogs and indeed his new YouTube Channel which I suspect will end in the same way as the blogs did but the TIGA site can only do so much before its impact wanes, as it has. Labour accepted they would be attacked for their link to TIG as part of the deal in any case. The TIGA site is not the answer to the Worrow problem and in fact is counter-productive.
There is a wider point to this which is far more important than the maneuvering within the Chamber. Outside the Chamber, it smacks of an immature Opposition, lashing out at Worrow for costing it the Council, rather than moving on, scrutinising the new administration on its policies and actions and challenging it to improve its proposals. Too much comment needlessly revolves around him and thus he attracts the publicity and justification, at least in his own mind, necessary to continue publicly criticising Conservatives for alleged homophobia or harassment. This is a serious flaw in Conservative strategy which opens it up to TIG attacks. This is why in retrospect the Diversity Champion motion was a bad move. It was only ever going to lead to the events we saw a while ago.
For the Conservatives to make the transition from the position it held before December to being an effective Opposition, I firmly believe it must break away from what appears to be a fixation with Worrow. I am not arguing that the Conservatives forgive him or let him off but to be smarter. By showing the patience and discipline not to give him what he wants, Worrow will be deprived the publicity he and the TIG crave and they will be left aside.
Im not saying this approach would be easy. It would be incredibly tough and would need Conservatives to not issue Standards complaints against Worrow. The pay-off is that such discipline would show that the Conservatives are ready to govern again, seeing past the problems of the past to put the public first.
Going back to Streets Ahead Margate, the regeneration of our High Streets should be something which should motivate and unite Councillors regardless of affiliation into action. A Portas Pilot shouldn’t have been required for this to be important. In light of the treatment of the last Budget, it is evident that both Labour and Conservative Cllrs need to work together in order for the regenerative effort to work.
I pointed out way back during the Budget debate about the differing approaches to Council spending by the two main Groups and this underlines the point I'm making. The Conservatives were looking from the business side of things, about the opening up for business to grow, with dropping barriers or looking to business to help the Council perhaps by helping with events in place of Council funding. Labour on the other hand was looking for how TDC could by its own efforts and its own monies make it happen. Each approach in itself isn’t a solution to the economic problems facing Thanet but an amalgamation of the two could be forged which would be comprehensive enough to provide such a solution. You can argue the toss about who gets the credit later.
The Conservatives have an opportunity not to be missed where they can show leadership and maturity but they must also consider that their strategy with regard to Worrow has hindered more than helped. The reward to them and the public must surely be worth it.