Sunday, 3 March 2013

A Real Tragedy

This past week we've had a couple of events in which the word "tragedy" has been used to describe it, first during speeches paying tribute to former Cllr Ewen Cameron at Full Council Thursday and then a day later after the conviction of Cllr Sandy Ezekiel for his various offences.

What happened to Ewen Cameron was definitely a tragedy and few would argue with that description. However, to describe the guilty verdict laid at Sandy Ezekiel as a tragedy, even if that is meant personally, is pushing it. For all the sense I've heard him say in the Chamber, he chose to mislead and manipulate and betray the public trust. Forget this notion of highest standards, this breached the most basic of them. If its an active choice then there's no tragedy about it. It's the price you must pay. 

As reported in the Gazette Friday, there are further investigations taking place, which is only to be expected after the verdict. Doesn't prove a thing in itself, so those people getting all excited about the possibility of another prosecution could find themselves disappointed. Its not a coincidence that Cllr Ian Driver has posted a slightly edited version of a near-decade old report into Pleasurama involving Ezekiel. Its curious that he omits a name but after his meeting with Council top dogs last week, it doesn't take a genius to work out why.


Tom Clarke said...

Very fair comment, James, and I wholeheartedley endorse your definition of tragedy as applicable in these cases.

Elsewhere the glee amongst the anonymous trolls of the blogging world is all too apparent with high expectations of mass arrests of councillors and officers at TDC.
Like you, I expect they will be disappointed, but no doubt the conspiracy theories, not to mention Rick's back scratching masons, will be swiftly deployed.

As for Driver's 'secret' document, well I suppose he works on the theory that if you sling enough mud some of it is bound to stick. Interesting though that the spelling mistake in Sandy Ezekiel's surname he makes in his heading, is repeated several times through the document he was 'passed.' Makes you wonder about it's authenticity.

Michael Child said...

James, the key problem here is that Cllr Ezekiel was leader of the both the Conservative group and the council for the majority of their eight year administration.

We are not talking about a minor member of the group, but the leader under whose leadership some major and dubious decisions have been made. Also recently an ex member of this cabinet resigned the whip without any explanation.

There just isn’t any way that I can believe that the group wasn’t aware what was likely to happen, as the trial occurred it became obvious that council members must have been aware that the fraud had taken place.

Now we have a situation where there has been no Conservative Group press release, Simon mores posted about it on his blog which already has comment moderation set and has now disallowed comments on the post about it. You may wonder at the possible reason for this, however the message it sends out is that the group wish to sweep this under the carpet rather than address it.

At the moment I would say we urgently need a viable opposition here in Thanet, we seem to have moved from a Conservative group who see themselves as leadership in waiting and wouldn’t actually stoop to addressing major local issues, to a group that has gone below the sand, to pick up on Simon’s post. "Es una cosa muy seria," too serious to put your head above the sand, or dig it out?

Tom I have an unredacted version of the document concerned and would guess that Cllr Driver very sensibly removed the names before publishing it on the internet, the www is not kind in the respect of publishing peoples names, and on several occasions I have been requested to remove real names from posts with disagreeable content.

I have cheeked the original version I have which is images of the paper version and Ezekiel is spelt correctly on it.

Truth is that nowadays the first thing that happens if you, apply for a job, engage in a business arrangement, apply to borrow money and so on is that someone puts your name into google, frankly Cllr Ezekiel’s name is now beyond redemption.

James Maskell said...

After a verdict like that, you cant blame the Group for choosing not to say much immediately after. Bayford made a short comment afterwards and Simon has now said his piece. What more are you looking for?

I cant speak for her but the timing of Cllr Wiltshire's departure from the Group doesn't match with the trial.

Were Members implicated during the trial? I didnt see any mention of any.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the This is kent article it says a 'personal tragedy' which for him and his family seems quite fair to me. Otherwise I agree with James. Michael Child is just up to his usual 'I'm just an honest neutral' mischief-making and trying to implicate other people such as cllr wiltshire by insinuation is despicable.

Tom Clarke said...

Michael seems to have conveniently failed to notice that many former Conservatives have become disillusioned with David Cameron's leadership and have left the party. From Lord Ashcroft to Cllr Wiltshire plus a whole host of party activists and supporters, many have resigned their membership or withdrawn their support.

I think further examination would reveal that this is down to Cameron's move to the centre ground and Equal Marriage, which more than half the party's MPs voted against, than the trial of Sandy Ezekiel.

Whether, come 2015, the fear of Milliband and Balls in charge of the country will bring the defectors back remains to be seen. Somehow I doubt it unless Cameron is ousted and the new leader does a deal with UKIP. Then anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

If it's wrong to assume Wiltshire quit the local Tory Party because of anything to do with the trial of Ezekiel, how can it be right to assume she left because she doesn't like Cameron's policy direction? Eh, Mr Clarke? Or are you just scratching round for support for your personal political and policy choices?

Tom Clarke said...

13:10 I have no idea why Cllr Wiltshire chose to leave but she did so well before the Ezekeil saga. What I do know is that many other party activists and members have left because of Cameron's leadership. Whether you or anybody else supports that view is of no interest to me whatsoever for it gives me no pleasure to see the Conservative party tearing itself apart.

Anonymous said...

So as usual, Mr Clarke, you"re using wild speculation - just as wild as anything linking Wiltshire's departure with the Ezekiel trial - to support your hatred of liberalism. And if the views of others are "of no interest to you" why do you put yourself about the blogs so much? Arrogance? A distorted sense of self-importance?

Tom Clarke said...

Anon, 23:59, not sure what I have done to excite such bile from you, but I think I know the reaction of many of my own family, friends and colleagues to Cameron's leadership at this time. Like I said, I do not know why Cllr Wiltshire has left the Conservative party, but the timing does not fit with the Ezekeil conviction.

As to arrogance, well, are you not displaying yours by presuming to know what makes me tick and dismissing my views so, dare I say it, arrogantly. The one thing you did get right was my hatred of liberalism, but is that any worse than yours of the Conservatives.