Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


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The Socialist Republic of Ipswich

Ipswich Council doesn’t even try to hide it’s Socialist ideology

I don’t know if the sight of a snowman sitting in a park without a care in the world is more surreal than the sight of a park bench dedicated to Socialism in Ipswich, England.

This bench is in Alexandra Park and I am told, when the snow isn’t covering it, a very sturdy concrete base has been embedded into the ground as well, no doubt to stop those pesky Tories from removing the bench. The fault in that thinking is Tories believe in law and order whereas Labour are soft on crime.

Anyway, back to the immortalisation of Socialism in Alexandra Park. This is the same park which hosts the annual TUC Tory-bashing event, heavily subsidised by Ipswich Borough Council (as in you and I pay for a bunch of Socialists to sing the Red Flag and drone on about the evil “Tory cuts”).

It was particularly gut-wrenching to learn that it was the former Conservative-led coalition at Grafton House who allowed the multi-acre park to continue to be rented for a measly £250 (less than a meeting room costs to rent in central Ipswich) with security and cleaning-up thrown in for free. Needless to say, Labour have carried on as normal and gone one further by spending tax payers’ money to install a homage to one of the worst and truly evil political systems in the world: Socialism.

You couldn’t make it up.


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The Socialist Republic of Ipswich

After spending four years in Local Government as a Conservative Councillor – when there was a Conservative-Liberal Democrats Coalition (formed in 2004) – the one thing which made life very frustrating at the Council was the obstructive nature of council officers who wanted to keep the status quo and protect vested interests. It has become crystal clear why: they were too used to 25 years of reactive Socialism where Labour councillors ran the Council by consensus.

This was proven recently after Labour took back control of the Borough, after seven years, when they easily slipped back into their old ways.  Firstly, we had the new Council Leader, Cllr Ellesmere, at the first Full Council meeting after the election trying to get Opposition members to become Chairmen of Committees and attempting to place an Opposition councillor on the Executive.  Of course, the Conservative Group were not going to play that game.  Needless to say, the Liberal Democrats couldn’t move faster enough to snap up a Special Responsibility Allowance.

Then we had Cllr John Mowles, the new portfolio holder for Housing, taking the first opportunity to shirk responsibility, saying in the latest edition of the Council’s Tenant Times: “I know while I am the lead councillor on housing issues it is not down to me alone to make all the decisions and decide policy. That is something best done through team work and I want to ensure that tenants, housing staff and Councillors are involved in such matters wherever practicable“.
To even think this, never mind sit down and formulate it into words, shows a complete lack of understanding of what leadership is all about.  People don’t want to be burdened by every action taken at the council, that’s why they elect councillors to make decisions on their behalf.  It’s called democracy, Labour.

Word reaches me that Transport fairs no better.  I hear the transport portfolio holder, Cllr Phil Smart, has spent the last few months not presenting his vision for the town’s roads and public transport links to officers but instead just following officers’ instructions and trying to pass the buck to the Tory Opposition through working groups when decisions to choose officer A option or officer B option need to be made.  Could someone please tell Cllr Smart he is now in charge!

This might be a cynical ploy to confuse the public on who is running the Council but I suspect it is because Labour really do not believe or understand they are elected to make decisions and lead.  Instead they feel more comfortable palming off responsibility to officers and the Opposition.

It’s as if Ipswich has become a Socialist Republic of the former USSR with the Politburo sitting happily in Grafton House with no leader, just a General Secretary bleating “no responsibility, no accountability please”.
The people of Ipswich elected a Labour Administration in May with a thumping majority.  And what do Labour do with their new-found power – they try and dilute it by inclusiveness, consensus politics.  There’s another word for that style of politics: Socialism.  And time and time again through the annals of history, it is a system which has failed and continues to fail miserably.