Tory Leadership saying one thing, high-command saying different?
With just a day to go until the full membership of Cornwall Council meet and decide the administration (for at least the next year) it seems the Tory Leader at Cornwall Council is saying one thing, but the high command are saying completely different. In a transcript I have come across the Tory’s spell out a clear message. It is as follows:
“I have to reiterate that all of the association Chairman in Cornwall remain unwaveringly of the view that the opposition is the only practical way forward. The overnight (Friday’s decision on the 4/4/2 split) news reinforces that view. All of you may rule the day if you decide otherwise.
Of course this is not a welcome message to some and is sometimes considered as interference. No so. We are part of the group for the simple reason we offer advice which is not always regarded as necessary or helpful. In this instance we would not be doing our job if we said nothing. For those re-elected group members it is very difficult to said contemplate the next four years given the previous period of government, albeit in coalition. But all of you were elected to represent your wards as conservative candidates and not, as one has commented, to sit around for four years doing nothing (if in opposition). That isn’t the role of a Councillor it is to represent your wards. We have a superb message which did not inspire the electorate to vote for us in significant enough numbers and we did suffer from the UKIP surge. But that’s life
Going into coalition probably leaves Labour as the opposition and that would be disastrous in many ways not least giving them a platform they do not deserve and providing them with council wide activities that would otherwise go to us. Active Councillors should seek to involve themselves in internal as well as external groups of influence; the LEP is an obvious one but there are many like this. We should seek to nibble away at the alternative view. In coalition we will be regarded as the promoters of this or that and be unable to add a critique.
And opposition provides us with more time to talk to the electorate, gauge their concerns, note them and act on them. And be ready to step in when the administration fails and to broker a much better position; for Cornwall and ourselves.
We need to ask ourselves why we want to be tied to a governing group were we will be seen as the junior partner, but still held accountable for everything that goes wrong. What is the pressing need to form a coalition in the first place? Is there a current crises within Cornwall of such magnitude that without forming a coalition the council will cease to function? Being been told by a Conservative Councillor that is is the view of (some) Conservative members that they do not want to sit around for four years doing nothing is a disgraceful reading of the function of elected paid Councillors if they are prepared to waste their time for four years at the council taxpayers’ expense.
By far the best way forward is to form a constructive opposition to the governing group. In this way we can remain active, promote our own solutions where we see things can be improved and formulate attractive policies to put before the electorate in four years time and as the inevitable bi-elections in the meantime. I also have to conclude that finding ourselves in a coalition at the time of the next general election just as our party seeks a nationwide mandate to govern and with inhibited with out own electorate at the same time, is a recipe for disaster”
So there you have it, the Tory Leader is saying we ‘really’ wanted to be in it. But as it has been shown hurdle after hurdle was put in place until such times a decision had to be made without the Tory’s in the administration. And now the reality is the associations and Tory high-command think very differently, and what to be in opposition.
Why? I think that is fairly obvious, as the biggest fish to catch is parliamentary seats, and with all six Cornish MP seats having close margins there is a lot at stake.