This blog is a political blog from a left-of-centre perspective. This is not specifically a party political blog, but does have a Lib Dem orientation. Constructive enagement with radical liberals, social democrats / democratic socialists and greens is particularly welcomed.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Return of 'Tito' and Letter to H/E 080509

Rejoice fellow citizens of the bay, as Kevin 'Tito' Carroll the self-styled 'street fighter' of the Tory group returns to lead that group. Luckier still are we that he retains his 30K a year post as Deputy Mayor too.

With all the hoped for sell-off of council assets desired by the Tories we are most fortunate to have a former estate agent as an elected executive Tory Mayor, now ably assisted by a builder / freemason as his Deputy !

Less than a year ago when 'Tito' was on holiday (former Yugoslavia perhaps) the Tory group unceremoniously dumped him, leading to the 'hard man' of the Torbay Tories to declare 'that while the cat is away the mice will play'. Still, this unforseen setback was softened by the patronage of the Mayor (Nick Bye). Nick plays the role of 'Widow Twankey' alongside the er, 'ebullient' Tito. So we had for some months the curious anomaly of the guy the Tories sacked remaining as the (unelected) Conservative Deputy Mayor.'Tito' clearly was good enough for the Tory Mayor, but not for the Tory councillors !

Upon his return Kevin promised to be cuddlier and softer. It made the Tory 'hard man' sound like an ad for Lenor, but hey if absurd spinning is good enough for Cameron nationally, then why can 'our Kev' get in on the act ? Within a couple of weeks of his elevation 'Tito' is back in the news. His return soon became mired in controversy as Kevin never one used to listening to, let alone taking on board and agreeing with others, was lambasting the well respected head of the local Civic Society.

Whatever Tory opinion may be on the issues, and that is usually of a different view to that of local residents, 'Tito; and 'Window Twankey' can call on Marcus 'Mystic Meg' Wood (Tory PPC) for support. Often this support is hidden away on his little read blog but in the following letter to the local rag - and I do mean rag - I was happy to seek a wider audience for his views. The contents are below :

Like earlier correspondents I am disheartened but not surprised by the vituperative attack on the well respected Ian Hanford of the Civic Society by Cllr Carroll, the reinstalled leader of the Tory group on the council. Clearly the machismo and contemptuous manner displayed by Kevin Carroll has not been leavened by his earlier sacking by his party colleagues on Torbay Council.

Whilst others bemoan in these pages the paucity of talent within Tory ranks that result in the return of Cllr Carroll in leading the Tories, it is notable that on his online blog Marcus Wood (Conservative PPC) describes Kevin as 'someone who clearly has the leadership qualities they need' and that Cllr Carroll 'is well suited to the job, and he knows I wish him well'. To my utter disbelief Marcus in a characteristic rhetorical flourish goes on to describe our Conservative mayor, Nick Bye, as "a massive political asset because people see him as everything the Labour Government isn't - unspun, open and honest, prudent (lowest tax rise ever), hard-working, prepared to make tough decisions yet concerned for all not just the few". I haven't laughed out so loud in such a long time as my incredulity gave way to laughter !

Two further points arise , the pretence of the Tory group being in any way independent of the mayor looks more absurd than ever, with the Deputy Mayor leading them again. Further, what does this say about Marcus Wood's judgement ? Is Marcus on the same planet as me, let alone the same borough ? Are these individuals evidence of the new allegedly compassionate Conservative party. It seems that once again Marcus Wood is out of touch with opinion in the bay. A vote for the Tories at any level remains a disaster for Torbay.

For background reading let me refer you to :

Marcus has his own blog, which virtually no-one reads, [but which I indulge in for a 'bit of sport] on which he rarely tells us anything about policy but frequently extrapolates every favourable opinion poll and if replicated in Torbay what good news it would be for him...sorry I'm sure he meant us ! After all, he moved here from Windsor to become our MP, so he deserves it. Why aren't locals more grateful ?! As Marcus frequently overlooks, who'd want to replace a popular local MP, respected well beyond Lib Dem circles, with a strong constituency team and presence with the the carpet-bagging Tory candidate ? Still good to have Kev 'n' Nick onside, if no-one else.

'Luckily' for Macus, the aforementioned Nick Bye is famous for 'pie in the sky' schemes as he longs to 'regenerate' the bay as outside consultants suggest. Sadly for him, he's had more 'visions', indeed his ever changing prospectus is loftily called the 'Mayoral Vision'. Sadly he's had more visions than pilrims to Knock, Fatima and Medjugore combined. Likewise, the authenticity of these 'visions' are frequently challenged. Still let him persist with the 'we're right and 130,00 bay residents are wrong' political strategy. We'll eventually see the error of our ways. The Lib Dems ? They're always wanting to stand in the way of 'progress'. Can't they see the potential for building on every bit of green space in Torbay as we seek to become 'a city by the sea'. Thank goodness the 'bluff Northerner' is back as the council 'enforcer'. Lets get that concrete mixer flowing ! As Tito previously remarked why not start with Paignton harbour ? Lets have an identikit Marina in place of the supposedly useless, but pretty, historic harbour. Hail to 'Tito' and welcome back again (until such time as you alienate your own group once more). I look forward to the new council motto being 'come and have a go if you think your hard enough'. I have one request, can you hold out until after the General Election ? I'd hate Marcus Wood to lose one of his principal local assets !

Let's wish the local Tories well - someone has to !

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