Voice of the Leader: February

Once a month we will be offering the Leaders of both Medway Council and the official opposition the opportunity to talk unedited about.. well, Medway politics. Today we hear from Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council and the Conservative Group.

Alan Jarrett

‘Going forward I promise that we will protect Medway from those who seek to close down facilities and services; against those who belittle Medway and its hard-working people; and against those who snub our military heritage and insult our monarchy.’

Recently I said “the first casualty of an election is the truth!” That followed the distribution of a scurrilous leaflet from Labour claiming that no investment had been made in Chatham. Utter nonsense!

In reality there has been massive investment in Chatham: the new bus station; Chatham Placemaking; investment in the railway station; scoping and planning preparation for new housing at Chatham Waterfront and Whiffens Avenue; Chatham Community Hub and library; improved green spaces along the river front including a new riverside walk; and the Command of the Heights project to open up the Great Barrier Ditch to connect the waterfront to Fort Amherst They really should have gone to Specsavers!

Continue reading “Voice of the Leader: February”

Social Justice Worker

As Wednesday is the UN World Day of Social Justice, we decided to ask Chas Berry to give us a Medway perspective..

Politicians across the globe will no doubt mark the UN Day of Social Justice with much hand-wringing and plenty of weasel words about the yawning gap between the world’s rich and poor. Few, if any, will identify the real reasons for this disparity and even fewer will say what is necessary to change it.

Continue reading “Social Justice Worker”

iFAQ: Let’s be frank(lin)

Following on from Medway Conservatives taking three years to suspend Cllr Franklin over his offensive tweeting, we decided to keep the iFAQ relevant this week, by asking this question to all councillors:

What acceptable reasons are there for a political party taking three years to take any action against a councillor engaging in hate speech online after it is highlighted in a full council meeting?

As usual, we told all councillors that their answers would be published entirely unedited. They are presented below in the order they were received.

Continue reading “iFAQ: Let’s be frank(lin)”

The Week in Medway Politics, 17 Feb

Our Stories

Continue reading “The Week in Medway Politics, 17 Feb”

Stupid Cupid

In which Vicki Sigston looks at the effects tiny acts of kindness can have in Medway and beyond..

It’s February, and that means grey skies full of wind and rain, an impatient wait for Spring and of course Valentine’s day.

As someone who has been in a relationship with the same person for the past 20 years I am perhaps jaded to the whole Valentine’s celebrations. Long ago we gave up trying to book a meal out, fed up of sitting squashed amongst other couples in busy restaurants. We are easily annoyed by the hike in prices of flowers, chocolates and bottles of fizz and thoroughly downtrodden by the quest for a not too cheesy, not too funny Valentine’s card.

Continue reading “Stupid Cupid”

Letters from Westminster: What’s it like inside Westminster?

In which we ask Parliamentary Researcher Robbie Lammas to give us the view from Westminster.

The workings of Parliament can often be seen as a mystery; indeed, they remain so for many MPs and Researchers who work inside it. The recent events of late have seen rare historic conventions and procedures such as the Humble Address for a Return, a Censure Motion, a Vote of No Confidence, attempts to unpick Standing Orders & to override the Government’s prerogative over debate tabling, all return. Each has its own archaic formalities but make no mistake, each has extraordinary power to shape our nation.

Continue reading “Letters from Westminster: What’s it like inside Westminster?”

Cllr Franklin and the normalisation of far-right rhetoric

In which August Scholl takes a look at the normalisation of Islamophobic views in political discourse in light of Cllr Franklin’s actions.

For anyone accepting public office, their words and actions matter. Whether an MP or a local councillor, elected officials have a duty to represent and be accountable to their constituents. When Conservative councillor for Luton and Wayfield, Michael Franklin, began sharing and endorsing intensely Islamophobic content on his Twitter account in 2016, he acted in a way unfitting for a local politician, as well as being in direct contravention of the Conservative Party code of conduct (‘To support equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and the absence of any and all inappropriate behaviour, in all aspects of the Party’s activities.’).

Continue reading “Cllr Franklin and the normalisation of far-right rhetoric”