Who Is Afraid Of The Purple People Eater?
Over on Twitter, the Bucknors have flown into “full defensive mode” after I pointed out (on this blog) how keen they seemed to be for a significant council tax rise. Now, to be fair, I did make a mistake on the original post. Michael Bucknor isn’t on the Overview & Scrutiny committee. I think I get so used to thinking of them like a single entity that I forget where one ends and the next begins, but it was my error (now corrected.) So apologies Michael, my bad. Nevertheless, Virginia did vote for a rise. So did almost everybody else, sure, but I never said otherwise. In fact, I was quite clear that I was the only person on the committee who voted against.
Just a week or two ago newspaper Editor John Elworthy referred to my comments in this blog about Wisbech Town Council freezing Council Tax by demanding to know if I was going to “challenge a Council tax rise in Fenland as recommended to Cabinet at FDC.” It’s great to see that all these people – the Bucknors, Taxi Dave, John Elworthy, those UKIP fellows, basically the entire opposition- read my blog. I am very glad to be of service. The answer, John, is “Yes.” I am reliably consistent in my opposition to Council Tax rises. I am always open to discussion and debate about it and I try to keep an open mind, but my general feeling in the last few years has been: “Let’s try not to do it.” Everybody knows this, it is no secret.
Of course, O & S only makes a recommendation and the final decision about what the new level of Council Tax might be will be up to Full Council. I’ll make the best case I can. I don’t know what the outcome will be but I have faith that whatever it is – it will be after a serious and significant debate in the proper way.
Amidst the Twitter “storm in a teacup” of bitter Bucknoresque badgering Virginia accused me of being “scared of UKIP.” She’s right, in a sense. I do find them scary, as should anybody with half a brain who cares about fairness, equality, community and sensible policy. But she wasn’t referring to their policy or record in local government, she was referring (I believe) to this year’s elections. Now I am aware that not many of the local political groups are actually able to “run the numbers” and not many have the manpower or the organisation skills to analyse election results and canvassing. But I think the Bucknors probably do. In which case, they must surely know that the strongest ward for UKIP in the area, both on paper and based on recent election results, is Waterlees. So if the Purple People Eater casts a long shadow anywhere, it must surely be there.
Maybe their sudden frenetic activity and desperation to accuse others of fear is simply a carefully crafted message? “Nothing to see here. Not in Waterlees. Move along. Nothing to see.” Now UKIP may not be the most savvy of election analysts, and they weren’t even present at the County Council election count to see those votes pour out of those boxes – but I reckon they’d have to be pretty stupid not to know where the majority of their support came from. Which maybe explains why Michael Bucknor has gone from calling UKIP people “bigoted racist extremists” to being remarkably shy about repeating his claims. Which maybe explains why Dave Patrick – a long-time Bucknor ally – has moved to UKIP. It’s all a bit desperate. I can’t see UKIP falling for it.