Last week’s Wisbech Standard featured yet another letter from Alan Lay full of abject silliness. I know, dear reader, you are probably bored of this by now. You were probably bored of it months ago. But, for goodness sake, the ammunition just keeps coming and I am only human. The letter was so long that it filled an entire column of the newspaper from top to bottom. I don’t recall ever seeing a letter quite so long published before, particularly not one given to so much waffle. But there you go. Anywhere, here comes the obligatory deconstruction.
Starting as he means to continue, Alan Lay makes me the early feature of his letter. He points out that I proposed him for the Working Party of the Town Plan and asks when it went ahead. Well, sorry Alan, but things change. First of all, although I was asked if I would Chair the Working Party I decided not to do so and am no longer involved in it. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks but to the best of my knowledge the Working Party has not yet met, which would possibly be why you haven’t “heard” anything yet. As your own letter states I “proposed” you for Vice Chairman, I’m just unsure why you don’t know understand what the word “proposed” means. It is no guarantee of a post, only a suggestion. I am not now involved in the Town Plan Working Party, but if I were I would withdraw my proposal. You see, I made the proposal just after your election in the spirit of cooperation and teamwork. Since then you have called the entire Town Council “corrupt” twice and written angry letters to the newspaper because you were not immediately made Chairman of various Committees. I can safely say there’s not much chance I’ll be proposing you for anything in future. But I’m just a humble backbencher and I don’t speak for anybody else.
In regards to your moaning about Jessica Oliver’s “touching the button on her tablet” to access information: in the Modern World there are tablets which store digital information. This can be very useful to quickly access notes and necessary information. The fact that Jessica Oliver had the agenda and other notes all ready when she became Chairman is evidence of preparation, organisation and competence. The fact you see it as some grand conspiracy is frankly a bit weird. The fact that you are unable to be prepared yourself could be seen by some as evidence that you aren’t suited to that sort of role.
A Chairman does *not* need extensive knowledge of the Committee they sit on. They need some knowledge, for sure. But extensive knowledge is provided by experts, Officers and supporting documentation. They need to understand the role of Chairman, the terms of reference of the Committee and be able to manage the meeting. Alan Lay continually misrepresents the role of the Chairman, which he seems to see as some oligarch of the subject concerned. This is not correct. All Members of a Committee are equal and all members are expected to input into the issues concerned, using their own experience and knowledge to assist. The Chairman’s job is to manage the meeting, not to provide expertise on the subject. As I said last time this was discussed, the fact that Alan Lay thinks the Chairman’s job is to be the “most knowledgable” in the subject at hand is evidence that he would have been unsuitable as Chairman. Members of the Committee would quickly become tired of a Chairman who was convinced they knew it all better than anybody else.
I’m not sure what point he is trying to make re: left eyes and right eyes and blinkers. It seems to be a suggestion that I am very “right wing.” This from a UKIP Councillor! I’m not convinced he really understands what Left Wing and Right Wing mean in most contexts. But what really puzzles me is his fascination with bringing me up every few paragraphs. He has previously said he doesn’t read my blog, yet continues to quote it regularly. He should probably note that I’m not the Mayor, or the Deputy Mayor, of the Leader of the Council. I’m not even the Chairman of Wisbech Conservatives anymore. I guess that its the fact that I’m the only one who bothers to challenge his reams of nonsense :) I remain uncertain why Alan Lay continues to criticise Wisbech Town Council, and in such vague terms. He has previously made accusations of corruption, but when challenged to identify this “corruption” has failed to do so. He makes accusations of “secrecy” but when asked to clarify what he means, gives no examples. He suggests that he cannot “offer thoughts” on issues, and his sole reason for not being able to do so is because he has not been “made Chairman.” I put it to you, Alan Lay, that perhaps all you really want is to boss people around? Because you can offer thoughts on a Committee simply by sitting on said Committee – you don’t need to be Chairman. You seem to be saying you wont take part unless you can be in charge. This doesn’t sound like somebody who “only wants to help.” It sounds like you want to take your ball and go home.
Constantly accusing your colleagues of being corrupt and other such things is possibly, just possibly, not going to endear you to them. Which is fine if you don’t give a stuff. But given that those same people are the ones who vote for who the Chairman of their Committee is going to be? Never mind. Write another angry letter to the newspaper declaring you should be in charge of everything in the hope of bullying your way into a position? That’ll work.