Politics may be a farce but the next choice is yours

April 28, 2019

Abingdon 100 years ago
Some of you may have read in the Observer this morning about the people of the idyllic market town of Abingdon saying ‘politics is now a farce’.

Parliament has failed to deliver the 52% Leave vote because David Cameron did not define what Leave meant before the referendum. Politicians have failed to agree a Leave deal that the EU agrees with since.

There are local elections on Thursday, and the Observer observes that Abingdon people are affected by this national disillusionment with politics. People slam their doors against canvassers saying ‘I cannot take any more politics!’

The choice is yours on Thursday if you choose to vote. Some of your local politicians have done a good job locally irrespective of their national party. New people are standing at the local election as well. It is for you to judge. At the very local level we should try to vote for the best people. I hope you end up with an excellent Town and District Council – one that can take Abingdon forward.

Filed under: politics

24 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Iain  |  April 28, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Good luck Alastair for the elections next week. I hope people will vote for you as an independent person with the best interests of Abingdon at heart and not their own party career.

    He is far too modest to say it on his blog but I strongly urge the people in the Caldecott Ward to vote for Alastair Fear. He has contributed greatly to our town through this blog, being a governor at Thameside, his work with the local boxing club and his many other activities. Far more than some of his competitors who are far more interested in being mayor or playing with buns than doing good for the town.

    Good luck Alastair- you have my whole-hearted support

  • 2. Peter Del  |  April 29, 2019 at 12:26 am

    Iain, I agree. I live in the Caldecott Ward and I shall most definitely be voting for Alastair. I always get the feeling from politicians that they are more concerned with their position than their electorate.

  • 3. Su  |  April 29, 2019 at 7:23 am

    I wish we had independent candidates in other wards. I heartily agree with Iain’s comments.

  • 4. ppjs  |  April 29, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Me too; good luck Alastair!

  • 5. Colin Bartlett  |  April 29, 2019 at 8:09 am

    I shall be voting for my Independent in my Ward, Peachcroft. I know the person from Phab Club, and she is determined to try and do her best for Abingdon.

  • 6. Deedee  |  April 29, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Go Alistair, south Abingdon needs you !

  • 7. newcomer  |  April 29, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Alastair for me as well. This Blog is the most useful individual, voluntary contribution anyone makes to the Town and only one of the commitments the man has to other beneficial projects Regardless of political leaning, everyone in the Caldecott Ward should vote for the man.

    As for the main political parties … though some individual councilors may be unfairly effected I think this may be the time for all of the main parties to suffer a marked fall-off in support … it might be the only way to bring them to their senses … all of them. These wounds would be self-inflicted wounds.

    It’s a shame more independent candidates aren’t standing.

  • 8. PottyP  |  April 29, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    There are some town councillors who are claiming the new cinema as their own. I’d just like it to be known that the people who run the Abbey Cinema and the Unicorn Cinema were originally invited by Iain and the Friends of Abingdon to set up the Unicorn Cinema in the Abbey Buildings.
    When this was shown to be a success and after a petition and a lot of persuasion by the cinema, the town council finally let them use the guildhall buildings.

  • 9. Kelly Simpson  |  April 29, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    I will always vote for an Independent in local elections – it is not a place for party politics with councillors being told how to vote. There is also an Independent standing in the Northcourt ward for the Town Council.

  • 10. Geoff Bailey  |  April 30, 2019 at 8:01 am

    I don’t know if there is an Independent standing in our Ward but if there is he or she will get my vote.

  • 11. rudi  |  April 30, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    here in kingston bagpuize we have been told we will not be allowed to vote – because curiously the number of candidates exactly matches the number of places.
    hmmm…. how very democratic.

  • 12. Angela  |  April 30, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    I too am disappointed there aren’t more Independent candidates this time. Alastair will be an excellent Councillor. He does so much for the town. Anyone who votes simply on party lines rather than for individuals is misguided to say the least.

  • 13. Angela  |  April 30, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Geoff Bailey, which ward do you live in?

  • 14. David Surman  |  April 30, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Yes Yes and Yes

  • 15. Julian Annells  |  May 1, 2019 at 6:18 am

    We have no independents in my ward, so I am undecided as to whether to spoil my paper (suitable suggestions welcomed), or just not bother. Which shows my contempt for all politics more?

  • 16. newcomer  |  May 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Well Julian, if you don’t bother you’ll go unnoticed as someone who doesn’t seem to care about democracy, which I know is not the case.

    I think you’ve got to spoil the paper.

    There is a dilemma as some main party councilors are, indeed, worthy, but it’s a case, this time, that all must suffer for the anti-democratic tendencies of the guilty (and you can be guilty by hiding/obscuring business dealings from the local electorate).

    Something that should make you feel better about spoiling your ballot is that of the candidates who’ve claimed this election is about local issues and not National politics all have taken what advantage they can of Party Membership, including the tendency of the electorate to automatically support the Party candidate no matter of competence. Wanting just the advantages and none of the responsibility, while National politics drives home austerity at the local level.

    Perhaps, ‘I spoil this in Remembrance of Democracy’.

    Fortunately, I can vote for Alastair.

  • 17. Daniel  |  May 1, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Julian, it makes little impact either way, and will hardly be noticed either.

    However, when you turn up to vote – whether you spoil or not; it is recorded that you did turn up.

    If you don’t turn up at all…. It shows you didn’t turn up.

    There is a greater (albeit still tiny) chance that you not turning up will prompt a concerned politician to at least contact you and ask why you didn’t vote and what can they do to galvanise your voting effort next time….

    People will say that not turning up is lazy (or something). But only you know if you ‘cant be bothered’ or if you ‘chose not to vote’. But at least it gets noticed.

    Spoiling a vote means nothing. And no one will ever care that you did.

  • 18. Julian Annells  |  May 1, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Newcomer and Daniel, thank you.
    The other thing that I thought was this: a low turn out at the polls gets reported, and may make big news…. whereas the number of spoilt ballot papers won’t.

  • 19. Daniel  |  May 1, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Exactly. The same principle.

  • 20. Julian Annells  |  May 1, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    And also, knowing that all parties vying for my vote are a shower of %$&£*, it doesn’t matter who gets in, and I won’t have to beat myself up again for voting/trusting the wrong one!

  • 21. Daniel  |  May 1, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    …the alternative Julian is pick a single issue that’s dear to your heart….and vote for that!

    ….I wonder who’s mentioned the flowers….

  • 22. Deedee  |  May 1, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Knowing I would be away on polling day I applied for a postal vote, soon after my application I recited notification my application had been successful and this was end of March,2 weeks later and I hadn’t received my voting card and didn’t get my postal voting card before I left the UK which is very disappointing !

  • 23. newcomer  |  May 1, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Bit puzzled re. your post at (16) Daniel.

    “However, when you turn up to vote – whether you spoil or not; it is recorded that you did turn up.”

    So you turned up (as voting is important) and spoiled as a comment on the alternatives (individuals/party offerings/policies) on offer. The larger the percentage of spoiled ballots the more forceful the point made.

    “There is a greater (albeit still tiny) chance that you not turning up will prompt a concerned politician to at least contact you and ask why you didn’t vote and what can they do to galvanise your voting effort next time….”

    ‘Tiny’ … I would say ‘infinitesimal …’

    “People will say that not turning up is lazy (or something). But only you know if you ‘cant be bothered’ or if you ‘chose not to vote’. But at least it gets noticed.”

    Turning up and spoiling is not lazy and people are more likely to know that you felt strongly enough to bother.

    Perhaps I’m wrong … perhaps revolutions are won by the stay-at-homes … Viva Che! Viva la Silent Majority!

  • 24. Daniel  |  May 1, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    If someone comes and knocks on your door and says “I see you didn’t vote last week, I was wondering why that might be and what might inspire you to exercise your vote?”

    Vs

    250 people spoiled their votes, can just get interpreted that they do not know how to work a pencil.

    Over our next pint I’ll argue that an unacknowledged, not looked at, spoiled vote may make you feel better but is ultimately worth less than a thoughtful considered decision to not exercise your choice to vote.

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