A war of words with a Liberal…sorry a Liberal Democrat

With my blog yesterday about the missing Suffolk Liberal Manifesto, I appear to have touched a nerve; here is the twitter exchange that took place between myself and Mark Valladares husband to Baroness Scott and I think one of the Lib Dem party’s activists:

It all started with a simply blog plea from me for anyone who has seen the Suffolk Liberal manifesto to pass it on so I could have a look.

Lost: one Liberal Manifesto http://wp.me/pP12p-gI

Hasn’t @askcolinnoble got anything better to do? Like campaign on his own record, perhaps? http://goo.gl/fb/RZGnS

Yes that was what I was doing out knocking on doors talking to people about our record and what we are pledging to do over the next 4 years in our…….guess what…..our Suffolk Conservatives manifesto!

RT @honladymark: touched a nerve have I ? http://goo.gl/fb/RZGnS  – all I was asking was for the sight of the Suffolk Liberal manifesto?

@askcolinnoble No, not really, but if you’d choose to answer the questions I’ve put, I’ll be sure to pass them on.

@honladymark interesting? so I think the simply question now needs to be put – Where is the Liberal Manifesto? Do they have one?

@askcolinnoble Don’t know, perhaps you ought to ask the Liberals. Or, if you’re looking for the Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Democrats…

@askcolinnoble Look forward to it, and to analysing your five key pledges more closely – one of which appears to reverse your own cut!

Really interesting comment above which clearly means he has read …….guess what…..our Suffolk Conservatives manifesto! Just to set the record straight he has not quite understood what the new Travel Card for younger people is all about as it certainly is not the same as the old Explorer scheme.

And finally:

@honladymark happy to & I’ll blog in due course but track record & manifesto pledge of 7 years of 0% Council Tax rises V Lib/Lab 40% in 4!

Then a couple of others added in and were responded to:

From @DavidChandler00

@askcolinnoble @honladymark Must be an election coming up soon then 🙂

@DavidChandler00 @askcolinnoble Well, given that I haven’t seen a leaflet from either my Tory County councillor since 2009… 🙂

From @KevinTAlgar

@honladymark @askcolinnoble Where’s the Lib Dem manifesto?

@KevinTAlgar I heard @askcolinnoble the first time, you don’t need to repeat him. Optimistic in Chantry, or just a human sacrifice?

And in all the exchanges still no comment when or if the Liberals sorry the Lib Dems are going to bother to publish a Suffolk manifesto.

Or are they going to rely on the Nick Clegg’s generic one posted on their web site on the 8th April. I suppose they could insert the word Suffolk here and there to make it look like they’ve bothered?

Lost: one Liberal Manifesto

This morning first thing I had another look  to see if the Liberal Democrat web site has noticed there is a County election in 23 days time. No, still oblivious to the fact; not even a mention of it!

Next I had a good hunt and still no manifesto to be found on the internet, there is now at least the generic one launched by Nick Clegg and we all know how much faith to put into one of his manifesto’s; but surely they are not going to fight their Suffolk campaign on that?

Their election effort thus far strikes me much as their performance in opposition has been these past 4 years, lack lustre at best and at times positively woeful. Or perhaps there is something wrong? Perhaps they simply can’t agree on what to put into it, after all they have only known the date for 4 years.

I always like to read the nominations list at it’s close and amongst 5 retirements from their group I noticed that two of their leading Councillors Craig Deaden-Philips and Andrew Cann are also not seeking re-election. Whilst I think we would all personally wish them well, particularly Kathy given her years of service as Leader of the Liberal Democrat group. In the case of Andrew Cann this seems particularly strange as he has not made any sort of announcement, my understanding was that he was meant to be their deputy group Leader and Finance spokesman, how strange?

Unlike the Conservatives and indeed the Labour party, it also appears they can’t even find enough people willing to stand for them to field a full candidates list with only  64 out of a possible 75 and they were almost piped in numbers by the single issue Green and UKIP parties to boot.

I would love to blog on what they want people to vote for them on, but alas not yet had the opportunity so if anyone does find a leaflet or even a few words printed please, please do send me the link.

What no Manifesto?

Out on the campaign trail in Undley

Out on the campaign trail – 0% County Council Tax increase for Undley

I was out campaigning yesterday and was asked a simply question, “what’s in the liberal manifesto” to which I had to confess “not a clue mate, can’t find it anywhere”.

So when I got in, after the days campaigning, I sat down, logged on and set my Google to work, hunting it down, I recalled and found an article in one newspaper where David Wood their leader made a few comments in response to the Conservative, Labour and Green manifesto’s where he said they have a policy document, only problem is I just can’t seem to find it anywhere?

First I went to their web site – nothing.

Then I went to their other area web sites – nothing

I put the words Lib Dem Suffolk policy document in to Google and err… nothing.

Next I looked at the blog pages of the Liberal County Councillors that have one maybe this there but again nothing, although I did see on their Leader’s blog front page a thoughtful article, which I disagree with, about the Police and Crime Commissioner elections posted back in November last year, but hardly current.

So please can anyone help me find it?

The only reference I can find anywhere is on Caroline Page’s blog, who, to be fair is an active blogger, even if I do disagree with most of what she writes. She has announced that she is standing again and there is a scanned copy of her latest leaflet with a small panel for people to respond to her question “What do we want the County Council to do?” More public transport? Better Care? Freezing Council Tax? Improve Education? Help for local businesses? In May Suffolk is electing our County Council for the next 4 years. Money is tight, so what should be its priorities be? Tell us what YOU think!”

Firstly, Caroline has clearly been reading our manifesto – a manifesto built precisely because we have been asking people what they think, amongst surveys and surgeries, we even held a manifesto open day for people to come along and tell us what they thought should be in the Conservative manifesto way back in September last year, amongst the many sagacious suggestions was that residents would welcome a freeze on the Council Tax as people are struggling to make their household budget stretch in these difficult times.

Secondly err…surely…it’s a bit late to be asking people what they want to see 5 weeks out from an election. To my mind the whole point of an election is to set out your vision for what you would do for the people of Suffolk in office and ask people to vote for you.

Three years ago I teased the Liberals during the Suffolk County Council budget debate asking them if their less than one side A4 response was because they forgot the deadline date to submit their homework?, it got a few chuckles at the time but now we seem to have arrived at an election where the Liberals are standing with no manifesto, even the Greens have managed to put out something!

Simply not good enough, whether you agree with a party’s polices or not they should at least bother to set them out before asking people to vote for them.

Full Name, capital L and capital D

Well there we go, a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government, what an amazing couple of days of high political drama, but at least Gordon Brown is out and they can now get on with opening up the books and seeing the extent of the damage.

I bet it’s not long before we start to hear the real depth of the problems and the painful measures that are going to be needed to sort it out, I suspect the words will be carefully chosen not to spook the markets as to the ‘depth of the hole’ we’re in but tell them enough that they have confidence that there is a strategy to get us out of it.

Like most people I don’t give a fig for the markets but their confidence is vital if the banks are going to be able to lend and our businesses get the capital then need to expand, recruit and thus pull this county out of the nose dive.

Maybe, just maybe, all those people who have been conned by new labour that the recession is the result of global problems and ‘nothing to do with me gov’, will wise up. I am simply staggered that so may people could still vote labour after this mess.

On Monday my opinion was kindly gauged by a couple of people and I said form the government and strike whatever deal is needed to do it, so I sort of thought then that everything was still to play for.

Yesterday I was in Endeavour House and between meetings, on the only TV they have in the place, in the media team’s section, watched as the afternoons events unfolded, and had the pleasure to see Brown resignation speech but missed Cameron’s historic entrance to No.10 as I was at two Parish Council meetings last night, but caught up with it all on the News at 10 and then Newsnight.

I send an email this morning to a conservative colleague and typed  in full ‘Liberal Democrats’ for the first time, usually I just put ‘libs’ and added (you will note for the first time I have used their full name and have put a capital L and capital D, this does not come easily!).

Having seen the document now it really is a substantial body of work, which answers and deals with the real tough stuff and differences between the two parties, I am not sure about the 55% rule and if they can get this through but hey in Scotland its two thirds, so I sort of get the point and it does give the idea of a fixed term a bit more of a chance of holding.

I was told today by a Liberal Democrat, there I go again, friend of mine that not all of their MP’s voted in favour of the deal last night and one of them is quite a big name.

I thought the best headline in the papers today goes to The Mirror, not my read of choice but a great headline, in blue ‘CON’, space, then in yellow ‘DEM’ and on the next line ‘NATION’, excellent, very funny!

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