In the week of the local and European elections, our columnist ‘grumpytyke’ faces a dilemma:
“In my opinion Menston has an excellent local MP in Philip Davies, the current Wharfedale Ward Councillor Dale Smith seems to have worked for the people of Menston, and the candidate Gerry Barker says he will do so if elected. So what is the over-riding reason that I cannot vote for the last named this week and the first named next year?
“It’s very simple: a vote for them is effectively a vote for David Cameron and ‘Concrete’ Boles. These two (ironically assisted by Labour Councillors in Bradford), despite their protestations to the contrary, are clearly intent on destroying for ever – for short-term gain – much of not only what makes the Yorkshire Dales loved by all of us who are fortunate enough to live here but many areas of beauty elsewhere in this green and pleasant land.
“Of course we need more houses; of course we need more affordable housing. However, building on our green fields and merging our unique individual communities is not necessary to achieve this. It is only necessary to maximise the profits of the developers, who have Cameron and Boles in their pockets as the two take the easiest option to recover the economy – maximise construction – and bow to the blackmail of ‘we won’t build if we’re forced to use brownfield sites’; of course they will but profits will be lower and the rich will get less richer.
“The thought of the UK economy managed by Ed Balls horrifies me, but any damage he could do would be temporary, repairable (as recovery, albeit painful, from the disaster created by his predecessors is demonstrating at the moment). Destruction of our green spaces will inevitably be permanent and future generations will rightly hold us here now to be guilty. As a resident of God’s own county I don’t want to have to answer to my celestial landlord. But the Labour party would clearly allow the planning nightmares to continue, and in Menston’s case are responsible for them, so representatives of this party are not an option.
“As for the Liberal Democrats, I did vote in their favour at the last general election but only because this was the best chance of unseating the sitting Labour Councillor in the Ward where I then lived; it worked. In general I do not like their general approach, which seems to me aimed at bringing everyone down to the lowest common denominator rather than striving to raise everyone to the best. So they are not an option.
“All the major political parties argue that we should vote for them at the local elections as the ‘team’ can be more effective than an individual (click the following link to see candidates’ Questions&Answers’). This has not been borne out by Menston’s experiences at the hands of BMDC.”
UKIP and the dustpan
“It’s tempting to vote UKIP this week in the European election to give Cameron a deserved boot up the backside but how can any sensible person vote for a party led by someone who demonstrates such gross ignorance by comments such as those last week about living next door to Romanians. The majority of Romanians who have come to this country are highly qualified, skilled professionals whose children are often at or near the top of their classes in their UK schools. Their English is usually excellent, often far better than that of their British colleagues (as is their numeracy). The exceptions, a very small minority, are usually Romanian gypsies (and let’s not go along with the idiocy of calling them ‘roma’ – even they do not like the term). But we shouldn’t tar all the gypsies with the same brush; there are skilled, hard-working, English-speaking contributors to our economy among them too and many who are not do not come, as claimed by Farage, to get benefits, but to work, often doing jobs which the complaining white British will not do.
“Another good reason to welcome the Romanians is their sense of humour which accords very well with the dry humour of us tykes. A reader of an article in the Romanian newspaper ‘Realitatea’ earlier this week comments “Nici eu n-asi vrea sa-l am vecin pe faras asta” which translates as “Nor would I want to have as a neighbour that dustpan” (faras, pronounciation in Romanian close to Farage = dustpan).
So this week I face a dilemma: who to vote for in the two elections as a resident of a village, county and country I love if I want what makes them great preserved for future generations. Any suggestions?
Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to comment on this post; comments are not censored in any way unless obscene or illegal.
PS. Did you see the letter from Steve Ellams in the Yorkshire Post last Saturday? In case not, I’m reproducing it here:
“You do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand why developers want more aid to develop contaminated brownfield sites (The Yorkshire Post, May 13). The only qualification necessary is good old fashioned comment sense.
“As a member of Menston Action Group and chairman of the Menston Community Association, along with the Wharfedale and Airedale Review Group, I have tirelessly campaigned to reiterate statements made by your Political Correspondent James Reed. One of the simplest ways to encourage regeneration, particularly inner cities like Bradford, would be to remove VAT on brownfield sites.
“The land banking currently demonstrated by developers should be banned and any planning consent, if not followed through within a short time limit should expire. The developer, under the current national planning guidelines, has now become the equivalent of the Mafia. We are still fighting the inappropriate planning consent on Bingley Road and Derry Hill after five years and over £140,000 of cost to the community. When will it end?”