There is a sadly little read (they have taken their hit counter down!) website that I visit occasionally when I want a bit of light relief. It's been going quite a while and has some good articles sometimes, however it's discussion forums are the best bit. It has half a dozen hardy souls who howl about the injustices of Hartlepool Council and an equal number of apologists for the establishment for whom the Civic Centre can do no wrong and who leap on any criticism of anything as evidence of trying to pull Hartlepool down.
I don't get (directly) involved with this website anymore. I did when it first started and I had high hopes for it but then the moderators allowed a small group of people to use it to attack me personally and use it to throw mud at me and my family. I was eventually forced to have my solicitor write to the site moderators asking them to remove statements that were libelous!
Anyway, some of the 2009 Mayoral Candidates posted on this site and one of the unsuccessful ones has now posted that
QUOTE "I've just woken up to the fact that our council is run by morons."
And there in a nutshell is the problem! Not that the Council is run by morons but the fact that has he only just woken up to this? The answer is that he, in common with the vast majority of Hartlepool residents, have not cared enough to get involved! He then says
QUOTE "most of you lot have known about this for YEARS and did sod all about it".
Well some of us have been trying for years to get things changed but constantly run up against the wall of inertia created by the people who just blindly vote in the same old faces without thinking about it or just don't vote at all and so allow the same old faces to keep coming back again and again.
Prior to his realisation what did he do about changing things? Did he go and vote for a Councillor who wanted to do things differently or did he vote the party Ticket without thinking or did he just not vote at all?
It's extremely unlikely we will be seeing his name on a ballot paper for the Council next May. Would he put in hours and hours of thankless work trying to change things or will he just go away, like Cameron, until another shot at the top job comes up? I will never vote for Ian Cameron or anyone who just pops up every four years seeking the top job and the big money. Spend four years as a back bench councilor, spend four years seeing up close how labour still run this town and how they are kept in power by the collaboration of the Tories and the Lib-Dems who are so desperate to keep out independents (or even worse in their opinion UKIP!) to prevent them upsetting their cozy club.
There are probably three or four Councillors who really want things to change. The rest desperately want things to stay as they are. Of the few who want change none of them are on Drummond's Cabinet for exactly that reason, they want to do things differently, they don't sing off the Chief Executive's Song Sheet and so they must be marginalised and kept down at all costs.
Any of the "independent" candidates for Mayor who were really serious about it will be on the ballot papers again this May. Any of them who were just there for an ego trip or who thought they might have a chance at a big pay day will disappear without trace. All those Candidates who said they wanted to change things, wanted to work for the people of Hartlepool, wanted to contribute? Then come and do it on a back bench allowance of about £100 a week rather than the £1,000 a week plus the Mayor receives.
Maybe then I might even vote for you!