by franklittle on 3 May, 2012
This is written some days in advance of the count which will have taken place an hour before this post appears. I am assuming that I have failed in my attempt to retain my seat in the council chamber for Cadoxton. The signs are not good: ancient antipathies towards not only the Thatcher & Major Conservative governments but also family memories of ownership of local companies by Liberal industrialists were played upon by Labour workers in the wake of the coalition agreement. This in spite of the fact that the Blairite Labour governments largely continued the Thatcher-Major strategy of elevating financial services above industry and of financing public works by “live now, pay later” PFI schemes, and that the coalition has reversed much of that strategy, not least because of Vince Cable’s and Ed Davey’s presences in the Business Department. Labour condemns the benefits cap, but fails to acknowledge the great deal that Liberal Democrats in government struck for state pensioners, justice after all those long years, including three Labour administrations, since Thatcher did away with the earnings link. Liberal Democrats have also kept post offices open and have been tougher on high-earners, including bank executives, than Labour were in their thirteen years.
Long ago, I was the captain of a chess team. One of our members would celebrate a win on his board with a demonstration which would put some Premier League goal-scorers to shame. On one such occasion, he must have noticed my disapproving look and confessed: “Frank, I may be a bad loser, but I am the world’s worst winner.” In May four years ago, overcome by surprise at the margin of votes and by relief at finally making it to an elected position after fifteen years of trying, I was a bad winner, I must admit. I probably said some things which should not have been said. Having got the gripes out of my system (see first two paragraphs), I hope I may be generous in my loser’s speech tonight.
The last four years have been among the best periods of my life. It has been a pleasure to represent the ward of Cadoxton in the council chamber and my only regret is that I have not been able to achieve everything that has been asked of me, though I have had some worthwhile achievements. My time in the council chamber and in committees has also been satisfying. I hope I have made a few friends there, even among my political opponents. I hope, too, that I have been respected for the fact that though I cleave to the philosophy of the Liberal Democrats, I am quite prepared to speak out when I think an individual party representative has got things wrong.
I have met some lovely people in Cadoxton and will, I hope, continue to see them from time to time as I don’t intend to be a stranger to the village.Leave a comment