By Myles Cook
So, it’s election time again and your one and only chance to see the councillor that represents your ward and his or her opponents; that is, until they need your vote again.
Now, I think that this is an opportunity for the prospective and incumbent councillors of Thurrock to do something truly different for a change, something that doesn’t happen in Westminster, and that is, actually forget about their party affiliations and their inherent differences. It’s time to forget the ideological differences that the different parties have and, instead of trying to score political points off each other over the issues that Thurrock residents hold dear to their collective hearts, present us with people who are genuinely concerned about helping those residents have better services, better representation, rather than towing the party line.
The ideological differences between the parties are well known – Labour likes to increase public spending and thinks that, deep down, people are social creatures who can get along, Conservatives like to cut public spending and believes that people need to be told what to do, have rules and boundaries, basically they are the party of law and order, whilst the Liberal Democrats, if there are any in Thurrock, tend to blow any way the wind blows because there’s not a lot of hope of them ever getting so many seats that they will ever be in power. It is also well known that our councillors stand for the office to help make Thurrock a better place to live; at least, that’s what they tell us when they go around knocking on our doors in order to convince us to vote for them. What tends to get in the way of their good intentions, apart from which party is the national Government of the day, over which they have no control, is their ideological differences. Surely, this at least, is within their control. They can, if they choose to do so, put aside these differences, in the spirit of cooperation, and truly act on the good intentions that made them stand for office in the first place.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Thurrock could have the first council that gives up all the in-fighting between the parties and worked together for the betterment of Thurrock? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the prospective candidates in this coming election actually stopped trying to score points off their opponents and gave us a real reason to choose them over them? Remember – the Thurrock Festival was a cross-party project and it was enormously successful, so you know it can be done.
It is a well known, and often lamented, fact among political circles, that I am a non-voter as I distrust politicians to the nth degree and see no real choice between them. I am, however, going to be voting in the up-coming election and can be considered as a floating voter, being undecided as to who I wish to vote for in my ward, Grays Riverside.
As a floating voter, I issue a challenge to the prospective candidates – run your campaigns without all the political point scoring and mud slinging, convince me that you deserve to have my vote, that you are prepared to put aside the ideological differences with your opponents for the greater good and that, if you are successful in getting into office, you do not let down the people of your ward or of Thurrock.
I await the knock on my door from the Grays Riverside candidates with great anticipation. And be warned – I am watching you all very closely!