Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dirty politics

David Cameron’s latest ‘green’ photo-op has gone slightly wrong.

After being photographed cleaning up some rubbish in Kent, he was accused of “breaking election rules by posing with council workers and there were allegations that the Tories had deliberately placed the rubbish on the site for a publicity stunt”.

“Jeremy Kite, the [Tory] leader of the council, vigorously denied the suggestion that the rubbish had been planted, but admitted that council workers had collected rubbish from a 20m radius on the same site and piled it in a heap before Mr Cameron’s arrival. ‘But I can tell you 100 per cent that the rubbish was on that site and was not brought in,’ he said. ‘In fact, we left it there a day longer than it should have been because we knew Cameron was coming.’”

So, proper council work – cleaning up a fly-tipping site – was delayed for the benefit of a party stunt. That’s a defence?


Paulie said...

I doubt if I'll ever defend David Cameron again, but whoever accused him of “breaking election rules by posing with council workers" really is the kind of petty-minded thick-witted jobsworth cheap point-scoring arsewipe that everyone in political life would be better off without.

Tom Freeman said...

As political scandals go, this is maybe a 0.01 on whatever equivalent there is to the Richter scale (the Nixon scale?). But this Kite bloke's quote just stupefied me.

Jeremy Kite said...

Hi Tom, hope you don't mind me contributing to the blog. I admit it doesn't come across as the brightest quote in the world (!) but I'm afraid you don't always get chance to say things in the carefully crafted way you might like when you're asked about something on the spot. The point I was making, perhaps clumsily, is that Kent's flytipping teams are out pretty much every day and the stuff on that site could have been cleaned up the day before or the day after. Cameron asked to visit an example of flytipping clearance and investigation (which we ARE pretty good at) and that meant settling on a time, and a real incident of flytipping,for him to visit.
It's a cynical world, and I guess that no-one deserves to be believed, but I rather agree with Paulie that it IS petty-minded 6th form stuff to start complaining about showing national political leaders (Labour or Tory) what we're doing. Who knows? it might lead to more recognition and understanding by them all about some of the stuff councils have to do. My council's gone out of our way to be hospitable to Blair on occasions (although he appeared to be wearing rather make-up and sweating more than Nixon when he turned up at the Civic Centre to use our radio room for an interview!)
Anyway best wishes and congrats on the blog.

The stupifying Jeremy Kite. Tory council leader and fellow cat lover.

Tom Freeman said...

Hi Jeremy. I'm always delighted (and sometimes bewildered) when people from the 'real world' drop by for a riposte.

OK then, in that case I daresay I was probably reading too much 'breaking of a proper schedule' into your quote. (I have no doubt that if I was regularly being challenged by journalists then I'd very quickly become a gibbering moron.)

Anyway, good luck (in an entirely non-endorsing sense) with the election!