Conservatives and Pie Crust Promises
Many years ago as a small child, and as with all young children after doing something wrong I promised not to do it again and then of course did, my grandmother in her exasperation used to said that it was a “pie crust promise” and having listened and watched the Borough and County Council administrations it got me wondering what it would mean today.
No one in making a pie would take the ingredients, put them through a liquidiser to form a mushy paste in which all of the colours and individual flavours were indistinguishable, place it in a dish and serve it up without feeling the need to hide the contents under a ‘pie crust’.
The advantage of course would be that you could tell the people you were dishing it up to whatever you liked about which ingredients had been used, in fact you could tell different people a completely different set of ingredients and they wouldn’t be able to disagree, which of course is exactly the dish the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are serving up time after time.
There is no doubt that the Conservatives have persuaded themselves that they are capable of running the Borough Council a stance they have adopted during the past year and a half-year, a stance which simply put has seen the Conservatives fail to take the difficult decisions needed for the regeneration of Northampton preferring instead to take decisions that are both self-serving and in their own self-interest.
Their democratic decision-making where it exists at all lacks clarity and is kept carefully hidden under a very questionable ‘pie crust’ that is only known to the Leaders of the Councils?
The undeniable reneging on manifesto promises by the Borough Council Conservatives and lack of trustworthy leadership who are prepared to jump on any passing band wagon if it gives them a political or media opportunity without actually explaining what services they are going to cut is perhaps one explanation of why there is so much discontent amongst Conservative Councillors.
To paraphrase Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, “To choose a weak leadership team is unfortunate, to choose one who won’t listen smacks of incompetence”
The people in Northampton and those who voted for them at the last election are becoming increasingly aware of the nature of Conservatives politics and are right to ask the question, “what have the Conservatives actually delivered and what do they actually stand for”?
Northampton people are beginning to look under the ‘pie crust’ claims and promises made in Conservative literature and press releases and see the true mess that is being served up.
Conservative Borough Councillors have failed to deliver as promised improvements to almost 5000 council homes in the last 18 months when they have the money available to do so and instead decided to spend £2 million on trying to persuade council tenants to have their tenancies handed to a housing association.
Conservative Borough Councillors have failed to cut senior management costs as promised in their manifesto and in fact there are now more senior managers earning over £50,000 while at the same time they have cut over 300 staff working directly for the Council.
Conservatives Borough Councillors have failed to protect the public as promised in their manifesto and have cut funding to the police, cut CCTV staff as well as supporting their County Council Conservative colleagues in switching off half of Northampton streetlights which has raised concerns from the public about their safety.
They have also, at least those who are both Borough and County Councillors cynically reneged on their promise to freeze councillor allowances and while cutting services to the elderly and vulnerable and front line staff have awarded themselves a £38 a week pay rise at the tax payers’ expense, even more amazingly they are now proposing to cut the front line staff wages by over 3% to balance the books!!!
Progress on regenerating the town centre is painfully slow with the Grosvenor Centre development stalled another promise in the Conservative manifesto broken, the number of town centre vacant properties increasing by over 70% and the number of people visiting the town in the first 4 months of the year falling by almost 500,000 and yet the Leader of the Borough Council talks about this as a success with Northampton, ‘bucking the national trend’
It is a serious problem when the Leader of the Council and his Conservative colleagues not only don’t recognise and understand the serious and critical issues facing Northampton but actually believe that by ignoring them they will cease to exist an attitude that will increase the speed of the towns decline not reverse it.
Hiding their policy failures behind spin and PR in the media and continuing to promise what they either don’t or have no idea or intention of delivering is simply dishonest and is now being seen by the people of Northampton and even dare I say it by the media as nothing more than ‘Pie Crust Promises’.
Northampton Labour has and will continue to Listen to Northampton and put forward fully costed policies as we did earlier in the year to increase neighbourhood wardens, park rangers and the police.
Policies which the Northampton Conservatives are now implementing and as you would expect claiming as their own after rejecting them when Labour put them forward in February.
A real case of stealing someone else’s policies and ideas to cover up their own naked lack of understanding of what is needed to address the major issues affecting residents of Northampton…perhaps importantly not understanding that it is by bringing people together not dividing them that progress is made
Northampton Labour is the only party with a long-term approach to improving Northampton and the services tax payers expect and deserve.
It will take time because we intend to do it right, no quick fixes, no false promises, only straight forward honest sensible policies with honest and open decision-making in which we will not hide our true intentions from the people of Northampton.
Northampton Labour are the only party who want to and will bring everyone together as One Northampton and will continue to fight and oppose the Conservatives divisive and self-interest policies that are causing so much damage to the people who live and work in Northampton.