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Dishonest, Hypocritical and Simply B******s
It seems that the row over the attitude and remarks of Cllr David Mackintosh the Conservative Leader of Northampton Borough Council towards Cllr Gerrie Davies at a recent Council Meeting (28 October) has revealed his true character.
As predicted in my blog No Excuse for Bad Manners (29 October) Cllr Mackintosh on finding himself in difficulty has chosen rather than apologise to instead to divert attention from his own lack of character and judgement attempted a justification.
It is an attempt that rather than justify his criticism of Cllr Davies has in fact reinforced exactly why his actions were deplorable.
Is there any wonder that he had to leave the Council chamber Ito compose himself immediately after being shown up by the response from Cllr Davies.
The issue as has now been well publicised is the accusation from Cllr Mackintosh that Cllr Davies in missing a number of Council meetings was not providing ‘value for money’ to the people in her area.
What was cruel about the accusation was that Cllr Mackintosh has since acknowledged that he knows that Cllr Davies had unfortunately and in common with many parents throughout the country recently become a single parent through the trauma of a relationship breakdown.
His callous personal attack created a situation in which Cllr Davies was forced to defend herself in the Council Chamber and in the media revealing personal circumstances that she and the father of her two young children would have understandably preferred to keep private.
I cannot think of another instance where, or in fact another politician who has or would have even thought of using a person’s vulnerability, and especially where children are involved to attack them.
What is worse is that Cllr Mackintosh also knows that Cllr Davies is a working mother and that she has continued to carry out supporting people in Delapre and Far Cotton working alongside her Conservative colleague, Cllr Mick Ford.
Cllr Mackintosh the following day (29 October) tried in my view to disgracefully justify his actions by claiming that he was acting in the best interest of the taxpayer.
It is a squirming attempt at justification that reveals he is dishonest, hypocritical and put simply speaking complete b******s.
The timing of justification itself demonstrates that he could have discussed any concerns he had with either Cllr Davies or the Leader of the Labour Group without resorting to his public personal attack.
So why didn’t he?
I am told by a very reliable source within the Northampton Conservatives that the real truth is that in the full knowledge of the circumstances Cllr Mackintosh and the Conservatives had planned to use the situation to call for a by-election.
Which raises the dishonesty of the second justification “that he made his attack to prevent and expensive by-election”.
What nonsense, a by-election can only be called if a Councillor fails to attend properly constituted and programmed Council Meetings for a six month period.
Which means that there wasn’t going to be a by-election because Cllr Davies has not been absent from constituted and programmed meetings for six months.
So how or what prompted his personal attack and attempt at humiliating an excellent local councillor?
Everyone at some time has said things when angry or upset that they wish they hadn’t said, but that cannot be an excuse on this occasion where a deliberate plan to besmirch a decent person was employed by the Conservatives.
What really happens of course was that in being thwarted in his attempt to call a by-election to support his ambition to be the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton South he simply lost the plot.
His claims of trying to avoid a by-election also reveals the hypocrisy of Cllr Mackintosh who if as he claims was only trying to protect democracy appears to have conveniently forgotten that two years ago in the national press he was saying that “a £10,000 by-election was worth the price of democracy”!!!
So what’s changed?
Cllr Mackintosh has as part of his squirming has now after the event noted a list of Council Meetings that he claims Cllr Davies has missed.
A list which is not only dishonest but which he and whoever is advising him knows is dishonest.
Critically of the list only the Council Meetings are valid in supporting the Cllr Mackintosh justification for his public attack on Cllr Davies.
What is telling is that in attacking the Cllr Davies attendance record he has highlighted that a number of Councillors have also missed the Full Council meetings in the two years he has been the Leader.
The hypocrisy of his position is that when looking back over the records for the last two years the two highest non-attendees at Full Council meetings are both Conservative Councillors.
What action if any has Cllr Mackintosh taken against them? Value for money?
What I do know is that as the opposition we have never raised the issue and would never seek to use it to humiliate and embarrass them.
Why would we?
In the past all parties have always accepted that absence is be it for private or personal the individuals business?
In fact Cllr Mackintosh himself during the 2011 Borough Council Election took time out from campaigning for private and personal reasons which the opposition knew about but didn’t attempt to exploit or take advantage of.
I perhaps at this stage should thank all of those people who have sent messages of support and condemned the actions of Cllr Mackintosh and also acknowledge those Conservative Councillors who have distanced themselves from the attack.
Nevertheless the whole episode has not only damaged politics but will have reinforced the public perception that politicians are not only nasty but downright despicable.
This is not an issue that can be put down as the usual ‘rough and tumble, mock, scoff and throw buns’ of political life, but a disgraceful attempt to use an individual’s private situation for personal political advantage.
I can’t help wondering if Cllr Tim Hadland is now regretting his statement that Cllr Mackintosh is by far the ‘fairest Borough Council Leader he has known’?
I have it on good and reliable authority that the Conservatives are considering taking action against me for saying that in my opinion Cllr Mackintosh is a misogynist?
Apparently they claim it isn’t true because he treats everyone the same way?
If the actions of the Leader of the Council as encapsulated in this issue are anything to go by then I can’t help wondering what else are the Northampton Conservatives planning and how far are the looking to exploit the personal vulnerabilities of fellow Councillors.
I’ll end on this note,
Earlier in the week a national newspaper ran the following on-line poll to which you had to answer YES or NO.
“Are you more likely to lie in the morning or the afternoon”?
I wonder how Cllr Mackintosh and his Conservative colleagues would answer the question.
Watch this space?