Broxtowe Labour behaviour in question

Just days after posting on social media that he doesn’t comment on individuals, Labour PPC Nick Palmer seems to have succumbed to pressure and has finally commented on the actions of local Labour councillors.

He seems to belittle the recent actions of Milan Radulovic, Leader of the Labour group and also leader of Broxtowe Borough Council. Nick describes the incident as using a rude word to a constituent.  In fact the rude word was a highly offensive expletive, it was in response to the said constituent also using inappropriate language. The big difference is that as a member of the public they are not answerable to anyone for their actions whereas as a councillor and leader of a borough council you most certainly are.

Whatever the provocation I believe the vast majority of residents would not expect the leader of the council to use such language with a constituent. It was only a matter of weeks ago that Mr Radulovic himself had to reprimand another Labour councillor for using inappropriate language against Green Party councillor Kat Boetgge. Mr Radulovic in that instance insisted Councillor Andy Cooper apologise and attend additional training. When he himself is accused of inappropriate language he decides not to follow his own advice it seems, as he has repeatedly refused to apologise.

Nick Palmer’s response is that is it undesirable for people in public life to swear in public.

The second issue Nick Palmer has now commented on is Labour councillor Richard Robinson admitting to supporting people from outside the area (London in fact) using aliases on social media to promote the controversial Kimberley tram proposals that have been forced through by the Labour group in Broxtowe.

Nick Palmer’s response is that he feels everyone should be advised to post under their own names.

These are hardly resounding condemnations of poor behaviour from Labour councillors. For many years now Broxtowe Labour have been promoting ‘positive politics’. Is using expletives, referring to colleagues as Eva Braun and using aliases on social media Labour’s idea of positive politics?

Mr Palmer then goes on to insinuate that there is a Tory-Green pact in Broxtowe. As the Green party prospective parliamentary candidate I can absolutely refute this ridiculous allegation. Although I understand that Labour may not recall the difference between left and right wing politics we in the Green Party do, and the objectives of the Conservative and Green parties could not be more opposed and so why would we have a pact to help preserve a conservative government. What has actually happened is that where there is agreement on any issue with any party we are happy to say so, we will not oppose for the sake of opposing.

I believe the public want to see more honesty in politics and that includes admitting when we are wrong and agreeing when we can, being criticised for agreeing on any issue merely evidences Labours old fashioned view of combative politics.

This brings me to the final point Mr Palmer comments on, Anna Soubry seizing on a rumour with two green party member’s regarding Kimberley Town Council. I presume by two green party members he means myself and Kat Boetgge.

As local councillors we raised concerns that we did not have information relating to the detailed financial status of the council and were concerned. This was confirmed by Kimberley Town Council chair Dave Nunn agreeing the financial report presented to the AGM was not what it should be. Following concerns raised, the financial reporting of the council is now far more transparent. I believe the accounts are published on a regular basis and councillors have access to the information previously withheld enabling confidence in the way the council conducts its business. Kat and I had to resign in order to be able to expose our concerns due to rules within the council forbidding contacting the press without the permission of the chair. I fail to see what there is to apologise for?

Nick seems to suggest that we in the Green party need the oxygen of publicity that a pact with the Tories would give us.

To that I would say take a look at the opinion polls, the By election results, the Green Party membership figures and you will see that without any publicity from any other party and indeed the media in general we are consistently polling higher than the Lib Dems at 8-10%, we are beating the Lib Dems in Newark, Clacton and Rochester by elections and we have more than doubled our membership to become larger than the Lib Dems and UKIP in terms of fee paying members with over 50,000 members.

This election in Broxtowe as well as in the country as a whole is not merely an old fashioned battle between blue and red any more. Voters will have a choice at Town, Borough and National levels and nothing can be taken for granted. Voters will decide on performance and the performance of Labour councillors of late falls below the standard I suspect most people in Broxtowe would require.

David Kirwan

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate – Broxtowe Green Party

david.kirwan@greenparty.org.uk    twitter @davegaz

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