Not All News is Bad

This week’s local government elections in Babergh and Mid-Suffolk are not all bad news. Katherine Grandon was re-elected with only two votes less than 2015 but this time with a much reduced turnout.
Katherine ran as an Independent after quite surprisingly having found herself unadopted for a ward which she had loyally served for eight years as their Councillor.
So, definitely a case of rejoicing and champagne all round.
John Hinton was once a senior member of Babergh’s higher echelons until he fell out with the Council’s future direction. He also stood as an Independent and was resoundingly re-elected.
Elsewhere the Conservatives in East Cornard swept their board with three seats defeating two prominent Labour councillors.
The results for Babergh are not all milk and honey. The Conservatives have dropped from being the majority party to being merely the largest. Some decent people are no longer on the Council, but as always, some people will be gladly missed and hopefully soon forgotten.
It’s easy to blame Brexit for changes in fortune, but local personality and local loyalties also played a part. My friends who got re-elected understood that you must get out the votes if you want to be elected. Others, who rely upon the tides to lift them up, often find themselves beached when the tides go out.

All Politics is Local – the Sequel

A commentator observed this morning that the mid-term results were good enough for everyone to find something to be joyous about.
The Republicans in N.C. kept enough seats to hold their majority in the N.C. General Assembly. The Democrats won enough seats to overturn the Republicans’ veto proof super majority.
The three candidates mentioned in my blog of 24 October were all successful.
Anita Earls is on the N.C. Supreme Court and promises to apply the law equally to everyone, no matter their race or how much money they have in their pocket – an impartial judiciary that operates without fear or favor is the cornerstone of a healthy and thriving democracy. The court currently has a 4-3 Democratic majority, and Earls will shift it to a 5-2 Democratic majority. Although, much of the court’s work is non-political, it often rules on lawsuits involving the state legislature or governor.
Susan Evans collected 61% of the votes cast and so is now firmly a member of the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
Democratic challenger for sheriff, Gerald M. Baker upset longtime Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, out-polling the Republican incumbent by a wide margin (approximately 10% with nearly all precincts reporting at midnight)
Outgoing sheriff Donnie Harrison congratulated Gerald Baker wishing him the best and promising that if there was anything he could do he was there to help.
Justifiably, Wake County Democrats are immensely proud that 45 of their 49 endorsed candidates won their election bids.
To the victors go the spoils, to the vanquished an opportunity to lick their wounds, review the past and decided whether to run again next time. Every candidate goes into an election with the belief that they can make life better for the residents. Some can convey that message better than others.

All Politics is Local

The former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Tip O’Neill is said to have observed that all politics is local. And so, I take a great interest in what is happening in the current election in the city, the county and the state. I have been to a number of political lunches and suppers and have seen or met many candidates, some of whom stick in the mind (for good reasons and bad) and some stand out as candidates worth supporting. Every candidate goes into an election with the belief that they can make life better for the residents. Some have a better chance than others and some are worthier than others.
I have seen three candidates who impress.

First is Anita Earls who is running for N.C. Supreme Court. She is a Yale Law School graduate and speaks with feeling as to how her own family experienced tragedy and were denied lawful redress. Her personal experiences fuel her passion for justice and a hunger for fairness for all.

Susan Evans wishes to be a member of the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
Her promise is to ensure that our county’s continued growth will keep Wake a great place to live, work and learn! Challenges exist in meeting the needs of the growing community. Susan will bring a cool head and a warm heart to the County’s deliberations.

Gerald Baker, is running for Wake County Sheriff. He has nearly 28 years of Wake Sheriff’s Office experience including assignments in each divisional area of the Office. What I liked about Mr. Baker’s presentation was the way he highlighted the need to refocus the department. For example, currently it does not follow up on incomplete 911 calls. Thus, leaving the callers still with their problems which logically can only get worse – yet nipping crime in the bud is an essential police duty. Gerald promises to be Sheriff for all people.

Why am I involving myself? Because on Monday morning I was at the Optimists’ Park Polling Station from seven until ten meeting, greeting and handing out party “slate sheets”. The early morning temperature was just above freezing. So, I have earned the right to voice my opinion.

What Happened

Hillary Clinton’s new book  promises to reveal some interesting lessons for future political campaigns.
I particularly like the analysis:
“I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions, while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans’ anger and resentment,” she wrote. “I was giving speeches laying out how to resolve the country’s problems. He was ranting on Twitter.”
We saw Hillary twice at rallies and we saw Bill Clinton once. At no time did we think that her policies were off the wall as opposed to Bernie’s which were off kilter from the moment the Democratic Party gave him air time to promote his platform right up to when he refused to concede defeat and let Hillary focus on the main target – Trump.
I look forward to reading the book which must, in the final analysis, be a memoir of one of the greatest political tragedies of this century

A Cynic Writes

Michael Grimm
Michael Grimm

Bill Bonner in The Daily Reckoning on Wednesday wrote that the American voters w”ere busy at the polls… participating in the solemn fantasy of modern democratic government. Approximately 60% of people who were eligible to vote stayed away from the polling stations. Among young people, 18-29, the total was even higher, about 75%. The rest wasted their time standing in line and giving their ballots to the usual grifters, panderers and earnest nincompoops who fill public offices.
One of them, Michael Grimm of Staten Island, had a commanding lead when last we looked. Representing New York’s 11th Congressional District, the local paper says he is ‘hot headed’ and ‘distasteful’. It claimed he was making Staten Island the “laughing stock of the nation” after he was indicted on 20 counts of mail fraud, tax fraud, and perjury. In April, he threatened to throw a reporter off the balcony of the Capitol building. Perhaps the reporter had it coming; we don’t know. But we understand the voters who cast their lot with Grimm; at least they have no doubt what they are getting – exactly what they deserve. But the problem with political jokes, as Henry Cate observed, is that they get elected. And then, we all have to live with them”.

* I don’t classify myself as a grifter, panderer or a nincompoop who fills a public office but this is an apt description for some.

The Count 6th May 2011

Up fairly early again but only because I wanted to take  a new photograph of St. Joseph’s Church. The morning light is softer and the sun is in the right quarter. The new roof is nearly finished and I need the new photo for next month’s entry in the Hadleigh Community News.

Then it’s time to collect a neighbour who is going to ride shotgun for me and be my extra pair of eyes at the vote count in East Bergholt High School. Contrary to expectation they are already counting the votes for Hadleigh South as we walk in. Votes are being transcribed onto tally sheets and it’s obvious that some of the counting staff do not understand what they are doing. Indeed one transcriber was escorted from the premises.

My new Tory colleague Kathryn Grandon comfortably gets into second place and so has a seat on the District Council. Kath was in tears of joy at the result.

My ward’s  votes are counted (not transcribed) in the early afternoon. I come top with 595 votes up from 381 four years ago. Lots of congratulations and recognition of all the hard work.

I’m then off to Asda to buy a celebratory cake and six bottles of sparkling Saumur from Majestic – more later.

Election Day May 5th 2011

I am up at 6 and straight into the shower. A quick porridge breakfast for AMR (my spouse), and a piece for fruit for me. The polling stations open at 7 and I needed to be there wearing my rosette to welcome everyone but especially my voters who have come out early to vote for me (I hope). I also like to greet the polling station staff – since like me they will have a long day and I like to keep them on my side in case of
later difficulties.

I was spelled at 7.30 and then went to the Hadleigh Chamber of Commerce breakfast and then to the Hadleigh South polling station to check on the arrangements for Kathryn Grandon.

Thus was the day run, greeting voters, grabbing a bite to eat and so on.

In the evening I popped into the Lamb for a quick bite and met a constituent (who is not a fan). Nevertheless we had a civilised half hour together and he bought me a drink. At 10 p.m. the polling
station closed. I saw the boxes being sealed and so I went home and to sleep the sleep on the just.