Editorial comment: It isn’t enought just to pledge opposition
- Credit: Archant
It’s not often Labour’s town hall leader Cllr Richard Watts praises Islington Conservatives.
But at the Gazette hustings on Monday night, he was happy to do just that. Especially because it came at the expense of Labour’s true rivals in Islington: the Greens and Lib Dems.
“It’s an enormous pity,” Cllr Watts sighed, “that there are only two parties on this platform who are taking the job of coming up with a set of policies for the future of this borough seriously – us and the Conservatives.
“The Tory ones are crackers but to be fair to them, at least they have tried. The Green Party effort of just having 10 pops at us in their manifesto, and a 345-word press release from the Liberal Democrats, really isn’t what the people of this borough need to make a proper choice.”
It was obviously political point scoring, but does Cllr Watts have a point? Whatever you think of the Conservatives’ astonishing plan to relocate primary schools on main roads, at least its manifesto was written with a view to governing – however unlikely that is. The Labour manifesto was a sleek 40-page book totalling 15,000 words.
You may also want to watch:
Anyone who sees the Green and Lib Dem manifestos without prior knowledge of Islington politics would be forgiven for thinking they aren’t taking the May 3 poll seriously.
Of course, that isn’t the case at all. No councillor works harder than sole opposition Green Caroline Russell. And despite having zero councillors, the Lib Dems (especially Terry Stacy) have been an important campaigning voice in times where Labour policy goes astray.
- 1 Man killed in 'shooting' in north London
- 2 Appeal to find four children missing from north London with father and grandmother
- 3 Letters on People Friendly Streets in St Peter's
- 4 Man killed and two injured in triple shooting
- 5 Sadiq Khan warns of flooding threat to Islington from climate emergency
- 6 Thousands of care home staff yet to be vaccinated in London
- 7 Helen Anderson: Finsbury Park murder victim's father pays tribute to his daughter
- 8 Islington kids are being 'drawn into county lines drug smuggling'
- 9 Man jailed for rape of young girl in north London 40 years ago
- 10 Police looking to speak to man in connection with sexual assault
But when both parties look back at the elections after May 3, might they wonder if they were better off writing manifestos to govern Islington, rather than just a plan to oppose Labour?