Last weekend saw a 'clean-up' operation on the green and wooded valley side rising from the brook alongside Sturminster Road.
It benefitted from outside help provided by a team from Community Payback, lots council officers and contractors, and it was very successful. It was gratifying to see a plenty of local people joining in, after two of us from Friends of Stockwood Open Spaces had distributed a flier around the houses a week or two earlier. It also included three of the likely four candidates in next May's elections (one of them being me). Thanks to everyone who took part.
You'd think that this kind of shared local initiative wouldn't be sullied by anyone trying to make electoral capital out of it. You'd be wrong.
"Unless they were working in a different area to me & my co-worker, I didn't see anything of our two Tory Councillors at the clean-up. Maybe if Cllrs Jethwa & Morris are reading this they could advise me otherwise, if they were there!" writes LibDem Michael Goulden in his blog about the clean-up. I suppose that Michael would have dished out some of the same stuff about me, if he hadn't seen me there at the start. If he'd been there at the end, he'd also have seen Jay Jethwa. His crude attempt to muster electoral advantage was (let's be generous) grossly misleading.
More to the point, it is unreasonable to condemn anyone for not taking part. After all, there were thousands who didn't.... I wonder what Michael thinks of them. There are all sorts of reasons (not least age and ability, but also other commitments, or simply being unaware of the event) that could make it impracticable to join in. It is not, and it should not be, anything to do with electoral or party politics.
When we do party politics, lets do it on policy, not on litter-picks.