Sunday, September 08, 2013

Why are the Labour party afraid to debate

Why are the Labour party in RCT so reluctant to engage with the public?  Having promised in their manifesto that they would broadcast council meetings on the web they have now back tracked on that, as indeed  on so many of their pre-election promises.

Presumably they do not want the general public to see the disgraceful way in which they behave; from that point of view they are quite happy to have the main HQ in Clydach Vale.  Now don’t get me wrong, Clydach is my home, I think it is wonderful, but the industrial estate which houses the Council Chamber is not on a bus route and hardly the most accessible of places.

In a world which is increasingly reliant on social media as a means of communication the Labour party don’t seem to engage with that either.  There is a County Council website of course, which is all too often overly party political, but that is run by one of the myriad of public relations staff.  There is a Council Twitter feed which kindly kept us all up to date with the Wimbledon news through much of June.

There is a RCT Labour website – the last update was in March, one of four entries this year.  There is a Pontypridd Labour constituency blog – the last entry is September 2012.

There is no sign of the local party on Twitter or Facebook – a few individual councillors have accounts, but they do not use them to engage with the general public.  They don’t enter into discussion in any groups or in any local forums. 

Of course it is not just online this attitude prevails.  They shy away from debate in person too.  Oh there is their ‘open government’ initiative where people can send in questions to be asked at full Council meetings. The questions need to be sent in a week in advance, and a response will then be written by a member of staff for the relevant Cabinet Member to read out.  Any supplementary questions almost invariably get met with the words “I’ll respond in writing.”

At the referendum meeting last year whilst Welsh Lib Dem Cllr Mike Powell joined the panel and took questions from the floor not one of the 60 Labour Councillors could do the same and instead sent an Officer.

What is it they are afraid of? 



Anonymous said...

"Engage with the public" - when do YOU ever "engage with the public"? All you do is slag off other political parties. Ever wonder why your party members are leaving? - look in the mirror!!

DutchEnery said...

These anonymous people annoy me. Karen is highlighting the failure of the Labour party (in Wales)to engage with the electorate in a proper and fruitful manner. This surely is the job of the opposition? It seems to me that the anonymous Labour supporter doesn't know what 'engagement' means. Party members leaving? Well, that is across the board. Especially, the two main parties. Some indication of collective failure to engage perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Actually I am/was a Lib Dem supporter. What exactly are you "DutchEnery"?

Karen Roberts said...

Well Anon if I didn't want to engage with the public I could just stop anonymous comments on here ;-)

Anon when we do anything at least we put our names to it, and we are not afraid to meet the public face to face. The RCT Welsh Lib Dem anonymous spokesperson doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

Oh Ms Roberts you know who I am!!! You and your ilk have driven me (and others) to leave the Lib Dems! Your vitriol and hysterics are well known to members from ALL parties.

Karen Roberts said...

Really? Well at least I have passion and honesty on my side.

DutchEnery said...

Although I am not 100% opposed to anonymity, I do not think it very productive in a political sense! I too am a past LibDem member but resigned on a matter of principle.
I am not afraid to put my name to my opinions, certainly not when talking politics. The electorate has the right to know who says what in order to facilitate their judgement on who should represent them. On the question of 'What I am exactly' I am a male (at least it was the last time I checked), of Dutch Friesian Lutheran descent.

Anonymous said...

I totaly agree you never have anything constructive to say everything is destructive you are still bitter that you lost out to Labour in Clydach get over it and as an aside the local Labour group do have a FB page but yet again your memory conveiniently forgets things that dont suit your warped way of thinking Karen

Anonymous said...

She is either slagging anyone or everyone off or plugging her ex lover Mike Powell