I know I am new to politics and I know that politicians seem to have got themselves a poor reputation and I know they are often not believed but ……… I thought that at least some of that was urban myth. But sometimes something happens which really makes me stop and think.
I was brought up to strive to be honest, to stand on my own two feet and never steal the credit for others actions.
Cambridgeshire Lib Dems latest deceit has astonished me.
It seems, according to a newspaper they are shoving through letter boxes in Cambridge, that they are claiming to have “delivered” a new rail station in Cambridge. This is outrageous.
Before I go into the details of this ridiculous claim I would like to explain why the Lib Dems are deluding themselves if they think they have ANY influence over ANY policy at the council.
The stark facts are as follows. There are two places that decisions are made, full council and cabinet. The people of Cambridgeshire have democratically decided that the Conservatives have significantly more elected members than any other party. This means that the ruling Conservative group make decisions. Lib Dems have NO authority to take decisions or make ANY policy and can not delivery anything.
The Lib Dems COULD exert influence at Overview and Scrutiny committee meetings but again they have less members on these committees because less people voted for them. They can also seek to influence by speaking with cabinet members but instead they prefer to avoid that as they cant create a publicity stunt out of it. The Labour group manage to influence very effectively because they genuinely want to affect change and not just making a fuss to get noticed by the press.
In short, because the Lib Dems are focused on fuss, PR and perpetual electioneering stunts they are not taken seriously by any of us in cabinet. This means they are ineffective, NEVER influence policy, are largely irrelevant, have no credible alternative policies and will do and say anything for a vote. They appear, with one or two exceptions morally bankrupt.
It is ridiculous that the three Labour councillors have more impact than the 21 Lib Dems at the County Council. A vote for a Lib Dem is a wasted vote.
So it should be safe to assume that when the Lib Dems claim that they have “delivered” the North Cambridge Railway Station, they have been integral to the decision-making and that they had done something more than just ask for it to happen. Well, the truth is, they have claimed they “delivered” it, and yet have done NOTHING except be one of the many organisations lobbying for it to happen.
They also say that “Lib Dems in Government approved the station” – which shows how little they understand the decision-making process. The decision to “approve” the Station was one made by the County Council’s Conservative Cabinet, in consultation with the ruling Conservative Group.
It was facilitated by an agreement from Theresa Villiers, a Conservative Minister, that the Government would include any Cambridge Science Park Railway Station in future rail franchise agreements – but the approval was made by the Conservative Cabinet.
The means of funding, and the renewed vigour for the Station was a combination of work from County Council officers based on my vision when I became the Conservative Leader of the County Council last year. I can remember the conversation when I asked for a list of the 5 top capital projects that made sense to be brought to me for review. The new station was top of the list.
Absolutely no Lib Dems have been involved in delivering this project, absolutely none. To claim differently is at best delusional.
I would argue that the world would be a better place if politicians spent more time challenging dishonesty rather than behaving dishonestly like the Lib Dems have in this case.