29 July 2010

Where there's smoke..........

I was going to write something about the state of our democracy and the part that scheming politicians play in that democracy but events rather overtook me. In the aftermath of last Tuesday's Somerton Town Council (Land & Property Committee) meeting, the Western Gazette carried an interesting piece which is worthy of comment (as usual, click on the image and it will open in a larger version):
This piece makes interesting reading because, as usual, Canvin would like us to believe that everyone else has got it wrong, "It was not said in that way." Oh no? How was it said, considering that Canvin wasn't there and we do (for a change) have some contemporaneous record of what was said. Or did Canvin write out a script for his gopher and maybe, for clarity, he'd like to publish his instructions to his boy.

Then there is that little comment, "If I was going to fiddle the Council how come I have never claimed a penny on expenses whilst I have been on the District Council?" Lets deconstruct this statement. Is Canvin saying that the way to "fiddle the Council" is to do it on expenses (it says so in The Sun) and as he claims not to take expenses then he can't be fiddling. Then we discover here that he is receiving his allowance of over 5 grand. Does this qualify as expenses? Probably not but it does cause you to wonder quite what he meant. Canvin would also like us to believe that he wanted to provide allotment land for the community yet he didn't make that offer a formal part of his planning application. Did he (or his agent) discuss the provision of allotment land with the planning department? That would have been a rather better approach and the legally binding nature of such an offer would have avoided what Canvin now characterises as a simple misunderstanding. Fortunately, Somerton's allotmenteers have been quietly getting on with the job and would seem to be approaching an agreement with a local landowner who, it would seem, doesn't want anything 'favourable' in return. Maybe Canvin should take note.

But, in the final analysis, this sort of shabby behaviour characterised the Keenan/Canvin administration. Secret meetings, in-camera meetings, confidential meetings, they were all part of the way that Keenan & Canvin ran the old Somerton Town Council and its clear that you can't teach a pair of old dogs any new tricks.Till next time, I'm still Niall Connolly