17 April 2012

A state of denial........

The unfolding story in Somerton is the state of denial that Somerton's 'Old Guard' have adopted about what has happened since October 2009 (and probably how things had been in Somerton Town Council for years before that). Like generations of flat-earthers, creationists and holocaust deniers before them, Somerton's 'Old Guard' cannot face the facts and prefer a world where they tailor their reality to suit their prejudice.

It would be easy to say that the 'Old Guard' were lucky that Avon & Somerset Constabulary decided not to proceed with the fraud enquiry. Equally, it would be easy to say that they were less lucky when it came to the External Auditor's Report but who caused these enquiries in the first place? Would anything have happened if the conduct of the Keenan/Canvin administration hadn't been so .................... questionable?

The public meeting on 29th February saw Somerton's 'Old Guard' tackle a very real problem - how to deal with the fact that the External Auditor's Report was so damning. They are clearly working together to address this problem and the approach they have taken is to try and deflect attention from the Report and place the attention on the Police investigation. Its a pretty odd strategy to see the major players - Keenan, Canvin and Edgar - seeking to attack the current Chair of the Town Council over the Police investigation. You'd have thought that this group of local bigwigs would want to put the matter behind them but, from where I was sitting, they are a confused bunch. On the one hand, the arrests can only have been based on enough factual evidence to justify the Police action. So why would these three not want to put it behind them? On the other hand, the same people seem to be incandescently angry about having been arrested and they clearly want revenge.

But who created both the situation and the factual evidence for both the Police investigation and the External Auditor's enquiry? Those three individuals, plus the Town Clerk, of course. Yet today, they and their 'Old Guard' supporters simply cannot face that fundamental truth - that they were the architects of the situation. Had Keenan, Canvin and Calderwood conducted themselves in accordance with the rules and regulations, then this situation would never have arisen. Of course, had they conducted themselves properly, Somerton might well not be saddled with the Tin Dunny.

Today, in an a attempt to deny reality, the major players, with remarkable support from their friends, family and associates, are attempting to suggest that the situation that they created is somehow everyone else's fault. One of their supporters, Tina Raybould (related to Cllr Brian Raybould - one of the original 'suiciders' - and Michael Raybould - a rather noisy and, at times, intimidating figure) is pitching the latest 'Old Guard' idea which is that the entire problem, described by them as the schism that divides Somerton, is all the fault of M&B. (This isn't a new idea having first seen the light of day in the anonymous somertonsanity website and repeated in the 'anonymous' leaflets published by ex-Cllr Martyn Smith and others.)

In the parallel universe that is 'Old Guard' reality, nothing is their responsibility and, I guess, if they repeat it often enough, they might just begin to believe it. They might also manage to get others to believe it. But the facts will remain to haunt them and some of those facts have been recorded here, in the entries in M&B. (Have a look at a new section titled 'Interesting Documents'.) Which is probably why Tina Raybould wants M&B to go away. Its an embarrassment to Tina and her 'Old Guard' chums. Maybe she, and they, will just have to get over it.

Till next time, I'm still Niall Connolly