19 June 2012

How far does the rot spread.........

The behaviour of members of Somerton's Old Guard has always rather mystified me. There are some significant figures who are associated with the Keenan/Canvin regime and I am quite certain that they would describe themselves as god-fearing and law-abiding citizens. Yet, when it comes to supporting the actions of the Keenan/Canvin regime, those self-same people throw away the rule book and side with the law-breakers (with regard to 'abuse of public funds' and 'unlawful expenditure' amongst other things).

The most obvious of these individuals is Mr Pat Mountain and his statements, in public and in writing, present a picture of someone seriously conflicted. On the one hand, Mr Mountain sought the benediction of Parliament when he presented himself as a candidate for election at Local level. He did the same thing again when he sought election at District level. In both cases, it was the benediction of Parliament that gave him the power and influence which he attained when elected. It was the self-same Parliament that sanctified Mr Mountain's actions as both a local and district councillor and, in Mr Mountain's earliest communication with me (late 2009), he recognises the dominance of Parliament.

But, more recently, he has done a 'U' turn and denies the dominance of Parliament and, in particular, Parliament's legislation, when he contradicts the External Auditor and suggests that the Keenan/Canvin administration did nothing wrong. What Mr Mountain and the rest of the Old Guard seem to say, in their support of Keenan/Canvin, is that Parliament's rule does not apply in Somerton. Parliament's benediction is welcome but Parliament's sanction is not.

Now clearly, in this rather distorted view of reality, Mr Mountain is not alone because Mr Canvin has been loudly protesting his innocence, an innocence which, thus far, he has been unwilling or unable to document (contrary to his public protestations). Clearly, most of the Keenan/Canvin administration believe that Parliament's rule does not apply to them and I begin to wonder how far up the chain of local government this curious view spreads.

Mountain was a District Councillor, as were Canvin and Beale and I wonder how many other District Councillors share the Old Guard view that the rules do not apply to them. There is no reason to think, and I certainly don't think, that the Keenan/Canvin regime in Somerton was unique. I don't see any reason to think that the Old Guard view of the world is not shared by other Local and District Councillors and, for that matter, by County Councillors. With regard to County Councillors, consider the support that Canvin enjoyed from then County Councillor Pauline Clarke.

And this consideration might explain the warm support that both the Edgar Etsome Terrace application and Canvin's belated Badgers Cross application received from the members of South Somerset District Council's Area North Committee. Mountain's view of the world may be distorted but it may also be commonplace at SSDC. I wonder what would happen if I wrote to all of SSDC's elected members and asked them to share their belief systems with me. I suspect that the response would be much the same as I received from members of the Keenan/Canvin regime when I asked them the same question. Silence.

But maybe I should, at least, ask the question.

Till next time, I'm Niall Connolly
PS I have written to Mr Mountain to seek clarification of his views and, if and when I receive such clarification, I will publish it here, on M&B

PPS Demi Lovato