Azara Blog: More on the upcoming local election

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Date published: 2006/04/20

There must be an election on, yet another party leaflet drops through the door. Now what party could possibly state as priorities:

Well pick almost any party at random. Except for the bit about the "strong economy" (which the LibDems and Greens either do not care about or do not want), these sound bites could be made by pretty much any party. It happens to be a Tory leaflet. (The first from the Tories. The Lib Dems drop leaflets like confetti. But so far nothing from Labour, they must be having trouble getting anyone to volunteer for them.)

To be fair, they do mention a few things which other parties in Cambridge seem to ignore. For example, they mention "sustaining academic excellence". They don't mention the university explicitly (no point in upsetting, for example, Ruskin University or the LMB or the Sanger Centre) but it's obvious that without the university, Cambridge would just be a minor provincial village on the edge of a swamp. As it is, we're a major provincial village on the edge of a swamp. It's amazing that most of the political parties in Cambridge seem to show so much apathy towards the university, they obviously don't know which side their toast is buttered on. The politicians of Cambridge (certainly the Lib Dems) spend far too much time trying to figure out how to screw car drivers, and not enough time figuring out how to make Cambridge an attractive place for research and the hi-tech economy. (They do not seem to realise that the hi-tech boom died in 2000.)

The Tories also claim they "support the Green Belt". Well, this has been one of the disasters of Cambridge (and the rest of the south of England). And fortunately most of the Cambridge politicians now seem to agree that some of the Green Belt must go (the stupid example being the airport, which is both "Green Belt" and "Brown Field", and the latter designation provides a convenient fig leaf for development). The people who benefit from a rigid Green Belt, besides developers, are the propertied classes, whose houses continue to rise in value. Of course the propertied classes are generally Tories, except in Cambridge where they are more often Lib Dems.

Amusingly enough, the last thing the Tory leaflet says under "conserving the environment" is that "cricket on Parker's Piece will remain safe with the Conservatives". What planet do these people live on, to think that most voters would put cricket on any kind of priority list of things to worry about.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems had their party political broadcast shown tonight. And rather surreal it was, being almost entirely about the "cult of the leader", complete with "ordinary" Lib Dems saying how wonderful he was (gee whiz, what a surprise they would say so).

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