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Hereford Council Leader Wants Opposition to Fix His Problems


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I posted this on the HT website and I really wanted to make a note of it here, because this is a very real chance to show the leaders of this council up for what they have and are doing to the place.
They are inviting the opposition parties to collaborate with them to fix the problems of Hereford. They are doing this because they have run out of ideas. They are claiming, and pushing the fact, that anyone who doesn't join them is actively against fixing the problems in the county. This is wrong and a ploy.
My comment was as follows and something that I would like opposing parties to take into the boardroom with them whenever the issue comes up.
"But refusal would show that the opposition groups have no viable solutions to offer the people of Herefordshire. It will demonstrate an unwillingness to unite in the face of an unprecedented financial situation and would, I am sure, be noted by all Herefordians."

He's trying the old catch 22 here, I use it a lot myself, it's an easy way to win an argument. If they join the Tories, they've just been bent over and taken it hard. If they don't they are declared as being useless. He thinks it's a no win situation.

But in actual fact the best option would be to NOT step forward and take on his offer. It would be very easy to counter his argument with the fact that he has no idea what to do and no plans to fix things and that is why he's looking for other people to come up with ideas - which he can then lay claim to.

He'll take the ideas and when/if they work, that marks as a score on the Tory card, which would subsequently give them credit for solutions the in fact stole AND create a public perception that the Tories did the right thing and lead us out of the red.

The best course of action would be for ALL opposition parties to unit together AGAINST the tories and ALL refuse this offer. The consequence of such an action would show a majoritive support that the Tories are not fit to lead us and they will ultimately loose their grip over the council.

So, to the IOC, Libs, Labour and everyone else. 

Take up this offer and let the Tories lay claim to your ideas, keeping them in power furthermore and providing them with ammunition to use against you.

Or stand together, denounce this awfully transparent offer and show the county that even the Tories have lost faith in their own abilities and we need someone in now who can make the right choices.
This is a very valuable opportunity for all opposition members.

It's our county, it's your choice.

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Well this ain't an easy choice to make. Me? I'm with Biomech on this one but, and its a huge but, if the Councillors in opposition do this and, the way I feel today, I want them to shout, 'get stuffed', there will be a political price to pay. The Councillors may have to pay it and many quite rightly will cry, 'you put your own interests ahead of our home County Herefordshire.'

I've really got no idea which way this is going to fall and for my part, I ain't going to kick any Councillor that chooses to do what they think is the right thing to do. Truthfully, I honestly haven't a clue what they should or shouldn't do, but, if they choose to grab a hold of this offer, they should certainly milk it for all its worth. Remember this bloody Cabinet need you more than you need them.

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there will be a political price to pay.



Potentially, bobby, you're right. This is why it is important that the opposition parties stand together on the decision. If they don't it may be a kick in the nuts of their political party, but agreeing to join forces will be FAR more detrimental.


Unless, of course, the tories are willing to create a coalition of parties with equal investment. This, however, is highly unlikely, because they don't get to benefit politically from such a move.

Getting the opposition to do their bidding, getting the opposition to create the solutions for their problems - now that's the money shot right there. 

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I wrote this personal response to "tiny Johnson" just after I received his email this is not my groups response just mine.


Too little to late always blaming someone else even in your message how about after your shocking results in the last two by-elections you step down with your cabinet.

For the last two and half years we have continually asked to be included and now your own sorry asses are in danger of a vote of no confidence you have decided to do a little bit of gesture politics the public will see this for what it is you can not blame everything on national politics you are getting the local stuff wrong too "out of town out of touch Tories"


CLLR Jim Kenyon

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Biomech with or without 2.0, I agree old friend. I've got absolutely no idea how the opposition should play their hand. And if bloody Johnson and Morgan are reading these threads, and they are, I know they are, they can all get stuffed if anything I ever say is worth wrapping a battered cod up in it. Tragically, they think they're being politically clever. I don't see it that way. Not at all. I've met them, I've spoken to them and they are both intellectual lightweights who've no grasp on how to run a County and its economic recovery.

I really do feel sorry for the opposition Councillors. All of them. They can't win. If during the discussions, they break down because they want more than the Tory leadership want them to have, Johnson and Morgan will write a letter claiming that the opposition didn't care about our County and it all turned to rat excrement.

I've no idea what to think. We've got bloody salt all over the walls of this monstrous new build at ESG, there's a bloody huge dent in one of the new cattle bloody sheds, our lights don't work, our traffic don't bloody move and we've got Pat rotten Morgan a yard away from becoming our new leader. It's desperate and we ain't to far away from the abyss of fiscal ruin.

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I have been waiting with baited breath for a comment from a Councillor, thank you, Cllr Kenyon. If the leaders of IOC and the Independents have any morals or common sense they will echo your response to the Tory administration and publicly call for them to step down! 


Cllr Morgan if you are reading this and I hope you are,  you are out of your depth so do the decent thing and go, we don't want or need you! If you want a hobby go join the circus with all the other clowns!

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Firstly, thanks Jim for sharing with us your (personal) response to Cllr Johnson.


Secondly, I agree wholeheartedly with Bio MkII and Bobby: it's an offer that both the main opposition parties should turn down flat.  Alan Powers has already commented and the Indies are going to spend the weekend navel-gazing, though I suspect that the opportunity to sit on a well-upholstered mahogany chair and drink tea out of china tea cups (pass the custards creams, Patricia) will be too much for them to resist.  We shall see on Monday.

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Congratulations to the IOC on not following up this offer, you've made the right choice.


Had they been offering an equal share that would be something different, but they just wanted to steal ideas whilst retaining a majority and then claim that everyone else was so worried about their stay in power that by joining them as a minority would be their only chance.


Now it will be a REAL shame if the Independents crumble and accept, something I could see happening because it looks like a nice ego fix, it seems like an easy "in" but something they will quickly regret.

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From Hereford Times:


Coalition offer update: Herefordshire Council's Independent group wants more time to consider

9:55am Friday 29th November 2013 in News By Bill Tanner
HEREFORDSHIRE Council’s Independent group wants more time to consider a coalition offer from the ruling Tories.
Independent group leader Councillor Sebastian Bowen said this morning that he was to due meet with Council Leader Councillor Tony Johnson again on Monday morning.
One of the topics for discussion will be a more substantive mix of coalition partners on the cabinet. The current offer puts Coun Bowen and It’s Our County leader Councillor Anthony Powers at the table with Tory members.
With all the numbers crunched, Herefordshire Council is tied 29-29 and controlled by the casting vote of its chairman.
At a vote, however, that 29-29 tie can only be achieved by all members being present at full council and all opposition members voting the same way.


I don't think this going to work. A bit like the Tory/Lib Dem coalition. Just lap dogs - all bark and no bite.

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I'll tell you what will/is happening now. The Independents are on the fence because they see an opportunity, the Tories still need someone to steal ideas from.


If the offer was still the same, they wouldn't be asking for more time. The only reason that they are pushing for more time DESPITE everyone else being told there was a set in stone deadline! - is that they are in negotiations behind closed doors.


I predict that the Independents say Yes and take up the offer. However, there will be conditions, seomthing like them being awarded more seats on the cabinet - something the other parties involved were not offered before they made their decision. I imagine that there will be a deal sweetner which I put at 70/30 in favour of not being publicised.


There will be a slight outcry by the IOC and public as to the biased offer to the Independents. However, through bullshit and arrogance it will fall by the weyside and there will be no repercussions for this outright bias.

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If this happens,it will become an even bigger farce.

The IOC and Independants should have a fair share of the cabinet seats up for grabs(for want of a better phrase) to be able to hold a truly representative place, and have the necessary clout.

If the Independants accept, due to arrangements made "behind closed doors" then we really are no better off at all. It just smacks of desperation.

Oh, I don't know....this whole thing is such a mess.

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Good post from Simon Brown on the Hereford Times website today on the state of democracy within the county and elsewhere. Thought I would paste it here before it gets wiped off.


Simon Brown says...

What with all the recent excitement about the Tories in Herefordshire losing their majority, and even the discomfiture of the Tories nationally, there has been a fairly regular commentary on blog sites about representation, voting patterns and the idea that the majority should have sway. What I am really referring to is Herefordshire Tories complaining that everyone should respect their majority and leave them alone to get on with their master plan.
I challenge this assumption, this factoid, this meme, as made and broadcast by the likes of Messrs. Butler and Bartup in the letters page of Hereford Times, and implied in Mr A W Johnson's wildly defiant missive of last week. It was wildly defiant because, although I of course agree that the majority should have sway, in this case they don't. The Tories in Herefordshire most very definitely do not form the majority of the voting population, they don't even have the majority of council seats, they have exactly half the seats, and fourteen of those were won on minority ballots because the opposition vote was split. Through the madness of our systems the party with the most seats, as distinct from the majority of seats, or the majority of votes, gets to form the so called cabinet. Today, 2 Dec 2013, that consists of six councillors. Yes, just six councillors, from fifty-eight! They are of course all Tories, selected by the ruling Tory party. That's how the system works. These six take all the decisions: in secret, if they fancy. The people who voted for all the other councillors excluded from the decision making process are, therefore, not represented at all. These excluded councillors can't even mount a decent opposition because quite simply, the cabinet is a dictatorship, a junta. Under this obnoxious system, even Tory councillors outside the cabinet are effectively denied an opinion, on their own council, and they don't even worry about it, at least, I have never heard anyone say anything to that extent! Perhaps it's because they are such dumb animals, such cannon fodder, they haven't the wit to enquire. “Why rock the trough in which you have your snout? What the hell has doing the right thing got to do with anything when you've got through the door to the club? Obey the rules of the clique or you'll get slung out. Always follow the mob to commit whatever the mob is committing, even if it's evil. You wouldn't like to be seen as a loner, a member of the awkward squad, now would you? You're a Tory and we stick together, like the proverbial to a blanket. Boris? Just an aberration. We don't tolerate that sort of dissent out here in the sticks. We're normal, traditional Tories. Proper Tories. We don't even have an equivalent of the 1922 Committee. No need for that sort of thing out here.†I can almost hear them chunter.
In other words, all the trappings of democracy: the free vote: universal suffrage: one man one vote: the secret ballot: the rules surrounding elections: the rules on funding, etc.etc. are pretty much all negated as soon as the election result is announced. We're superficially oh so democratic but when you get down to an examination of the actuality, it's as about as democratic as Putin's Russia. Given this decomposing, putrid, stinking, rancid system, which passes for democracy, we shouldn't be too dismissive of those in countries of lesser democratic distinction when they retort with “Kettle calling pot black†after some pompous British **** has told them they should be more like Great Britain, or “Herefordshire Here You Can bend democracy to any shape you like, as long as you go on calling it democracy and continually repeat the mantra “It's the systemâ€â€.
At county level the cabinet system is anti democratic and the opposition must now demand its abolition. Its rotten corpse is a hazard to democratic health. The opposition has the moral authority to bury it. It has the moral duty to bury it. To pre-empt anyone who wishes to dismiss this reasoning by pointing out that central government is also run by cabinet I say “Yes, but central government is extremely sensitive to public opinion and consequently can be removed relatively easily, but the Herefordshire Council Cabinet has the skin of a rhino as well as a rhino's famed short-sightedness.


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A superb post from Simon!

I am in awe......it's OK Bobby, he's not going to wrestle you to the ground for either your crown or quality supply of diazepam, but he's very, very good!!

Megilleland, can I ask what thread this was on - have been on there today and not seen it??

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 The Tories in Herefordshire most very definitely do not form the majority of the voting population



This is exactly why "democracy" doesn't work. You can only have 2 options to make it work. If you have, for example, 5 parties. 1 Party only needs to have 26% of votes to becoming the ruling winner. That means that 74% of the community did NOT want them in power and that they are NOT acting on behalf of the majority.


I have been back to Hereford Times, and searched high and low for this, but to no avail.

Unless this is somehow hiding in plain sight, it would appear that it has already faced the wrath of the deleter's button.....!!



Far be it for me to cast aspersions ;)

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Biomech - this is exactly what I have suggested, both on here and HT.

Two of the best, for the newly slimmed down cabinet, of Tory, IOC and Independant.

All major decisions to go to full council.

This seems to be the only truely representative way - unless I am over simplifying things...???

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