Bereft of ideas

York Press: . .

THE personalisation in local politics from the council’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition highlights parties bereft of ideas. Politics should be about ideas and ideals, not personalities and name calling.

I take the responsibility of leading the council very seriously, so take issue with the assertion that I should “get a proper job” to quote a Conservative councillor. I also take issue with being attacked for not being in a position to get on the housing ladder in York, a situation many thousands of local residents find themselves in. I take issue with the level of abuse being posted on social networking sites by opposition councillors.

The level of debate needs to be raised in this city, not brought down to the lowest common denominator. With this kind of personalisation and pettiness, it is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process.

So I say to the opposition parties: challenge me and my party on our policies, be that on the Local Plan, the local economy or anything else, and get away from personal attacks which have nothing to do with improving the lives of York residents.

Coun James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council

 

• I SOMETIMES wonder if council leader James Alexander and his deputies are driven by a passion for the city of York and its residents or motivated by other things.

I suspect that the answer is more likely that they are driven by party politics and political advancement, and within a few years the leader in particular will have moved on.

Depending on your viewpoint, that may not be such a bad thing, but what kind of city will they leave behind?

Philip E Sunley, Paddock Way, York.

Comments (14)

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10:33am Thu 19 Dec 13

Dr Brian says...

So Lendal Bridge is "improving the lives of York residents"? Wasting money on King's Square is"improving the lives of York residents"? I could list many other projects You and your party have / are suggesting which are doing NOTHING to "improving the lives of York residents".

Mr Alexander you are so out of touch with reality you should be in Cameron's Government, they too have no idea of what is happening in the real world!
So Lendal Bridge is "improving the lives of York residents"? Wasting money on King's Square is"improving the lives of York residents"? I could list many other projects You and your party have / are suggesting which are doing NOTHING to "improving the lives of York residents". Mr Alexander you are so out of touch with reality you should be in Cameron's Government, they too have no idea of what is happening in the real world! Dr Brian

10:53am Thu 19 Dec 13

Exlabourmember says...

A little like Calamity James calling the Conservative leader a "Tory Stockbroker who cant read a spreadsheet" the hypocrisy of this individual is quite staggering.
A little like Calamity James calling the Conservative leader a "Tory Stockbroker who cant read a spreadsheet" the hypocrisy of this individual is quite staggering. Exlabourmember

11:04am Thu 19 Dec 13

NoNewsIsGoodNews says...

So Jimmy wants more debate.
Maybe he should have thought about that before implementing all the crazy vanity projects that he has presided over.
So Jimmy wants more debate. Maybe he should have thought about that before implementing all the crazy vanity projects that he has presided over. NoNewsIsGoodNews

11:22am Thu 19 Dec 13

Oaklands Resident says...

Unfortunately James Alexander's "no consultation, no compromise" approach has angered residents who otherwise might have been more inclined to be more discursive in their approach.

the Labour leadership reached the pit with me over their new "Local Plan" which will destroy the City that we know and love.

So yes, it is understandable that the debate in York is now more bitter and heated.

Judging by the Councils "video" at its last meeting it didn't even mange to debate more than about 30% of the items on its agenda.
Small wonder then that discussion (personal or otherwise) takes place in columns like these.
Unfortunately James Alexander's "no consultation, no compromise" approach has angered residents who otherwise might have been more inclined to be more discursive in their approach. the Labour leadership reached the pit with me over their new "Local Plan" which will destroy the City that we know and love. So yes, it is understandable that the debate in York is now more bitter and heated. Judging by the Councils "video" at its last meeting it didn't even mange to debate more than about 30% of the items on its agenda. Small wonder then that discussion (personal or otherwise) takes place in columns like these. Oaklands Resident

11:37am Thu 19 Dec 13

SteveSCA says...

"THE personalisation in local politics from the council’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition highlights parties bereft of ideas. Politics should be about ideas and ideals, not personalities and name calling.
The level of debate needs to be raised in this city, not brought down to the lowest common denominator. With this kind of personalisation and pettiness, it is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process."

I have just managed to pick myself off the floor, having fallen off my chair reading this. If ever there was a letter to which the response "pot-kettle" was perfectly apt, this is surely it.
"THE personalisation in local politics from the council’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition highlights parties bereft of ideas. Politics should be about ideas and ideals, not personalities and name calling. The level of debate needs to be raised in this city, not brought down to the lowest common denominator. With this kind of personalisation and pettiness, it is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process." I have just managed to pick myself off the floor, having fallen off my chair reading this. If ever there was a letter to which the response "pot-kettle" was perfectly apt, this is surely it. SteveSCA

12:07pm Thu 19 Dec 13

YOUWILLDOASISAY says...

I heard it all now "Jimmy Needs A Cuddle".

Coun James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council:
It is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process.

It's little wonder the residents of York are turned off by the lack of access to a democratic process by very ordinary people in the guise of Councillors.

I take offence at being refereed to as ordinary by anyone, especially as it infers an elevated position by the person expressing the remark.
I heard it all now "Jimmy Needs A Cuddle". Coun James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council: It is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process. It's little wonder the residents of York are turned off by the lack of access to a democratic process by very ordinary people in the guise of Councillors. I take offence at being refereed to as ordinary by anyone, especially as it infers an elevated position by the person expressing the remark. YOUWILLDOASISAY

12:15pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Lunatic says...

Ad hominems are the recourse of those who know their arguments will not stand up to close scrutiny.

Welcome to politics.
Ad hominems are the recourse of those who know their arguments will not stand up to close scrutiny. Welcome to politics. Lunatic

1:17pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Buzzz Light-year says...

The level of debate needs to be raised in this city, not brought down to the lowest common denominator. With this kind of personalisation and pettiness, it is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process.

I agree very much with this. There is far too much hysterical hyperbole, too much Stalin this and North Korea that BUT it's a bit rich coming from Mr Alexander and his party who have a very public record of stifling debate and sham consultation.

Lead by example.
[quote]The level of debate needs to be raised in this city, not brought down to the lowest common denominator. With this kind of personalisation and pettiness, it is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process.[/quote] I agree very much with this. There is far too much hysterical hyperbole, too much Stalin this and North Korea that BUT it's a bit rich coming from Mr Alexander and his party who have a very public record of stifling debate and sham consultation. Lead by example. Buzzz Light-year

2:10pm Thu 19 Dec 13

ColdAsChristmas says...

If you don't like getting shot at then remove yourself from the line of fire, James. That simple.
If you don't like getting shot at then remove yourself from the line of fire, James. That simple. ColdAsChristmas

4:07pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Ichabod76 says...

Buzzz Light-year wrote:
The level of debate needs to be raised in this city, not brought down to the lowest common denominator. With this kind of personalisation and pettiness, it is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process.

I agree very much with this. There is far too much hysterical hyperbole, too much Stalin this and North Korea that BUT it's a bit rich coming from Mr Alexander and his party who have a very public record of stifling debate and sham consultation.

Lead by example.
This is from the guy that tweeted a picture of a jar of lard and said it was Coun Nigel Ayre
cant get much more personal than that !
[quote][p][bold]Buzzz Light-year[/bold] wrote: [quote]The level of debate needs to be raised in this city, not brought down to the lowest common denominator. With this kind of personalisation and pettiness, it is little wonder the ordinary man or woman on the street is turned off by the democratic process.[/quote] I agree very much with this. There is far too much hysterical hyperbole, too much Stalin this and North Korea that BUT it's a bit rich coming from Mr Alexander and his party who have a very public record of stifling debate and sham consultation. Lead by example.[/p][/quote]This is from the guy that tweeted a picture of a jar of lard and said it was Coun Nigel Ayre cant get much more personal than that ! Ichabod76

4:09pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Ichabod76 says...

My last comment reads wrong

I mean Coun Alexander Not Buzzz Light-year

Sorry Buzzz
My last comment reads wrong I mean Coun Alexander Not Buzzz Light-year Sorry Buzzz Ichabod76

5:30pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Vine Weevil says...

Coun. Alexander is right to say the argument should be about policies and not personalities. The problem is that as the policies he is implementing were originated by the Lib Dems they can hardly criticise them without committing Hara Kiri. As for name calling, it appears that the Labour Group on York City Council prefer to slander officers in North & East Yorkshire who cannot answer back, rather than engage in a fair fight with Tory councillors.
As Ed Miliband has now publicly declared his intention to turn our green & pleasant land into a concrete jungle, apparently with the aid of Nick Clegg and the EU Stasi, we can at least see where our interests lie.
What we need is a council that runs public services instead of pursuing grandiose projects and political agendas of any sort.
Coun. Alexander is right to say the argument should be about policies and not personalities. The problem is that as the policies he is implementing were originated by the Lib Dems they can hardly criticise them without committing Hara Kiri. As for name calling, it appears that the Labour Group on York City Council prefer to slander officers in North & East Yorkshire who cannot answer back, rather than engage in a fair fight with Tory councillors. As Ed Miliband has now publicly declared his intention to turn our green & pleasant land into a concrete jungle, apparently with the aid of Nick Clegg and the EU Stasi, we can at least see where our interests lie. What we need is a council that runs public services instead of pursuing grandiose projects and political agendas of any sort. Vine Weevil

7:53am Fri 20 Dec 13

CaroleBaines says...

Respect comes from rising above the squabble, not keeping the flame going with 'he said, she said'. JA was also pretty vociferous in opposition.

Steward is even worse though in my opinion, so the children's bun fight looks set to continue. Sigh!
Respect comes from rising above the squabble, not keeping the flame going with 'he said, she said'. JA was also pretty vociferous in opposition. Steward is even worse though in my opinion, so the children's bun fight looks set to continue. Sigh! CaroleBaines

9:18am Fri 20 Dec 13

Buzzz Light-year says...

Ichabod76 wrote:
My last comment reads wrong

I mean Coun Alexander Not Buzzz Light-year

Sorry Buzzz
I knew what you meant ;)
[quote][p][bold]Ichabod76[/bold] wrote: My last comment reads wrong I mean Coun Alexander Not Buzzz Light-year Sorry Buzzz[/p][/quote]I knew what you meant ;) Buzzz Light-year

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