Let’s Say Something Nice

Recently I had a friend of mine who is a former Labour councillor in Rotherham post on my Facebook wall “Michael why are you always so negative about Rotherham and its councillors?”.

The person is somebody who I’ll always be happy to have a pint with but they did nark me a bit with this comment.

In a way their comments did reflect a snobbery that exists in some sections of the Labour Party in Rotherham that anybody who dares question any aspect of council policy or services is doing Rotherham down.

Equally the other way, if you’re truly independent in your thinking then you have to be big enough to say when the council have got it right.  Over the years I’ve had criticism from the Tories and BNP in Rotherham for supporting policies that I thought were right for our town and feel the same criticism goes the other way with regards to sometimes wearing blinkers.

A lot of all this is down to the silly outdated my dad is bigger than your dad be loyal to your tribe and hate the other tribe because they are the other tribe politics we have in this country.  By the way it is fair to criticise myself for getting down and dirty in this way.

To my ex councillor friend I would say that it is my belief that the vast majority of contributors to Rotherham Politics do so because they want a town that is better, because they do love where they live and Labour and the 18% of the total  electorate who support them do not have an exclusive right to say what is good or bad for the area.

Here though is a challenge for us all  to prove my friend wrong about the “always so negative” comment by posting at least one thing you think the council does well.  I’m going to list 5 some of which I know you will disagree with but lets just for now concentrate on proving my friend wrong.

My Rotherham (council related) Top 5

1 Minster Gardens: an absolute delight and what has now got to be among the top public spaces in England whoever designed it if they didn’t get an award they should have.

2 Countryside Management: 75% of the borough is open countryside and the country parks are well managed.

3 RIDO: especially apt on the day they are doing the ground breaking for Rolls Royces new factory, thousands of jobs created and they do a great job of marketing the area to bring in investment.

4 Adult Social Services: controversial to some but especially with the way both of the last two governments have increased their workload by shifting responsibilities without any way near enough funding its amazing how they have managed at all!

5 One I know many Rotherham Politics readers will disagree with The Imagination Library: I think its a brilliant initiative targeted at a real goal of raising literacy rates and incredibly popular amongst parents and carers.

So they you are lets say something nice to support the council when things are right but retain the right to question when something is not quite and to downright oppose when they get things wrong.

Michael Sylvester

9 thoughts on “Let’s Say Something Nice

  1. Hi Michael,

    I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or scream when I read your posting.

    I thought you were going for the job of “Rotherham News” editor, then I remembered that Dodger’s Pravda had been binned cos no-one believed it, read it, or more importantly paid to advertise in it cos it was full of smiley faces, bouncing babies, pink-n-fluffy good newz storiz.

    I’ve no intention of joining in your naive little con-game which is akin to some pink n fluffy RMBC SWOT analysis (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats).that RMBC Corporate Communications have unsuccessfully tried to con local communities with in the past.

    The undoubted strength of Rotherham Politics is that it is prepared to publish, within its editorial bounds, the OPINIONS and PERCEPTIONS of Rotherham residents, voters and taxpayers who feel that the nepotistic, incestuous Politburo way that Dodger and his gang of Corn Fed Grunters, Muppets and Clowns dominate our town’s life and crowd out alternate opinions is just plain wrong and has gone unchallenged for far too long.

    Rotherham Politics is known to be widely read and commented on in secret by the Elected Members and Officers of RMBC just like the Nazis listened in secret to the BBC, the free voice of liberty and democracy, during WWII.

    No Sir, I will continue to be “a critical friend of RMBC” and if they don’t like it, then tough, they can always change the way that they do their business so that their customer image begins to make a gradual start towards improvement.


  2. Hurray at last somebody has said it the biggest thing that puts people off politics is all the constant arguing!
    Mine would be the number of councillors I see Labour and Conservative giving proper support to our local sports teams


  3. Michael, I think you’re well within your right to criticise Labour if and when they’re in the wrong and I agree, we all want a better town to live in, which is why they must be held to account. However, the longer we have old fashioned dinosaurs in the council (which has been well documented in the past few weeks) the longer Rotherham will be seen as a farce.


  4. @ Omar as the most sensible candidate in this years locals should we though use the carrot as well as the stick to get the policies and behaviour that’s best for our town and if something is really good for the town if we are ‘into’ politics isn’t it a duty to welcome and support it not just knock it because of the areas they get things wrong?


  5. Absolutely Michael. There are many things which RMBC should receive great credit for, including the new RCAT college, which looks excellent, and even though not everyone will agree with me on this, but as a football fan, the NY Stadium is another excellent proverbial ‘feather in our cap’.


  6. But still a deafening wall of silence from Da Dodger, Town Clerk and the female Laybah Councillors on the wicked, evil grooming and sexual exploitation that is still manifest in our midst and continues to pose an active and present threat to the Borough’s women and young children.

    This is a significant and awesome failure of civic and strategic leadership by those whose snouts are burrowed deep in the town’s civic purse.


    • Dear Omar,

      I absolutely 100% agree with your reply, and would also add that every one of this Borough’s parents/carers for our town’s young people and children deserve, require and should receive some very specific and active advice on the tell-tale signs they can spot when their children/young people first fall victim to this monstrous, wicked evil which has settled into our Borough, and may even now be flourishing unmolested because of the massive failure of strategic leadership by Da Dodger and Town Clerk to do the very job they draw top-dollar for every day of the week.

      Shame on Da Dodger, Town Clerk and every one of the female Laybah Councillors who haven’t done anything in this matter.


  7. Michael you have some good points but on some issues you are short of the mark,

    1. Minster Gardens A vast improvement on what was there previously, but among the best in the country- not really,

    2 Countryside Management. The great proportion of the countryside is managed by farmers and landowners with little imput from Countryside Management. It does seem a shame that the the planning department seem intent on allowing developers to continue covering as much as possible with tacky new housing and concrete. Country parks are well maintained and used it is true, and credit is due for Clifton Park, considering how much use it gets.

    3. RIDO does it’s job I admit but I don’t think can take the all credit for the Rolls Royce move, and the thousands of jobs – well I hesitate to think what the actual figure will be.

    4. Adult Social Services were, the last time I had dealings with them a couple of years ago, like the curate’s egg good in parts.

    5. The Imagination Library was a bit of a con from the beginning. There are, according to the latest figures only about a third of youngsters registered for the scheme. Most of the takers are in what you might call better off families (and I don’t mean money here).

    And graldhunter, the information is out there and not very difficult to find, but some parents do not seem to know or care what their little darlings are up to. I regularly see 13 year olds tarted up like old whores. There is no excuse for grooming or sexual predation on young girls but some responsibility has to be put at the door of parents. Girls of that age think they know everything and need to be protected even if that requires a bit of effort on the part of the parent.

    Rotherham isn’t a bad little place – there are worse and there are those that are a whole lot better. I do not like what has happened over the last twenty years or so, as Rotherham has not responded well to the enormous changes that have taken place. To much political correctness and too much corruption and greed, with councillors completely out of touch. it used to be such a busy proud little town, please let’s try and get that back. The only way this will happen is if a united front is put up, and be it Tory,Lib Dem, Ratepayers, Monster Raving Looney or whatever, your target in Rotherham is Labour – so go for it and frighten them to death. The best run councils are always the ones where control can switch at any time,


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