My town, Rotherham, is perhaps the best example of a Rotten Borough. We have an MP about to be jailed for fiddling his expenses, councilors who covered up a major child sexual exploitation scandal and refuse to publish the full findings (or take part in public consultations) and senior elected members who reply to individuals that raise any concern with the much practiced line ‘we have the police, local press and radio in our pocket – we’re untouchable – watch your back.”
It goes deeper however. Any complaint made to the non elected Chief Executive is either ignored, sidelined or made a target of damage limitation. It is rotten to the core. Any individual that does complain is harassed and belittled and can be blacklisted. (Many have been – and even campaigns of disinformation about the individual have been instigated))
Come the cuts, while many fear for their livelihoods, those with connections to the men and woman in grey have jobs created for them. Indeed they openly brag about this. In a one party region it’s who you know not what.
Although Rotherham is a Labour town it is said if it was a Tory town most of the Councillors would join the Tory party. A few local families and friends hold all the power and have done so for decades. . Things have to change.
Recently I was berated by two active (and slightly tipsy) members of the Labour Party (one a daughter of a former counciller) after pointing some regions may not vote Labour in May 2014 (including Mr Ackthar’s West Ward) with this reply “People don’t care about the kids you go on about. I don’t. So long as we clean up dog mess (I’m being polite) no one cares – we have enough monkeys to vote for us no matter what – go and see shrink you have issues – the main one being there’s nothing you can do about it – we have the power.” I was also informed by them that they don’t fear the next cuts – they are safe.” How can they be unless ‘Mom’s’ promised there’s a job waiting no matter what? Finally, after finding out I have had to stop work and have to attend hospital 34 times for major appointments, including surgery, in the next 4 months one ended the tirade with ‘so your ill and you’ve had a flood. Who cares – I don’t. I hope its very serious and you end up homeless – there’s too many scroungers in Rotherham – you should be shoveling snow. ” How very ‘The People’s Party`, how very caring, how very concerned with the issues of the disabled and serioulsy ill in need of help – not.
Still, as my Mom says, it will all come back to haunt them.”