Sunday, 5 July 2009

Take Back Power in Hounslow - Isleworth Public Hall, Monday 6th July 2009

Generally I don't make a habit of arranging and participating in deliveries of leaflets around my own ward on behalf of political parties who every four years fight my Independent Community Group (ICG) colleagues and I for our seats. However the TakeBackPowerHounslow campaign led by Brentford Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Dakers, who is the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for his party in Brentford & Isleworth constituency, offers to place the whole area of Community Engagement onto the parliamentary agenda and as such presents us with a very rare opportunity of rolling out what is essence an ICG programme across the whole country just a few short years after our own unsuccessful venture into the world of parliamentary politics.

The campaign, put in its simplest form, proposes sweeping changes in the way in which our MPs are held to account. New proposals, such as giving voters the power to "sack" MPs who underperform or abuse the system, would radically transform the way in which we're governed. At a time when confidence in politicians is perhaps at an all-time low in the wake of the expenses scandal, such an audacious programme might just be what is needed to restore confidence and thus arrest the drift towards extremism which threatens to cash in on the legitimate public disgust at the disappointing conduct of a discredited political centre.

A series of public meetings has been organised to debate the change agenda, beginning with what I hope will be a well-supported event in Isleworth. Full details are as follows:

ISLEWORTH: Monday, 6th July 2009 - Isleworth Public Hall, 7.30 pm

Chair - David Pavett (Chairman, Campion Concerns)
Councillor Phil Andrews (ICG)
Councillor Andrew Dakers (Lib Dem PPC, Brentford & Isleworth)
John Hunt (Green Party)

HOUNSLOW: Tuesday, 7th July 2009 - Montague Hall, 7.30 pm

Chair - Peter Hughes (President, Brentford Chamber of Commerce)
Councillor John Connelly (Hounslow Independent Alliance)
Councillor Andrew Dakers (Lib Dem PPC, Brentford & Isleworth)
John Hunt (Green Party)

BRENTFORD: Wednesday, 8th July 2009 - St. Paul's Church, 7.30 pm

Chair - Kath Richardson (Editor, Brentford
Councillor Andrew Dakers (Lib Dem PPC, Brentford & Isleworth)
Councillor Jon Hardy (ICG)
John Hunt (Green Party)
Mary Macleod (Conservative PPC, Brentford & Isleworth)

CHISWICK: Thursday, 9th July 2009 - Chiswick Town Hall, 7.30 pm

Chair - Helen Barnes (Editor, Hounslow & Brentford Times)
Councillor Andrew Dakers (Lib Dem PPC, Brentford & Isleworth)
Henry Gewanter (Independent, involved in expenses leak to Telegraph)
Mary Macleod (Conservative PPC, Brentford & Isleworth)

I hope as many people as possible will come along and join in the debate, not just about MPs' expenses but also on the whole issue of democratic reform. More on this will follow the first meeting on Monday evening.


Dishonesty/Politics ? said...

What a treat Southall's 'Voice of Reason' missed !
At 7.40pm sharp, the doors were locked and the ICG hijacked the proceedings.
Cllr Dakers was bound & gagged and shut in the broom cupboard so a new agenda could be implemented.
After three hearty hip-hip-hurrays to honour the heroic Brook Road demonstrators, three hearty verses of "Uber alles Deutschland" to accompany an impressive display of synchronized goose-stepping by the ICG youth storm troopers (fries in wheelie-bins platoon).
A combination of skillful subliminal manipulation and selective innuendo lead the audience in the right direction.
The effect was truly mesmeric and those who resisted had their words twisted round and used against them.

A splendid evening, an absolute triumph - local councillors applying their own ethics to deliver local democracy (New Labour style allegedly).

Tony Clarke said...


I have never liked Trojan Horse campaigns and "takebackpower" is in my view nothing but a front for the national Lib Dems parliamentary campaign and some of their members have acted just as badly as others from the other two party's.

I would rather take back the power from all of the three mainstream party's as whenever any of them gain power at National or Local level they abuse it.

Councillor Phil Andrews said...

Hi Tony

Thanks for your comments. I agree with you in essence but in Hounslow we have a particularly nasty situation which all the non-Labour political parties and groups wish to see addressed, hence the fact that these events, whilst initiated by the Lib Dems, are being supported across the political spectrum.

In spite of the negative publicity the event in Isleworth was actually very constructive, with a long and healthy debate about parliamentary reform and the Sustainable Communities Act. The Lib Dem organiser in Hounslow is actually something of a consensus politician and all in all my feeling is that it was a useful exercise.

I've been meaning to blog about the event but haven't got around to it yet as I've been preoccupied car-hunting. Hopefully it will appear later tonight.