"I'll say once again that we are are not a party."Well, it's not the first time the Branley tongue has slipped. During the election, Branley presented an election statement for the Gazette on behalf of the Alliance where she referred to herself as:
"leader of the largest minority party which are the independents on South Tyneside Council"It's a pity the Gazette missed this and failed to call her on it. But of course,
"I'll say once again that we are are not a party."But really, what is the Alliance so scared of? As local bloggers and David Potts have pointed out, the Alliance is to all intents and purposes a political party. The key difference is that in their current non-status, their funding, advertising and spending slips into a grey area of regulatory scrutiny, when real parties (which includes the Progressives) are fully exposed to electoral checks. That should give any voter some cause for concern.
David Potts makes a fair comment - why don't they register as a party? But instead of a clear explanation of why they shy away from registering, the Alliance goes straight on the attack. And not just one, but two Alliance councillors sick em. Hardly being open and honest with the electorate are they?
Perhaps the Alliance should register themselves with the Electoral Commission before someone else does. It shouldn't be too difficult for a former Alliance member to register himself as such under Electoral Commission regulations.
But let's not forget that another independent grouping who enjoyed the Gazette party political broadcast, the 'Real Independents'. They've been left out of this debate. Perhaps they should show a fine example and their moral superiority and register themselves? I hope Cllr Potts does the right thing and calls them to task too.
In the article, I also found Mrs Branley's description of the Alliance party rather interesting:
"like-minded individuals who've come together to organise politically against the Labour group that has dominated local politics for decades"Hold on, if I remember correctly, Mrs Branley and her husband Allan are both former Labour councillors. Also, Geraldine White, the new councillor for Fellgate who cruised in on an anti-Labour ticket, was herself a Labour councillor. She also enjoyed the dizzy height of Chairman of South Shields Labour Party at the same time the council was devising the plans to concrete over the Fellgate green belt.
So they, and their supporters and families, helped Labour dominate local politics. Funny old world, isn't it?
Ironic quote of the day goes to opportunist politician Ahmed Khan for this beauty:
"This is typical of an opportunist politician like David Potts."It's the way he tells 'em!