Sunday, 6 November 2011

Breaking: Democracy breaks out in Oxfordshire. Maybe

Keith intends to leave in six months, to give his replacement 12 months before the local elections. I expect the new leader with need more time than that to detoxify the Tory brand in Oxfordshire. 

My first experience online of Keith was him to correcting the sytax on one of my tweets. I didn't warm to him it has to be said. I then saw him at the "Big Debate" in Witney and neither him or the Chief Exec impressed. Despite my almost constant dismay at the poor representation we have politically in this county I have been routinely shocked by the contempt with which Keith Mitchell holds the voters in Oxfordshire.

Here are a few Keef quote highlights:

"A dangerous infection in our country which needs to be stamped on"
On students protesting about the university cuts

"County Hall like a mini St Pauls today with a gaggle of deficit deniers parading around outside. Do they have jobs or are they on benefit?"
On Sacked youth workers who dared to protest outside of county hall on losing their jobs.

" I have led the County Council since 2001 and, during that time, I have put Oxfordshire on the map locally, regionally and nationally."
From the bio on his blog

"Sorry - taxis are public transport.  When I go to London for meetings, I use taxis to get from one part of London to another quickly and in comfort.  I have not the slightest intention of getting on a bus or a tube train."
In response to one of my early blog posts on waste at OCC.

"I was saddened that, deficit deniers apart, these largely well-heeled worthies refused to accept that reducing library cuts would add to the cuts to other services – most likely social care and highways."
His response to people who dared to voice dissent on the library cuts.

The list goes on, it basically amounts to insults, emotive obfuscation of the argument or simply accusing people of being "lefties" if they don't agree with him. In my six years living in Oxfordshire he has poisoned political debate and reduced it to playground insults. Interestingly despite "putting oxfordshire on the map" his greatest achievement according to his leaving letter is to have put a road through the middle of a roundabout. <stands and claps>

 I sincerely wish him well in his new life, the next six months of his lame duck period will be a very long time for the people of Oxfordshire. If he wasn't pushed by Cameron as I suspect he was, he has at least done his party a massive favour by going before the election so the electoral damage can be repaired, will one year be enough time for them to do so? It will be interesting to see if he suddenly gets a new found appreciation of quango's, or if he hasn't upset Cameron too much to get a place in the Lords. I hear the libraries and youth centres have had their funding cut, maybe he can join the big society and finally do something useful for the people in Oxfordshire?

p.s its only early days but this speaks volumes:

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