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Day: January 20, 2012

A Lib Dem councillor in Essex quits and joins the Tories

I was sad to see today that a Lib Dem councillor had defected to the Conservatives. Cllr Nigel Clarke was elected two years ago as the Brentwood West Lib Dem on the borough council but he has decided to walk across the floor for reasons that he has kept onto himself.

Personally speaking I find this outrageous. Not just because he’s a Lib Dem who has decided to move on but because he is now not standing for the same values as when he was elected. If he truly believes his political ideals have changed then you can’t argue with that. What you should then do is resign your seat and a by-election called. I think this should be the case in any situation where a person leaves/joins a political party whilst they are an elected official.

I heard the news earlier today and it has been confirmed by the head of the Lib Dems on the Council David Kendell who went on to say the following:

“I am naturally disappointed that Cllr Clarke has made this decision as I believe he has not only let down his friends and colleagues but has also let down the many hundreds of residents in Brentwood West who voted for him in good faith as a Liberal Democrat. I believe that over time he may well come to regret his decision when he realises the local Conservatives are unable to meet his expectations.

“The remaining six members of the Liberal Democrat group remain totally united and focused on holding the Conservatives to account, questioning their decisions and providing constructive opposition”.

When I heard the news my gut reaction was pretty clear. This is what I wrote at the time, ‘Am I just being a complete cynic when I think he’s done this to safe his own hide and that his seat will be safer if he changes hats for when he is up for re-election in two years? If he changed hats too close to his election people might see through it. Ok I’m far too much of a cynic…‘ and you know what I stick by that.

Give up being a Lib Dem by all means that is his right. However he is now not representing the people who voted for him and therefore he cannot claim one iota that he has a mandate. If he had any decency then he would resign and stand as a Tory in the by-election. If the people didn’t care what colours he wore then he would get re-elected. However it seems as though he is actually pretty gutless and he’ll stay on as a councillor until 2014 when he is up for re-election.

It is a real shame as people feel genuinely betrayed by this. You vote for someone and something and then the someone and something you voted for turned out to be the complete opposite on Ronseal. It most certainly didn’t do exactly what it said on the tin. And people wonder why people lose all faith in politicians…

If you get round to googling yourself Cllr Nigel Clarke and read this then grow some cojones and do the right thing. Quit and stand as a Tory. If you get in then that is fine but as of right now you are not representing those who elected you and that is a pretty shocking state of affairs. How would you like it if you voted someone into office only for them to turn around and change everything they stood for? I suspect you wouldn’t like it on the other foot somehow.

I don’t just say this because he is a Lib Dem. I truly think that if you are elected then you are elected both personally and for what you stand for. If that changes then you should quit and stand again under whatever new banner you want to stand under. Carrying on in office is like carrying on your role under false pretences.

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St Louis Rams to play in London in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Patriots await them in 2012.

NFLUK has just announced that for the next three years the St Louis Rams will play in London for one game each season and for the 2012 season it will be the Golden Boy himself Tom Brady and his New England Patriots who will be their opponents.

I must say I think this is a genuine step forward and a step towards seeing if there is a real viability to having a team play permanently in the UK – most likely in London. By having a team committed to playing here for three successive years the league will be able to see if that team gets a following and whether or not the novelty factor will wear off on British fans.

The St Louis Rams have just appointed a new Head Coach in Superbowl winner Jeff Fisher and with owner Stan Kroneke also being the majority shareholder of Arsenal FC it is exciting times for the franchise and the fan base around the world. I’m not sure how the St Louis fans will be taking this news and it would have been wiser for maybe a franchise who really struggle to sell out such as the Jacksonville Jaguars to be the guinea pig but its a start.

The 2012 game with the Patriots is one that will excite the UK fans big time. The Patriots are without a doubt one of the most exciting teams in the game with a sure fire Hall of Fame QB who boasts three rings at the time of writing but that might well be four by the time this game is played. The Pats have been to London befre and the fact they are happy to return shows that they enjoyed the experience, which no doubt other players and owners will notice.

This is without a shadow of a doubt a precursor to a permanent franchise based in London. The big question is whether it’ll be a 33rd team or a current franchise relocated. With the LA market still vacant it is unlikely a new franchise will come to London until after the LA issue is fixed but for Roger Goddell no doubt London is #2 on his wish-list.

Speaking of the commish he has this to say on the announcement, ‘The response to NFL games in the UK among our British fans has been exceptional, We are confident that having the Rams host one game in the UK in each of the next three seasons will allow us to better serve the growing popularity of our sport beyond the borders of the United States.’

Sounds to me like him saying, ‘if they are sell-outs and the game continues to grow in the UK then we’re coming there permanently’.

American Football might not be just ‘American’ any more…

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