Posted by: John | December 22, 2010

What now for `surgeries`?

Yes, Vince was naive to say what he said and there was really only ever one consequence. I know as an ex-Cllr how important it was to `keep schtum` on quasi-judicial and other matters and if in doubt don’t say anything.

That didn’t stop me blogging or saying things of a political nature that were at variance to my party. You have to judge things that should be advanced `AT GROUP` and perhaps to play the long game if you don’t get your way.

One thing deeply worries me about the Telegraph’s behaviour: that of politicians `surgeries`. Before I became a Cllr I `stood in` for cllrs at surgeries when they had other meetings. They trusted me that I would keep things confidential and only discuss the problems with the Councillors I was representing.

What if local papers (which are deeply anti Lib Dem in my area) decided to do something similar with me? What if politicians are very guarded from now on at surgery?

Let’s be clear – surgery is sacrosanct – what the Telegraph did was akin to a priest gossiping about someones infidelities that they told them at confessional.

Indeed, the Telegraph themselves redacted the recordings as some of it was against their own interests. That paper is of a political persuasion that encourages self-sacrifice and for families to `play the economic long game`. It’s a pity they didn’t practice what they preached by simply not running the story.

But journos not running stories – it’s akin to estate agents telling the bare truth on a problem property.


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