Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Roger Gale Fails Again

I see North Thanet MP Roger Gale failed today to be elected as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. This follows on from his failure to be elected Speaker of the House of Commons. What is the point of Roger Gale continuing as a MP? A Conservative friend (yes they keep it quiet too) told me that Roger would not be adverse to a peerage. There are reputedly 100 Conservatives to be appointed by the Con-Dem government. Previously when Roger Gale was evaluated by the Conservative Party, I understand one feedback was that he was "Mr. Angry," and hence he was overlooked. As a supporter of David Davies MP, it is hard to see why David Cameron would want to reward him.

Conservatives were also embarassed by his staunch defence of expenses abusing friend Derek Conway. My colleague Cllr. Iris Johnston has exposed Roger Gale's poor judgment in providing a character witness for Conservative kitten killer Ted Watt-Ruffell:

“I’m very surprised he decided to furnish someone facing such charges of animal cruelty, who has now been found guilty, with a character reference. Mr Gale has built his reputation on being an animal-lover.”

Cllr Watt-Ruffell was a former chairman of the North Thanet Conservative Party, which selected Mr Gale as its candidate.

Unlike many people Roger Gale has the option of a generous retirement. Last November I wrote
"Aged 66 he is eligible for the state pension. With 26 years in Parliament he is eligible for a leaving payment of £64,000. He would also receive a pension of 26/40 x £64,000 = £41,600. He may well have other personal pensions, plus the state pension of £4,900/year. "

These figures will continue to increase the longer Roger continues as a MP. Roger Gale's retirement package is double the average earnings of his constituents.

At a time when Roger Gale is calling for cuts he has the chance to put Conservative Party policy into action rather than resorting to rhetoric. He could stand down as a MP. He could then use his knowledge of the local area and generous pension provision to work on a volunteer basis in the North Thanet constituency. He could undertake work for the community building the Conservative's "Big Society". Wouldn't that be a far more productive use of his time? He would also free up a vacancy to stimulate the economy by providing a well remunerated job.

If we are "all in it together" as Conservatives claim, I think Roger Gale should resign and give back to local people after having been so well paid over many decades.

I still hold to my prediction in January 2009.

"My money is for him to go on and on and on and on."


  1. He should be made to retire like the rest of have to - i dont want some old useless duffer making policies for me - i have never voted for him and i never will - what has he ever done for thanet

  2. The previous commentator ignores the fact that thousands do vote for Roger Gale and amongst his supporters he is well regarded as a good constituency MP. He is not the oldest MP so why apply a 'forced retirement' to him in isolation. Ooops, silly me, I forgot, he is a Tory!

  3. Talking of "fail" Mark, perhaps you can tell us what the North Thanet Labour candidate has done for the area? Most people don't even know his name (I've forgot it myself).

  4. He is not regarded as a good constituency MP by those who approached him for help re live fire training and types of guns used at 6th Thanet Gun Range Birchington.

    Cllr Watt Ruffell never answered the question whether he voted to continue funding of Kent Adventure Training Corps by Margate Charter Trustees in the late 90s.

    Roger Gale has kept quiet about his own support of this pseudo military cadet group (I think you have a letter in which the bona fide Army Cadet Force revealed they had a reporting procedure to avoid contact with or confusion with KATC ?) especially it seems after KCC withdrew youth group affiliation status in 2003.

    Former adult leader of KATC was George Richard MAISON (Former Vice Chair North Thanet tories) and didn't he remain a leader of these pseudo cadets even after his arrest in 1987 for paramilitary activity within the Territorial Army ?

    And why did Reliance part with employee Lloyd BARTON (MAISON's fellow KATC leader) in 1989 (April 10th he took work with Henrys TV shop with a good reference from Reliance Security of Deal Royal Marines Barracks).

    And what of the 1999 War and Peace Show and witness statements sent to Lord Greville Janner about pseudo military cadets from Europe attending holocaust denial lectures in a booksales marquee ?

    And I wonder why Invicta Military Preservation Society ended its sponsorship of KATC shortly after such statements were sent to Lord Greville Janner ?

    Perhaps it is now standard behaviour in Thanet tories to dodge being judged by the company they choose to keep ?

  5. They only need to be judged by the electorate which seems a pretty overwhelming endorsement.

    As to the KATC, they are not an illegal organisation and, whilst my personal preference would be for the officially sponsored ACF, CCF or ATC, they do provide an alternative to hanging around the streets to local youngsters.

    By the way, perhaps, Retired, you consider Keith Vaz and his dodgy solicitor mate good company?

  6. Bluenote
    There are hundreds of Conservative Party members who could be a good constituency MP. It is interesting that as a Gale supporter you set the bar for achievement so low. Can't you find anything better to say for Roger? The Conservative Party is arguing that those with time and money should help provide public services, Roger has both of these in abundance, why won't we do what his Party advocates?
    I'd be happy to see Labour MPs like the 69 year old Jim Dobbin stand down too.
    Peter, Michael Britton was a disappointing candidate, just like Roger's a disappointing MP.
    Retired I am aware of many people who also regard Roger Gale as a poor constituency MP. His tolerance of anti-social behaviour and expenses fiddling does him no credit.

  7. Mark,
    I am not particularly a Roger Gale supporter, indeed, I live in South Thanet. Simply cannot accept that a chap can be all bad if he keeps being re-elected time and again. I also have many contacts in North Thanet who speak highly of him and a friend in Herne Bay who was very grateful for his support.

    Also, at a time when retirement ages are being pushed upward, I see no justification for requiring MPs to retire earlier, thus bucking the national trend. Whilst I think there should perhaps be an age limit, a few wise old heads in government is no bad thing.
    Frankly, when some of the old hands, of whatever party, appear on things like 'Question Time' they often talk more sense than some currently serving in the house.

    My old dad was a Labour politician so I would never condemn anyone simply because of their political affiliation which I suggest is what you are doing with Roger Gale. Supporting a friend in his hour of need does not necessarily constitute approval of his/her behaviour or is that a bit too deep for you. Far easier to knock the Tory as condoning expenses fiddling or pussy cat neglect.

  8. Bluenote
    I credit Roger Gale for not hiding his identity. I've never said he's all bad but he could receive a £50,000 pension and still voluntarily do many good things for North Thanet whilst creating a job vacancy.
    I think the reality is that Roger would not undertake the voluntarism that is at the heart of "Big Society" Conservatism. If Conservative MPs won't follow their own party policy why should the rest of us take it seriously?

  9. Sarah Hermitage10 June 2010 at 07:49

    There are hundreds of MPs that dont get elected deputy speaker.

    Look at his majority to see how many people want him to retire.

    In the face of that which, after all is the face of democracy, what on earth justification do you have for your abuisive chirpping?

  10. Mark, how do you know Roger Gale would not do voluntary service, after all, he is already a Special Constable. In my experience voluntary service from charity shops to hospital tea rooms is invariably run by aging, blue rinse ladies giving of their time willingly and without financial reward. Likewise others do school governing bodies, ex-service organisations, numerous charities and the list goes on. There are plenty of people prepared to turn to so don't be so cynical. We don't all sit in our rent paid houses, collecting our benefits and moaning about the injustices of banker's bonuses, private schools and the monarchy.

  11. I think we need to be realistic here. The significant majority in Thanet North is a Tory majority - rather than a personal endorsement of Roger Gale. MPs of all Parties tend to get elected, and their majorities are determined, by the poularity - or otherwise - of the Party they represent. Thanet North has always been a Tory stronghold. If it was all about Gale, then someone needs to explain why his vote was behind the national swing in the 2005 Election, for example.

    He refuses to give account of himself or to engage with those who try to call him to account. He is hostile and arrogant towards those who criticise him. He threatened legal action against the media some years ago for exposing the fact that his (then young) son had been caught on a bus with a firearm. He threatened legal action against an elector who challenged him - hard - over his support for the run-down of services at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital - Gale favoured the QEQM.

    He may have helped individuals in personal cases - which is part of what he is paid to do of course - but his "leadership" on issues of principal is questionable. He supports the death penalty because, he says, the majority of his constituents do. He opposes equal rights and provision for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community because, he says, the majority of his constituents do. He has never sought to find out, of course, but in any event he only chooses to reflect opinion where it suits. Where it does not suit, he will say his job is to "take a personal stand".

    On LGBTs, he has refused to say a word when individuals have been murdered or attacked, despite the importance of public figures taking such a stand and therefore influencing public opinion. Yet he jumps up every time a police officer or service person is killed - wherever they are from in the UK. And his opinion on Gay Pride events? He is against the "flaunting of sexuality in public".

    Again, he may have helped individuals, but community benefit from him? Nil. He majors on his interest in the rail service, but despite being the MP for 27 years - most of that time with his own Party in Government - the service has reportedly got worse in this area. Not much of an achievement on his part, then.

    If you want a far-right dinosaur who has steadfastly opposed all sorts of progressive social legislation, fine. If you want an MP who has achieved nothing for his constutuency as a whole, fine. You have Gale.

  12. 14:03,issues of principle, as you put it, vary from person to person. As a South Thanetian and a christian I took up the issue of exemptions for Catholic adoption agencies with Steve Ladyman, then my MP. His response I found arrogant and dismissive of my genuinely held concerns. He was equally dismissive when, as an official of my regimental association, I wrote to him outlining my concerns over equipment supplied to our troops.

    However, I am prepared to accept that just because an elected representative does not share all my views it does not necessarily follow that he/she is a bad constituency MP. It is surely the ability to accept and live with our differences that makes us a civilised society. Mind you, arrogant dismissal is questionable and some MPs seem to get that way when dealing with people having views at variance with their own.

    As to your comment about the rail service getting worse. Have I missed something here or have we not had a Labour government for the last 13 of Roger Gale's 27 years.

    Sorry, but your comment smacks of the pursuit of your own agenda and the rubbishing of an MP who does not agree with you. For the record, I also oppose the 'flaunting of sexuality in public' considering such a very private matter between the participants but I would not ban Gay Pride events. Simply exercise my choice to ignore them and stay away as I would if there were such things as 'Straight Pride' events.

    I conclude with a quote "The world is too small and too over crowded to indulge our incapacity to cope with difference."

  13. Bluenote, you have castigated others, in either your present or past guises, for resorting to the "but what about your Party" line of defence yet, once again, you are doing just that. This thread, and certainly my comments are all about Gale, not Ladyman. If the only way you can defend Gale is to start raking up points about Ladyman, then Gale must be poor.

    Were Gale to say that he also opposes those of a religious bent parading their faith in the streets, then I would agree with you that he is pursuing a principle. But he does not, and he is not. He supports that, but opposes those running Pride events for "parading their sexuality". He - possibly like you - is simply against the LGBT community and their, our, continuing campaign for equal rights and for a change in society's approach and attitudes. Dressing up a basic tendency towards homophobia with spurious arguments about matters being private and not for public airing - and at the same time supporting parading of, for example, faith, is utterly transparent.

    I have presented reasons why I - and many others - think Gale is a bad MP. His views are one thing. His failure to secure benefits and improvements for Thanet North, his failure to demonstrate leadership where it is needed and warranted and his ideological alienation of sectors of his electorate are what make him a bad MP.

    Your further "what about Labour" snipe about transport is laughably lame. Yes, you can persuade yourself of the failings of the past 13 years. But list the achievements for this part of Kent from the years when the Tories controlled central, county and local government. As they do now. The terminal decline in Margate's fortunes, the run-down of Herne Bay - until the Liberal Democrats took Canterbury City Council - and the absence of investment in infrastructure.

    But you'll probably find something in the Daily Mail that will tell you what to think and how to reply.

  14. Clearly, Anonymous, you and I are never going to agree but since when did I advocate parading 'faith.' Actually I am not one for parading in general for, as we have seen with other racial and diversity issues, overly exposing one group to another can offend. In my time I have done the Aunt Sally bit between Catholics and Protestant, Christians and Muslims, Blacks and Whites, Chinese and Malays and the CND and NF all arising because one would insists on parading in a manner perceived as provocative by the other. Try Ulster on the 12th July if you like parading.

    On the transport issue it was you who accused Roger Gale of failing to deliver after 27 years as an MP, mostly under Conservatives governments. I merely pointed out that the most recent almost half of that time had been under a Labour government.

    Also I was not attacking Steve Ladyman to defend Roger Gale but to stress that individual clashes of views with an MP does not necessarily make that person a bad constituency MP and I make no such accusation against Dr. Ladyman.

    Finally to my various guises, whatever that may mean, isn't Anonymous the most elusive of guises. At least every time I comment as Bluenote there is the association with previous contributions to the debate but there are thousands of people using the Anonymous title.

  15. Bluenote, I made no criticism of your use of other nicknames, and you make a fair point about those posting anonymously. I have not suggested that YOU support religious parading - I was (clearly) referring to Gale. Perhaps your adherence to the Daily Mail has prevented you reading others' opinions and contributions clearly.

    I doubt we will agree on much. In the great scheme of things, it matters not one jot. But at least we can exchange our views. It's called democracy, I believe.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  16. Likewise, 13:03, and may the sun shine brightly even if England could only draw with the USA.

    Sorry you persist in attributing my views to the Daily Mail. They are far more complex made up from a strict Labour upbringing, which had the effect of turning me against socialism, much world wide experience of the trouble spots as a soldier and a perceived decline of my country in later life. To be honest I think I have little or no faith in politicians, leadership died in our nation somewhere over the years and integrity and truth from those elected to serve us has gone the same way.

    I suppose exchange views is all we have left.

    PS By the way, I have no other nicknames.

  17. Where I am sure we might agree, Bluenote, is that leadership should come from those elected by the public to govern - at whatever level and from whichever Party. I have a real distaste for the way that the media have behaved over the past 20 years or so - possibly much longer. Investigative journalism is a good thing, but I feel that we have gone way beyond that with the media - the newspapers especially - looking to set the agenda rather than report it. I also dislike the "24-hour reporting cycle" where those destined to make decisions are effectively forced to commit as soon as a microphone is pushed in front of their face rather than having time for proper reflection, consultation and so on. In my view that does not make for good government.

  18. Sadly, my friend, leadership can only come if such persons have those qualities. All too frequently those elected do not, are often vacuous, Blair and Obama spring to mind but not to the exclusion of many others, or are barely competent instead of outstanding as they should be. Perhaps the system no longer produces the Wellingtons, Marlboroughs and Churchills but who knows!

    Agree entirely on the media who cannot report anything without putting their slant on it. At the moment they range on one issue from urban predators to questioning whether it was really a fox at all.

    In governance at all levels we seem to range all too frequently from abdication of responsibility to over zealous control freaks. But then it is a democracy and we do get to elect them so perhaps it is our fault!

  19. A shame that you have to include an anti-left prod even when there's a spirit of conciliation in the air Bluenote! I'm afraid that I don't think, with the benefit of historical analysis, Churchill is quite the "great leader" he was held as being during the war. Certainly, his "skills" didn't extend to peacetime government. But at least you didn't mention the odious Thatcher, who I think was as vacuous - with the additional disbenefit of being jingoistic and probably mad - as you believe Blair and Obama are.

  20. Apologies if you perceived that as an anti-left prod when we had some accord. Just Blair and Obama are reasonably current and strong on the vacuous, "Yes we will" is rapidly becoming "When will we" in the USA for example. (Or if you prefer the Texan slant "He is all hat and no cattle!"). Blair offered so much, was given a strong mandate even from many with a more right wing affiliation normally, yet failed to deliver on the brave new world he promised.

    If we went further back and into non events or the pompous, then many on the right come to mind. Perhaps Major and Heath are respectively good examples. Thatcher, like others, probably including Brown, became corrupted by the power of office and was incapable of recognizing it was time to go.

    On Churchill, he was a great orator, he had that ability to inspire and he showed enormous energy and staying power for a man of his age in WWII. Not sure he was ever tested in peacetime because by the time he returned to office six years after the war his 'sell by' had long expired.

    Difficult to find one truly inspirational leader since WWII, in fact, it comes down to a case of measuring degree of incompetence to decide their pecking order. Quite depressing really though at least we didn't have cowboys, 'B' movie actors or 'I never touched that woman' barefaced liars.

    As an aside, I once commanded a guard of honour for old 'Tricky Dickie' of Watergate fame. How well served we are by our leaders in the West!