Monday, 4 October 2010

Time for Youth

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am unhappy at how unrepresentative Thanet's councillors are of Thanet's population. At age 48 I am frequently the youngest elected representative in the room at meetings - it's nice to be young again!
Tonight I am delighted to hear that 21 years old Margate man, Will Scobie has been selected as one of Labour's candidates for Dane Valley ward in Margate for next year's District Council elections. Will is pictured here graduating from York University.
Will's outstanding academic record has lead him to start a Masters course at the University of Kent this autumn. My colleague Sandra Hart has proven herself a most effective councillor following her spectacular by-election win, after one of Thanet Conservatives regular scandals. Congratulations to Jon Edwards who is the third member of a hard working team for Dane Valley.
I hope other political parties in Thanet will be selecting similarly youthful candidates.


  1. Congratulations to Will and for getting a young person into selection.

    On Medway Council next year we have selected a person under 30 in the majority of marginal wards. That is six candidates in winnable seats under 30 for May 2012. We have also selected two young mums under 35. This means that eight candidates will be officially classed as Young Labour Councillors.

    It is possible to attract youngsters. Look forward to meeting Will at regional conference perhaps.

  2. Whilst agreeing in principle that more youthful members would be desirable there remains the problem of time. Work, love life, family, making one's way in life or career are all demanding, demands which often are less pressing on the more mature, even retired, members. Hence the inevitability that there remains a preponderance of elder citizens prepared to volunteer for local public office.

    Yes, in today's society, there does seem to be something of a tendency towards the young adult, almost an idolatry of youth, but the aged don't just have the time, they also have the experience. Something likely to be lacking in a young man still in higher education I suggest.

    All too frequently in the local press and in comments on the isle's blogs, one reads of references to the 'old duffers' on the council. I always take some comfort, when reading these unkind descriptions, from the knowledge that before the authors can blink, they too will find the lady at the check-out is calling them 'dear' and asking if they can manage. Dufferhood is not that far away!

  3. I'm impressed..Good luck!

    I do vote for the blue side, but still, nice to see a fresh face stand. I just hope if he gets somewhere, he will not stoop to the normal level of petty bickering at TDC.

    On the contrary to Bluenote, I beleive new blood is what this local council needs. Expeirence is all well and good, but perhaps younger new thoughts towards Thanet's future could be a positive thing?

  4. Previous commentator refers to petty bickering which, of course, is present in this item in the reference to 'regular Conservative scandals.' Surely scandals are not unique to anyone party and what exactly constitutes a scandal anyway.

    In the case of the Dane Valley bi-election it arose because a councillor, who had more or less spent all his time out of the country, duly resigned under pressure from his own party. Perhaps, with the benefit of hindsight, he should never have stood for election but it hardly amounts to a scandal.

    It is not really in the same league as having it away with your civil service secretary behind your wife's back or fiddling your expenses and then trying to wriggle out of facing the music when court beckons.

    Please grow up, Mark. Humans of all parties have their frailities which some succumb to from time to time. Socialists are no more immune than Conservatives and such digs should be beneath a holder of public office.

  5. As has been noted above - shortage of time will be the enemy. By the way, doesn`t he look like T Blair! Is he coming back for a second go at wrecking the place?


  6. Local Tory scandals? Apart from an absentee councillor since replaced by a hard-working Labour one, how about a Tory councillor convicted of animal cruelty not forgetting a former (only just) Tory councillor up in court for the third time on very serious drink-driving charges that could lead to a custodial sentence?

    Enough recent scandals, Bluenote?

  7. 08:06

    I never said there were no Tory councillors involved in scandals but simply made the point that misconduct is not unique to the Conservative party. We could easily go on almost ad infinitum, if you want to play the game, listing sundry scandals and misdemeanours by politicians over the years but what does it prove. Simply emphasises human weaknesses for which we are all susceptible to a greater or lesser extent. 'Let him without sin cast the first stone.'

    The real point is, should local politicians confine their debate to the matters of policy and governance rather than petty point scoring over who is the most inebriate or the worst philanderer?

    I could never condone animal cruelty but let me ask you one question. Is a person with a drink problem scandalous or sick and should they be pilloried or helped?

  8. So what about the Labour parliamentary candidate up Dartford way who failed to stop after an accident. That doesn't make all Socialists hit and run drivers any more than all Conservatives are involved in scandals.

    Some politicians will fall from grace but they are a minority. The rest should concentrate on the real issues not seek to score political points over such incidents.