How Do We Solve A Problem Like Suella?

Taking the piss out of the electorate since 2010

Taking the piss out of the electorate since 2010

With an election looming ever closer on the horizon, and with many residents of this fair borough feeling isolated and left out of the decision making process which we loosely describe as ‘democracy’ we here at Café Spike would like to pose a few points for consideration.

There has been a wellspring of well intentioned cynicism directed at our Conservative candidate, Suella Fernandes, in what is essentially a safe Conservative seat. Essentially, the local populace have viewed Suella’s selection as a candidate with deep suspicion, probably based on the assumption that her mission purpose is to get the thumbs up for the Welborne project with full support from the local borough council, and that our prospective member of parliament will take very little interest in local affairs once the deal is done.

The truth is that we have no way of knowing how Suella will interact with her constituents post election. Setting aside personal interests, and the way Suella has apparently closed down any kind of interaction with constituents who have criticised her on social media – given the depth of feeling – maybe it’s time to take a step back in order to assess the situation.

On a personal level, a massive development project has its pros and cons, so here at the Café we have no vested interest either way. Suella has been brought in to achieve an objective. She’s been drafted in to get the Welborne project up and running – but she shouldn’t be castigated for that. She’s just doing a job, and she can’t do that job without the approval of the electorate. It’s up to us. The bottom line is that we either give our approval to Welborne or we don’t.

I’m going to digress here, and I’m going to do a little bit of straight talking.

Today I attended Queen Alexandra Hospital with my wife. She had cancer surgery early in 2012 and a subsequent CT scan showed up an anomaly. We’ve had the best treatment and care that anyone could hope for, and all we can do is be thankful that we have the best doctors, nurses, surgeons and staff anywhere. Today my wife had to have a more intensive scan – a CT/PET scan.

We got the best treatment and the best staff we could wish for. But there was one disturbing aspect – the scan was conducted by a private company, presumably one who sends the bill to the NHS. We can only assume that tax payers’ money used to pay said bill also pays dividends for the private company concerned. We could be wrong, but the alternative makes no sense.

Make no mistake – your vote on Thursday will have a resounding effect on all of our futures – and no, before you start harrumphing this isn’t a fucking party political broadcast.

If you vote for Suella, you’re voting for the most deceitful, incompetent government in a century. (Research the figures, this is not political spin.) If you vote for Suella you’ll get Welborne, and on a higher plane you’ll get increasing privatisation of our treasured NHS. You’ll also get minimal workers’ rights, the most vulnerable in society targeted and basically the same bum deal, lies and spin you’ve been subjected to for the last five years.

Do we have a political objective here at Café Spike? In a word, no.

I’ll come clean here and freely admit that being born and brought up in Lancashire, my politics do lean slightly towards the left. I saw first hand how Margaret Thatcher destroyed communities and introduced the welfare culture so despised by so many Conservatives today. Yet they were the party who founded it all – and somehow Thatcher has achieved a status approaching sainthood amongst the Conservative faithful.

This won’t go down well in this constituency, but vote for Suella and you will get Welborne. There will be no turning back.

I’m going to vote Labour, but I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to do so. Labour are no different to the Conservatives – they’re all career politicians and all completely out of touch with ordinary people. I’d rather be boiled alive in my own urine than vote UKIP, and the Greens are just stark raving bonkers. The Liberal Democrats in this area have quite a good reputation, and their councillors do a good job, so maybe that’s the alternative. It’s a point worth pondering.

In closing, what I would say to the electorate here in Fareham is, don’t vote Conservative if you don’t want Welborne and you want QA to be available to take care of your health needs.

I appreciate that most voters in Fareham are dyed in the wool Conservatives, but Suella and co really aren’t about to do you any favours at all. They’ll deliver all right – more housing, more strain on the already creaking infrastructure, more traffic jams, more chain coffee shops, a diminished NHS, higher taxes and more benefit cuts.

And Welborne – Mr Woodward’s ‘legacy’

It’s in your hands. Suella is just doing a job.

Martin Shuttlecock.


Furore In Fareham As ‘Outsider’ Conservative Candidate Backs Controversial Development Plan

Fareham says 'No' to this sort of thing.

Fareham says ‘No’ to this sort of thing.

One doesn’t normally expect political controversy in what is regarded as one of the safest Conservative seats in the country, yet somehow the Conservative party, aided and abetted by the local council seemed to have successfully achieved the political equivalent of poking the proverbial hornets’ nest with a sharp stick.

The current furore has historical roots in an ambitious development plan to the north of the town, known locally as Welborne; a plan embracing some 6,000 additional dwellings, which has been embraced by the council and vehemently opposed by residents of the borough. As Café Spike’s head office is in Fareham, and given that we have the right to express an opinion, our Editor In Chief, Martin Shuttlecock today issued a statement.

“There’s been a long-running dispute about this development proposal,” he told us. “On balance it appears that the local council have a vested interest in proceeding with the plan, whereas local residents have expressed deep – and quite reasonable concerns – over associated infrastructure problems. Whilst I accept that our country needs additional housing to meet the requirements stipulated by the government, it’s also quite reasonable to take into account the concerns of existing residents. These people are distinctly not NIMBY types; they’re concerned about a lack of affordable housing in the area, the destruction of a vast area of greenfield designated land in pursuit of further urbanisation, the provision of schools, the availability of medical treatment on a system which is already horrendously overstretched, endless traffic jams on already gridlocked roads and fears of becoming swallowed up by an endless urban sprawl.

“The furore, which was already blazing as a result of a lack of transparency by the local council – who appear to have a vision of a megalithic conurbation tentatively branded Solent City – was further inflamed when the Conservative party “parachuted” in out-of-towner candidate, Suella Fernandes to contest the seat at the forthcoming general election.

“Suella Fernandes is a Conservative candidate who has unsuccessfully contested seats in other constituencies in the past. According to reports she is a property lawyer who has been ‘parachuted’ in by the Conservative party at both local and national level with a mission to seal the Welborne deal, come what may, as evidenced by her immediate support for the Welborne project, despite not being in full possession of the relevant details.

“Some voters have expressed concerns that Fernandes has been conducting a below-the-belt campaign by claiming to be a local person who has the interests of local people at heart, and the voters don’t seem to be buying that.

“The bottom line is that she’ll be elected by a landslide, as Conservative candidates tend to be in this constituency, but I have to at least question her motivation in all this. The people of Fareham are good people, and my feeling is that they deserve the truth from the Conservatives at both national and council levels, and they aren’t getting that in my opinion.

“Of course, nobody would ever come out and make an honest statement to the effect of: We stand to make a fortune out of this, and so do the developers, so just kindly shut up and go away.

“Which is a shame, because the people deserve honesty, and they aren’t getting it at all. At least in my opinion.”

*The anti-Welborne/development group have a Facebook page – Fareham – Countryside Or More Housing – The Big Debate. Contributors to the page aren’t by any means fanatical; they’re actually quite accommodating and friendly on both sides of the argument. If you join the page your views will be respected and the participants are willing to discuss the issue without going overboard or being unreasonable. Unlike the prospective Member Of Parliament, who by all accounts has embraced the Welborne project yet blocked anyone from her Twitter feed with the temerity to question her claims.

Café Spike has no vested interest in the argument and acts purely as an independent observational entity.

Martin Shuttlecock and Paddy Berzinski