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Rene Kinzett

Bringing home the bacon

September 5th, 2010 by René Kinzett

The Liberal Democrat Leader of Swansea Council, Chris Holley, has written an extraordinary letter to Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, asking for investment and other favours from Government for the City of Swansea. Perhaps not unusual for a Council Leader to be batting for their city? However, read the letter posted above and you will see (apart from the appalling grammar – at least one 6 line paragraph containing one sentence and no punctuation whatsoever)  that Councillor Holley’s plea for intervention from his LibDem pal in Westminster is not so much to do with economic regeneration for a city much in need of properly planned investment, but rather to boost the flagging election prospects of their party locally.

I was (for 2 years) a member of the ruling Liberal Democrat/Independent/Whoeverwantstojoinus coalition on Swansea Council and I saw at first hand the lack of intelligence, imagination and political nous of those who hold the top jobs in the Cabinet. Most observers agree that the quality of leadership in our city is dire. However, what has also now been exposed is the level of political mendacity, partisanship and cynicism which really underpins the coalition. If Councillor Holley thinks there is nothing wrong in pleading for special favours from Government simply for party political advantage, then my Deputy Leader was right when he accused the ruling group of lacking any form of “moral compass”.

Wales’ second city is being led by a paranoid coalition convinced that every other party or branch of government is out to get it and do the city down. The truth of the matter is that a coalition with no political mandate, no agreed plan to govern the city by and no commonly-held philosophy is doomed to fail and take the fortunes of our city down with it. I am heartened that, at last, the national media in Wales is picking up on the mess that is Swansea Council and I can only hope that our local media take the issue of the good governance of our city more seriously in future.

I have no real hope that the few sensible and intelligent Liberal Democrat Councillors in Swansea will actually do the right thing and remove Councillor Holley from his post and give us someone more capable of doing the job of Leader of the Council, but I do expect a few of them to reach for the forms and make a complaint to the Ombudsman about how beastly I’ve been to them in this blog.

UPDATE: The Leader of Swansea Council has responded through an article in today’s South Wales Evening Post.

  1. Scott Westron Scott Westron says:

    Goodness, that must be one of the most poorly-written letters I’ve ever read. An obvious and complete lack of proof reading from the Leader of a Council? If I didn’t know better I’d say he typed it himself, with his toes, on an iphone, and whilst driving.

  2. René Kinzett René Kinzett says:

    Hahah! Thanks for that, Scott, made me laugh v much! Hope you are well?

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