Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Libdemologists: Admitting Mobile Mast Madness?

Something like that anyway. Here's the front of their Focus rag in their safest local government seat in the city. I've not seen the actual leaflet. Perhaps they're admitting that their position on mobile masts was utterly wrong? LOL have never before taken a public position on this. But I do have a mobile 'phone. And so I accept the existential necessity of masts.

Cllr John Leech MP on the other hand has slammed the Council for not opposing a particular mast WHEN THEY DID!! Even though it costs £20,000 or so of our money to oppose a mast and Councils almost always lose they did oppose this particular mast. So that would count as another Lowdown-Lie-from-Leech I think? Wouldn't it?

Perhaps the Lib Dems have remembered when they had a Nokia mast manager as a by-election candidate? She thought masts were marvellous of course. Tories and Labour were childish luddites in that case. Or perhaps they've looked in their pockets and seen their mobiles, felt a pang and realised that masts are needed and that they're being hypocrites? Or they've actually read some proper science and realised that more masts make our 'phones even safer?

Having a mobile and opposing every mast application seems pathetic. It's like having a car and being against road improvements. Flying on holidays and being against airports. Enjoying a flutter and being against gambling. Going to brothels and slamming the sex industry. Being a human being and hoaxing cancer patients.

But oh dear. What's this? Between them the Lib Dem crew in this ward enjoy at least some of these contrary positions. Which ones? That's for you to find out. Guessing in comments is allowed.

Far more interesting than this is the question: Who will be the Lib Dem candidate next time? Cllr John Leech MP is up for re-election. He has been taking two salaries for two and a half years so far. He would be a shoo in. But he is supposed to be going next time. Will he though?

If we have a General Election in October he'll probably want to stay on after being beaten. But if it is next May he'll have a problem.

Or perhaps the Lib Dems announced a new candidate? If so who on earth can it be to replace the irreplaceable John Leech? The other two are unlikely to cope without a real A-lister.

FOCUS SCAN: from Stephen Newton who may blog about this as well. Ah yes ... very interesting.


Anonymous said...

With great respect, this squabble is not helpful to the debate.

There is real concern, and rightly so about the danger of radiation of masts and science is not conclusive on this issue.

The fact that people use mobile phones does not mean that we should be silent on masts.

At the same time, it would be appropriate if the Council issued a statement on their opposition to the mast application and asked FOCUS to correct their healdine

I think this will be a sensible way forward

Chris Paul said...

Hi Yasmin

I'd have to disagree on the science if I were pushed. My understanding is that the handset - particularly for kids - is the issue and that the farther that handset is from a mast the harder it has to work to get a signal and therefore I'm pretty relaxed about having masts nearby. Nearer the better!

I find the web sites on this and jabs and GWS and all sorts of things just full of bogus risk assessments and we know from scientific papers than even clinicians are terrible at understanding numerical data and assessing risk.

But as I said I've not given my views before now. I do recognise that people feel strongly about this and also that it is an uphill struggle to get into detail and deal with those fears when LDs are dog whistling so merrily.

In this case - and please read the link to Stephen's blog - the Lib Dems have presented his singular view as if it were (a) multiple and (b) an official Labour view. That is lying. We have 1000s of members in Greater Manchester and the LP is a broad church. If we started calling the LDs for every individual members' strange views we'd (a) be bogged down and (b) be regarded as unreasonable people.

Leech and crew are unreasonable people in claiming on leaflets that my views or Stephen's views or any lay person in an individual capacities' views are "offical". Always naturally invoking something out of context anyway.

If there were the remotest chance of the Lib Dems in Manchester correcting a falsehood EVER or the SMR questioning some of the LDs more dubious assertions then it would be very sensible to ask them to change their headlines, their websites, their press statements.

But as it is they persist in saying things which they know to be untrue however nicely they are asked to play fair. So sadly it's hard to see any future in your proposal.

As you are still a member (!) perhaps you could tackle them and have them stop telling porkies?

Even LD councils are mostly having to let masts be built. This one might have been stopped by the council's protocol on proximity to health facilities, schools etc but the law as you know is very vague and as the science hardens it is getting much harder to win an appeal, and also arguably less worthwhile in terms of public money expended to try.

Best w

Chris P

Anonymous said...

I heard John Leech said the Pope wasn't Catholic in one of his leaflets. He really doesn't stop does he?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, this is ridiculous. It serves to show a few things about the liberal democrats in Manchester.

Lack of thinking, lack of principles and lack of any joined up thinking whatsoever.

Course mobile phone masts have to exist and its just ridiculous typical lib dem nimbyism to start opposing them. You get a ton of radiation when you speak on a mobile for 10 mins anyway.

Furthermore, it is typical of the type of cynical ''campaign'' that they usually run.

Why does everything have to be abt gainging 1200/1300 votes to win a council election rather than some joined up thinking and campaigning to prove the lives of the people of Manchester.

I vote labour, can't say that my family always have done or will.

The one thing I just don't get from the liberal democrats in Manchester that maybe they sometimes manage to do nationally is a bit of vision. What kind of city do they want? Well, judging from the eveidence so far, one where they can carry on claiming their allowances.

Stephen Newton said...

Thanks for the link Chris. Sorry one of your comments was put into moderation by an over zealous filter, but is there now.

BTW I emailed you after you answered my Facebook question, did you receive that?

Chris Paul said...

Not sure I got an email. Will check. My poptel account is a bit erratic. I have about a million mullered messages in my incoming archive and haven't got them shifted. Imap and stuff I think they said.