Tory communalism again

Skuds has highlighted the odd case of Cllr Carol Eade, who manages to do the same job twice for two different places, by being a Borough Councillor for Furnace Green in Crawley and a District Councillor for Eastbrook in Adur at the same time.

Like Skuds did, I looked at her page on the Adur council website here, and found a few odd things in her profile.

My interests / hobbies :

I am now entering my forth year as a Councillor and have enjoyed being involved in many of the duties. I still read Chistian books but time and circumstances does not allowed long walks anymore.

Umm, surely you mean ‘fourth’, ‘Christian’ and ‘do not allow’, Carol?

When and why I have become a councillor :

One day, after a service at the Southwick Methodist Church, I was approached by a Conservative Member who asked me to become a Councillor. The pre-requisites were a female Christian. I said that I would think about it and two weeks later the same person addressed me with the same question and also asked my husband to become a Councillor. My husband and I went along to a Committee meeting at the Civic Centre to see how things were done. We made several enquiries and spoke with other Councillors before coming to the final decision of accepting the request. We both went for interviews and were accepted to stand for election. We were both elected in 2003 for one year and again in 2004 for a term of four years.

Clearly her term still ends in 2008, and there is no mention of the fact that she’s also a councillor in Crawley on her profile (I wonder what the people of Eastbrook think of that?).

What most intrigued me was the idea that she had been approached because of her religion and gender. As ‘pre-requisites’. Obviously more important than use of the English language (of course, we all make typos). So why did she have to be a ‘Christian’? I didn’t realise that the Tories, least of all the modern Cameroony fluffy ones of today, were specifically a Christian party. I wonder if that will come as a surprise to the recent Sikh recruits to the Tory banner in Ealing & Southall, or those who fought for seats alongside Cllr Eade here in Crawley this year. One of those, Jarnail Singh, now represents Southgate, my own neighbourhood, and was backed by the local Gurdwara.

Are the Tories exploiting religion for electoral gain? Will this backfire on them at some point? Events in the Ealing and Southall by-election suggest that it already is.

15 Responses to “Tory communalism again”

  1. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    It’s a neat con trick – old idea in new garb.

    Praying before a council meeting gives ‘spiritual endorsement’ to the bad and unpopular decisions of mostly “Stupid White Men”…

    …like : “Let’s deprive a hot school meal in winter to less-advantaged, primary-aged children…rip out all the schools kitchens…and make all the dinner ladies redundant…Of course, it must be the right, moral thing to do…because we prayed to God about it before making this decision…and God can’t be wrong can he…so it is wrong for you to disagree with us, and protest.”

  2. Danivon Says:

    I don’t think anyone is actually saying that a prayer meeting will mean that all decisions are in some way blessed.

    But it is an interesting incursion of religion into secular affairs

  3. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    Nobody is actually “saying” it, but I would strongly maintain it is “implied”…it gives an endorsement of sorts, not least because of the propaganda advertising trick of “association”

  4. Danivon Says:

    Whatever, Richard. Add it to the list of ‘Master Puppeteer’ tactics, eh?


  5. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    No Owen, just one of the ‘tried & tested’ advertising (corporate propaganda) techniques, which can be found especially on Saturday morning children’s TV :

    1. Repetition
    2. Association
    3. Endorsement
    4. Humour

    etc etc

  6. Danivon Says:

    It’s not all a conspiracy, Richard.

  7. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    Did I ever say it was ALL a conspiracy, Owen ?

    Just because not ALL are conspiracies should not blind us to the fact that SOME are.

  8. Danivon Says:

    I’m struggling to remember the last post on your blog which isn’t about conspiracies, though.

  9. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    It all depends what you mean by “conspiracy”, Owen ?

    If I say GE decisions are motivated by the maximization of profits and increasing market share…is that a “conspiracy”…or is that an “institional analysis” ?

  10. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    If I say the decisions (& actions) of the most powerful are motivated by the maximization of power, and increasing its control, am I being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ – or just being a realist.

  11. Danivon Says:

    Dunno, but if it includes phrases like ‘Master Puppeteers’ (in scare quotes), it looks awfully like a conspiracy theory to me.

  12. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    “The most powerful people”, if it makes you feel better…

  13. Skuds Says:

    Was Jarnail Singh really backed by the local Gurwara? That surprises me as I have heard nothing but bad things about him from local Sikhs.

    I’m sure he was a Labour party member up until last year and I think he tried unsuccessfully to be a Labour candidate. That all sounds like someone more interested in their own interests than in any particular ideology – much like the recent Sikh councillor defections in Ealing and, dare I say it, our new MP Quentin.

    Prayers in council meetings is a terrible idea though. What next? Prayers before every committee meeting? The mayor entering the chamber with her ushers swinging incense censers?

  14. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    Skuds – I agree with you.

    Owen – “the most powerful people” are those who think that because they ‘own’ the world’s resources. they can run and control it.

  15. Danivon Says:

    I’d heard that both Jarnail Singh and his wife Sukhjit Kaur who stood in Langley Green went to the Gurdawara for support.

    Whether it was ‘moral support’ or more official I don’t know, but they weren’t told to keep politics or ambition out of it.

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