There has been some last minute campaigning by both the YES & NO campaigns and with such a low turn out many people, including some of the councillors I have spoken to today, say the result is just too close to call.
We here at pitsnpots were delighted with the comments posted yesterday and we have been told that many councillors, the odd MP and even the Mayor himself are dropping in regularly to read the posts and comments.
Some of the councillors I have spoken to today said the article in last nights Sentinel had an effect on some people. The article prompted this response from Potteries Alliance Councillor Peter Kent Baguley:
The local daily paper's headline today reads:
REVEALED: If you decide to vote "YES" in the mayoral referendum tomorrow, the BNP could soon be leading YOUR council.
Illustrating the story right across the page is a picture of some of the BNP councillors with the BNP national leader, Nick Griffin. The story claims: "In an anonymous survey, The Sentinel asked every member who they would choose as council leader." Anonymous? Strange use of the word since the supposedly anonymous survey was a topic of conversation amongst most if not all councillors! And, though it may not have crossed the collective mind of those running The Sentinel's extremely biased, pro NO referendum campaign, The Sentinel was the last source to which the majority of councillors would confide their real thoughts on the issue of leader! So, given the councillors' reticence, not surprisingly the BNP leader emerges the front runner with a tally of 8 supporters, presumably all of his BNP colleagues.
The Sentinel well knows that there is not the slightest possibility of the 51 other councillors ever voting for a BNP councillor to be the leader of the council.
The Sentinel also well knows that if the referendum produces a majority of NO votes, there is every possibility that a BNP candidate would be elected in next May's elected mayor election.
The Sentinel's sly and shameful scam has turned reality on its head.
The stench of having sunk to the sewer of stitching up stories so shamefully will pervade the paper for a very long time.
Were it merely an in-house magazine, it may have been a bit of a laugh, to be followed by something equally gutter press-ish from the opposing camp. But it isn't an in-house magazine or student rag but claims to be a serious daily newspaper. This kind of squalid journalism has done nothing to enhance the reputation of the paper. Like so many of the business people who make their money in Stoke-on-Trent, the editor lives well away from our city. Perhaps he could make that a permanent arrangement and perhaps the owners could consider installing an editor charged with upholding the highest standards of journalism and to try to rebuild confidence with the people of the city. After all, fewer than half of the households across the City see The Sentinel and that proportion continues to decline.
Unfortunately, its squalid, sordid, sniping at the YES campaign which advocate the quite sensible system of the councillors electing the leader of the council has unsettled some elderly readers. I know, because my telephone has been busy this evening. The supporters of the mayor system never mention that the prime minister is not elected by all of the electorate! Of course, business people are lining up in support of the elected mayor under the guise of strong leadership! More wishful thinking than so-called hard-headed business sense, since the past two elected mayors during the last six years have not demonstrated leadership, strong or otherwise!
Neither have had the remotest influence on the ever changing bureaucratic structure of the council and have singularly failed to enhance decision making processes, failed to enhance transparency of decision making and failed to be honest about most of the controversial issues such as the high schools' re-organisation, closure of elderly people's homes, withdrawal of council-run pre-school nursery provision, the sale of the council's stake in the Britainnia football stadium, privatisation fronted by a so-called strategic partnership, and much more, all compounded by endless spin, recycled stories and more spin.
It is time that The Sentinel acted like a proper, mature newspaper, and thought more about its responsibilities to democracy and less about its rights for making profits through cheap journalism.
These are the words of Peter Kent Baguley, this is his opinion.
We the pitsnpots bloggers have had great support from the Sentinel which we really appreciate, but we remain true to the ideal of presenting a balanced view point. Hence the posting of Peter's point of view.
So over to you, what do you think of Peter's rant about the Sentinel article? Do you agree with him, What do you think of the predicted low turn out? and finally who will win the YES or the NO campaign?.................
Just had one of the main players from the "YES" campaign on the phone and they are very confident in the outcome of the Ballot. Turn out is well up in some area's so the expected percentage is thought to be well over 20%. The "YES" campaign think they have pulled it off!
As yet no news from the "NO" campaign, I will let you know if Paul or any of his campaign team get in touch by either phone or email.