Tuesday, 21 October 2008


On Friday after the cities population have decided which system of governance is right for our city, attention will turn quite rightly to which person would be best to lead our city as either Mayor or Council Leader.
This is the time for us all to enter and partake in the very popular game of "Personality Politics"
In this age of reality TV, we as a nation love to pick the winner whether it's Big Brother, The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing,I'm a Celebrity, and all the rest of the tat that tends to make up the majority of television programmes these days (god! I've just realised I sound like mt dad, scary!) We love to be the ones to make or break someone.
I don't envy the Americans much, but one thing I do envy is that they get to pick their president.
I suppose in the Mayoral System we have that choice but the we actively compromise the 60 councilors we elected to represent us!

So lets asses the candidates out there that could possibly end up the most important person in our city and in whom we will all place our trust.

Roger Ibbs (Conservative)
Probably the most unpopular councilor in history where the mention of his name in the Trentham area is now a hanging offence! and if you are caught even thinking about him that gets you a public flogging!

Ross Irving (Conservative)
see above!

Terry Follows (Independent)
The darling of the Trentham area and defender of the course to keep Trentham High open but is he known enough across the rest of the city?

Alan Rigby (Independent?)
I like to think of him as Joseph because he has a coat of many colours (BNP?, Tory?) apparently often seen to watch Deal or No Deal on TV for inspiration!
How can he be independent? Confused yes, but Independent NO!

Ann James (Independent)
Probably the most popular of the independent (confused) candidates, a good ward councilor and hard working.

Kieran Clarke (Libdem)
Will at some stage be contributing an article to our blog. A current portfolio holder for Resources. Has a bit of a job on really as the libdems don't field many candidates and the electorate don't know what they are about.

Jean Bowers (Libdem)
Leader of the Libdems and a hard working ward councilor who did herself no favours during the recent schools debate when she said that it did not matter where the schools were located. Try telling the people of Trentham, Berryhill, Mitchell (Bucknall) and Longton that! Also a portfolio holder although i fell asleep whilst reading the title (it's that long Honest!)

Gavin Webb (Libertarian, Libdem)
Gavin is going to contribute an article to us explaining libertarianism. Has had his fall outs and people say that he is a bit random (is that a bad thing?), he thinks out of the box and is not frightened of speaking out, ask the BNP! I think people like Gavin because he is an alternative to the mainstream without the extremism of the BNP.

Mike Coleman (BNP)
Very articulate and an effective ward councilor Chair of the Young Persons Overview & Scrutiny Committee. Regional Organiser of the BNP. Can debate issues and puts his parties beliefs forward in a reasonable manner (if there is such a thing with the BNP)

Steve Batkin (BNP)
See above and then think completely the opposite. Makes extreme public statements but has managed to hang in there and came very close in previous mayoral elections. Oh and good at shopping and gardening for old people. Once questioned the number of Jews killed in the holocaust. Is no longer Leader of the BNP locally.

Alby Walker (BNP)
Leader of the party locally and organiser of the recent march and gathering in Stoke which attracted some 400 party activists from around the country. Looks the part (nice shirts! funky hair!) very articulate and is passionate about the party beliefs, but would this city be denied investment from outside if blue chip companies were made to negotiate with the BNP given all that it stands for?

Joy Garner (Labour)
I have had a wee disagreement with Joy recently but now we have had a chat and cleared the air. I don't think that there is another councilor locally who sits on as many committees as Joy and I don't just mean in council. She is a tireless worker in her ward and a fierce opposer of the BNP and is not frightened to speak out against what she feels is wrong.She is the current Labour group leader, so does that make her favourite for the Labour nomination.

Mark Davis (Labour)
A truly effective ward councilor who I believe will go onto great things within the Labour Party. He attends everything that he's asked to and more besides, a calm straight talker who is probably the best councilor i have seen at negotiating the best possible solutions. On big question is how long Stoke will have him before the party whip him off elsewhere? From my experience though he's an all round good egg!

Mike Barnes (Labour)
Democracy4Stokes very own! I have seldom seen such passion from a local politician. Calm and articulate he blew Paul Breeze away in the recent live TV debate on the Mayoral system. I have no doubt that he can be a real contender for leader of our city and maybe he is the one that can galvanise the party after Thursday's referendum. If the City say NO at the ballot box however you wonder if Mike can bounce back, which would be a real shame because the guy has shown true grit in his campaign whist keeping a level head. He could be the one to claim victory in a Labour Leader contest because I think he is the one the public relate to the most.

Mark Meredith (Present Mayor)
In his reign there has been much controversy, The BSF, Dimensions, Care Homes, The Brittania Staduim Deal, this list goes on. I wonder if all of these factors have impacted on the Labour Party in the city and with what many believe to be a gagging order on Labour activists, it is hard to see how Mark could stand as either mayor or leader. If this city turns it's back on the mayoral system then Mark needs to take a hard look at himself and consider whether that would be down to him. His handling on the schools issues and other fiasco's are the reason I think we should go back to the leader system. If we choose the mayoral system now we are stuck with it forever.

To read the excellent Sentinel coverage of the debate follow this link:

These are my views and observations so now it's over to you let the game commence...........


Nazi watch said...

My preference for Elected Mayor or Leader of Berlin would be:

Alby walker (Mayor)
Michael Coleman (propaganda)
setven Bkatni (skewels)

st george said...

I think you have mixed up Joan Bell and Jean Bowers, but otherwise, very interesting.

Of course, the BNP are spending alot of time trying to look 'normal'. 9 Councillors later, it appears to be working.

But I strongly ask people to look at their history and their policies - in depth - before ever voting for them .

Right minded people will never agree with their real policies.

When in power - it will be too late!

Tony said...

St George
I have corrected this now, The Oracle was on the phone in less than 10secs after it was posted! He called me an amateur... which i suppose i am!

brooneyes said...

You know, there are more bloody hypocrites on this site than dead braincells in Merediths head!!
You all claim to follow the political belief of democracy, yet there isn't one of you that isn't a bigoted, two faced git!
Gary Elsby masquerading as nazi watch. The first man in the country to suffer a mental infarction! St George is another that believes in democracy except for the BNP, And as for Tony, you only have to read the original post to see how "unbiased" he is!
The BNP will take the position and turn this city round!
You lot complain about the BNP, but then you go and vote in a
paedophile and a dog killer!!
What we should do is ignore those of you who suffer from this inbuilt
bigotry, it's obvious your judgements can't be trusted because you're the bloody idiots who voted in the monkeys that are ruining this city now!

Shaun Bennett said...

Roger Ibbs! Over my dead body!!!

Seriously, there is absolutely no chance in a month of Sunday's of which every single night had a blue moon, that Roger will be standing as the official Conservative candidate. I would be utterly, utterly astonished if that were even on the cards.

Hope thats put some minds at rest.

Tony said...

I am unbiased! That is my honest appraisal of the Movers & Shakers! Please share yours with us! Instead of just rubbishing my thoughts tell us who you want to see for Leader/Mayor instead of playing at bloody party spin all the time! I am a floating voter, actually i might vote foe Shaun!

Anonymous said...

Sean, my mind will only be put at rest when Roger Ibbs crawls back under the stone he came out of and/or marches himself off to some other unsuspecting city to try his luck as a councillor there. As it is there is always the risk that, by standing in another ward within Stoke-on-Trent, people will vote him in based purely on the fact that he is a supposed Conservative!

Bob Bagley said...

Tony you forgot to mention Kent Baggaley as a possible candidate.

Oh I must have forgotten for an instant, it's not very likely that someone whose party can fit into a phone box will end up leading the city!

Anonymous said...

This the joke factor - Mike Barnes - Leading the Council - lets go back to the bad old days - a City with NO vision .... What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Mark Davis a good egg more like a plain omelette, talks more spin than a dry washer and his voice makes its clear that he has more interested in Cannock than Stoke, especially since him and his wife only sent to the City by the regional Labour Party to force NEW LABOUR Values upon Stoke People with the aim for one of them to take over Mark Fisher Seat when he retires to the House of Lords.

nicky said...

Craig man, calm down a tad eh! The reason I say that is I think you do have some decent points to make except when you get too worked up they end up being obscured.

Shaun I'm so glad to see your most refreshing viewpoint on Dodger Fibbs. And I hope you are right as many rumours have him already installed as leader.

Bob, how sweet of you to remember Peter Kent-Baguley, I think underneath it all you are very fond of him actually.

Now if any of these were going to be mayor we would have to think very carefully and look into their policies very seriously. But as this is just for a bit of FUN, let's look at these Tony has pretty randomly selected:

Roger Ibbs - Undoubtedly the very bottom of the list! Don't want him as mayor/leader or even as a councillor. Ibbs out, altogether.

Ross Irving - Near the bottom of the list also. Irving out, altogether.

Terry Follows - Yes I admit he's one of my darlings, I'd be happy with him.

Alan Rigby - Well from Tony's list he's my favoured one. What's that muttering I hear from Tony? “Can't understand the woman” I think he's saying.

Ann James - Yes I think I'd be pretty happy with her. More mutterings from Tony, something about “confused councillors, confused bloggers”.

Keiran Clarke - Probably not.

Jean Bowers - No, don't like her, treats people like they are idiots, which we are not.

Gavin Webb - Trouble is I can't tune into the same wavelength so far.

Mike Coleman - Yes he'd be very good. She ducks rapidly as insults and other missiles come flying, especially from the directions of Bob and Tony.

Steve Batkin - Given things I seem to remember him saying in the dim and distant past, no, not at all.

Alby Walker – Shirts and hair, not bad. She ducks again.

Joy Garner - Labour, no no. She was too horrible at the EMB when they decided the LHS closure.

Mark Davis – Labour, no.

Mike Barnes – Well I get the impression he may not actually be too keen on Mark Meredith, so maybe there’s some hope for him.

Mark Meredith - Now he needs to just disappear off somewhere well away from the council where he can do no more harm and leave it to make some proper decisions.

Peter Kent-Baguley – Not on Tony’s list but he's my favourite of all of them! Got a fair few brain cells going on there.

Anonymous said...