Should Mark Nottingham Stop Blogging?
Labour might be well advised to be very worried to have Mark Nottingham as a spokesperson. In fact sometimes I wonder if Mark is secretly a conservative but for his hate of a certain conservative blogger from Thanet.
Take for example two of his most recent posts one in which he says:
Several Christians have suggested to me that it is inappropriate for Council premises to be used for events with links to the occult and Satanism. He goes on to add bluntly:
I do not share their concerns. suggesting a scant disregard for the opinion of thousands of voters.
Yet just two days later Mark is talking about getting on the good side of the Chinese community (whose home nation are investing heavily in Thanet via the China Gateway project). Mark suggests that Labour need to chat up just 273 whose votes, it seems, matter more to him than 1,400 or more other people whose views Mark does not approve of.
Keep reading to learn why this could really hurt Labour
I say 1,400 but it could be far higher. As high as 9,000 votes could have been offended away from the Labour party by Marks words. Even if 1% change they're voting habit that's still a 90 swing against Labour while they are trying to win 300 or more in their favour.
It seems to me that the message Mark is conveying is that he is not interested in the opinions of others but in pushing his own agenda. That form of politics I could never vote for.
1,400 is not a number I have plucked out of the air but is abn approximation of the number of Evangelical Christians in Thanet. These Evangelicals have been known to have joint services in the large Winter Gardens Hall and fill it. That hall seats 1,400. I'm not sure how familiar Mark is with evangelicals as a whole but they have a tendency towards being vocal and communicative.
When the voting margins are in the low hundreds offending thousands of voters is a really stupid idea.
Equally foolish is to openly suggest that the time has come to start courting voters based on race. I am sure that this small community have some vital things to contribute to society. Yet so to do the people who live on housing estates and have long ago given up on a system that doesn't care about them. So too do the LGBT community, the art community, the goth community, the Asian community, the elderly and the newly of age voter.
Any political person anywhere in Thanet could win a life time of unshakable office holding by winning and keeping the hearts of not even 1% of those that have given up voting (say 650 people). However to do that the councillor would have to start taking views he disagrees with seriously. I doubt Mark is able to do this. Although frankly that is not saying much as I doubt most of our councillors are able to do this. They, like Mark, seem stuck in a prehistoric era of telling voters what to think.
This is 2009 gentleman and it is time to realise that voters have long been been the ones doing the telling. There is a by-election due in a ward where roughly 70% of the population see voting as futile. Blog posts like those Marks do nothing to help when both main political parties are so mud covered that voters see no real difference.