Danny McCarthy

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Monday 22 January 2007 10.58pm
I don't know if any of you have heard of the Cathedrals'ward local councillor, Danny McCarthy, who was forced to resign from the LibDems? One of his so-called colleagues had been making his working life hell apparently. There are quite a number of residents who are sending in letters etc to the local papers and starting up petitions in support of him - well, we are doing the same. If any of you know him and he has helped you, or you are part of an association who are already supporting him, perhaps, we could get together and make this more co-ordinated. I am not a policital bunny, can't stand it personally, but I do believe in sticking up for good people. Danny is certainly one of the best - not many of people like him around these days - honest, decent, down-to-earth and loves Southwark. Has lived and worked here all his life. I sent a letter to the Southwark News, which I understand is being printed this week.

It would be great if you could also give your support to this wonderful man, who has given so much to the people of this borough, and he has been really ill, aswell, but he has never given up.

I only voted LibDems last time, not because of the party, because I have no interest in any politics and don't understand any of it, but because I like Danny and what he has done for the man on the street. One in a million.

SE1er since 1992

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Monday 22 January 2007 11.03pm
Apparently he is now joining Labour. I guess his Lib Dem allegiance was not very strong and perhaps it is a good thing he left. Or have I missed something?
Tuesday 23 January 2007 10.22am
I don't know him, but as I understand it he was originally Labour, joined the Lib Dems because of the perception that Labour moved to the right under Blair, and therefore understandably had serious problems therefore finding himself part of a Lib Dem Party that is in coalition with the Tories. He made his position clear, and the Lib Dems squeezed him out as 'unreliable' because of that.

As an aside, does anyone know when Southwark are announcing their planned Council Tax and Spending for 2007-8 - I haven't seen anything in the papers or on the website, surely they must have some idea by now?
Tuesday 23 January 2007 10.48am
I don't know Danny McCarthy but respect his hanging on to his principles. Having said that I did vote for him as a LibDem candidate and feel he should present himself for re-election under his current affiliations. I am not a member of the LibDems, just find them the least offensive to me personally, and frankly think all politics today mired in mediocrity and personal interest!

Council tax is the worst worked out and least fair tax ever, local taxation makes so much more sense. Why do I pay more council tax on a one bedroom flat in London than a family with a four bedroom house in Yorkshire? Local property valuations should be taken into account - wait wasn't that how the old rates worked?
Tuesday 23 January 2007 1.51pm
I've split the replies about council tax into a new thread so that this one can focus on recent events in Cathedrals ward.

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Tuesday 23 January 2007 10.56pm
It is not his LibDem alliance that wasn't strong - when you have people/a person who is undermining you and making your life impossible, you are only human at the end of the day and is enough to drive the strongest person away. I have personally been at the receiving end of a threat from one of these same people - simply because I wanted answers to questions and simply because I was not afraid to voice my views - I was not abusive, or threatening, yet I am threatened with action from the borough solicitor and "other organisations" if I send any more similar correspondence - I have sent my correspondence to others, and they are very surprised by this persons reaction. They tell me that I have hit a note. I,personally, will not let this rest from my angle, but I can see so plainly now, although only experiencing a minute part of this dire behaviour why, after putting up with this personal attack from within, why Danny would feel this way. This behaviour is coming from people who are supposed to represent the local people. It is beyond belief, but then I expect that a lot of what goes on in the political world is beyond belief.

Whichever party Danny goes to or supports, he is the same decent human being whose views and beliefs do not waver.

Thursday 25 January 2007 12.30pm
Speaking as Danny's ward organiser for Cathedrals between 2002-2004 I think the best that can be said the above is Danny remains one heck of a spin-doctor.

I agree you on a personal level Jenny that Danny's can be a great bloke. I've certainly had no cause to disagree him until now.

His game-playing though with the Lib Dems who got worked hard to get him elected in 2006 and covered his casework while he was seriously ill that year hasn't been his finest hour.

Political parties are teams that have to work together on behalf of local residents. We're not soapboxes for individuals who think they have a special status.

On the subject of his beliefs. I interviewed most of the Lib Dem Councillors in June as part of a campaign review. Danny commented that he voted for the coalition with the Conservatives and would abide by it for four years, although he wouldn't sit with them in Group meetings. Fair enough. Nobody likes that we have to have a joint administration, but then nobody won the local election outright. The only offers on the table were Lib -Dem-Tory or Labour-Tory. The Tories were not prepared to support another minority administration.

Danny may claim differently today, but his initial threat to resign was focused on something else. He said he "wanted to be at the centre of things". And by implication, if he wasn't he'd go off and join Labour. That's not to my mind about principle. It's about position.

His real problem, in my view, was he didn't like being challenged for Chair of the Community Council by his ward colleague, a position he only retained with the support and intervention of the Group Officers, which makes his attacks on Nick Stanton really quite ungracious. He lost Group Chair. It seems to be the view of his colleagues in Borough and Bankside that he's not a very good Chair of meetings. You and he may disagree, but that's democracy. It's not a long-service award.

In respect of personal attacks, the notion of Danny McCarthy as a sweet and innocent victim of the rough and tumble of realpolitik is hard to credit. Danny can dish it out, and learnt his trade in Labour. Again his comments to me about the last election were that the Liberal Democrats were far too nice about the Labour party. He wanted a campaign that was more negative and personally focused.

Further he was not forced out. He spent two months threatening to resign and join Labour. Meanwhile someone was mysteriously briefing the local papers in a cowardly, disloyal and anonymous fashion that 6 Councillors were due to defect in an attempt to build momentum. I wonder who that was.

Despite this both Simon Hughes, the Leader of the Council and others spent a great deal of time trying to see what his problems were and what could be done to resolve them. Eventually he was given a deadline to decide whether he wanted to be a Liberal Democrat or Labour Councillor. He exceeded it and was suspended.

We believe he wanted to make a dramatic guesture at a Council Meeting and had no serious intention of remaining in the Group once he realised he was unlikely to get another post with a Special Responsibility Allowance. His immediate reaction to that suspension was to resign. His decision, he could have come back, suspension is exactly that not a sacking.

Bluntly though I think he's better off as an Independent. His most consistent principle has been support for the Danny McCarthy Party and he's now got what he wants. This 'ah poor me' victim routine to local residents though is dishonest, rather childish, and beneath him.

But if Danny wants to test whether Cathedrals residents support him or the Liberal Democrats, lets have a by-election. He can step down and we will happily contest him, whether he's the Labour candidate, independent or anything else.

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