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.