THE VIEW FROM HERESO Cllr Wayne Whittle, he of the perma-tan and smarmy white teeth, has decided, "after very careful consideration over several months", to join the Conservative group at County Hall.
I wonder if during those several months he carefully considered the reaction of those who voted him in as an independent councillor in 2009? Or carefully considered the meaning of the word "integrity"?
Even if he did, he obviously didn’t think such matters worth bothering about. But why should he? Cllr Whittle follows a long tradition of politicians arbitrarily swapping party loyalties in mid-term, their arrogance in flagrant disregard for the basic notions of democracy.
Former MPs Emma Nicholson and Quentin Davies are among those to have skipped across the floor of the Commons, not bothering to ask their constituents whether they wanted to be landed with a representative of a different political shade from the one they actually voted for.
Both are now in the Lords, which probably demonstrates the need for reform of that chamber. At local level, we have the unedifying tale of the Lib Dems and independents who, back in 2001, thought it would be expedient (only for themselves, of course, their regime being a disaster for everybody else) to invent an entirely new party called "Island First", for which not a single vote had been cast.
Cllr Whittle’s statement is full of high-minded phrases.
"Over the past three years it has been increasingly clear to me that I can best represent the interests of local people by working constructively with the main team of councillors — the Conservatives."
Well, fancy that. Cllr Whittle’s mind must work exceeding slow if it’s taken three years for him to realise just what a bummer it is to sit among the independent group.
Sorry, Wayne, that’s not how you put it, is it? You want to "best represent the interests of local people".
Of course you do.
"The Conservative group is made up of community-focused individuals, such as myself," says Wayne of his new best friends. Is that what you said about them when you stood as an independent at the last election?
If Cllr Whittle really feels he should be a Tory, then he must go ahead. It will be lovely for him to be with people who have "a shared determination to make the necessary decisions — in a timely manner — for the future of the Island".
It’s not the defection itself that’s wrong. It’s the arrogance of not consulting the voters, who chose him as their independent councillor.
Do you suppose, Wayne, there might have been a reason they didn’t elect the Tory? That’s right. They didn’t want him.
If you have even an ounce of respect for those who put you into County Hall, you’ll step down as a councillor right now and have the courage to stand in a by-election in your new party colours.
My guess is you won’t. And no doubt your new masters will draft a suitable response for you to explain why such a thing would be out of the question.
Discover this Island 'secret’
DIMBOLA Lodge has numerous delights for its visitors this summer, including a deliciously whacky exhibition of photographs taken during the 70s and 80s by Carinthia West, the Island’s favourite rock-on bit of posh.Descended from all sorts of aristos, who first trundled on to the Island in Edwardian days, Carinthia freewheels through life as a stylishly swanky bohemian and her piccies are a glorious record of the fun she’s had with countless iconic trendsetters.
Mick Jagger, Eric Idle, David Bowie, Julie Christie — here they all are, having a great time (and astonishingly well photographed, considering Carinthia seems to have been pretty well constantly either partying or hungover at the time) with her vivacious captions leading us back to those carefree days.
It’s a complete joy and perfect for Dimbola, which remains a bastion of independent eccentricity, though there are far too many people who have never visited this treasurehouse.
It has a reputation as "one of the Island’s best-kept secrets", which must be kind of irksome for a tourist attraction.
It’s a brilliant place. If you’ve never been, go at once. And tell all your friends.