Forgotten but not gone… 24 January, 2013Posted by Jeremy Rowe in News, Politics.
Tags: Conservatives, Cornwall Council, Privatisation
After months of silence it was his chance to – as he saw it – put the record straight, deal with a few myths, start to repair his legacy. No, I’m not talking about Lance Armstrong (there was at least a partial admission of fault in his interview with Oprah), I’m referring to the erstwhile Leader of Cornwall Council’s re-emergence on James Churchfield’s breakfast show on Radio Cornwall this morning.
Like the Armstrong appearance, there does appear to be a strategy at play here and Cllr Robertson started the interview very much ‘on-message’. The Lavery years had, apparently, been a successful period of strong leadership by consensus, ‘savings’ (or ‘cuts’ as we might call them) were delivered, privatisation schemes were launched and so on, and the former Leader even tried to claim the ‘credit’ for some of these things. (I imagine there was a certain amount of choking on breakfast cornflakes from his colleagues when he tried to paint a picture of a touchy-feely Cabinet of consensus – others remember it differently.)
But it didn’t take long before the settling of scores was alluded to. It was, of course, largely the fault of those dastardly Lib Dems for asking awkward questions all the time, life in a coalition was hard (we know) and there was a certain amount of ideological opposition to ‘the programme’.
Then, after an attempt at magnanimity, he turned his fire on his Tory successor. He said (and, since I don’t have a transcript of the broadcast, I may paraphrase slightly) “This authority hasn’t been Conservative-led since October.” Jim Currie could not call himself a Tory after the assassination that took place last Autumn, there has been a “hiatus” since and the whole thing is falling apart at the seams. And while nothing was said about Fiona Ferguson – a long-time internal thorn in his side – there is clearly still an unburied hatchet or two there.
Asked if he would like to be Leader again he was very quick to rule nothing out. The Tory rumour mill – easily the most efficient part of their operation at County Hall – is letting it be known that Alec is putting together a ‘Shadow, Shadow Cabinet’ in preparation for a triumphant return after May. Obviously Jim Currie won’t be involved, but I wonder what involvement Cllr Ferguson, the current Leader of the Tory Group, can expect. At the moment it’s difficult to tell which of the three Tory factions is in charge.