Last week’s letter from “Inside Left” is a prime example of what our communities have had to put up with for far too long: dirty and divisive politics.
Instead of an inclusive, can-do approach which could get to grips with the multiple deprivations afflicting our towns, we get endless political point-scoring and hype about our “excellent honest and hard-working Labour councillors”.
Anyone that tries to hold these public servants to account can expect vicious personal abuse from their largely anonymous supporters.
Inside Left’s letter doesn’t just malign me. He attacks the right of any resident in receipt of some form of state support such as working tax credits, child tax credits, disability benefit etc to be politically active.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of local people wish to see the Gelly Loch restored and brought back into public use. Inside Left knows better, dismissing our local loch, the namesake of our town, as the “inaccessible pond of algae”. So much for the hard work of volunteers associated with the Lochgelly Past & Present facebook group that recently made such a fantastic start in improving access to the Gelly Loch.
If an individual, community group or political party dares to provide evidence of political wrongdoing, or dares to voice an opinion counter to that of the current ruling party, they are liable to meet a torrent of unqualified abuse on social media, in print and often in person.
This has poisoned our political discourse. No wonder people are turned off politics. No wonder participation and engagement in local politics are at an all-time low. And no wonder it’s hard to get volunteers for community projects when our councillors use them for political self-aggrandisement or party-political point-scoring.
I am sickened by the political abuse dished out to residents and community groups by a minority of councillors and party activists. It has strengthened my resolve to stand for the council. As an Independent, I am not obliged to do any party’s bidding. And I will not silently stand by as politics of hatred and division sidelines our communities.