D’Oh!, Councillor Dickinson Seeks A Political Boost From Afghanistan War Dead?

Each November since 1928 The Royal British Legion has invited individuals from across the country to join them in honouring and remembering loved ones lost whilst serving in our Armed Forces.

The Fields of Remembrance are officially opened by a member of the Royal Family and a special Remembrance ceremony is held where we honour the 2 minute silence at 11.00am. The Royal British Legion buglers will play the Last Post and the exhortation will be read.

In 2010 the Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance was situated in the grounds of Lydiard House & Park, Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon.

Lydiard Park is situated in Swindons Freshbrook & Grange Park ward, and is currently represented by three Conservative Councillors:  Mick Bray, Michael Dickinson and Peter Greenhalgh.

I voted for Michael Dickinson in the 2007 local elections but I don’t think I’ll be repeating that mistake this year because, apart from resembling Homer Simpson, Michael has a habit of making promises he’s ultimately unwilling to keep which causes residents of Freshbrook and Grange Park to utter Homers signature phrase, D’Oh!, repeatedly.  Michael usually just makes me laugh with his Simpson’esque antics,  but by politicising his visit to the Field of Remembrance he is willing to plumb new depths in his search for re-election to Swindon Borough Council.

I was  ‘Dickinsoned’ only yesterday when I read a leaflet which the Swindon Conservatives had thrust through my letterbox.  Most of the leaflet was the normal political ‘look how clever we are’ guff, but what caused me to say D’Oh!’, (followed quickly by a ‘how dare he!’, and then later by bit of colourful language), was the picture of him standing in the Lydiard Park Field of Remembrance looking suitably solemn as he posed for his leaflet picture.

Now, I don’t know whether the following opinion is widely shared or not, but I’m going to share it as widely as possible because I need to know if my moral compass is out of whack or my local councillor doesn’t have a moral compass at all….

….but I think it is absolutely wrong, distasteful, disrespectful and possibly dishonourable for local politicians to seek political capital or votes  in this way and I think Michael should be ashamed of himself.

I can’t help noticing that Councillor Dickinson, who is described in the Conservative ‘InTouch’ leaflet as ‘visiting the Field of Remembrance to mourn’, didn’t bother wearing a poppy for his piccie.

Similarly, I can’t help wondering whether Cllr Dickinson, a man desperate to be re-elected, bothered to pay the small admission charge to enter the walled garden at Lydiard park, or whether he merely flashed his Swindon Borough Council Identity card at the gate before waltzing in to use the Field of Remembrance as a politically useful piece of landscape to appear in front of.  Perhaps Michael will set me straight.  Maybe he’ll send me a copy of his receipt….

It is also very surprising to see Cllr Mick Bray mentioned in connection Michael Dickinsons photo-shoot in the Field of Remembrance, in fact the author of the leaflet makes a particular point of mentioning  Cllr Brays legion membership and suggesting that Councillor Bray has prior knowledge of next years ceremonial arrangements.  On balance,  I was left with the strong impression that Councillor Dickinson is suggesting that he is endorsed by the  Royal British Legion.

Mick Bray will become deputy Mayor in May this year and become Mayor in 2012.  I sincerely hope that, as a member of the Royal British Legion, he wasn’t holding the camera for Cllr Dickinson.

nb:  The Royal British Legion recently said:

The Royal British Legion is strictly non-political and for nearly 90 years we have scrupulously remained above the party political fray. We have never endorsed any political party nor do we accept party donations made for partisan purposes.

A discussion topic is open on the Talkswindon forum here: D’Oh!, Councillor Dickinson Seeks A Political Boost From Afghanistan War Dead?

Posted on
Sunday, February 20th, 2011
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