We trumpet our democratic governments and yet, as recent events show, we are governed by parachutists, who comb the country for winnable seats, and not by people who have intimate knowledge of their area.
The selected Conservative candidate is a prime example, a banker by profession – and we all know their part in today’s problems – now reborn as a company adviser. His pledges may well have been written by his predecessor, Francis Maude, who was also a parachutist.
Our prospective new MP will - and I quote from WSCT 19th March – ‘fight tooth and nail’ against a second runway at Gatwick; he will also be a ‘strong advocate’ for a new acute hospital. He would appear to be the only person to be unaware that this is a pipedream.
Finally, he is aware of residents’ concerns about housing but will he speak up against the Tory policy of allowing non-elected, non-resident planning inspectors to make the final decision? I think not.
At a local level, a North Horsham councillor was deselected by her local Conservative Association because they felt she would be a liability in the up-coming local elections having completely ignored the wishes of her electorate in order to cosy up to her leader.
She is now parachuting into a distant ward in the far south of the district claiming, and I quote, ‘a solid track record of delivering results in my ward’. I leave the voters of Henfield to decide.
Finally, the West Sussex County Times is excellent at allowing both sides publicity.
However, it must ensure that the developer, Liberty, tells the truth and admits to a possible 4,000 houses north of Horsham (we are currently aware of 2,750) - the dubious outcome of land designated for the business part and the paper railway station spring to mind.