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The “never apologise, never explain” approach to democracy

Here’s a councillor who thinks he was elected to speak his mind. What do you think – did you vote for representation, or a brain dump?


Battling Bay councillor Peter Vickery-Jones and campaigner Phil Rose have clashed over a campaign to get the Downs registered as a village green. At a recent council meeting, Mr Vickery-Jones blasted Mr Rose as “pious and lamentable”.

The 51-year-old has hit back in an official complaint describing the councillor’s comments as “slanderous and abusive”. A copy, which was leaked to the Times, lays bare the bad feeling. Mr Rose said:

“Cllr Vickery-Jones has made a series of inaccurate and abusive statements about me and my work to protect the Downs. These culminated in his most recent allegations at Herne Bay Area Member Panel. He repeatedly claims I deliberately misinform the public. Cllr Vickery-Jones’ behaviour is slanderous, abusive and disrespectful.”

He demanded written evidence from Cllr Vickery-Jones, or a full apology and a promise to never repeat the allegations. But the councillor said:

“I was elected to speak my mind and that’s what I do. I have no intention of apologising for doing so.”

HB Times 2nd Feb 2012


“I was elected to speak my mind”? No, councillor – you were elected to represent the interests of your constituency.

Being elected doesn’t give you the right to speak as you please, it gives you the duty to speak on behalf of others.

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No comments

  1. Norman Sands

    As a fellow sufferer of his slanderous abuse, made before I had even met him or had any direct contact, I sympathise. I don't know why he did it or where he got his information from, though I suspect it may have been from ex-councillor Matthews, he is certainly far too prone to voice his unproven opinions for the position he holds.Don't hold your breath for an apology.RegardsN. Sands