Eric Pickles scary

Eric Pickles has been accused of swearing in front of a young child. When challenged over his decision to approve the demolition of ancient woodland to make way for a quarry near Maidstone, local Lib Dems claim he called local councillor Tony Harwood a “little shit” in front of his daughter — before storming off into a curry restaurant.

A local resident described the scene, which unfolded as Pickles rushed to a champagne lunch in aid of millionaire expenses trougher Helen Grant:

“I was amazed when he swore at Tony. The whole attitude of Pickles was contemptuous. And this followed the behaviour of our MP who sat in her car rather than talk to her constituents, then scurried into the restaurant.”

And despite personally signing off on the decision, which had been “called in” by his department, Pickles did an Iain Duncan Smith and tried to blame his civil servants:

“This is nothing to do with me. It was decided by a junior official.”

Did the junior official call the councillor a “little shit” too?

  1. The fact that you refer to Helen Grant as a millionaire immediately tells me that your report is politically biased and cannot be relied upon as a true record of events.

  2. “UPDATE: 10/09/2013: It is worth noting since the incident that a spokesman for Mr Pickles has issued a statement denying that he swore, though local people stand by their story. …”

  3. Well this is Political Scrapbook so nobody should expect anything other than faux outrage at something some evil Tory might or might not have said or done. Perhaps the LibDem Councillor concerned deserved to be called a little shit, many of them truly do.

  4. Potted bio of an alledgedly ‘little shit’ From the Lib Dim website

    Tony was born and bred in Maidstone, to a long-established local family. Tony began to feel angry over lack of power local people had against enviromental damage in their area, as well as unremiting attacks on local residents quality of life. In an effort to counter balance this, Tony has earned a well-deserved reputation as a committed and effective environmental and social campaigner. Tony was first elected to Maidstone Council in 1989 and has subsequently led successful campaigns against the scourges of fly-tipping, untaxed and abandoned vehicles and motorway noise, delivered upon greater protection for our local countryside and wildlife and instigated significant investment in pedestrian safety projects across the town.

    Tony is the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Maidstone Council and Shadow Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, however his proudest achievements so far have been his individual interventions on the side of local residents. This is not to say he has not been present in helping creating large change for Maidstone as well, having helped gain protection for local countryside including Vinters Park, the River Len and Wents Wood at Weavering as well as driving through more than a £1 million of investment in pedestrian road safety projects.

    Tony is genuinely concerned that the “system” is becoming less fair; the position of the vulnerable in society more precarious and protection for our countryside and wildlife eroded. He is continuing the fight against these on the behalf of the people of Maidstone and hopes that you can support him in any way you can.

  5. @Dougie

    Do some reasearch about who funds this site and you’ll see that you’re bang on with your accusations of political bias.

  6. Maybe the Councillor did deserve it, maybe not. That is irrelevant. Pickles is a Secretary of State and behaved badly in front of a child. Also, how a left wing blog refers to a millionaire expenses cheat (whether legally or ‘in the spirit’) is also irrelevant except that it provides a distraction tactic for the defenders of the indefencible.

  7. Dougie
    Posted September 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    The fact that you refer to Helen Grant as a millionaire immediately tells me that your report is politically biased and cannot be relied upon as a true record of events.

    Is she a millionaire or not?

    Why does stating a fact change the tone of the piece?

    If you believe it does, can you please post on the Daily Mail, Express and Sun etc websites to stop using the words “scrounger”, “handout”, ” welfare” and “single mother”?

  8. What a strange comment, by Dougie about ‘ refer to Helen Grant as a millionaire’ this would appear to be a fact?
    For all the spouting by Pickles and this Govt about ‘localism’ we see little sign of this is practice – over any sort of development, from wind turbines through to housing in green belt land.

  9. Thanks for your input, Lance. Helen Grant, I believe, owns a house in London so no doubt is a millionaire. So is Ed Miliband, so what? Her wealth is irrelevant to the story but the mention of the word “millionaire” is deliberate and intended to prompt the reader to recall the standard Labour attacks on “Tory toffs” and “tax cuts for millionaires”. It is therefore meant to be taken as derogatory and hence identifies the report as politically biased and therefore suspect.

    Facts are only neutral in the context of an encyclopaedia.

  10. Thanks for your input, Lance. Facts are only neutral in the context of an encyclopaedia. The introduction of the irrelevant fact about Helen Grant’s wealth is intended to prompt the reader to recall Labour attacks on “Tory toffs” and “tax cuts for millionaires”. It is therefore meant to be derogatory and reveals the bias of the writer. Hence the report is suspect.

    Of course, if PS uses the phrase “the millionaire Ed Miliband” every time it refers to him from now on, I’ll take it all back.

  11. Aaron D Highside says:

    What a busy writer you are – lots of bold, size changes, italics, links – and posted at 2.58 pm, after a long lunch, possibly?

  12. @Aaron:

    What a busy writer you are – lots of bold, size changes, italics, links – and posted at 2.58 pm, after a long lunch, possibly?

    Well we must be half cut the whole time … as that’s our house style.

  13. We should forget about the personalities involved and consider the vandalism that is about to take place in Oaken Wood. I was a borough councillor for T & M when the first approval was given to Gallagher to quarry at the very edge of the woods. This was against a background of reassurances that no further extension would be submitted or approved. Local people have had their say and it has been ignored. The loss of these woods has an impact, not just on Maidstone and Ditton but on the UK in general and the wild life in particular.

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