Last month Carshalton & Wallington MP, Tom Brake and his colleagues waved in a European Directive which tackled unfair trading. One of the proscribed activities was the selective quoting of reviews for theatre advertising. A recent Guys and Dolls revival was described as ‘hilarious’ despite the whole quote explaining that ‘the original fifties musical was hilarious whereas the new production falls somewhat flat’.

The theatre owner would face jail if he tried that now. No such penalty for Tom Brake after his own distortion of the facts. He has been caught out for the second time by local residents trying to spin his colleagues out of the mess that they are in over the unpopular £35 green garden waste charge.

He has written to a constituent in response to a complaint about the charge, claiming that the Conservatives were in favour of the charge and ascribing Conservative spokesman, John Kennedy with the quote “The environmental charges that now face us go beyond party politics. Both main political parties have, for the first time, worked jointly on a borough policy.” and added “The new strategy gives us a framework for reducing the impact of the waste we produce at home.”

I don’t remember if this was word for word accurate. The sentiment is correct. We have worked together to formulate a waste minimisation strategy that will reduce the amount that goes to landfill. However there have been two areas that we have consistently disagreed with the LibDems on. The unpopular £35 is one. We are also concerned about the role of the waste awareness officers that have been recruited as we are opposed to any suggestion of the introduction of ‘bin police.’ Cllr Kennedy has made this clear to the Council Executive and even to Tom Brake himself in a letter dated 17th May. Despite this, Tom Brake is persisting on encouraging the contrary view in a letter to another constituent dated 26th June.

I’m surprised that he seeks to quote a Conservative councillor to give him credibility rather than his own spokesman. I am less surprised that he has consistently failed to offer a view on the charge himself. Still if that is how he sees fit to conduct himself in his last two years as an MP he is unlikely to be surprised at the verdict given via the ballot box.