David Cameron is not the only politician who sometimes struggles to concentrate on showing that, really, honestly, he does have the “common touch”, and that he is not just an Old Etonian from an immensely privileged background who actually has very little in common with most of the country.
Nearer to home here in Croydon, we have in our midst another Tory politician who clearly views the mass of the population as something of an inconvenience, apart from the occasions when she wants our votes.
Clare Hilley’s personal blog is generally as dull as ditchwater, full of platitudinous “what I did on my holidays”, gushing postings about her latest messianic political campaigning work for the ultra-right wing Young Conservatives (or however they have “re-branded” themselves). Rarely does she bother to recount anything about her hard work as a Croydon ward councillor for the people of Waddon. Wonder why?
The idea that Councillor Hilley works in PR for property developers continues to intrigue, considering the multi-million commercial opportunities apparently up for grabs in a Croydon in the midst of its £450 million redevelopment of its new headquarters and the Council Hub.
The possibilities for conflicts of interest are constant: for instance, when Hilley’s new bosses at HardHat, Andrew Howard and Max Camplin, attended last month’s MIPIM conference in Cannes, did anyone arrange for them to “meet” the Croydon delegation enjoying its jolly in the South of France (all thanks to another £12,500 of public money very well spent)?
Hilley has been caught off-message before. But on Twitter, @ClareHilley really lets rip, with her innermost thoughts. Be afraid, Croydon, be very afraid…
Here’s a recent selection:
So, Waddonites, don’t bother trying to contact your local councillor for the next week or so. Of course, “three-jobs” Hilley needs a holiday. After all, she has her HardHat job and all that Conservative Future stuff to do, as well as collect her five-figure allowance for being a Waddon councillor.
Before that, on April 21, there was this: Too many events tonight: TFC & @NO2AV pub crawl & drinks on the river. Need to choose as off to see Chicago at 8pm- ideas?
It must be all go as a local councillor in Croydon, what with the mad social whirl, and drinks at every turn. Though it seems unlikely that any of the events Hilley was attending were actually in Croydon.
And on April 18, we got to see the true face of caring Conservatism from Hilley: Outside croydon- stuck on train for last 40min as person’s sitting on line & power’s off so he doesn’t die
So thoughtful, so compassionate. So Conservative.
Updated Nov 9 2011: “Councillor Clare George-Hilley has pointed out that there are clear rules in the Council’s Code of Conduct regarding the registration and declaration of interests and the need where appropriate to withdraw from meetings. She has assured Inside Croydon that she has at all times adhered to the Code and will continue to do so, and it is not Inside Croydon’s intention to suggest otherwise. Councillor George-Hilley and all other interested parties are always welcome to submit their comments for publication on this article”.
- ‘Calm down, dear’ – three words that wreck Cameron’s affability credentials (guardian.co.uk)
- PMQs: Calm down dear, Lansley’s going through the slow shredder (libdemvoice.org)