Not many people envy my role as Leader of the Lib Dem opposition on the Tory-run New Forest District Council.
It’s my job to challenge the 58 Conservatives on the Council, particularly the six cabinet members who make all the decisions about how public money is spent.
Cabinet meetings would be simple “rubber stamping” exercises, often appearing to be love-ins, with each Cabinet member extolling the virtues of what they are doing, were it not for myself questioning and challenging.
Privately, one of the Tory Councillors nicknamed me as “Tenacious D”, reflecting the steely and persistent way that I hold the Cabinet to account, pointing out the failures and the inadequacies.
I am always polite and never stoop to personal insults, but I make sure that all those present, (including the press), know that the conservative spin isn’t always that closely matched with reality.
I know I am being effective when the Tories resort to personal insults.
Today, the Tory Leader of the Council disliked my opinion so much that he felt it necessary to call me “a Loser”.
It is not perhaps the most courageous thing he does, in a Chamber filled with like-minded Tories and it always serves to confirm my conviction that I have scored some really valid points.
There is a Councillor Code of Conduct that says members should treat one another with respect.
He clearly breached that, but I won’t complain.
He does his own image and reputation much more harm than anything I suffer.
It’s remarkable how much difference even one person standing up and being a dissenting voice can make.
Had I really been a loser at the last District Council elections, it makes me wonder just how the Council would be run, without me constantly snapping at their heels.
I call it positive negativity.
They appear to hate me for doing my job well.