Monday, 18 August 2014

Recycle Ralph Cook Cardiff labour group genitalia spokesperson

You have got to laugh or weep in despair! Sue Lent (described as left wing for some not obvious reason) was elected as Cardiff council’s Labour group deputy leader, ousting the group’s former leader Ralph Cook so sour grapes from Ralphie! The B team win! Even Labour party members are writing to the paper about the misogyny in the labour party ruling group.  Gretta Marshall hasn't come out to support Siobhan but shes in the wrong tribe! Cardiff councillor resigns from 'vicious' and 'divided' Labour group

Members should stop being so tribal
I read the articles arising from the resignation from the council of Siobhan Corria with some dismay.
Firstly, I am not surprised by Siobhan’s resignation as I soon reached the conclusion that she was not in accord with the Labour Party on a range of issues, nor very comfortable with the Cardiff-wide responsibilities of a county councillor. I will refrain from character assassination, except to say that I quite like her as a person because I saw in her energy and attitudes (not her politics) some of myself when I was in my early twenties, when I naively thought I could change the world for the better every day.
What bothers me is that the Labour Party seems to have taken seriously some of the unspecified issues raised by Siobhan. It has apparently informed the Echo that it has agreed to “implement two over-arching interventions to address the range of issues presented by Siobhan Corria, namely the production of an equality impact assessment on custom and practice in Cardiff council’s Labour group and the rolling out of equalities training for all Cardiff Labour councillors. These two measures were taken on by Cardiff Labour group officers for consideration as part of a wider review of group reform led by Councillor Phil Bale.”
This is the first I have heard of it and I object strongly to the implied criticism of those within the Cardiff Labour group, whom Siobhan had disputes with. The Labour Party has not canvassed my opinions and had it done so I would have had plenty to say. If the Cardiff Labour group needs any help it is to ensure that all group members are reminded in the strongest possible terms of their responsibilities. This has nothing to do with equalities and everything to do with the fact that prominent people in one part of the group set out to undermine the previous cabinet with the intention of replacing them.
Siobhan Corria said: “I have been unhappy for a long time in the Labour Party. It is nothing to do with the Labour group or the leadership.” She claims she spoke to Welsh Labour’s general secretary David Hagendyk several times on issues over the “culture, attitude and sexism within the Labour Party” but he had “failed to act”. She said there was now “too much internal politics” within the party. 
If this is true I fail to see why the Labour Party has put the focus on the Cardiff Labour Group. If they think there is merit in Siobhan’s arguments surely it is the structures and culture of the wider party that need an examination. I think the only thing that will rescue the Labour group from its internal problems is when members understand they need to stop acting tribally. They need to listen to everyone else carefully, be open and transparent and make decisions they individually think are right. It would also be helpful if some of the newer members respected the experience of longstanding members. At the moment, part of the group just regard the other part (as if we are all peas in a pod) as “right-wing”, or ascribe some other equally stupid label to them.
Councillor Ralph Cook Trowbridge, Cardiff

4 hrs · 
Sir,
I wish to commend Cllr Ralph Cook for his excellent letter on tribalism within the Labour Party and the resignation of Cllr Siobhan Corria (South Wales Echo 16th August 2014). He has hit the nail on the head when he reveals that the internal problems of the Labour Party are caused by people such as Cllr Corria, who - despite her "energy and attitudes", some of which many of us in the Party also had when we too were in our early twenties when we naively thought we could change the world for the better every day - are simply far too young, inexperienced, and female to ever be comfortable with the Cardiff-wide responsibilities of a county councillor.
Rather than face up to her inherent unsuitability to be a councillor (specifically, her youth and lack of a penis) Cllr Corria instead blames her resignation on the "culture of sexism and bullying" within the Labour Party. Like Cllr Cook, I too am dismayed that the Labour Party has taken these concerns seriously and plans to produce an equality impact assessment on custom and practice in Cardiff council’s Labour group, and force equalities training on all Cardiff Labour councillors! I fully agree with Cllr Cook that there is absolutely no need for this: Cllr Cook, despite his considerable experience of being a woman in the Labour Party, has no experience himself of a culture of sexism and bullying in the Labour Party. It follows logically, therefore, that there is no culture of sexism and bullying in the Labour Party.
Furthermore, I fully agree with Cllr Cook all the problems within the Labour Party would disappear if only young people (without penises) with no experience and without the maturity to understand a county councillor's responsibilities would simply listen to - and defer to - those older and wiser than themselves (and in possession of a penis) such as Cllr Cook, and not disagree with them on matters of policy or the running of a city; areas very much outside of their capabilities and experience (owing to their extreme youth and lack of a penis). I, too, think the only thing that will rescue the Labour group from its internal problems is when members "listen to everyone else carefully", and "if some of the newer members respected the experience of longstanding members" (particularly if they have the misfortune to not have a penis).
In fact, it would be so much better for the Labour Party, and the City of Cardiff, if lovely young things like Siobhan would leave the management and carrying out of important things like a county councillor's responsibilities to those who know what they're doing. There are plenty of useful and essential tasks within the Labour Party that young people without penises can do, such as leafletting, telephone canvassing, and baking for the Party's summer parties.
Life would be so much less stressful for people like Cllr Corria - and so much easier for the rest of us - if only they would not worry their pretty little heads with complicated things like holding public office and carrying out the responsibilities thereof, as such tasks require an understanding of responsibilities that can only be achieved with the wisdom and experience of age, and having a penis.
Dr Liza van Zyl, D.Phil. (Oxon)
Butetown
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  • You and 21 others like this.

  • Vivienne Jenkins There's always stuffing envelopes to keep these young penis-less people busy, too.
    3 hrs · Like · 2
  • Sean Legge Pmsl!
    3 hrs · Like · 2
  • Liza Van Zyl Cllr Ralph Cook's letter in the Echo is a masterpiece of sexism and is one of the most patronising communications I've ever seen. If people ever doubted there's a culture of sexism in Welsh Labour, that doubt will be completely cleared up on reading his letter.
    2 hrs · Like · 7
  • Terence Canning That's brilliant. I think I may have just laughed my penis off.
    2 hrs · Like · 3
  • Liza Van Zyl I'm not sure the Echo's going to publish my letter. I don't know what their policy is on the multiple use of the word penis. But given they're happy to publish letters from Cllr Cook who's such a perfect specimen of a quality knob-end, they can't reasonably object to my letter I'd have thought.
    2 hrs · Like · 3
  • Geraint Hopkins Do you happen to have a link to Cllr Cook's letter?
    2 hrs · Like
  • Geraint Hopkins I'm astonished you are all having this spat on the letters page of the Echo.
    1 hr · Like
  • Sean Legge Gordon Allports scale of prejudice is a good reference and worth a browse.
    1 hr · Like
  • Liza Van Zyl Geraint, while it is unbecoming to have a spat on the pages of the Echo, Ralph Cook's letter was so extraordinary sexist and patronizing, it simply could not be left without challenge. The issue here is whether there is a culture of sexism in the Labou...See More
    1 hr · Like · 3

  • 1 hr · Like · 3
  • Alternately, we could just keep quiet for decorum's sake, and allow this culture of sexism and bullying within our party to remain unchallenged.
  • Anne Greagsby I was surprised that Gretta Marshall hasn't come out to support Siobhan but shes in the wrong tribe! Cardiff councillor resigns from 'vicious' and 'divided' Labour group http://bit.ly/1BusIM2

    www.walesonline.co.uk
    The councillor said she will continue representing Splott, Tremorfa and Pengam Green until the next election but will not stand again
  • Anne Greagsby "Political leaders must drag politics into the 21st century and ensure it is not a boy's brigade" Cardiff ex councillor Siobhan Corria 
    Siobhan Corria http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Ex-Cabinet+councillor+in...


    www.thefreelibrary.com
    Free Online Library: Ex-Cabinet councillor in blast at the attitudes of politica...See More
  • Ceri Phillips Love this!
    14 hrs · Like · 1
  • Liza Van Zyl Lis Burnett, have you seen Cllr Cook's extraordinarily sexist letter in the Echo?
    2 hrs · Like
  • Terence Canning Your letter is in....with one or two minor edits 
    2 hrs · Like · 2
  • Debra Allen Liza, what an inspired letter!
    2 hrs · Like · 1
  • Lis Burnett I did and I think Ralph would be fully aware of my thoughts on it. The problem with such attacks is that they escalate. You just have to look at this thread and see a woman being attacked and by another woman. I'm fortunate as I serve within a gender balanced group in the Vale and Penarth Council but that doesn't mean there isn't inappropriate language used some times or disagreement. You talk about keeping quiet for decorum's sake. I don't see it as that and feel that everyone has a right to speak. Labour remains the most diverse party and is committed to equality but public spats create the perception that we are not and that we are divided as a party, which we are not. This makes us open to attack from parties much less diverse than us. You are a member of Cardiff South and Penarth there are mechanisms through which you could bring motion to the constituency. If you'd like to do that I'd be happy to help.
    1 hr · Like · 1
  • Liza Van Zyl Thanks Lis, I would like to take this to the constituency, but I didn't have any idea how. I do appreciate the points you make. But I feel strongly that Cook's letter was so blatantly sexist, and so completely unacceptable from a Labour Councillor, a robust response was needed. I'd be grateful for your advice as to how to take this through the correct channels, and to learn generally the most effective ways to address issues within the Party. Perhaps you could message me your availability so we could meet up? Thanks! x
    1 hr · Like

  • Siobhan Corria I think you should definitely take a motion to Cardiff South and Penarth and I will take one to Cardiff North. But I have already met with the general secretary of Welsh Labour and as Ralph Cook says in his letter to the echo, he knew nothing of the recommendations following that meeting and he was deputy leader.
    1 hr · Like · 1
  • Ralph Cook What an extraordinarily daft letter this is. I am not at all sexist, far from it nor did I demand other members do as experienced members said. I merely asked that they respect the views of more experienced members - do you feel  that people should not respect the views of people with greater experience than them? Siobhan's complaint about sexism was reportedly made against the wider Labour Party not the Cardiff Labour Group of which I am a member as I understand it, so your attack is way off beam.What an extraordinarily daft letter this is. I am not at all sexist, far from it nor did I demand other members do as experienced members said. I merely asked that they respect the views of more experienced members 
  • Ralph Cook Having flicked down your page, I see you claim to oppose discrimination and prejudice, I don't think I recognise that having read your letter about me. You do not know me and you have misinterpreted my letter. You have discriminated against me apparently because of my genitalia.
    1 hr · Like
  • Siobhan Corria I think you should just step away from the keyboard.
    1 hr · Like · 1
  • Liza Van Zyl Ralph, your letter is extraordinarly sexist and is one of the most patronising utterances I have ever seen - and as a woman research scientist for many years, I have seen plenty. Your letter is completely unacceptable from a member of the Labour Party,...See More
    45 mins · Edited · Like
  • Liza Van Zyl Furthermore, Ralph, your comments about Siobhan not understanding the "responsibilities" of her job plainly insinuate she is incompetent, and are libellous. You have further undermined David Hagendyk's office by disputing the decision to do an equality impact assessment of the Labour group's customs and practices and giving equality training to Councillors.
  • Liza Van Zyl Ralph, the comments and attitudes expressed in your letter demonstrate *very* clearly that there is indeed a culture of sexism in the Labour Party. You have brought the Labour Party and Cardiff Council into disrepute. I certainly hope whip Cllr Chris Davis and Deputy Leader Sue Lent deal very firmly with you, because in all honestly, you should resign.
  • Liza Van Zyl PS: Ralph, I have just purchased a copy of the Echo, and you will be pleased to note that, while they have published my letter in full, they have removed all references to genitalia.
  • Anne Greagsby Ralph cook displays the incivility, bullying and narcissism that he deplores in others. Feelings of inadequacy trigger individuals to lash out at others especially those prone to exaggerate their accomplishments and downplay the contributions of others creating toxic environments.
    3 mins · Like


Ralphie always has plenty to say 


Cllr Ralph Cook's response to our letter in today's Echo suggests he is happy to dismiss a whole community's concerns http://t.co/jWxAW2QPpP
Your letters to the South Wales Echo
WALESONLINE.CO.UK
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I was surprised that Gretta Marshall hasn't come out to support Siobhan but shes in the wrong tribe! Cardiff councillor resigns from 'vicious' and 'divided' Labour group http://bit.ly/1BusIM2
The councillor said she will continue representing Splott, Tremorfa and Pengam Green until the next election but will not stand again


"Political leaders must drag politics into the 21st century and ensure it is not a boy's brigade" Cardiff ex councillor Siobhan Corria 

Our Friend Ralphies excellent record p the voice of experience !!

06 Apr 2014
A bus-lane would cause “gridlock” and similar hype was the resort of Cllr Ralph Cook, when defending. his Canton Bridge scheme against criticisms at the Scrutiny Committee (Echo 25 July: Holdups alert. as scheme for bikes ...
26 Jul 2013
Ralph Cook's half-baked scheme would cause traffic delays for up to 3 months, as a road-lane on the north side is taken out for rebuilding the high 'trief' kerb on the off-side of the existing cycleway. Cyclists will be blamed, ...
26 Nov 2013
Ralph Cook departed from Council policy in arguing for substandard width on the basis of what's allegedly accepted elsewhere (York). Any request that goes against policy should be presented with evidence through proper ...
27 Apr 2014
The cycling officer resigned when forced to put Cars first in Canton and forced to push through Ralph Cook's Cardiff Bridge scheme - she quit the Council in 2013. Jo Sachs reported to CCC's 2011AGM · Cardiff'sCycle Design ...

10 Jul 2013
Ralph Cook as Cabinet Member responsible, should now abandon his efforts to push through an expensive and substandard scheme, and go instead for creating a bus/cycling lane outbound, across the southside of the ...
15 Jul 2013
Cabinet Member Ralph Cook chose to denigrate the Cycling Campaign as a few meeting in a pub rather than engage with our arguments. So blundered on with a highly expensive scheme (£450 000) to divide the pavements ...
15 Jan 2014
Now off sick - Deputy leader Ralph Cook, who has until now driven forward the LDP, has a new role covering a range of responsibilities. This includes exploring new methods of delivering council services, human resources, ...
29 Mar 2010
Labour councillor Ralph Cook, said that most of the claims were made by lone women in their later years. He said: “To expect them to stand at a bus stop late at night is not right, I think the council has a duty of care.

11 May 2014
... Cardiff has to seek ways of addressing the escalating congestion problem. Why omit managing and restraining use of the car as the LDP consultants advised? [Omitted from the LDP which is surely an error (by Ralph Cook)] ...