Returning from holiday on Tuesday, I found a number of political leaflets waiting for me, including two from the Liverpool franchise of the Liberal Democrat Party. I'd been expecting the Lib Dems to be fighting their usual positive campaign based on their record of achievement and ideas for future improvements, but instead I was surprised to discover that the headline story in the leaflet was criticising Labour for apparently considering the introduction of alternative weekly collections of rubbish to boost rates of recycling, which they dubbed a 'Rodent's Charter' (complete with a picture of a rat wearing a red rosette).
I know that my sadness in reading this would have been shared by some of my former colleagues on Oxford City Council, Lib Dem Oxford franchise managers Cllr Tall and Cllr Dr Rundle, who (along with their colleague Cllr Fooks who is sadly not yet a blogger) have written extensively and eloquently about their disgust about partisan bickering over recycling and the great success of the introduction of the alternate weekly rubbish collections under their new regime.
They will be relieved to know that in the last few days I have had the opportunity to speak with a number of concerned citizens who have mentioned this issue. I have been able to pass on to these people copies of the Liberal Democrat arguments in favour of collecting non-recyclable rubbish once a fortnight (with the most important points highlighted), and reassured them that it is this, not the scaremongering of the most recent leaflets, that best reflects the tradition of Asquith, Lloyd George, and their party's concern for the environment rather than scoring party political points. I am pleased to report that everyone that I have spoken to has found this most illuminating and instructive.