The 'frightening' contrast in dealing with defeat - Eileen Wragg

Eileen Wragg, Liberal Democrat candidate for Exmouth Town. Picture: Eileen Wragg

Eileen Wragg, Liberal Democrat candidate for Exmouth Town. Picture: Eileen Wragg - Credit: Eileen Wragg

District councillor Eileen Wragg writes for the Journal

I believe The outgoing President Trump has shown what a dangerous and deranged despot he is by his recent deplorable behaviour. He and some of his supporters may even have blood on their hands, with the violence taking the lives of five people.

Following which, the previously unthinkable has happened. I find myself for the first time agreeing with Priti Patel, who has said that Trump should be banned from visiting the UK.

It is interesting to observe how people react to defeat in different ways. Trump has refused to attend President Elect Biden’s inauguration, while his Vice President appears quite statesmanlike in stating that he will attend the swearing in ceremony.

I experienced similar reactions, albeit on a much smaller scale, to the major planning application which went before EDDC’s Planning Committee last week (of which I am the Chair), for the Lower Otter Restoration Project (LORP).

I had asked for a site visit to take place in December, which meant some Committee Members meeting with the Environment Agency, Clinton Devon Estates and Officers of the Council. It was a comprehensive meeting, with many questions being asked, and lots of information being given.

The ensuing Planning meeting last week gave opportunities for objectors, supporters and Committee and Ward Members to express concerns and comments, with a thorough debate and careful consideration given to all the views conveyed, lasting over two hours. The outcome was unanimous support for the scheme which was granted consent.

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The same day, some of the objectors emailed me, very politely complimenting on the structured manner of the meeting and the chairing of it, adding their appreciation, even though it was not the result that they wanted.

In complete contrast, there followed a highly offensive and insulting message, decrying an absence of democracy, making a false accusation of the decision having been a done deal, which could not have been further from the truth.

The contrasting styles of dealing with defeat are quite stark, and frighteningly so at times. Either angry reactions or gracious acceptance of decisions made. In my opinion, the winners are those who accept democratic decision-making, even unwelcome ones, in a dignified manner. They have style.

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