Fringe Box



Letter: What Does Robin Horsley Stand For?

Published on: 3 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 3 Apr, 2023

From Joe Taylor

In response to: Dragon Interview – Councillor Describes Impact of ‘Battle for Guildford’ Video

Robin Horsley is trying his best to manufacture an enemy to rally against, but aside from stopping R4GV [Residents for Guildford & Villages] I’m not really sure what he stands for.

Using language like “battle” and “under siege” Mr Horsley is making a very transparent attempt to paint R4GV as an existential threat to our lovely green and pleasant olde world Guildford.

Because I clearly have too much time on my hands, let’s have a look at some of his claims.

It is claimed R4GV is a political party masquerading as a group of independent candidates.

In the video, the word “apparently” does a lot of heavy lifting here in relation to some R4GV members not knowing they were part of a political group. But no evidence is shown to back up this claim.

It is insinuated that Cllr Bigmore and Rigg’s previous employment represents a conflict of interest.

Horsley doesn’t elaborate on this too much but it’s an obvious smear of a former city banker and a former property developer, suggesting a shady conflict of interest, designed to show that they’re both in it for themselves.

He claims the North Street proposal looks like a ghetto or 60s Soviet housing block.

Mr Horsley knows his audience, invoking red scare language to once again frame this as an outside aggressor laying siege to all of our beloved Guildford. Let’s ignore the obvious dog whistle that is made by referring to this as a ghetto.

He claims secrecy about developments in Guildford.

But the information is out there. If Mr Horsley has better things to do I don’t blame him but there’s no conspiracy to hide this as he alludes to. Later on he claims there’s more developments coming, he doesn’t expand on this but it’s a nice vague threat to show R4GV as hellbent on demolishing the rest of Guildford.

He claims that flats in the town centre will lead to more greenbelt development.

This is speculative at best. What we do know is that Guildford has an obligation to meet housing targets and that building high density on brownfield sites in the centre of town helps to meet those targets and does mean less development elsewhere.

The fact there is demand for housing doesn’t necessarily translate to more houses being built, but might mean demand will outstrip supply and houses in Guildford will probably become more expensive.

Mr Horsley employs emotional music and imagery to create a narrative of secrecy and change that is being forced upon us. He claims to not be political but he singles out R4GV for critique and doesn’t bring up the council’s coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, who would have been privy to the bid for North Street and could have played a better part in scaling it back if they chose to.

Part of me thinks his altruism is perhaps just a performance to lay the groundwork for another bid by him to be Mole Valley’s MP whenever the next general election takes place.

The sad thing is the “not in my back yard” attitude Mr Horsley is stoking might actually backfire when he sees a large housing development approved on his very own doorstep, all because the council has a quota to achieve and because no developer would want to waste time on North Street.

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Responses to Letter: What Does Robin Horsley Stand For?

  1. Laurie Edwards Reply

    April 4, 2023 at 10:36 am

    A good letter Joe.

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