Wednesday, 22 September 2010

New council leadership does not respect the opposition. Anyone surprised?

I understand that a very short Special Borough Council Meeting was held last night at Hounslow Civic Centre to consider various questions and motions tabled by the opposition Conservative Group.

The reason it was short was that a Labour councillor moved at the onset of the meeting that it be adjourned indefinitely, and so it was.

Of course this kind of stunt is underhand, bad for democracy etc., but is anybody truly surprised by Labour's actions? I know I do bang on somewhat about the fact that it was a Conservative campaign which put Labour back in office in May - but - well, it was a Conservative campaign which put Labour back in office in May.

The new Labour administration at the London Borough of Hounslow has no respect for its Conservative opponents and, with appropriate apologies to my good friend Councillor Mark Bowen who now leads the Conservative Group (and I wish him well), they don't deserve any respect following the debacle that was the local election.

Labour will simply trample all over them throughout the next four years as they quite rightly do not fear electoral repercussions at the hands of the Conservatives in a borough which has a "natural" Labour majority. Especially with a Conservative-led government in office which, whether rightly or wrongly, is committed to a major cuts programme.

The only hope of unseating Labour in Hounslow now, if that proves to be a desirable objective, lies in the emergence of a third political power within the borough to take on both establishment parties and to present residents with a new, radical, community-led and community-focused alternative. I wonder whether any of the current crop of Conservative councillors is ambitious enough, and angry enough, to wish to join us in helping to bring that about?

In the meantime the opposition should expect much more of the kind of thing they experienced last night. And the less time they spend at council meetings, maybe the more time they will have to reflect upon whether or not the strategy of using the cover provided by the general election to move in on the various independents around the borough in the hope of replacing them in their respective areas of influence was truly a clever one.


Anonymous said...

No doubt, a very rude awakening for the blue team and they should expect much of the same for the next four years.
Things will be much better then of course, because they will contest EVERY seat and expect to win EVERY seat and everyone will be happy.

Anonymous said...

Phil, I'm intrigued about Labour's move to decrease the number of council meetings throughout the year.
Critics have claimed that this automatically makes the administration less democratic & accountable etc etc, but surely the constitution of LBH must include a clause stating that a minimum number of meetings must be held to satisfy the interests of democracy & accountability ?

Phil Andrews said...

I'm not sure to be truthful but most of the really important decisions, budget excepted, are made at Executive in any case.

Anonymous said...

Who'd be a sprat or a mackerel, in sleepy old Isleworth today ?
So much politcal intrigue, so much apparent foul play
The usual suspects with axes to grind, desperate to make an impression
Egos so fragile their paths never cross, kings & queens of their own processions
But via the 'net they find courage to speak, with arguments contrived and absurd
Half-truths and hearsay presented as fact and both sides must have the last word
Cat & dog, tit for tat, truly a siege mentality
Bloodless feuds with the weapon of choice, force of personality
And caught in the crossfire, poor hapless whingers being taken for a ride
Short-changed by the powers that be and no-one on hand to advise
The shutters are down, it's tiffin time, no response to our phone calls and letters
Red team or blue the decline goes on, don't we deserve so much better ?
What is the answer ? LBH Watch ? Will it really improve the postion ?
Or will it merely breed resentment, prolonging the war of attrition ?