I had the somewhat depressing experience of being at Sutton Civic Centre last night watching some of our elected representatives making themselves look foolish. I had gone there for something else but when that finished at 9pm I thought I'd stick my head in to the Europa Gallery to see how the vote of no-confidence in Councillor Colin Hall, as tabled by Councillor Paul Scully, was going. Despite the fact that the meeting started at 7pm and the vote was the first thing on the agenda they were still going strong when I arrived and when I left at 9.30pm there was no sign that they were much closer to actually voting. Unfortunately I arrived just as the Deputy Mayor was giving a speech which included castigating the Tories for their seating arrangements and went downhill from there. Although there were occasional voices of reason there was much point-scoring, name-calling, hooting and the like while everbody knew darn well that it wasn't going to make the slightest bit of difference because everyone knew how they were going to vote when they came in and weren't going to change their mind. When I left there was at least one Councillor outside smoking a cigarette safe in the knowledge that he wasn't going to miss anything.... Well there's a few hours of the council tax payers money wasted then.....
If you want an example of ad hominem name-calling one of our Councillors has provided an example on the web for you to view. I know there are some very good Councillors out there [because they read this blog] but I was embarrassed at some of the behaviour I saw in the chamber last night, not least because if you or I behaved like that in a pub then I'd certainly anticipate being asked to leave. When the mp3 comes out I'll be sure to cobble some high(low)lights together for you, perhaps even to music!
Before the next council election I'd recommend you find out what your local Councillors have done during their term in office and let them know what you think about it, preferably at the voting box or before.
* Title inspired by Sebastian Brandt's poem of 1494