Full Council last night for the first time in the new St. George's room at the Basildon Centre. This is part of our general refurbishment of the Council offices at the Council staff move out of Church Walk House elsewhere in Basildon Town Centre and I think all would agree that the new room is much better. It has decent air-conditioning for starters, unlike the old sweat-box.
The St. George's name continues the general theme of Britishness and Englishness that we have sought to promote for Basildon. This is quite concious, we have all seen the symbols of our nation hijacked by the far-Right in the past and we are determined to take the back. I do believe that this is one of the things that has helped to keep the BNP down in Basildon. They work by trying to portray themselves as the sole custodians of patriotism, but that argument is difficult to make when the Conservative Council flies the Union Flag and the Cross of St.George from the Council offices every day of the year. So, far there are no BNP Councillors in Basildon, which is very good for community relations, and for the operation of the Council. While I am not a particular fan of Labour and the Liberal Democrats I think that we are all united in our especial detestation of the BNP. Keeping them out means that we can keep an all-party cabinet and that debate in the Council has as its background a basic commitment to equality and respect for all of the groups in our community. Frankly, Basildon District does not need those Nazis.
The meeting itself was pretty routine, except for one Labour Councillor who raised a number of ridiculous points of order about an item that everyone agreed about anyway. Having made his speeches he then voted for the matter, leaving everyone wondering why he had bothered. If there is a real concern about agendas then it is reasonably straightforward to bring these up with the Council officers before the meeting, instead of putting on a show in public. Labour were a bit down though, but I don't blame them for that. While we were talking the Crewe and Nantwich byelection was drawing to a close. This was a disaster for Labour and most of them must realise by now that Brown is simply not up to the job. It also raises the question about the moral responsibility of those MPs who nominated him for the Labour leadership, because they must have known that he couldn't hack it. The only question now is if they have the intelligence to dump him before he destroys their party. I actually hope that they get rid of him. Never mind the politics, Britain should not be led by a such an incompetent, regardless of Party.
I never liked Tony Blair, but I was never embarrassed that he was our Prime Minister.