Monday, May 30, 2011

Basildon Labour take a vow of silence

We had a Full Council meeting on the 26th of May. This was the Council AGM, where the administration, which is run by the Conservatives, sets out its priorities and plans for the coming year. There was, as you would expect, a lively debate. The thing is, that debate was entirely confined to the Conservative Group. Astonishingly, the Labour Group did not say a single word, not one, on any of the agenda items. They just sat there like trappist monks. Now, you could argue that with a large Conservative majority they are not going to win any votes so what is the point? Well, the point is to try and win the debate, to probe for weaknesses in your opposition and to gradually build the political momentum that will help to frame winning arguments at election time.

Or, you could do nothing at Council meetings and hope electoral victory arrives by magic without you having to do anything. Labour seem to have gone with option two.

Well, it is less work I suppose.


Phil Rackley said...

As one would expect from you Stephen you try and give the false impression that the AGM of Council is an opportunity for debate and discussion. In fact the principal business is to set out various administration matters for the coming year.
Primarily it is to put into place a Mayor, Deputy Mayor and committees for the year this one also included proposals for amendments to some standing orders and the constitution, none of which were contraversial plus amendments in respect of St Georges which we voted against but did not speak about since one of your members expressed his concerns that the interests of tenants and leaseholders wre not paramount in the changes, a position we agreed with.
Oh and there was also the Leader's annual statement to Council, a load of self congratulatory twaddle on which there is no debate or opportunity to respond to or indeed a vote. If this was an opportunity to challenge the administration perhaps you could share with us how we can do this given that there is no opportunity to challenge the Leader's statement at the AGM. So please councillor Horgan, I know you like to mislead the people but don't tell porkies about us not being bothered to join in the debate. Rest assured we will be fighting you all the way especially over you ill-advised plans to sell off recreational land in Basildon to your mates the Property Developers. Same old Tories Same old lies!
Phil Rackley

Steve Horgan said...

Phil, I have sat through Council AGMs while being in opposition, and there are plenty of chances to speak. The question is if you want to, not if you can.

As for allowing a Conservative backbencher to be your spokesman on a matter as important as the future of St. Georges, you could not have known that he was going to speak or the position he was going to take. The only logical conclusion is that none of your members had anything pre-prepared or were minded to speak at all.

Having a political strategy of not engaging in debate is not only odd, but it is a bit dumb in the context of democratic processes. I would be genuinely interested in Basildon Labour's justification for the non-representation of their constituents though.

what shall i use now to amuse stephen willy wonka said...

you do it everyone horgan you dont listen listen or listen again your hard work to get through to, but when your just a puppet on the leaders kness im not surprised.Ive been to meetings and watched you closely you talk when others are and dont have the manners to listen, so much for a good up bringing i was taught manners make of a man not clothes, youd do well to pratice some good old fashion ethics