Saturday, December 06, 2008

This is not a minor skirmish in local government

There are times when I wonder if I'm the only person alive who thinks like this:

  • A Conservative councillor in Croydon grew up in Belfast, and in her youth became tangled up in the IRA. Something that she regretted, repented and took action to redress. She wrote a book. She lived under a death threat.
  • Later on, she is elected and takes a position on education. Her past life had no bearing on this, and her mandate was to bring her judgement to bear on behalf of the people she was elected by
  • A pressure group threatens to publicise her past in order to bully her into changing her position
  • She feels she has to resign.
Her youthful mistakes have no bearing on the case in point. Her repentance and redress for those mistakes is total and she deserves to be chaired through the streets of Croydon for her courage rather than to be hounded out of elected office.

It should be a point of principle that people who attempt to bully elected representatives in this disgusting way should be bullied back with infinitely more vigour by the combined forces at the disposal of all people who hold elected office. Party politics should be above this.

That my own party - Labour - connived with this disgusts me. That the Conservatives didn't stick up for Maria Gatland is equally disgusting. It used to be the case that the Tories were defenders of *representative* democracy. This is clearly no longer the case.

This is the degree to which local democracy is being debased in the UK. If such a thing could happen, another Irish Tory, Edmund Burke, would be bouncing of the sides of his coffin in rage.

And he'd be right to do so.


CalumCarr said...

No, you're not "the only person alive who thinks like this"

More than 30 years ago! Christ, what more do people want?

Thanks for publicising this.

Paulie said...

Spread the rage Calum. Take down the pike from the rafters for we march on London tonight....

andy newman said...

" Conservative councillor in Croydon grew up in Belfast"

No she didn't - she comes from a well to do familly in Dublin.