Can there really be anyone left in Derby who actually believes that this Labour Council is doing a good job for this City? Is there anyone who feels purposefully led by Cllr Banwait? This is not a Council that is built on firm foundations laid down by the working-class heritage of the party they claim to be part of. It is now rotten to the core, it has no principles, no belief, it survives on having contempt for the public, ridiculing anyone, anywhere who challenges their misguided self-belief in their supremacy. They are focussed on politicking with people’s lives. A Council that does not have the support of the majority of the population have lost their “moral mandate” – they are now playing out the “end of their days” by destroying the City, ignoring any meaningful debate, and riding rough-shod over many vulnerable people that they claim to be helping.
To anyone who has any vestige of belief and support, or who has blind loyalty based on a legacy alignment to Labour, then I invite them to come to a Full Council meeting. I guarantee that you will leave disgusted, despondent, dismayed, disappointed and angry at the behaviour of those few people who care to speak in the Chamber, and the utter contempt shown by the Labour leadership for the public who are present, and for the wider population. Most of what is said is at best diversionary, at worst – just lies. They feel that they are beyond question, that the public remain uninformed, that they are the Masters, and through their increasingly random, and draconian decisions, seek to exert a perverse pleasure in controlling the citizens of Derby, and attacking others.
The pinnacle of this Council’s utter dishonesty and the greatest sign that they have lost all connection with the people that they represent is over the Mad Hatter’s cafe. A business built up over 6 years of hard work into a thriving community hub with the Council as their landlord. Despite the wishes of the customers, and the tenants, the Labour Council do not wish to extend the lease, they want to take it back under Council control so they can take the profit of other people’s labours ( this was publicly declared in the Council meeting). Cllr Rawson, had the audacity and incompetence to try and suggest that this action was necessary because of government cuts. This cafe makes a few thousand pound profits a year against a Council budget of £220m – that is how contemptuous this Council is over people’s intelligence. Apart from your fellow Labour Councillors no one believes you, Cllr Rawson!
This, on top of Cllr Bayliss, having broken confidentiality by declaring on Facebook his view of reality about the rent payment history. Why would you do this to the people who you represent? This is from a Labour Councillor – where is his moral compass, where are his principles? The Q&A proceedings started with Cllr Pegg, asking a contrived question of Cllr Banwait around the rent payments – this was not an answer he needed, it was a cynical ploy to formally declare that financial position – was it caring? was it community minded? did it promote a way forwards? It was a “two-fingered” salute to the ladies of Mad Hatter’s cafe who they knew were sat in the public gallery. The disrespect was beyond words.
This whole issue is on the back of the Council’s palpable incompetence, and continual blaming of everyone else but themselves, on the TA dispute. Earlier in the day, Cllr Eldret met with some of the parents, and children who have been affected. They left feeling numbed, by the non-discussion, by the view that Eldret, and the Council does not care about their children. By the procrastination and name-calling, and lack of accountability of how they have created the problem. (For those who are not aware the vast majority of the Council staff population through the Equal Pay review and changes to Terms and Conditions have had a pay increase – on the back of the cuts to the TAs/ School Support staff. This is not about affordability for TAs, this is about ensuring senior people are well paid, and that the Refuse Collectors will never go on strike – just ask Cllr Russell – we’re all still waiting for the Standards Committee investigation into her on that case)
When questioned about the atrocious performance on Special Educational Needs children Cllr Russell, who is forever curt, and intolerant of anyone who sees through her wall of dodgy statistics, and lies about cuts for this activity( the Council were given extra money for this – she should remind herself of what she said on 3 Feb 2016), tried to brush off a very serious problem for the 1400 children most affected. She knows that people are onto her.
…and so it goes on.
I left the Council meeting last night, wondering just how low this Council could sink, how much longer they could continue with this group self-deception, at what point their egg-shell thin narcissism will crack, and finally someone in the Labour Council will crawl out of this sticky cocoon, and will actually, truly, listen, and I mean actually listen to the people that they represent.
One day, I hope, in the future, when they are just ordinary members of the public, and they have time to reflect, and perhaps they are a bit wiser, a few beads of cold sweat might start permeating through the thick skin, and a malodorous whiff of regret will waft up past their nose, and they will get the same stomach-churning sinking feeling that they consciously created in the guts of many people in the City of Derby during their time in office….and finally show some human consideration for the misery that they caused, and, finally, take some personal accountability.
Life is about so many choices, and when you get to the point where you believe that you have no choices left, that you are controlled by others, that you have no influence, that you carry out actions that you do not agree with, then you have truly lost your soul, and your moral compass…and that is a sorry day. Yesterday, was that day….
Categories: Derby City Council