Parents angry at Labour lies
Extraordinary scenes at the Council meeting tonight, as the sitting was abandoned in the face of disruption from angry parents. I arrived half an hour late at the Town Hall, having been detained at another meeting, and found the meeting had already broken up after just 20 minutes.
A large group of parents of children at the Charlotte Turner school, which the Council is closing, were in the gallery to make a deputation, and had also gathered outside the Town Hall to protest. I am told they took exception to 'lies' being told by the Labour Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Cllr. Jackie Smith, and shouted her down. After warnings from the Mayor failed to quieten them, the meeting was abandoned.
I can't condone such disruptive behaviour, and it is wrong for anyone to halt the democratic process by refusing to allow an elected representative to be heard. But it is a measure of the anger that is felt by many parents at the way Greenwich Council has handled this matter.
Nigel Fletcher - Dale & Co.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Crikey- this is turning out to be quite a week in politics. As the latest shock Cabinet resignation makes Gordon Brown's prospects look even more dire, we have just had a local dimension. Greenwich MP Nick Raynsford, a former minister, told Newsnight he thinks Mr Brown should step down. Will his Parliamentary neighbour Clive Efford follow suit?
At the weekend I moved to a new flat in Westmount Road, in the heart of Eltham North. It's also just a few doors down from the Eltham Labour office, meaning I have to suffer the grisly sight of their giant picture of Gordon Brown and Clive Efford as I walk to and from the train station. At the moment that image is probably doing them more harm than good, so I'm content to suffer it. On my doormat this morning was their latest leaflet (above) boasting of their freezing Council Tax this year. Unusually there was no mention of us nasty Tories anywhere on the leaflet. Probably because we proposed a budget that would actually have cut the tax, which is still too high. Come the election, we'll be offering residents more for less, and if all Labour can manage is to keep tax high locally, I look forward to the debate.
I never thought it likely the Labour Party would move against Brown with just a year to go before an election, but how quickly things change. On balance I still think this plot will fizzle out, but it's now much more uncertain, with the rumours of different letters being circulated. It does feel rather like the last days of Iain Duncan Smith, I must say (the only internal party coup of which I have first-hand experience). The reshuffle will be crucial, but in the meantime voters will be angry to see the Westminster village self-indulgently plotting whilst they go to the polls. We Tories discovered in the 90s how badly that plays- including amongst the governing party's own voters. I just hope the BNP - who are all too active in my own patch in Eltham- do not reap the benefit.