Why residents are turned off politics

by adelemorris on 26 February, 2015

I was shocked and dismayed by the behaviour of some of the Labour Councillors at Southwark’s Council Assembly meeting last night, where we were debating the budget proposals for the borough. The crass language that they used in their speeches and the utter contempt that they showed towards other democratically elected representatives was shameful.

One self righteous new member even had the cheek to state that the Lib Dems don’t know anything about families! As an experienced councillor and mother of two myself I found that to be an extraordinary and ill informed claim for her to make.

Several Labour Councillors used an expression that I believe many people of faith in our community would find offensive, by comparing Simon Hughes to Jesus Christ when referring to him as “Simon of Nazareth”.  Whatever their views on Mr Hughes, this behaviour of Labour councillors last night reached a new low and showed total disregard and lack of respect for our many Christian residents as well.

The ruling party behaved in an appalling manner – rolling out personal insult upon personal insult. Some of the new members have clearly not been taught about the dignified behaviour and standards that are expected when you are elected to public office.

The Mayor of Southwark, who chairs the meeting, failed to intervene at any time. He has failed for most of his year in office to control his members.  Similarly, the Leader of the Council looked on and did nothing.

Nobody expects councillors from different parties to agree, and indeed the council chamber is the place where healthy debate is meant to take place. But no wonder the public galley was empty of residents if this is the best they can expect from the people who are in charge of our borough. I hope that the Council hurries up and sorts out webcasting these meetings, as it may make Labour rethink how they behave when they are being watched by our electorate. Shame on you Labour.

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