My blog today has been amended to reflect the turn of events that have been revealed over the last 12 hours on social media. Once a week my daily blog is published as an opinion piece in the Argus newspaper although sometimes the blog is a longer version of the piece in the paper. Usually that all works very well. The following piece is what has been published in the paper this morning. However overnight I have become aware of an email (see above – I put the yellow arrow in place) that has shown that my positive words and indeed the piece published in Brighton & Hove News on which my blog is based were constructed on false promises. It is clear that the true views of the leading party in the Council is far from one of unity and cooperation with its own members, let alone with the Councillors from the other two parties. All of these 54 elected people are meant to be serving the best interests of our city, not creating or defending their own organisations. The email above was written 11 minutes into 1st July, the day after Jo Wadsworth published this opening statement in her paper “The three parties with seats on Brighton and Hove City Council today pledged to work together to allow the city to weather any fallout from the political turmoil at Westminster and elsewhere in the wake of the referendum.” There is clearly a need for all of the parties to demonstrate their distinctiveness but one wonders if Labour at least are simply using the referendum result to their own advantage. We are being misled by them and it is something they should be ashamed of.
My Blog and Opinion Piece:
As someone who voted to remain in the EU, and is now observing signs of the economy undergoing stress and challenge, and listening to friends who as EU nationals are feeling insecure in their place in our city it is hard to see anything positive as a result of the referendum. However I was genuinely heartened by the statement that emerged from the politicians in the Council who have stated “All agree that the council has a vital role in offering civic leadership and all have pledged to do all they can to work with the business community, universities and trade unions to steady investment certainty and job confidence.” As with all good intentions such as those some of us exhibit in the early days of each year, the challenge is not just to formulate the intentions to improve one’s situation, but to formulate a plan to ensure that we achieve our objectives. We are in the 4th successive term of a Council that lacks a big enough majority for one party to govern alone. Common sense would suggest that this would lead to Parties cooperating and identifying common ground on which to work. Sadly as someone who has occasionally sat in the public gallery of the Council Chamber if anything the relationship between the parties has worsened not improved. Whilst if the referendum was re-run as some have demanded, I would once again vote to remain, if the vote to leave means our Council finds an external threat that is sufficient to encourage them to work together I will find at least one positive in the referendum decision.