Monday, 28 May 2007

A Question Of Democracy

The affairs of Broxtowe Borough Council have been causing a lot of discussion in the local paper over the past few weeks, so here's my take on things. There seem to be two questions, first how come the Tories aren't in power when they gained the most seats, and second what is the status of the BNP, who hold a seat in Brinsley.

First then the running of the council. this is quite simple. The voters of Broxtowe have decided not to place any one party in overall control. The Lib-Dems and the Tories are almost evenply placed, with 16 seats to 15, but we have been able to form a partnership with the other parties - Labour and the Independents - something which the Tories, despite their best efforts, were unable to do. this means that the ruling group comprises 25 seats, out of the 42 currently decided. Quite clearly therefore we do have a majority of members, hence the Lib-Dem led partnership runs the council.

Second then the BNP. A BNP councillor won a seat in Brinseley Ward, so she has a democratic right to be on the council. That doesn't mean we have to like it though. The BNP in Brinsely may be the smiling face of evil, but they are still a fascist party, and people have every right to protest against them and show their disapproval of the BNP's policies of race hate. Remember, Hitlaer was elected but no-one (except maybe the BNP) argues taht this legitimsed what he did. I hope that the protestors will continue to show their disgust for the BNP's presence.

There has been some discussion in the papers suggesting that the protestors at the last council meeting chanted through a minutes silence for Cllr Steve Doo, who tragically passed away just before the election. As someone who was actually present there may I make it clear that this did not happen. Once the crowd settled, which did take a few seconds, the silence was observed by everyone. I knew and greatly respected Steve Doo, and would have been deeply upset had the silence been disrupted, but that simply wasn't the case.