Narrow, close-minded Tories and Labour

Having been away for a couple of weeks, I have come back to see that the children in the nursery are throwing their toys out of their prams. What I mean is that leading Tory councillor, Ayas Fallon-Khan has attacked Green Ben Duncan as a “cop-watching communist”, and saying that he is unsuitable to be the City’s representative on the Sussex Police Authority. Ben Duncan describes himself as a “proud socialist”.

Coun Fallon-Khan is free to criticise Ben Duncan if he is incompetant (which he isn’t), fails to attend meetings (he has an excellent attendance record) or fails to conduct himself appropriately as a representative of Brighton and Hove (he has my backing and admiration).  

This is typical Tory nonsense.  He is attacking others merely because they have different views to him. Coun Fallon-Khan represents what is nasty about the Tory Party. His approach is the thin edge of the wedge – removing dissidents from any position so that only those with narrow, close-minded attitudes are allowed to serve.  Little wonder that the narrow, close-minded members of the Labour Group are happy to vote with the Tories to restrict the Greens from holding a fair share of positions on Council Scrutiny Committees.

6 Responses

  1. Actually Ben Duncan has one of the worst attendance records in the council. He missed just under 50% of the meetings he was suppose to attend last year. And he has very few council commitments to justify not being there. He has let Queen’s Park redsidents down.

  2. Can either of you cite the attendance record as you clearly disagree? Where can we find it for ourselves?

  3. To be clear: The Argus published ‘official’ figures in the summer which showed that, of the few meetings recorded by the council’s pen-pushers, I had a below-average attendance record. I can’t find the link now, or I’d happily post it for you.

    But the point is that these figures didn’t tell the whole picture at all: it only included full council and some committee meetings: of those, I was recorded absent for refusing to cross a picket line on one occasion – and whenever I ‘substituted’ myself by swapping with another Green member, even though that meant I would attend another meeting on their behalf.

    Actually the bulk of the meetings I attend are of Sussex Police Authority and its scrutiny committees looking at Resources and Neighbourhood Policing – I’m vice chair of this one – but none of these were included in the figures.

    And then there’s all the ward work and ‘informal’ and community meetings: just the last few days, for example, I’ve attended briefings about local policing with Brighton and Hove’s top copper Graham Bartlett, chaired a meeting of the Friends of Saunders park, contributed to meetings of the St James’s Area Action group and the St James’s Area Local Action Team, a private meeting with housing officers about anti-social behaviour in one of the council housing blocks in Kemp Town, the unveiling of the AIDS memorial in New Steine Gardens, a Jubilee Square event promoting political action against poverty, and another promoting local food. I could go on – that’s by no means everything: hopefully it gives a snapshot of some of the meetings I regularly attend which AREN’T included in the ‘official’ figures.

    As a single father living in Queen’s Park I do everything I can to get to every single meeting, and when that isn’t possible I make sure someone else goes, well-briefed, in my stead.

    So thanks for your support, BPB, and I’m sorry, Queen’s Park Tory, that you feel let down by this approach: I’m only glad that the residents I meet and speak with every day don’t seem to be the ones your referring to.

  4. Queens Park Tory seems to be forgetting Goldsmid Tory, Paul “Missing in Action” Lainchbury.

    Now there was a councillor who REALLY knew how to let residents down.

  5. Ah but when Paul Lain failied to turn up, the Greens were quick to call for his resignation – perhaps we should do the same with Cllr Duncan. Paul had health problems which I imagine Cllr Duncan doesn’t.

    • Talk about Tory twaddle! For ‘Queens Park Tory’ to compare hardworking Green councillor Ben Duncan negatively to Tory Paul Lainchbury is really taking the biscuit.

      Cllr Duncan probably attends around a hundred councillor-related meetings a year whereas Lainchbury, as far as can be seen, only ever attended the six or so full council meetings in the council calendar (to keep the Tories’ waifer thin majority) and attended no committee meetings for the whole two years he was in office.

      I think most voters would come to a pretty swift conclusion as to which of the pair offers better value…

      Bton Sense

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