Ben Duncan – the “Standards Committee” madness continues

Just when it appeared that sanity had returned to the democratic process with the clearing of Jason Kitcat following the party-political inspired vendetta against him, news comes of a fresh attack on another Green councillor.

Queens Park councillor Ben Duncan has been told that a formal standards committee will examine a blog he wrote about the policing of a demonstration in Brighton.  It was another “standards committee” that led to the fiasco against Jason Kitcat that has cost local people “thousands of Pounds”.

The name of the complainant is not yet known, nor the precise allegations against councillor Duncan.  What is it about Tory, Labour and Lib Dem councillors (all of whom were implicated in the witch-hunt against Jason Kitcat) that they resort to the tactics of school prefect bullies.  It is one thing to disagree with your political opponents, and to attack them for their views, but to try to silence them through the use of a proceduralistic measure, such as a so-called “standards committee” when there is an in-built majority of your political opponents is a disgrace.

Politicians should be free to blog, to criticise policing of demonstrations, as Ben Duncan has done.  They shouldn’t be personally critical of ordinary council officers, although political opponents are fair game.

Ben Duncan has commented: “Standards procedures are about preventing fraud, dishonesty, corruption in public life, or bringing the council into disrepute.  If it is a matter of political diagreement about a matter of policyit is entirely inappropriate for a public body to investigate and for the taxpayer to foot the bill”.

I call on the leaders of all political groups on the City Council (Mary Mears, Gill Mitchell, Bill Randall, and Paul Elgood) to come togther to say that they disapprove of the standards procedures being used to surpress political comment and will condemn any group members who becomes involved in surpressing free speech.

2 Responses

  1. Ask D. She is behind the Standard’s bitichyness.
    As for rules of engagement – Nice idea, but student behaviour was driven by naked emotion. They are pissed off at the prospect of £50K+ for an “education”. The Tories will not have realised the slippery slope their threatened policy represents, though Vince Cable will. Remember 1968 ? More to come.

  2. I have send you email and raised issues in the queens park ward but i have not had any response yet.
    paul Edwards

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