Terrible medical condition afflicting Labour and Green councillors in Brighton

Many years ago there was a Labour Party activist in Brighton called Chris Stanley whose partner, Hilary Metcalf, was one of the Poll Tax rebel councillors.  In his younger years Chris had been a councillor somewhere in Kent.  He made an observation that there was a medical condition that afflicted decent, ordinary individuals in quite amazing ways.  Their speech would be affected, they gained a sense of their own self-importance, a sense of grandeur. They isolated themseloves from others, tending to socialise only with those afflicted with the same condition.

That condition, according to Chris Stanley, was known as ‘Councilloritis’. Yes, ordinary men and women, who previously showed no symptoms, would be afflicted almost immediately after they had been elected as councillors.  Take speech, if the victim served on the Council’s Planning Committee, where previously they may have said, “Those windows look a little bit pokey”, they would suddenly use a strange language, “I believe the detail of the fenestration on the southern facade requires further examination”. Where they may have once referred to “puddles in the road”, they began talking about “excess surface water on the highway”.

As for their sense of self-importance, they believe themselves to have somehow become superior to the rest of us. A tragic case involved the secretary of the Brghton and Hove Anti-Poll Tax Union who, on the back of his campaigning against the Poll Tax, was elected as a Labour councillor in Moulsecoomb in 1990. The very next day he paid his poll tax.  When challenged on this he repied, “Now I am a leading citizen of the town I have to set the right example”.

What about today’s crop of councillors? I am sad to say that the condition is rife in the ranks of Labour councillors with few, if any, showing signs of normality.  I don’t know many Tories so it is difficult to make any conclusive diagnosis.  The Greens have seen an outbreak amongst their ranks although some appear not to have been afflicted at all, able to live totally normal lives (if you regard the wearing of Stasi-style tabbards as normal, which clearly Green Amy does!).

Other Green councillors, sadly, are showing extreme symptoms and should be witdrawn from public life.  The good news is that one can recover, either through sheer determination or total abstinence from engaging in councillor activities.  But first the inflicted have to acknowlede the condition, and overcoming denial is the hardest part.