Friday 16 November 2007

Glasgow Labour: stifling debate

I'm still mulling over the events of yesterday, where Labour moved to end a Special Council Meeting called by the SNP. The meeting had been called to discussed the motions which had fallen off the agenda at the previous Council meeting.

This included motions on a range of issues, and even a Labour motion. We thought that Labour would at least debate, and out vote us; that's the way things happen in Glasgow after all. Disappointingly, Cllr Colleran simply moved a adjournment under the standing orders of the Council. We voted, along with the Greens and the Conservative to continue the debate, but Labour's majority won out.

I was due to speak at the meeting on services for young people in Glasgow, and had got myself all psyched up. In the big scheme of things it might not seem very important that we sit in a room and speechify on worthy issues, but it's part of democracy in our city, and allows all Councillors the opportunity to try and influence Council policy. An unidentified "source" was quoted thus in the Evening Times:

A source close to Council leader Steven Purcell said: "The council is not a debating club.

"They cannot afford to waste their time on matters that have nothing to do with the council."

Attendance and participation at Council meetings are part of the Councillor's job, and it's disappointing to see that Labour consider that a waste of time.

1 comment:

RfS said...

"A source close to Council leader Steven Purcell said: "The council is not a debating club."

Some would say that is precisely what a council is for.

Still, I am sure that you were not too disappointed. I mean, after all you did not expect representative democracy from Scottish Labour did you? If they allowed the meeting to go ahead there was a chance they could hear that some people did not agree with them and that would have traumatised them.