I’m learning new stuff about this whole blogging thing all the time. Including how easy it is to end up with dozens of half written posts in draft and nothing actually posted for weeks. But one thing I have learned this week is that it is really easy to prepare a speech for full council if you’ve already blogged about the subject several weeks ago.
Yes, we had a full council meeting this week in which we debated Luton’s response to the Governments White Paper on Local Government. Although the main issue was the other councils in Bedfordshire faffing about with proposals for unitary authorities, it did give me an opportunity to shamelessly plagiarise my own post on the subject as the basis for my words of wisdom to the assembled representatives.
While I did manage to add a joke about Jade Goody which got a laugh (note that is the first BB reference on this blog) my main point was an attack on the government’s proposals for the different leadership models local government will have to suffer. But it was a comment from my colleague Cllr Martin Howes about how these proposals represented a very macho view of leadership that got me thinking.
Unless anyone out there can correct me, out of all of Labour’s elected mayors so far there have only been two women, our own Dorothy Thornhill in Watford and, briefly, the Conservative Linda Arkley in North Tyneside, and no mayors from an ethnic minority. So, another argument against New Labour’s obsession with the “strong leader” approach is that it very clearly works against diversity in politics.
(Alright, I’m obviously discounting H’Angus the Monkey in all this – but I hope you’ll forgive me.)
This content was originally posted on my old Process Guy blog.