Wednesday, 9 July 2008

I'm confused

Last night's Cabinet meeting saw millions of pounds of expenditure approved on the nod, while a proposal from the Conservatives that £25,000 be allocated to rescuing the one remaining post office from the five recently earmarked for closure produced heated discussion complete with heckling from the cheap seats.

Now, to make life easier, most people categorise the Conservatives as the party of the free market, while Labour stands for management and intervention in the economy. Yet last night the Conservatives argued forcefully, in the shape of Cllr Coultas, for the Council to subsidise a private company (Post Office Ltd) to the tune of £25k pa. The Leader of the Council, meanwhile, retorted that the Labour Council could not intervene in the free market to prop up unviable enterprises (especially one in a Conservative ward!).

Of course, we also had to endure a succession of Cabinet members wittering on about good housekeeping and protecting the public purse (you know, the ones who have been responsible for a £4million plus overspend on two of their pet projects recently). There is no doubt that they could have found £25k if they'd wanted to; unfortunately the provision of community facilities outside their favoured wards is not something they rate highly.

I hope the students from the college who filled the public seats were impressed by the quality of debate in Cabinet and not confused about just what the Conservative and Labour parties really stand for in this town.

Meanwhile, Tory Toff Edward Legrand, PPC, a retired army officer from the shires, the local parliamentary spokesman for the Conservative party (the party of freedom) has repeated his demand that none of us should be allowed to drink outdoors. I'm confused. I need a drink - outdoors, preferably.

PS If you want to read about Darlington news in the new Echo (published in Darlington) today, you'll have to go through one page of national news, followed by four pages of "regional news", followed by four pages of "UK and national news", followed by four more pages of "regional news", followed by two pages of comment and letters, followed by one page of "regional news", followed by two pages of "features" , followed by two pages of "regional news" followed by two pages of "regional features" , followed by four pages of "The Great Yorkshire Show", followed by two pages of "regional news", followed by three pages of "entertainment and tv", followed by one more page of "regional news", followed by two pages of "business" followed by one more page of "regional news" until you get to one page of "Darlington news" on page 37.
Now I'm even more confused! Turn the lights out someone.

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