|The Conservatives were well rewarded for allowing Cllr Khan to continue to run the Council|
“The Conservative Party has few virtues but one it does have is that when it is bought it stays bought.”
Speeches by Conservative Councillors had just let the cat out of the bag. They wouldn’t be supporting the amendment to the Councils rollover report which would have secured the library service at its current staffing levels for the next 4 years. Given their public pronouncements during the election campaign this flew in the face of their stated position of defending the library service from future cuts that are strongly indicated by the review of the service. In short the Tories were backing Labour against the Lib Dems , Independents and Greens. This followed their tacit support for the Labour Leadership at the Annual Council Meeting in May as Labour supported the Tories taking a disproportionate number of Committee Chair places (along with the allowances that go with them) hence the ‘staying bought’ comment.
This situation is a bit of a shift for Labour as well. The ‘Strong Leader’ Mehboob Khan made much of the need for ‘progressive’ parties to unite against the Conservatives, who had been pushing a misleading and populist agenda in the run up to the local elections.
Patronage and the pursuit of power beats both populism and progressive politics in this particular version of the‘paper stone scissors’ game.