Monday, 29 October 2012

Bad Old Labour are back!

If proof were really required that the Conservatives were backing the Labour administration in Kirklees. It was confirmed beyond doubt Last week. The Conservatives backed the Labour Party's capital plan which included investment to assist the development of greenbelt land that only a few months ago they had been supposedly campaigning to protect during the LDF debate. You do wonder what the Conservatives really get out of this deal. All I can see is additional committee chairs Labour gave them along with the allowances that go with them. Their share of the chairs goes way beyond what they warrant on the basis of the proportion of seats they hold on the council. Of course those  Committee chairs have come at the expense of the Greens and Valley Independent Councillors who had the temerity to oppose the election of the 'Strong Leader'  Mehboob Khan.

Mehboob and the Labour Party are now behaving as if they had an overall majority. There is an arrogance there which seems to stem from their confidence in their own positions. At cabinet on Tuesday Cllr Khan fooled around with the webcam while I was speaking, Cllr Molly Walton expressed her annoyance at having to listen to anyone from a 'minor party' and Cllr McBride was his on his usual form 'we're Old Labour and we know best'.

Valid criticisms I had for the lack of any mention of carbon emissions in the West Yorkshire Transport Proposals were not regarded seriously. I asked for a carbon impact to be taken of the plan which encourages the development of a link to Leeds/Bradford airport. Cllr Khan's response was that he'll back jobs and homes before a reduction in carbon emissions. It seems like they have made their plans and are going to work out the carbon emissions impacts afterwards. As I explained at Full Council  it is a false conflict and a false choice to say you support jobs and homes over carbon emissions. You can promote jobs and homes without compromising our environment but you have to make the right choices and expanding Leeds/Bradford airport is clearly incompatible with any policy to address carbon emissions. If Labour are compromising on carbon emissions in this way they clearly do not believe or appreciate the size of the problem and are simply falling back into the unimaginative model of economic development based on growth at any price and any cost be it economic or environmental.

So here we are back with the old Labour attitudes I remember from the 1990s. Confidence in their position has lead to arrogance and a poor attitude to critics and criticism.

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