9 December 2009

Different hall - same rubbish

Since Muck&Brass shot to national and international fame (thanks to the 'Somerton Suiciders') I've been receiving a steady stream of similar stories from across the country. Its been interesting to hear these stories and see where they are similar and where they are different from the Somerton experience. So far there are a small number of specific and obvious similarities and they are that offending Councils are, commonly, a) secretive, b) exclusive, c) do not consult and d) are assisted in these efforts by a Town Clerk who supports those activities.

I'm also struck by the degree of frustration felt by many individuals who put huge amounts of effort into seeking redress only to discover that the various agencies who are meant to regulate such situations (Monitoring Officers, Local Government Ombudsman, Standards Board etc., etc., blah, blah) tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to taking action. It seems that unless you can establish obvious corruption and then present it, neatly tied up with a big pink bow, then the so called 'regulators' tend to be rather reluctant to 'regulate'.

However, the muckandbrass formula of humour, mixed in with a dollop of ridicule and more than a hint of lampoon, does seem to be quite effective in these circumstances and its a recipe that I hope others will emulate. Clearly there is a significant degree of disatisfaction across the country with our elected representatives and its equally clear that the checks and balances that are meant to regulate such situations quite simply don't work. That being the case, it would seem that those of us who wish to stand up and be counted should display the same flagrant disregard for the rules and conventions of our democracy that these delinquent councils display.

Till next time, may your God protect you from those who don't.