Last evening's meeting at the Edgar Hall was a profoundly depressing experience and, in my own view, indicated that Somerton has far further to sink before it reaches the bottom of the cesspit that was and remains the Keenan/Canvin administration.
On the surface, the meeting was held as a legal requirement in order to allow the community to consider and respond to the findings of the Auditor's Report in the Public Interest. What actually happened was that Somerton's Old Guard, present in strength, made it clear that their Somerton is a feudal settlement where the rule of law, as is generally understood in the rest of the United Kingdom, simply does not apply. Let me explain.
The deal that exists between the electorate and Parliament is that the electorate agree to give up certain freedoms and in return receive certain securities from Parliament. The electorate agree to pay tax and, in return, Parliament ensures that the taxpayer's money is spent according to the Law laid down by Parliament. That Law legitimises the collection of tax which, without that Law, would be nothing more than common robbery.The Law also delivers transparency in fiscal matters which ensures that the taxpayer can see what is spent and by whom. The taxpayer can also expect explanations as to how expenditure will benefit them and, through 'declarations of interest', the taxpayer can see whether representatives are spending taxpayer's money in the taxpayer's interest or in the interest of their representatives.
So, Parliament lays down Law which governs how government spends taxpayer's money and, in the case of an objection to (for example) Somerton Town Council's accounts, Parliament sends its representative, the External Auditor, to examine Somerton Town Council's records.
In this process, the External Auditor's report was a detailed examination, by Parliament's representative, of how Somerton Town Council made decisions. Parliament's representative found that Somerton Town Council had behaved unlawfully because Somerton Town Council had ignored the Law set down by Parliament in order to protect the electorate and the taxpayer.
However, on Wednesday evening, Somerton's Old Guard, represented by Raybould (T), Keenan, Medley, Briggs, Audemars and Mountain, stated that they have decided to support the disposal of taxpayers money, not according to the Law laid down by Parliament, but by their own rules or by the rules imposed by their friends.
On Wednesday evening, this mob faced a statement from Parliament's representative stating that Somerton Town Council (under the Keenan/Canvin administration) had broken the law. The Mob's first response was, initially, to say that they had not but without providing any supporting evidence other than retrospective and collusive claims. Then they accused Parliament's representative of bias. But, at the end, Mountain went rather further when he admitted that Somerton Town Council (under the Keenan/Canvin administration) had broken the Law laid down by Parliament but that, in his opinion, the Law laid down by Parliament did not apply in Somerton.
Mountain said this: "I beg us, I beg you Chairman, to put an end to this acrimony and admit that although some matters may have been dealt with in an unorthodox manner and outside the realms of certain guidelines, this is all the Auditors can tell us, which 'unlawful' may mean, results have been achieved which otherwise would not have been possible."
Here, Mountain is dismissing the rule of Law, Parliament's own legislation as "certain guidelines" and excusing the flouting of Parliament's requirements as being, "some matters (which) may have been dealt with in an unorthodox manner ".
Make no mistake here. Somerton Town Council collects tax (the Precept) under Law laid down by Parliament and must dispose of tax according to the same Law. Parliament's representative, the External Auditor, found that Somerton Town Council had broken the Law and Mountain, an ex-Chair of Somerton Town Council and ex-District Councillor, is dismissive of Parliament's concerns as expressed by the External Auditor. The mob, of which Mountain was a part, were, in effect, declaring independence from the Law as laid down by Parliament. Mountain was also willing to threaten if he was not given what he felt was the time he needed to make his position clear. Clearly these individuals represent an un-democratic cabal of some strength and determination.