In the light of last Tuesday's Council meeting, it was interesting to read an article published in today's Sunday Times on a similar situation unfolding in David Cameron's own constituency. The similarities are remarkable.
What is worrying is that other people are beginning to see that the abolition of the Standards Board for England might be a bigger mistake than anyone thought. Certainly, Minister Pickles clearly doesn't get the significance of the abolition. Or maybe he does. It may well be that Minister Pickles actually wants the ground floor of our 'democracy' delivered into the hands of self-interested Local, District and County Councillors. Maybe Minister Pickles is just hiding behind the 'Localism Bill' whilst he privatises this particular aspect of our democratic process.
Whilst I didn't attend last Tuesday evening's meeting, the reports that I have heard and read make it out to have been an unpleasant affair. Somerton's 'Old Guard' were in attendance and displaying the remarkable degree of 'denial' which has become their calling-card.
The disturbing aspect of their behaviour is the anger and intimidation that they display which, as is the case in the Cotswold example (above) can only be seen as suppressing the involvement of the wider community. In other words, obstructing democracy. But that was what Somerton's Old Guard has always been about. Plus sa change.............
Till next time, I'm still Niall Connolly