...well, perhaps it's a slight exaggeration to say that the shade of the great orator and Bristol MP was stalking our Council Chamber tonight, but there were some good contributions on both sides. It's in stark contrast, frankly, to my experience over the last 8 years , where Council after Council I'd leave shaking my head as the Tories wouldn't have asked a single question of Cabinet Members, and I'd be home in time for East Enders.
It was also positive to see the competitive but good-natured way in which the debate developed. As I've commented elsewhere, I believe some of the cycnicism about politics here in Darlington has been generated by the non-existant nature of the opposition. With no effective questioning voice, the democratic process inevitably suffers. Now at last the Tories are "up for it" - albeit that they continue to focus on their own narrow political advantage rather than what's in the best interests of the Borough.
Remarkably, the Echo sent along two reporters and a photographer tonight. I suspect they were licking their lips having been promised mass civil disobedience in the town by the Tory spinmachine as Cllr. Ruck (see previous post) was dragged kicking and screaming from the Council Chamber. It didn't happen, and I was happy to bring a jovial Cllr. Ruck back into the Chamber when the debate and vote had been completed.