Labour is to give local councillors the right to claim their town hall pay even if they never turn up to a meeting.Oh, yes, this is going to revolutionise democracy, isn’t it…? Who on earth could be so stupid as to propose such a bizarre scheme?
Ministers said yesterday that they will push ahead with new rules which will mean council members can take part in votes by mobile phone or over the internet.
They are to introduce laws to allow remote voting in council chambers despite the opposition of a majority of local authorities.
Critics of the plan say it will allow 'couch potato councillors' to obey their party whips while sitting in front of the TV or drinking in a pub.
The scheme was floated by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears last year, alongside other projects intended to improve local democracy. These include handing out doughnuts to voters at polling stations.To garner the ‘yellow skinned US nuclear industry worker’ vote, no doubt…
Ministers say legislation will be brought to Parliament 'at the next convenient opportunity'. Tory local government spokesman Caroline Spelman said: 'Armchair voting and couch potato councillors will create real cynicism amongst hardpressed taxpayers.Not really. They just want them to be able to join the gravy train along with everyone else. Haven’t you heard, there’s a recession on!
'At a time when council tax bills are to hit £120 a month and people are working harder than ever to make ends meet, it is incredible that Labour ministers are effectively pushing for some councillors to do less work for more money.'
And if you thought that was barmy, buried at the end of that story was this little gem:
Councillors also get pensions from the gold-plated Local Government Pension Fund, and Miss Blears plans to provide redundancy payments that could be as high as £60,000 for those kicked out of office by voters.‘Redundancy payments’…? You mean, when we finally have had enough and kick these useless, troughing swine to the kerb, we’re going to have to keep paying them….?
Are they really trying to provoke a revolution?