Street Democracy writes:
The boundaries of local democracy fade in Crawley.
Persistent local Tory Councillor’s counter attack principles and methodology towards social citizenship rip’s the soul of democracy away.
What isn’t surprising is how they also use the attack principle towards their own Tory colleagues.
However, Councillor Claire Denamn a Tory Councillor is shocked to receive insults from her colleagues, by other local Tory Councillors despite her being a Tory Councillor herself.
Shocked at how they don’t just play the spiteful blame game of unequivocal opposition and bigotry towards Labour Councillors, as some local Tory Councillor’s do it to members of the public also, and its not the first time towards their own political party.
Maybe now Cllr Claire Denman will appreciate the devastating effects it has when some of her colleagues spit towards us, the public, who have no power, and are completely defenceless.
It really does discourage local political thought, local critical thinking to exercise a healthy localised democracy, as it exacerbates social enmity providing nothing more than a political hostile environment for us to embrace.
It is no wonder many residents don’t get involved with local politics when local Tory Councillors are so antagonistic.
However, I doubt Cllr Denman comments will change anything and anyway, as a Deputy Leader of Crawley Borough Council, if she is insulted with her powerful position, then it says a lot for the average resident of Crawley.
Also if Cllr Denman felt so strongly about certain attitudes, then she would or should, have addressed this matter at the time, but never did.
In fact she is as guilty for sitting back and let her colleagues rip into members of the public with sarcasm and mockery.
This occurred over the Bedroom Tax and Social Housing Tenants concerns over evictions.
The whole process of Benefit Cuts is extremely worrying for many families suffering from financial scarcity and worries of perpetual debt plus rent arrears.
We were met with no empathy, and thrown sterile statistical data back at us, and the blame card was always issued – ‘it’s Labour’s fault’ scenario.
We experienced a rough but sophisticated localised repressive political apparatus that created a collective despair for all of us.
Why not publicly complain and let us clean up our local social democracy and our local democratic political infrastructure so we the people are not insulted for daring to attend meetings and speak our minds and exercise critical thought?
As a member of the public and resident of Crawley, when ever we tried to practice democracy, we too received insults from some of the local Tory Councillor’s.
When attending Crawley Town Hall public meetings we are allowed to have 30 minutes to ask questions. We are dictated too however in a stern voice, that our questions may not be answered or if they are we may not be allowed to respond.
It isn’t much of a democracy of encouraging local political innovation to me.
It is intimidating, cold and stern as if they don’t want you to waste their time asking stupid questions.
It is as if they don’t want you to disturb the agenda so they can have an easy evening and be done with the public.
We are then silenced for the rest of the public meeting while listening to the Councillors of all parties in their representative democracy.
It is here when we the public are not allowed to speak, or we get thrown out, or the police are called or these Councillors just get up and walk out as they have done before over the public’s very legitimate outrage of the Bedroom Tax.
So our democracy is really 30 minutes and the Mayor has often closed this time lime before, that really upset the public.
When we question the reduce time we are threatened, jeered at by some Tory Councillor’s all smirking and just rude.
However during the meeting our questions would be sarcastically brought up by some Tory Councillor’s so rude and obnoxious, that they hurt and cause offence to us.
So this statement from the ex-Deputy Leader of Crawley Council by her own Tory party isn’t of any surprise and yes clearly they have lost touch.
Some Tory Councillors would spit back towards the public knowing how desperate some were to get answers and mock them in gesture.
Mocking is the word, as their attitude is ‘nothing we can do’ with a smirk on their face.
Many residents would get up mortified and upset by the slandering insults during the meeting and it kills democracy.
The last public meeting I attended, there were 5 of us, including me, instead of 90 and one of them was a small boy with his father.
It is the rudeness, the sarcasm and the mocking that is allowed at the Town Hall and when you complain you are ignored.
I sent an email regarding the abysmal exercise of democracy at Crawley Town Hall, Crawley Borough Council and about the unprofessional conduct of some of Tory Councillor’s behaviour.
I emailed twice and got no reply back, nothing and was ignored.
It is further interesting that Cllr Denman has accused the Tory Councillor’s of ‘losing their humanity and acting like toddlers’, loosing humanity towards other people and loosing touch with reality’ is precisely how we feel too.
However, her words are printed, and no doubt will be commented on. Our words of similar anger are ignored.
It is a sham of a democracy in Crawley sometimes when issues of hardship are mentioned and then ridiculed especially with the Tory leadership’s antagonistic demonisation methodology towards the poor is outrageous.
Some of the members of the Tory’ Councillors of Crawley have lost touch with reality for sure, we could have told Claire Denman this when we as a community regularly attending Crawley meetings.
All we got was a regurgitation of the ‘Punishing State’ their Tory leaders have created and tough luck attitude towards us.
I know of individuals who have had private meetings with Crawley Borough Council to be driven to tears and met with nothing but harsh dialogue.
It is interesting how her son is important, how her home life is important and how she is angry at her fellow Tory Councillors for not showing her the respect she felt she deserved.
How about the Broadfield amputee who is in chronic pain, cannot breath and needs his own spare bedroom to sleep apart from his wife, is targeted as a ‘scrounger’ and ‘lazy’ as he was financially slaughtered, ridiculed by ATOS and Crawley Homes, demanded he pay the Bedroom Tax?
He received the same treatment as everyone else and was even lied to by Henry Smith MP who said he wouldn’t have to pay it.
This innately decent Social Housing Tenant with severe disabilities has to pay Bedroom Tax and stil does. He’ll never work again and is desperately poor selling his possessions to pay back debt of his permanent rent arrears.
For more on some home truths about Crawley’s social democracy click here for the Crawley News or continue to read.
A FORMER acting leader of Crawley Borough Council who resigned as a councillor last week has criticised fellow councillors for losing their “humanity” and acting like “toddlers”.
Claire Denman stood down last Wednesday after ten years as a councillor.
The ward member for Pound Hill South and Worth was also cabinet member for customer and corporate services and left a year before her term was due to expire.
Last year she told the Crawley News she would consider her position after announcing she was moving out of Crawley to Pulborough. Mrs Denman has now said the move, as well as personal factors, led to her taking the decision now.
“One of the challenges is that the political process takes over everything and some councillors seem to lose a sense of humanity towards other people.
“They become so wrapped up in the party politics and lose touch with reality.
“A case that always jumps to mind is when a relative had a brain tumour and a councillor had a go at me for missing a meeting to be with them. I couldn’t believe it.