Tuesday's council meeting was a fun affair.
We can now say that Reading Tories make it up as they go along... it's official!
First we had a motion from them against the Preventing Violent Extremism report that looked like it had been made up on the back of a fag packet. Actually, it would have been much improved if it had been written on the back of a fag packet. So much so that when their group descended into farce they were told by their own Mayor to get their heads together and "sort it out", which they did by removing the word 'not' from their motion to reverse its main recommendation completely!
Then we had one of their number putting forward a motion to help defray the service charges to council tax residents by putting windmills on tower blocks. Since he didn't voice any opposition to the service charges in his speech he presumably agreed with them as a way of balancing the Housing Revenue Account, so it's amusing watching their headbangers trying to pretend that they'd do nothing of the sort.
I have to acknowledge though, that they have a understandable position to present to the electorate. It's hard to accuse them of their sums not adding up when they steadfastly refuse to do the sums in the first place. I suppose their argument is that it's impossible for the opposition to accuse them of committing major fraud on the electorate, when no-one actually knows what amount is involved.
This was followed in the meeting by an even more hilarious scene when the more excitable fringe of the Tory group had to be chased back to their seats after getting up to walk out when the saner members of their group suddenly realised that they'd lose one of their own motions if they left.
We're used to ridicule from both Labour and Tories for sticking to our principles in the council chamber. The number of votes since May 2008 which have seen the Tories and Labour voting with each other against the Lib Dems leaves no doubt that there is only one opposition party in Reading, but if the Tories really think that they are ready for power, then Lord help the residents of Reading. They are an absolute shambles.