Standards aren't what they used to be.
Not for the first or (probably) the last time I've been reported to the local Standards Board. It's a tool that has been used by Labour to harass opposition councillors for quite some time because once a complaint has been made the rules are that the complaint is confidential. So why can mention it this time?
The difference is that the two complainants have made it very public knowledge. Breast obsessed shrinking violet Richard 'Basher' McKenzie, who holds the record for the worst Labour election candidate ever, is crying into his mummy's apron because of a running joke I was having on Twitter with some followers. The trouble with bullies like Basher is that he can dish it but he can't take it.
Another person reported me for tweeting during a full council meeting. Well, since the council adopted a policy of allowing webcasting during council meetings, letting people know what's going on during them is no longer the preserve of Labour's stalinist state. Okay we haven't got the cameras in there yet, but the principle has been established. It is council policy to let people know what is going on live in meetings. However, it's fair enough to not like tweeting so I wouldn't have minded if the person lodging the complaint about me hadn't himself also posted on Twitter during the meeting. One rule for him, another for someone he doesn't like for disagreeing with him. Can't have anything other than the sanitised Labour/Green approved version of events to get out there can we? So hey why not report me. After all, there's nothing to lose. By complaining he's not wasting his own money, just the council's.
But this two faced attitude is prevalent with Labour. I got a telling off from a local journalist for sniggering at the back during CCEA whilst listening to yet another pile of utter tosh from Tony Page. I probably deserved it, but the same journalist was sitting next to Cllr. Jones during a planning committee meeting when he called the Chair a 'silly cow'. No admonishment or a squeak written about him. Not a word about him reading TV Quick during a full council meeting or his frequent swearing at other councillors. He spent the last full council meeting waving his mobile around and reading emails, yet two weeks later reported me to the Chair for tweeting during a licensing committee meeting and got a slap down. I'm not on the licensing committee I can tweet during it if I like. You're not the boss of me now. Get used to it.
As we saw with Harriet Harman's 'ginger rodent' jibe, Labour have lost it nationally and locally. They are intellectually bereft. They have no answers to simple questions like "Tell us one thing that you would cut to save a single penny of your £44bn?" or "Name one tax you would put up like you've said you would Mr. Johnson?"
One of the fundamental rules of debate is "It is not the man, but the measure, that is the subject of debate." They have not the measure, so they play the man.