Blogger seems to have had a hiccup and deleted my original post "Night Mayor". I'm trying to recover it. In the meantime, This is a "holding" version of the post which may remain permanent if I can't find a cached version.
Perhaps I should ask the Lib Dem press office for a copy ;0)
It has been a tradition in this town to rotate the post of Mayor between all the parties and the position of Mayor is seen by most people as a non-political position adding to the civic tapestry of the Borough. I voted for Gul Khan last year because it was his turn after spending a year as a loyal and capable deputy to Fred Pugh not because I was told to for political reasons.
I know that Gul Khan also likes to view the Mayor's position as non-political. Why? Because he has told me as much. On more than one occasion.
Labour councillors are now publicly piling the pressure on Gul Khan to vote against his deputy Jenny Rynn. In fact it would seem that the pressure for him to stiff his loyal deputy is also coming from the top echelons of the Labour Party.
I speak to Gul quite regularly and he likes his reputation as an honourable man. Even as recently as at the Katesgrove Residents' Association May Fair on May 2nd and in front of others he re-iterated that he had done his utmost to keep politics out of the position of Mayor. Well, now is his chance to show that he is an honourable man and stand up and be counted.
He should vote for Jenny Rynn who has served him well and supported him throughout the year in a clear statement to the town that he still believes that the position of Mayor as being apolitical. Indeed it would be a shame for a man who so protects his honour and reputation to end his year as Mayor being remembered as a hypocrite. I know he is better than that but his legacy is totally down to him and him alone.
Regardless of Labour's partisan posturing, or whether Gul capitulates to pressure, the Greens could also show what's left of their independence as they find themselves being dragged slowly but inevitably into the clutches of Jabba the Hutt, er, I mean the Reading Labour Party's pit. The "casting vote" scenario would only come into play when they have decided not to take a position in Full Council on a matter of policy. Any policy changes they back one way or another wouldn't need a casting vote and it would only come into play if the opposition is united, they abstain and don't give a stuff about the outcome. However, if the Greens backed Labour's unprincipled land grab for the ceremonial position of Mayor it would have to be interpreted as a political act.
Jo Lovelock's attempt to justify putting up an alternative Labour candidate would be worthy of Pol Pot. The "precedent" she quotes for having a contested election for Mayor two years ago had nothing to do with it being a hung council. It was an act of pure political spite against Fred Pugh.
And let's not dignify Labour's position excusing it as being purely politically motivated, as I've explained, the mathematics makes it irrelevant. It is petty tribal politics at its worst. If they they had any shame they would be ashamed of themselves. They don't of course.
Let's hope Gul Khan does the right thing. I still believe he is an honourable man. Now it's his turn to prove it.