I was wrong, there is some integrity in Midlothian Council after all.
I was heartened to read in the Advertiser (January 17) that Ian Baxter is attempting to keep democracy alive by suggesting a change to the councillor’s election, sorry, environmental fund.
He seems to be the only elected member in the council at the moment that is making any sensible suggestions to improve democratic participation in Midlothian.
This is a simple, inspirational suggestion that offers a viable alternative to the existing councillors “re-election” fund.
It’s a pity that all we read in response to such progressive, democratic suggestions is the chorus of it’s “Ay Been”. The quotes from both serving and previous councillors read like they had a private meeting beforehand to agree a joint response to Baxter’s suggestion.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between politicians, be they of the local or national variety. They can be like two peas in the same political pod yet they are in opposition?
Until that is, their own careers are threatened and like every other pack animal, they protect the herd, that rare breed known as ‘career councillors’. Baxter has struck a nerve.
Baxter’s previous suggestion of broadcasting council meetings would also enhance democratic participation in Midlothian.
If the cost of web casting council meetings was somewhere in the region of £15,000 and the current crop of councillors have no objection to this other than the cost then there is a simple solution. Why doesn’t Mr Baxter use his £15,000 re-election fund to pay for web casting council meetings?
Anything that would help to increase public participation in politics and restore or even increase the credibility of our local council representatives can only be a good thing.
Web casting would also provide the voting public with direct access to local democracy in action and we could then decide for ourselves who are the truly inspirational civic leaders Midlothian so desperately deserves and needs.
But maybe this scares the herd of career councillors too?
Baxter is wise not to align himself with any particular party group and I hope that he continues to be the lone voice of reason by challenging the ay been attitudes endemic in Midlothian. The out dated patronising patriarchal views from past and present power mad politicians and career councillors in Midlothian needs to be continually challenged. Keep it up Mr Baxter.
Rosewell Road, Bonnyrigg
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