Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Vote of no confidence generated a lot of hype, but very little consequence
January has ended – and with it has gone two of the most over-hyped events of the year.
Now any football fan will know that transfer deadline day is a time when people get very excited for no reason in particular.
For a change, Albion had some interest as those in the boardroom did their best Harry Redknapp impressions in letting Liam go and dealing for Dale.
But most years, the day begins with hopes and dreams, levels out sometime about 2pm when you remember your club has no money, and ends in a depressive tone at about 11.05pm with only an excitable Scot bouncing around on TV for company.
A day earlier, at the other end of the city, we had another example of pointless posturing – only this time it was in the council chamber.
On Thursday night the opposition parties on Brighton and Hove City Council united and passed a vote of no confidence in the ruling Green administration.
Many residents saw it as a catalyst for the unceremonious removal of the party which has polarised opinion in its first stab at running a town hall.
A few hoped it would destroy the party forever.
But as Labour and Conservatives supported the motion, council leader Jason Kitcat just sat there seemingly oblivious to just what was happening around him.
The votes were counted, the city’s mayor confirmed the tally.
And then... well, that was that.
No fireworks, no explosions, no Armageddon – just a simple nod of the head and on to the next agenda item.
If anyone was looking for a reason why Ridley Scott had not been involved in a Hollywood blockbuster involving local authorities, here it was.
The moment could have had drastic consequences. But what was billed as Kitcat’s demise was less dramatic than a child snapping a chocolate biscuit.
And the reason for this damp squib? Because the vote of no confidence was a cynical political ploy to grab headlines but not power.
It meant nothing and everyone in the council chamber knew as much.
Today, unless Ridley Scott has intervened, life in the council’s HQ just goes on as per last week.
It is clear: this is a Kitcat that will not melt.
The Green leader has planted roots in the town hall and is refusing to budge for anyone.
As one member of the public said to me: “The only way we are going to get him out of that office is by going down there and dragging him out.”
The actual ramifications are simple – that two opposition parties put down on paper their disagreement with those in charge.
Next week, the Pope will announce Rome is where the heart is.
If there was a legally binding consequence following the motion then perhaps there would have been a different result.
But the truth is neither the Tories or Labour currently have the cojones or the talent to take over a year before an election.
And the notion of a caretaker administration involving all three parties is a bit daft, as the way the council currently makes decisions is by cross-party committees, similar to an informal coalition. So who came out best?
Well probably the Greens and Kitcat.
With decision-making in this city tough, a bit of obdurate behaviour from a politician is never a bad thing.
And now the Green leadership can focus on something that matters: the budget and a potential referendum.
As for the opposition, the Tories will be quietly happy that they put one over on the Greens without really trying.
Yet deep down they know they still have a lot of work to do before they can reclaim control of the council.
In the end it was the Labour Party – which put forward the no confidence vote – which came out of it smarting and looking the worse.
Being the smallest party on the council, they had to do something to get people to take note of them.
Two years of careful planning behind the scenes has put it in a better position to retake the council.
But Thursday’s motion has had the opposite effect of moving the party into power.
As it was debated, it was quite obvious that not every one of its 14 councillors sang from the same hymn sheet as group leader Warren Morgan.
In fact some appeared to be in the process of forming their own ensemble.
As it is, Labour’s credibility as the party which takes the tough decisions in the best interests of the city has been dented. Instead of looking like they are ready for power, they have just shown that they still lack the unity to really take it to the opposition.
A clearer picture of the state of the parties will be evident after the budget next month.
But for now, for the sake of all, let’s just leave the city’s decision-making in the Greens’ hands.
Comments are closed on this article.