Local politics is, well, a bit ridiculous sometimes…
I’m a bit of a lefty.
I do, however, know a fair few of the local Conservative councillors and I was very happy recently to applaud one of them for putting the effort in and getting our local borough council to use their fancy new LED lights to illuminate our Town Hall in the rainbow flag as part of LGBT History Month. Credit where credit is due; he did the deed and the pictures posted in the local papers and online were fab. They made me very happy.
The actual agreement he secured was for a rainbow flag to be displayed on the night of full council and then for a campaign around polio for the local Rotary Club to show the building in purple the following evening.
Pretty cool, eh?
Now, the politics. You see, on the night of the full council meeting, when the budgets were set etc, every single councillor was inside the Town Hall. It’s where they should be. I know that the same Conservative councillor that arranged for the rainbow flag also asked questions about why our local housing benefit applications forms etc were not “gender aware” etc etc. All good stuff. (as it happens, he had asked me for info before formulating his question).
Then I was made aware that a local Labour Party “celebrity”, Jo Rust, had posted to Twitter saying that they had held a “vigil”, along with a picture outside the Town Hall and implied that the Conservatives were nowhere to be seen and that that meant they didn’t care about LGBT issues.
Now, given that they were holding up signs with the rainbow flag, I can only presume it was an LGBT-related vigil. The thing is, how would they expect anyone to be there if they made no effort to notify anyone it would be taking place? No-one I know locally was aware of it, from any political persuasion. Even if they were notified, the elected councillors would have been where they should have been — inside, actually doing Council business!
Finally, and this is the most bizarre and sad aspect of the whole thing, look carefully at the photos for a minute. If Jo Rust is claiming to hold an LGBT vigil, surely they would be doing it on the evening when the LGBT rainbow colours were actually being displayed on the building? In their own photo, the building is lit up in all purple — that was a different night! Now wonder there was no-one there! 🙄
At best, this was a sad effort to make a political point out of something that was very important to me. At worst, it is downright lying.