Knackered last night, so took to my bed at 9.30pm or so and read the Da Vinci Code cover to cover. So this morning, which this link came to my attention, I knew what it was talking about: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,10291,1425101,00.html
I was tired not because I’d been up all night watching the legislative ping pong in Parliament, but becase I had to sleep on a mate’s floor Thursday night. My car got locked in a car park, and I was unable to get home once I’d finished printing at nearly midnight. Friday morning, I had a committee in Nottingham, which meant a train home before my car was released followed by a train back again in the afternoon.
Monday was Full Council in Nottingham, and council set the budget, and with it, council tax rates for the next year. Practically every one of the 35 Labour members made a speech, and over half of the opposition groups did too. Consequently, it took over 7 hours of debate, and, suprise suprise, pushed some of the other agenda items beyond our guillotine rule, which means that if the meeting is still happening at 9.30pm, we only vote on items without talking about them or amending them. One of the items we didn’t have time to talk about just so happened to be a criticism from the District Auditor that Labour should not have used the in-house newspaper to promote individual Labour councillors…
Many of the speeches on Monday seemed to be people standing up and making their boilerplate stump speeches prepared for General Election consumption rather than anything particularly Nottingham-budget-specific. Well, after spending a weekend at Lib Dem conference in Harrogate, I was quite well briefed on the contents of boilerplate stump speeches from our side of the political divide, so I was able to get on my feet and let myself get angry. Which always leads to a good speech, and when I sat down, our glorious leader said, “You can do that again if you want.” Our researcher in the gallery later told me off for using the word ‘mendaciousness’ (I of course meant mendacity) but otherwise lots of positive comments post speech. Which was nice.