Last night was the Bristol Budget meeting. Bristol Labour put together a package to alleviate the worst affects from the most vulnerable in our city.
I’m not going to talk about the substance of our amendments because that has been spelled out in other posts. I’d like to talk briefly about the atmosphere.
The Lib Dems never broke rank on a single vote. Anyone who was present will describe how Lib Dems sat there barely listening to their opponents. Jeering down speakers, like clockwork, at the end of speeches they barely listened to.
Lib Dems and Tories screamed down members of the public when they expressed their upset and fears. They cheered as citizens were dragged from their seats and ejected. In one particularly unpleasant moment a protestor appeared (though I can’t be certain) to have hit his head hard in being removed. (there was an almighty smack as he hit the ground) Lib Dem Cllr Steve Comer said “Where’s your revolution now.” One member of the public said all you are doing is pointing fingers at each other Tory Cllr Morris declared words to the effect of “but we enjoy doing that, get out.”
When the public were cleared from the gallery Labour members walked out in protest until the public were readmitted. Which thankfully they were.
Lib Dems regularly behaved in a high handed way.
- Cllr Rogers (Ashley) described an amendment reversing his own meals on wheels charges hike as “a petty absence of vision”
- On the same meals on wheels amendment Cllr. Kiely (Easton) stated in his experience Labour were always “liking to waste people’s money”
- Cllr Janke (Clifton) described plans for a scholarship for the poorest and brightest kids in Bristol to go to Uni as “tokenism”
There was more of the same and cheers from Lib Dems as they voted down each life line for the poorest.
Perhaps the most telling moment was when Lib Dems and Tories stood shoulder to shoulder to trash Labour scholarship scheme. A last ditch attempt to avoid the very worst of Lib Dem betrayal on tuition fees increases. They sneered. They rubbished it and they moved on.
Don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the BCC webcast of the event.