said before that I feel that too many Council Motions are of the form ‘This Council
resolves to be a decent law abiding organisation for a change by signing this piece of paper’.
Councillor Mabel Ogundayo spoke eloquently for ten minutes this week to ask Bexley Council to observe Teresa May’s 2015 Modern Day Slavery Act which applies only to commercial organisations and sign The Charter Against Modern Slavery.
Councillor Ogundayo provided examples of how slavery had been discovered within Bexley. It is undoubtedly an evil and no one can deny it, not even Conservative Councillors.
It was obvious what was going to happen, it always does when Labour puts forward an idea which has no downsides; the Conservative Councillors take it over, and so it proved.
Cabinet Member Philip Read objected to the Motion and circulated an Amendment.
The differences were tiny. Mabel Ogundayo’s Motion had been in the queue for a year and had become a little dated, that was corrected. Like most rewrites of an existing draft it was improved in several respects however the Tories’ main objection was that The Charter of Modern Slavery had been formulated by the Cooperative Party and the word cooperative is anathema to Bexley Tories. There was no way they were going to sign their Charter.
In putting forward his objections to the original Motion Philip Read directed personal insults towards Councillor Ogundayo. To add to his previous allegations of youth, inexperience and a poor educational standard he added plagiarism. The Motion had been “copied from the Labour Party’s Handbook on Composite Motions” and those reading it “will lose the will to live”. It was put forward by Labour so that “they could claim the moral high ground to make them feel self-righteous”. Totally unnecessary objections from the reliably obnoxious Philip Read.
He voted against Councillor Ogundayo’s Motion.
The whole of the Labour Group had the good sense to vote in favour of the Conservative amendment, it was undoubtedly an improvement on the original but once again a good Labour idea was usurped by the unscrupulous Tories. It’s a pity the two parties cannot learn to work together.