Cllr Sandy Ezekiel - Guilty!
In section number 6 (pages 30 to 31) under the title "Conclusion and Recommendation" the report concludes that
in joining the traders' meeting once he was aware of Cllr Johnston's involvement, and in failing to withdrawn (sic) once the altercation became heated, Cllr Ezekiel deliberately set out upon a course of action which he should have known would lead to a very public and very fractious confrontation between Council members which, whilst not the most serious of cases, would inevitably reflect badly upon the Council, and in doing so he therefore acted in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing his office or the Thanet District Council into disrepute.it continues to note that
During that confrontation he made statements to the effect that Cllr Johnstone was speaking a "lie" and thus failed to treat her with respect.
The conclusions carries on to say that Cllr Ezekiel was not found to have bullied Cllr Johnston.
There are some questions to be asked however. As first publicly noted by Thanet Strife, (as far as I know) one witness was clearly missing - the shop keeper.
Why was she not interviewed or why was her refusal to be interviewed not noted?
Did Ezekiel "get to her" first?
Was she just "over looked?"
Keep reading for more findings from the report.
Ezekiel confused and unawareAccording to the testimony Cllr Ezekiel was not aware of the newspaper report from two weeks prior to the event (great homework there for someone who writes for/in one).
He is repeatedly reported as being "ungentlemanly" and "aggressive" and one might want to sum up his actions as "out of order". But to "spout off" loudly when you actually don't know what is going on (shoot first ask questions later) shows every sign of a leader that is not fit to do much more than clean toilets.
Thanet Needs and Deserves Better!
Lachford's pitty party
"...I was seriously considering resigning..."Poor old Latchford feels "persecuted" by the Labour party it seems. He has to be aware that Thanet politics is highly energetic and emotionally charged.
Cllr Roger Anthony Lachford (dated 31 July 2008), Page 91. Closing Points
Lachford also expresses a number of very anti-press sentiments and seems to feel that both Thom Moris and Mr Evens are "anti-council". Thom, as far as I can tell, has bent over backwards to get statements form all sides and therefore is an exemplary new journalist in intent at least.
He'd have to be more than just hard of hearing to miss the fact that by now most of Thanet is Anti-Council.
Why do you think we have so many blogger councillor - total exasperation with Thanet District Council!
Johnston likes camerasIt seems that what was going on was that Cllr Johnston was just trying to get herself photographed which is something she enjoys.
The councillor is well known for wanting to get photographed as often as possible and indeed she invited the press to come and do that. Had it not been for the Tory Bulldogs the whole thing would have been a fairly minor footnote in an article somewhere on page 8.
What about "the press"
Allegations of attempted press intimidationMr N Evens (Journalist, Isle of Thanet Extra (KM Group)) indicates in part of his official statement of evidence that Cllr Ezekiel and Cllr Latchford may have attempted to intimidate the press after the incident. (Page 146). However they failed to address Mr Evens.
It seems that the pair of them had one of his colleagues on the phone for half an hour of verbal punishment. Nice (not).
They Never Work!Thom's statement has an interesting point: "It would just be a footnote in a report, because petitions never work, ..."
It is true that I have never heard of Thanet District Council shifting even slightly in the face of a petition which makes me ask, not for the first time, if they listen to anyone at all?
Blogs and allIn the list of cited evidence there are the usual reports and a few newspaper extracts but there is also an extensive number of pages from a Thanet blog (Eastcliff Matters by Cllr David Green).
It appears to me to be the primary source of the reports understanding that councillors in Thanet truly are as childish as the three the report is about. All the more reason for Thanet people to keep on blogging.
Opinion of the councilIn one place the normal running of the council as
unnecessary political squabbling.
The report observes that
political tensions in Thanet run particularly highand as a result:
Rather sadly, it appears from recent Council meetings that such altercations are not isolated incidents. (see quote that follows).
5.5.2 It is no doubt unfortunate for the three Councillors to become involved in such a heated argument in public and in front of members of the press. Rather sadly, it appears from recent Council meetings that such altercations are not isolated incidents. Clearly political tensions in Thanet run particularly high and in such an atmosphere it is perhaps inevitable - albeit most undesirable - that Councillors will sometimes become distracted from their usual good work by unnecessary political squabbling.
5.5.3 All Councillors are asked to consider with some care whether this pattern of conduct is in the best interests of local residents or, indeed, of the Council itself. In particular, all Councillors should and must - bear in mind at all times that their behaviour in public will always reflect upon the office they have the privilege to hold.
What we can conclude then is that the altercation between the Tory Tantrummers and the Labour Lamenters is not just a condemnable event of itself but a symptom of the culture that has developed within the sessions of Thanet District Councils Cabinet and General Sessions. Something that every councillor for the past 25 years or more is directly responsible for.
Indirectly, councillors, this report condemns you all.
Now grow up and get on with the task at hand
especially the Conservatives who really need to stop being so defensive of the party and more defensive of "we the people". Thank you.
Just in case the councillors in question want to go gunning for me too I should point out this is a blog, therefore the above item is an opinion peace in the style of an editorial - that is my understanding of a blog anyway but let's be clear. Just to make double clear - these are my opinions and not necessarily those of my employer, the sponsors, readers or anyone else in the whole of time and space.