If you’re not outraged, then you’re not paying attention.

If you’re not aware of the story, it has recently been reported that despite making huge cuts to services provision, budgets and soon jobs too, Mike Bird and his pals at Walsall Council see nothing wrong with voting to increase their allowances. Yes, you read that right – the very people warning us of cuts to libraries, social care and meals on wheels, not to mention leisure, third sector support and education – are just preparing to award themselves a massive pay rise because, apparently, managing all these cuts is really, really hard work.
There have been a couple of really good blog posts on this subject since the story broke on Monday. The Plastic Hippo and The Mushroom both took highly principled and thoughtful positions on this. They did a splendid job, so I’m not going to mess around with intellectualising this.
The people in charge of our council do not care for you or the place in which you live. They do not care about the suffering or hardship caused by their plans to cut lifeline services to the vulnerable and elderly. They simply cannot be bothered to fight for Walsall and it’s borough towns, accepting meekly the cuts they are encouraged to make without a whimper. Quite plainly, they’re not in it for you, for the public or for the good of the community. They are, however, in it for any pay rise they can get, which they are unashamedly justifying without a hint of irony, embarrassment or self awareness. These ignorant, self-interested people do not deserve our respect, support or encouragement.
I hope to god that those of us who are awake and disgusted remember this when it’s time to vote…

Qu`ils mangent de la brioche There is absolutely no evidence that Marie Antoinette, at the height of the bread riots during the French Revolution, ever suggested that baguette-less citizens should eat brioche let alone cake. Reports of her mocking cruelty were pure invention unlike in Walsall where there are sticky fingers kneading the dough. Needing to save £65million even before the coalition government cut local authority funding, the ruling elite at the council house wou … Read More

via The Plastic Hippo

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12 Responses to If you’re not outraged, then you’re not paying attention.

  1. @chrisdavies1 says:

    Good blog. I wished that more would take an active interest in the state of our town/country/world instead of passively letting things wash over them while they tune in to (and care too much about) drivel about Cheryl Cole on Daybreak.

    I made a comment on the E&S site that I’ll expand upon..

    If the councillors are working hard and working extra hours to do their job, then I understand their argument that the increase is justified. But.

    The people that they are justifying it to are sufferring. Many have worked hard but been made redundant. Many have worked hard, kept their jobs but have had to accept a pay freeze. Many would have happily accepted a pay freeze if they could have kept their jobs.

    The point? However they try to justify it, they cannot come out of this looking good. Shame also on the E&S who had this on their front page for a couple of hours before letting it drop off the radar.

  2. stymaster says:

    I do think it’s an interesting concept to award themselves a payrise given their somewhat less-than-exemplary performance.

  3. John Bishop says:

    So what is unusual about this,the most offensive thing is that they get away with it,no one seems to have the power to say NO,suffer like the rest of us.

  4. ian shires says:

    Don’t paint us all with the same brush. I can assure you that the Liberal Democrat Group will vote against.

    Problem is the Tories have an overall majority, it’s they you need to get at. A few Tories voting against could sink the report.

    So if you live in a Ward with Tory councillors representing you tell them what you think.

    PS. There are no Tories in Willenhall

    • I’m not tarring you all the same – by ‘Those in charge of the council’, it’s fairly clear that I mean the cabinet and controlling group. There are some very good Tory councillors, but few in the cabinet. How many will vote against will depend, I guess, on how much the individual member wants to stay in with the boss. Can’t imagine why they’d be scared to vote against if that’s the way they felt.

      This is awful PR for a council that is so clearly incapable of getting it’s act together. I fear for the future, I really do. I feel that any councillor taking a rise and then handwringing about cuts really should take a deep look inwards.

      I value the good, decent councillors we have, and you know I count you amongst them. Suffering the twin afflictions of being a LibDem in a time such as this, and also representing Willenhall, I wouldn’t dream of adding to your burden ;o)

      All the best

      Bob

  5. You are right to point out that there are some “very good Tory councillors” and it would be churlish to descend into the yah-boo-hooray dogma and ideology currently being excreted in Westminster.

    However, it will be interesting to see if the “good guys”, and I can think of at least 8 who would make a better cabinet, have the backbone to stand up against the frankly embarrassing Bird and vote against this insulting, greedy and ridiculous proposal.

    With a by election in Rushall-Shelfield and the prospect of no overall control in May, the “good guys” need to make a stand because Bird has become, once again, a liability.

    Perhaps your readers would like to suggest alternative Tory councillors to hold cabinet portfolios?

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