A city councillor could be censured by Labour Party colleagues after backing the restoration of the death penalty.
For having an opinion that differs from the party line? How very Soviet…
… party officials said they were concerned that she commented on the controversial issue because she is the group whip of the city’s Labour group of councillors. A whip’s role is to make sure that councillors vote in a particular way and ensure party discipline.
Backing the death penalty, which goes against the Labour Party’s stance, was seen to conflict with this.
How many of the people who voted for her know – or care – that she’s the chief whip? Besides, she wasn’t the only one:
… a party insider said: “It’s a pretty extreme viewpoint which goes against Labour party values.“Sundip has accepted that it was perhaps unwise to get involved. He’s a newly-elected councillor and there’s a lot to learn. However, Barbara holds a key position within the Labour group and discussions are continuing about what action could be taken.
“It all depends on the mood of Labour councillors and how they feel about the comments.”
Translation: ‘We had a word with the young upstart and thoroughly cowed him into shutting up if he knows what’s good for him. But this old bird won’t take a hint, like…’
Coun Potter, who represents Hamilton, disputes that she was wrong to comment, pointing out that she spoke to the Mercury in her role as a councillor, rather than the group’s chief whip. She also says that it is an issue which councillors should be free to discuss.
“It’s a matter of conscience. It’s about what punishment you believe is right or wrong when someone takes someone else’s life,” said Coun Potter.“I believe I, along with any other councillor, should be able to express a viewpoint on that.”
Well, quite. I believe a hell of a lot of people died in two World Wars (and one cold one) so that you could do just that, didn’t they?