I have heard a lot about democracy in the last few days, with an election tomorrow it is a word on many people’s lips.
The Green party claim to be more democratic than the Labour party, since they are not whipped into line. They say there is therefore more freedom for councillors and representatives to speak and act according to their own personal inclinations, whatever those may be.
This is the reason given by local Greens for no opinion having been forthcoming on the planned free school for Stroud.
The party policy clearly states that no more free schools or academies should open, and that existing schools will be integrated into the state system.
“ED134 … the Green Party is opposed to creating more Academies and Free Schools and will support community, school and parent campaigns that share this aim. The Green Party will integrate Academies and Free Schools into the Local Authority school system.”
Whilst this is official party policy, it is difficult to find any local party member who will speak against the proposed school in any way. When their attention is drawn to the Labour group’s willingness to declare itself, Green party members point to the democracy in their own party compared to Labour. They claim to have no opinion on the matter; the issue has, I am told, been discussed, but due to differing opinions no statement can be made.
The result, we must conclude, is that the local Green party agree with their national policy; namely, that the opening of free schools is wrong and should be stopped.
I also conclude that if the free school were not to be a Steiner school, the Green party would by now have seized the opportunity to demonstrate how they could work with local people on this important local issue for the benefit of the town.
I was told this morning in no uncertain terms that the issue of education is a “small” one and that what I should be concerned about is CLIMATE CHANGE. Yes, in case you wonder about the capital letters, the words were shouted at me by the leader of the local Greens, John Marjoram.
He also told me “…the problem is I have a lot of friends who are into anthroposophy…” and he apologised for swearing on the phone yesterday.
I accept that I am a thorn in the side of local politicians. In my attempts to gain access to their opinions on what I and others regard as an important local matter, I have become a nuisance.
If they would simply state their opinions clearly and honestly they would not find me such a nuisance, and they would probably also gain the respect of the electorate. We know when there is obfuscation and concealment, and we don’t like it.
Steiner tentacles have reached deep into local politics, here and according to Nick Nakorn, in South Devon too. This is not democracy in action, it is underhand behaviour. The Greens claim superiority in their “accountable democracy” but display their inferiority by their actions.