Jason Perry, the part-time £81,000 per year Mayor of Croydon, is making the most of the mourning period for the Queen to ensure as little council business is discussed or debated in public.
Straight after a summer recess in council business that lasted nearly two months, Part-time Perry wasted no time to put the hand-brake on any public business at the Town Hall for another 10 days, as he and the local Tories conspicuously immerse themselves in the official period of national fawning.
Not content with changing his personal social media profiles to replace photos of his chubby visage with images of the dead unelected Queen, Perry’s also been using council staff to pump out the kind of deeply reverential platitudes previously thought only possible following the demise of a leader in North Korea.
Since last Thursday, the day of the death of Queen Elizabeth, two planning committee meetings, a licensing meeting, a meeting of the pensions committee, two gatherings of the scrutiny committee and the audit and governance committee meeting have all been postponed, as well as tonight’s council cabinet.
The only business of the elected council that is going ahead is an appointments committee meeting tomorrow lunchtime, to decide to whom to hand the job of “director of adult social care operations” – potentially a six-figure salaried position. Clearly, nothing, not even the death of a monarch “of blessed memory”, gets in the way of the empire-building of council CEO Katherine Kerswell…
Council staff, meanwhile, not unreasonably, have been expected to continue conducting their daily work.
Part-time Perry tweeted earlier this week, above a picture of an empty council chamber, “While there is no duty to postpone committee meetings during the 10-day National Mourning period, the council is rescheduling any public meetings as a mark of respect.”
Note that: “no duty to postpone committee meetings”.
So it’s the Tory Mayor’s decision to take another 10 days off from scrutiny and debate, with the council overspending its budget by £19.3million in just his first 100 days in charge.
“Updates are available on the council’s committee calendar,” Perry noted, unhelpfully, as he failed to provide any links to said calendar.
Carlton Building Plastics, the family firm where Perry remains a director, meanwhile continues to trade as normal this week, only taking Monday’s Bank Holiday off “as a mark of respect”. Of course!
Meanwhile, in the Kroydon of Kim Jong-Perry, he is urging the public to sign books of condolence or to leave flowers to rot in parks and open spaces, as the Conservative Mayor does his bit to whip up the steadily mounting mass hysteria, and thereby help to cement the place of the monarchy for the next two or three decades. It’s quite a clever bit of groupthink, really.
The Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer is little better, with memos (complete with spelling mistakes) being sent out to MPs and peers warning them off doing anything as crass as campaigning. Only tributes are allowed, as monarchism is imposed and enforced.
“When in public, continue to follow the dress code (sombre and dark colours) during the period,” the Party’s advice states.
“You should not post anything on social media, expect [sic] your own tribute or what you have been asked to share from the PLP office.”
This is, we should remember, His Majesty’s loyal opposition.
Contrast this simpering obsequiousness with Sir Keith’s predecessor as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
The Islington MP struck a different, but still entirely respectful, chord on Twitter soon after the announcement of the Queen’s death. “I enjoyed discussing our families, gardens and jam-making with her,” said the Islington MP.
The Tory government under Thick Lizzy Truss, meanwhile, continues to quietly implement policies for which it has no mandate, such as removing the ban on fracking, without any questioning or scrutiny.
On Monday, the day of the royal funeral and declared a bank holiday, cancer treatment appointments are being cancelled and some food banks will be closed.
God Save The King!
Gawd help us all…
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