Last week I gave a short speech at the council meeting (it was also my first – I was as nervous as hell). I spoke about those in the Oval group who talk of conspiracy, and others who took a militant stance against the council. I didn’t think that was helpful. So I dared suggest we did things better next time – on both sides.
You can see the text of my speech here.
I have no doubt most members of the Oval Group are non-political. But the attitude of some of their more vocal comrades, in their rush to condemn the opinion of others in the group, might suggest otherwise.
One comment in particular stuck out today, that of Jean Fraser (who I don’t know but am sure is as non-political as they come).
Here she accuses my wife of being some sort of mouthpiece for the Council (you can read on this blog how my wife’s position differs a great deal from the Council’s).
It seems some people’s interpretation of free speech differs quite drastically from the rest of us: they don’t seem to believe in it in the first place.
Others have also chosen to attack rather than discuss, picking on motive rather than argument (my wife’s suggestions are still yet to be properly challenged). This militant element, with fists or, let me get the terminology right, “peace signs”, raised in defiance of facts or genuine attempts to inform, have shown that you simply cannot disagree with the narrative. You can’t even agree with it, if instead of demanding the impossible you suggest trying to change what can still be changed (the focus now should be with the Planning Committee).
I hope the others in the Oval group, who I have a lot of sympathy for (again, my Oval position is on this blog), speak out against this. I wouldn’t blame them for keeping quiet, because who wants to be bullied?
Like I said, I was attacked last week for suggesting that issues like this could be dealt with differently. I still believe that, just not when people are bullied into silence.