Cllr Tony Janio is the Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton and Hove Council.
I was elected the Leader of our Council Group as “the people were speaking” during the General Election – and I still have no real idea what they actually said. But it has been an interesting year.
Human nature, programmed to allow bad experiences to fade as time passes – who would go through childbirth a second time? – results in the memories of failed Labour Governments having long departed: the ‘Cult of Corbyn’ has been allowed to move to centre stage in my fair city of Brighton and Hove. Infamous for Sun, Sand (well – pebbles), Sea and Sauciness, we are now seriously threatened with another enormous ‘S’: Socialism. Not the mild Harold Wilson variant mind – a Momentum-driven threat to the “normal order”.
Until a Corbyn-bashing Liz-Kendall-supporting Blairite Labour Council Leader was ejected by a ‘Cult of Corbyn Vortex’, there was some hope. His “caretaker” replacement now awaits supplantation by a newly-elected former Corbyn Assistant. My joy runneth over..
Conservatives, allegedly, receive greater support from the elderly because of their wisdom: rubbish. The elderly, having experienced the pain of failed Labour Administrations, have decided wisely that they do not wish to tread this weary path again.
With around 6,000 Momentum members in Brighton and Hove, my main challenge is therefore to show the young that “Loony Left” Councils are perhaps not the ideal path to the Nirvana they seek – before they actually “give it a go”. Yet any mention of 1970s Labour to them is as relevant as debating close-quarter tactics at Agincourt – I have a real challenge.
Even recent experience of a Green Soft-Left Administration imploding from their total unpreparedness for power, and now a Labour Administration that was clueless from the start, is not sufficient ammunition. A Local Government Association report, damning Brighton and Hove City Council’s relationship with the Trade Unions ‘dysfunctional’, still fails to provide me with a silver bullet to turn them away from Labour.
At least there is still some fun to be had on Twitter. My Avatar freezes in time a conversation with a very famous rock guitarist: used because it appears I am showing him how to play the guitar. A subtle ironic twist, as I am a guitarist with little talent. From an exchange, interrupted by a ‘Lefty’ who has clearly lost his sense of humour, it is clear that those folks marginalised during the Kinnock/Blair years now sense their ‘one last chance’ to gain power.
The political condition here, however, is not an amusing sideshow on life: following allegations of intimidation and death threats, several Labour councillors have indicated they are standing down at the next election. How they still feel able to call for a Labour victory that will have a rotten whiff about it, and with those making the alleged threats vying to become their replacements, is beyond me.
Don’t despair, dear readers – Brighton and Hove is still the top UK tourist destination, and in a few short months the residents will be able to purge the Momentum-inspired Corbynista rottenness from our political system.
They will have the chance to vote Conservative.