I often say to people that you can tell how busy I am by the amount of blogging I do. When I'm busy the blog takes a back seat. So as you can tell by the month long absence from the bloggosphere I have been very, very busy recently. However I just had to make a comment about the forthcoming Civic Event in Hartlepool. Thursday sees the annual "State of the Borough Debate"
To use the word "debate" in anything connected with Hartlepool Council is totally erroneous. There is no way Mayor Drummond will engage in any form of "debate"
On Thursday Drummond will make a speech telling everyone who bothers to turn up what a fantastic place Hartlepool is, what a huge success the Tall Ships was, how lucky Hartlepool is to have such a great team of Officers running their town BUT hard times are ahead because the dastardly Tories and their poodles the Lib-Dems are going to take away the money Drummond has been spending like mad for the past few years. Drummond will then take a few questions from the floor and read out the answers he has previously prepared (or had prepared for him).
THIS IS NOT DEBATE.
Debate has proposition which is proposed and seconded and has people speaking for and against. There is rebuttal and summing up followed by a vote.
Mind you, there is no debate in the ordinary council meetings. The rules don't allow debate! There are a series of speeches and forgone conclusion in the Civic Chamber.
There is no chance for any rebuttal of points made and there is no summing up allowed against the motion, only the proposer is allowed to speak more than once (although it has been noted that under the Chairmanship of Cllr Richardson the "one speech per member" rule has sometimes been "one speech per member unless you are Labour then you can have another go if you like").
No-one who knows what the word means would recognise what goes on in the Hartlepool Council Chamber as "debate"