AS the council began dividing up the spending cuts last week, the Labour Party in Camden felt the full whack of the phrase ‘you can’t please all of the people, all of the time’. From the boos and hisses above the press desk at last Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, emanating from the public gallery, it felt like they weren’t pleasing anybody.
Heroes to some in May for winning back control of the council, this group of councillors now must tread carefully to avoid becoming the enemy in the hackback bloodbath. The suggestion that they might be seen less favourably, for administering a programme of historic cuts, was made more than once at the meeting.
The ‘nuclear’ alternative option doing the rounds in the most radical wings of the party asks: Why not join a unified protest with the crowd outside and all resign? Merit-marked cabinet councillor Sarah Hayward, not part of said radical wing, explains on her blog why the buds in charge don’t favour this option.
Still, whatever you think about what brought Camden Council to this scrambled fork in the road or whether or not you truly believe there is nothing the Labour team can do but push through the cuts ordered from Whitehall, there was undoubtedly something odd about one awkward situation thrown up by this unchartered territory.
Here was the new Labour leader of the council, Nash Ali, speaking on a megaphone ….
…to a crowd of angry demostrators which included the old Labour leader of the council, flat-capped Raj Chada holding a placard.