I thought that one central tenet of the Conservative Party approach was that whatever they are, they should be competent. After all, they represent the managerial classes, the business-owning classes, the people who run the economy, more than any other party in the UK.
So it must gall them when they look really stupid.
For example, this week’s Crawley News has a ‘leaked email’ containing the words of Brenda Burgess, Executive Member for Housing.
Michael Barrett, one of the Defend Council Housing campaigners had asked some fairly direct questions about the financial case for transfer in November. He’d been told that a response would come later. By the January 10th meeting, no answers had been forthcoming, and so he asked them again.
Brenda’s response was that answers would come later, which was not particularly well received.
The email, from the same day contains:
Mr B also said something about a blackhole for either revenue or capital. Any idea what he’s talking about? I was not prepared to ask him or answer any of his questions. No point. I just listen
I think (and I could be wrong) that the ‘blackhole’ that ‘Mr B’ referred to was the £12M deficit that the Tories kept telling us about (and continued to after they lost the vote). If the person in charge of the Housing Department and leading the transfer process doesn’t know what he’s talking about, that is massively worrying.
That she sees no point in dialogue with a member of the public speaks volumes. In May, the Tories won the council with, amongst others, a pledge to be ‘inclusive’ and create a new culture where ‘everyone is welcome’. Sure. As long as you don’t ask awkward questions though, eh?
Councillor Burgess has said she will not resign.