Thursday, May 19, 2011

When is a u-turn not a u-turn?

Why is it that whenever the government actually listen to the outcome of a consultation opposition members start screaming ‘u-turn’ - such is the case in relation to the announcement that the plans to close coastguard stations will be reviewed?  Plaid are jumping up and down as they like to do shouting that they have ‘bowed to pressure.’Maybe it is because they cannot understand the concept.  Plaid and consultation have never been comfortable bed fellows in my view.  Several years ago for instance when they ran RCT Council they held a so called ‘consultation’ on what type of council structure there should be – Cabinet / cross party Executive, etc.
They had already made up their minds that they wanted a single party Cabinet structure, but the public thought otherwise.  So Plaid (with the aid of the then Chief Executive) decided that the public, simply ‘did not understand the question.’
Labour of course have a completely different approach, they know they are right in all things and so either don’t bother to ask at all, or don’t listen when they do.  Such was the case with regard to the name change of Rhydfelen School.  Hundreds of pupils, staff, governors, past pupils all said they wanted to keep the name, but the ten members of the Labour Cabinet thought otherwise.
It must be very difficult for them then to come to terms with the concept of real consultation where people’s opinions are taken into consideration.
Perhaps Leighton could give them a bit of a lecture on the value of learning.

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