Saturday, May 27, 2006

Unrepresentative democracy

The council AGM this week rubberstamped the minor shift in the balance of the Cabinet - adding an extra Liberal Democrat in place of a Tory - but failed to deal with a key issue, that of how the Cabinet and senior council members represent our City.

These are the people who control our city - a city where a quarter of the population is from an ethnic minority - yet they are all white. Now, I'm not arguing for quotas - I don't want to see people selected solely because of their sex or colour - but there should be some effort to ensure that the council is representative.

The Tories can't take any blame - all of their councillors are white (and a large number are named Alden), but the same can't be said of the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats did appoint Talib Hussain after the 2004 elections, only to expel him after a swift kangaroo court found him guilty of assorted thought crimes.

Can it be true that not a single one of the black or Asian Liberal Democrat councillors is up to the job of a Cabinet post, nor yet of a position chairing a scrutiny committee? Or is there a more sinister reason?

No comments: