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COMMENT: Decision to quit is a blow to democracy
7:10am Monday 2nd March 2009 in News
IF John Buckley’s decision to quit the Labour Party means he will no longer be an influential voice at County Hall then it will be a blow for democracy in Worcestershire.
Councillor Buckley’s leadership of the Labour group on the county council and, in particular, his chairmanship of the council’s scrutiny committee has been notable for its dignity and even-handedness – qualities sometimes lacking in the world of politics.
This newspaper does not favour any political party. We are often critical of politicians on both sides of the political divide.
But it is also important to offer praise when it is due.
The latter is definitely the case when it comes to Councillor Buckley.
His personal attack on the city’s Labour MP Mike Foster is, however, a worrying development.
There are always disagreements between members of political parties. Much like team sports, not everyone on the same side always gets on.
But the kind of total breakdown in relations as described by Councillor Buckley is rare. According to Councillor Buckley, he is no longer on speaking terms with Mr Foster.
There are, of course, two sides to every story and Mr Foster’s account of his relationship with Councillor Buckley centres on policy rather than personal differences. It is a shame the pair have not been able to come to some compromise to preserve Councillor Buckley’s position.
We think the work he has done in recent years, particularly in scrutinising – and in some cases overturning – some of County Hall’s more controversial decisions has been invaluable.