The public was invited to attend, but we were not allowed to say anything (well, nearly). We did have "NO" signs, which could conveniently be reversed to read "ON". And these were frequently held up, "en masse". It made it resemble a silent movie scene, perhaps a Charlie Chaplin movie?
It was a closely scripted event. Larry Whipper proposed and moved an amendment, but from the outset it was obvious that the Campbell-Jones group had caucused. They were "all singing from the same song sheet", and had no intention of wavering from their position. Numerous innuendos were delivered about "elections in the air". The most ludicrous moment was when Clr Penny George included in her speech elaborate references to a speech by Martin Luther King about distinguishing between things which were right, good or popular. Oh, please, Penny! The audience started to giggle, and we earned our first Mayor rebuke.
That's the wrong Martin Luther King speech to quote. Try the "I have a dream" speech.
Except Penny, however nice, and well-meaning, just isn't that kind of Councillor.
Much was made about certain Councillors coming to the debate with "pre-conceived philosophical positions" (as if it was only the ones opposed to selling Public lands who have a "philosophical" position). Wasn't "Gordon Gekko" driven by a "philosophy". As I recall it was "greed is good". But Clr. Nick Campell-Jones and Clr. Malcolm Murray seem to think that having a view about not selling Public Parks is a "philosophy" (and that's something one ought be ashamed of, apparently), but having a firmly held view on privatisation of Public Parks is "good public policy", and nothing to do with a conservative economic "philosophy".
Wake up, Malcolm and Nick. You may have the balance of power in Council, but you do not have right on your side.