The Western Front
“What’s going on at the moment? Is it an election or something?”
A young lady asked me this question out of the blue in the middle of the Katikati shopping centre a couple of days ago. With my infinite knowledge of current local body politics together with my catalogue on council misinformation demeanours, I searched for a wise and erudite judgment to impress the young lady. Then, I realised that her question summed the whole situation better than I ever could.
She didn’t know what was going on with the representation issue and neither does anyone else, councillors included. The only evidence available at street level and in the papers is that councillors are fighting amongst themselves in line with Council Standing Orders in public of course but, behind the scenes in a darkened workshop sessions, there have been chants of ‘double, double, toil and trouble’ over a cauldron of poisoned entrails, eye of newt, toe of frog, preparing for a visit from the man they said would be king - mayor in this case.
Shakespeare’s witch’s incantations in Macbeth are usually interpreted as spells, to pile up toil and trouble until they double – yielding twice the toil and double the trouble for a king and his household. This is not a pretty picture and you might remember that nothing good at all came out of it by the end of the play. Macbeth just never saw the signs until much too late. In a sense it is too late for us also because, yesterday, the council started its consideration of our submissions on their new (second edition) representation plan and somehow our ideas are not probably going to be high on their agenda. It should be entertaining. I will have attended the council debate as long as it remained open to the public and I will report back.