City of London Gagging Row Latest

“In the Dispensations Sub-Committee meeting on 4 June, a “co-opted” (meaning unelected) member rejected the notion that residential councillors should be trusted to exercise their judgment, because in future the “wrong sort of person might join the Corporation”. Since the only way a person can join the Corporation as a member is to be elected, the concern must be that City residents might in future elect the “wrong sort of person”. The residents are therefore being told that not only are they “confused” (as the Standards Chair called them in response to the petition), but that they must also be protected from the consequences of their voting decisions. The Standards Committee itself prefers to decide, through less than a handful of its own members, when resident councillors can speak and vote on matters which affect them and their constituents equally, but the answer – when it comes to voting, which is more important – is usually “no”. So decisions affecting residents may end up being taken by councillors who have no knowledge of the residents’ area. Most of those councillors are likely to represent business wards, so they may have no interest in residents’ concerns at all. The Standards Committee’s policy is therefore a barrier to democracy.”

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City of London Standards Committee Freemasonry discussion substandard?

If the publicly available minutes of the Standards Committee for the City of London council are reliable, then the Standards Committee is more than just substandard, it is not fit for purpose. Since the men involved were Freemasons, the subject under discussion was Freemasonry, and the majority of the committee present seem to belong to this fraternal organisation, potential external perceptions include a reinforcement of the widespread view that Freemasonry is sinister and conspiratorial.

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