Friday, 27 April 2012
The increasing bitterness of former Brighton council leader Mary Mears
Yesterday's meeting of the city council was a case in point.
During a discussion of whether to give teenagers leaving local council care priority when allocating council housing, former Tory council leader Mary Mears she said that no Green Party member except council leader Bill Randall had any knowledge at all about housing policy - a barbed insult directed at all Green councillors with an interest in housing, but particularly Cabinet Member for housing Liz Wakefield.
This was typical. As a member of the council's Housing Management Consultative Committee I've spent most of the last year watching Mary become increasingly bitchy towards Liz.
Personally, I think it has little to do with housing, but is really about the bitterness she feels as a result of rejection when, last May, her administration was thrown out on its ear by the city's electorate.
But perhaps worse for her, the infighting within the Tory group that followed saw her ousted as local leader, to be replaced by Geoffrey Theobald - and her right-hand-woman Maria Caulfield (and Tory housing spokesperson, let's remember) lost her seat.
Not only had the voters had enough of Mary's Tories, they had had enough of her chum and housing spokesperson - and even the local Tories had had enough of her. No wonder she's bitter.
But throwing insults around the council chamber is hardly going to help. If it did she'd probably have got over it by now, judging from her performances over the last 11 months.
I really think she should apologise to Liz - not just for yesterday's outburst but for all her slights over the last year - accept democracy in action, and move on.