The good ol’ county council

Cllr John Owen spkg eloquently abt Turkish mining tragedy given Derbyshire’s links w coal mining; Tories chatting to themselves #Shameonthem
— @CaitlinBisknell 4:36 PM – 4 Jun 2014

I saw this tweet earlier, and couldn’t fit my reply into 140 characters, so I’ll put it here instead.

First off, people chatting amongst themselves while someone’s speaking during a meeting is one of my biggest pet peeves: they shouldn’t be doing it – especially when they’re being paid to attend the meeting – and the chair shouldn’t allow it to happen. One of the best lines I’ve heard to deal with this is, “Can we please have one meeting?”

So, while the chatter’s completely unacceptable, so too is talking about this, tragic as it is, during a Derbyshire County Council meeting. When I went back to Caitlin’s twitter page now to find this tweet, I saw that some of what was said was focused on how and why it happened. That would make sense, if the point was for the county council to take some action(s) to avert a similar disaster here within Derbyshire. But I’ve just had a look, and it seems Derbyshire has no mining taking place anymore. In that case, this “link” is so tangential as to lead to these sorts of ideas…

  • “How bout that missing plane from Malaysia? Planes fly over Derbyshire — let’s talk about this tragedy at the next county council meeting!”
  • “They’re talking about sending people to Mars to set up homes and grow stuff and live there? People grow stuff and live in Derbyshire — let’s talk about this mission at the next county council meeting!”
  • “They’re talking about pulling up the Titanic from the ocean floor? Boats go on bodies of water in Derbyshire — let’s talk about the Titanic at the next county council meeting!”

And so on. Really, councillors, can you please actually focus on Derbyshire in the Derbyshire County Council meetings? That’s what we pay you for. The only time any place outside the county should factor into your discussions is if it’s DIRECTLY RELEVANT to something YOU, THE DERBYSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL, can impact. Even if a thing is massively tragic, if it’s not actually relevant to your business at hand, it shouldn’t take up valuable minutes in your meetings – focus on what you can do for Derbyshire, and do it. Save your sob stories about tragedies for cocktail parties.

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