Leader of the Council, Peter John tweeted during the protest at the Planning Meeting on Tuesday that there was an ‘Unnecessary hiatus in meeting as protesters not from E&C cause disruption – protesters entry requested by Simon Hughes!‘.
Of course three points come to our minds on this amazing piece of Twit news:
1) how could Peter John know possibly know where those people came from? Did he ask them all in person or does he have telepathic super powers? Well, he is Leader of the Council no less. So it could be true. Or…
Was he making it up?
Answers on a postcard please!
Was Peter implying that no-one locally could possibly want to have any objections that they may wish to present in a more interesting and critical manner than in the useless 5 minutes of objection time allowed?
2) Attempting to discredit the local silent protest by saying categorically that they are outsiders is one of the oldest and slimiest political tricks in the book. So well done Peter for pulling this one on Southwark residents.
Needless to say we also have to ask if there is an exclusion zone in Peter’s mind when it comes to who has a right to object and protest anything that concerns The Elephant. Not only does the regeneration of The Elephant affect local people but it also affects those in Blackfriars, Bermondsey, Walworth, Peckham. Development and planning is not separate. It is intimately connected and he knows it. By this logic we should be demanding that no-one who doesn’t live in the area should have anything to do with regenerating it. Where does Peter John live by the way?
3) He then also has the cheek to play the party politics card and blame Simon Hughes for getting them in.
In reality, Simon Hughes was about to walk through the line of security and into the meeting when the excluded crowd said something akin to ‘well, if he’s going in then so are we‘. This was enough the make Hughes stop in his tracks, probably not happy to be seen leading a rabble of local folks in, and turn to talk to those people outside, something that Peter John would never do. This was then how Simon Hughes decided to ask that these people could come in.
To us it matters more not what Simon Hughes had in mind getting people in but more so that Peter John was obviously happy to just leave the public outside the meeting.
All Hail All Powerful, All Knowing Leader of The Council!