At a Libertarian Party meeting at weekend we were having a chat about the qualities needed to be a local councillor. Most of us agreed that some councillors were genuinely in it to help their local communities, some just to push their parties forward regardless of the impact on local people and some were just in it because they craved status. Elaine Costigan, a Sandwell councillor who defected last week to Labour over the school rebuilding programme, falls into the third category.
I've just seen Councilor Costigan on BBC news, and she doesn't strike me as being very bright. Because the government cocked up its announcement about the schools rebuilding programme, she has defected from the Tories to Labour. The rest of the piece showed kids in Sandwell who claimed their schools were so cold that they could hardly hold their pens in classes and had trouble concentrating. As the Coalition only seized power in May I assume that cold hasn't been a problem in the last four months.
So Councillor Costigan leaves the Tories to join Labour, the Party that has been in power since 1997 and, in that time, allowed the schools of Sandwell, which also has a solid Labour majority on its council, to deteriorate to such an extent that kids are too cold to hold a pen in the classroom. Thank God I was educated in the 1970s, in a good old fashioned school built by the Victorians. Even with power cuts and fuel shortages we were never so cold we couldn't hold a pen!
I'm even more grateful that it was a direct grant school so that idiot councillors like Councillor Costigan couldn't cock up my education.