Local Democracy and Prescott
The Deputy Prime Minister is accused today of undermining local democracy and stifling free speech by imposing "draconian" rules on thousands of councillors.
A damning report reveals how local authority members are being barred from speaking or voting on subjects simply because they are perceived to have taken a position on the issue.
Even councillors who have been elected specifically to fight a particular issue have fallen foul of the rules and found themselves told they cannot speak or vote on it.
The controversy centres on the Standards Board for England, which was launched by Mr Prescott in 2001.
...example, John Pickersgill, a member of Derwentside council in Co Durham, organised a local referendum on plans to build more wind turbines in his ward. His survey found that four out of five local people opposed the proposals.
However, when he tried to raise his findings in a council meeting on the issue, he was judged to have a "prejudicial interest" and was excluded from the room.
The crime of "predeterminism" in the larger world of politics would be called keeping to a manifesto - and it is strange how it is only "predetermined" ideas from car owners, non-greens, objectors to Government policy that are brought to book.
Prescott and ethics - cue old joke he the only ethics he knows is a place east of London...