I’ve loved the news today. With the confirmation that gravitational waves exist, we can see the universe the way it is. It is a whole new way of looking at the space and time, and understanding it better. I take my hat off to the scientists who have taken the power of information to an extraordinary level.
This doesn’t happen in Shropshire of course. At least not at Shropshire Council.
A few years ago, I published an article on Lib Dem Voice suggesting that our council was slipping into a black hole of democracy. I wasn’t a councillor then. Nearly two years after being elected, I don’t have a better view of the council. When it can keep information secret, it will. It loves to make decisions in camera, with the press and public excluded. That has not changed one bit with the election of the new leader.
Earlier in the week, I published an article about an attempt to [censored by Shropshire Council]. It involved a committee called [censored by Shropshire Council]. I have been asked by council officials to remove the post.
It seems that this committee, which I had never heard of, is a secret affair. I hadn’t understood that. The papers were not marked confidential. There is nothing in them that needs to considered confidential. But officers say the meeting is a secret meeting so I cannot write about it. So I can’t tell you that the meeting was intending to recommend [censored by Shropshire Council].
It seems I have made a mistake by erring on the side of telling people what is going on, rather hiding matters from the public. I have agreed to withdraw the blog post, at least as far as I am able to in this social media age.
I have hidden the offending blog post from public view. For the first time I am censored.
This episode shows just how out of touch Shropshire Council is with modern media. If we can detect gravitational waves that resulted from a scrap between two black holes one and a half billion years ago, surely we can find a blog posted a day ago? Like gravitational waves, it’s out there. Only it’s easier to discover my posts on Facebook, Twitter and multi social media world many of us live in.
If we want democracy to work, we need to share information. We need to open up decision making to the public. This is easy stuff – except of course when some people don’t want to engage with the public because they have something to hide. What Shropshire Council has to hide is [censored by Shropshire Council].