Cllr Alan Dean

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Stansted North on Uttlesford District Council and former Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Learn more

Brexit and Trust: A Tale of Two Citadels

by Alan Dean on 14 October, 2019

Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities was set during and after the chaos of the French Revolution. Had he been alive today, he might have written about the Brexit chaos surrounding the citadel that is the Westminster Parliament. Had he known more about Essex than Kent, Dickens may even have been tempted to put pen to paper about the politicians in the citadel that is Uttlesford District Council.

On Brexit, I will say no more than observe that the United Kingdom is today entering its riskiest week in my lifetime; in fact, since the end of WWII. On the United Kingdom, I spotted this morning that Her Majesty the Queen seemed concerned about the UK. HM read her long and detailed speech in the Lords this morning without raising her eyes from the text on vellum until she reached the phrase “…the prosperity and integrity of the Union….”. At this point she glanced up at the assembled Lords and Commoners; maybe Boris Johnson in particular. The Union she was referring to was the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Concerns at the Palace about Brexit and the future of the UK?


The instant at which the Queen glanced upwards.


If you would like to hear what spy writer, John le CarrĂ©, thinks about the state of Britain and Brexit: “a nostalgia for a Britain that never existed”; national loyalties and values today, nationalism instead of patriotism, and how these issues feature in his latest thriller Agent Running in the Field, listen here.

So a national government that is probably on its last legs has just announced a legislative programme. It’s unlikely to get the chance to deliver it.

Within the Uttlesford District Council citadel we have an administration that has been in office for nearly six months. Much longer that B Johnson. Yet to date it hasn’t published a programme of priorities; it’s corporate plan. I chased this at the July Full Council meeting. I chased it again at last Tuesday’s Full Council meeting. I offered to give the Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) ruling group my copy of their election manifesto. We have to continue to wait. For how long?

Two cabinet meetings have been cancelled. Several other meetings have been cancelled. “No business” is the official explanation. The residents OF Uttlesford deserve better – something new – for their money; not a continuation of the Conservatives’ plans.

Two relevant events came to light since Tuesday’s Council meeting. Firstly, I was astonished and dismayed to read the lead story in Thursday’s Saffron Walden Report/Dunmow Broadcast. See here. A successful council depends on elected members and officers working together in mutual respect, but it seems some councillors – not Lib Dem ones – have been impugning our paid officers. That’s not good. It does undermine trust and staff morale.

Additionally, as I write there is breaking news that three R4U councillors have defected to the Green Party to form a fifth political group at UDC. Watch this space!




   Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>