Ever wanted to become a ‘Friend Of’ something, like a park, library or building? Fancied doing your bit for the local community? Yes? Well don’t bother here.
In an email sent by Lambeth Labour Councillor Sally Prentice, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, people were told that if they wanted to learn more about how to get involved in a Friends-Of group, they have to be “broadly sympathetic” to the beliefs of the Labour Party.
Titled Getting involved in Lambeth’s Parks and Libraries, the email was sent out in a recruitment drive to get more Labour members to infiltrate community groups. This way, packed with Labour members and no longer independent, annoying local community groups stop being so bothersome by not doing exactly what the Council says they should.
Encouraging people to attend the training session at the Town Hall, Sally says “We need to ensure that the Groups are as representative of different sections of the community. “Non Labour Party members are welcome to come along but they should be broadly sympathetic. This is because, she goes on to explain “In the past” (pause for deep, tearful sigh) “many of the Friends groups have been run by people who are our political opponents!” Exclamation marks and all!
What turns this fairly horrendous piece of communication into a joke is that Lambeth are doing this in the spirit of being a Co-operative Council. Clearly Labour hasn’t grasped the spirit of a co-operative which is that you actually work with the people in your community, and not against them.
Now they’ve excluded us from helping to fix the leaky roof in Streatham Library, what, we ask at Lambeth Green Party HQ, has the council got in store for those of us who don’t support Labour? Will they pretend to re-cycle our rubbish and leave potholes on the street to tunnel down to Australia (oh hang on, they do that anyway).
Don’t say you haven’t been warned. “Broadly unsympathetic” to Labour and live in Lambeth… your talents and time aren’t wanted by the Council here.