Fringe Box



The Dragon Says: Cllr Moseley Must Apologise For Her ‘Bloody Rabble’ Remark

Published on: 9 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 11 Apr, 2016

Dragon Says 470Who of us can say that we have never said something in the heat of the moment that we have regretted?

When tempers are roused it is easy to say something ill advised, exaggerated and even unmeant.

But when we do we should apologise and recognise the wrong we have committed.

Who knows what motivated Cllr Marsha Moseley to describe the public gallery at Wednesday’s Guildford Borough Council’s (GBC) Planning Committee meeting as a “bloody rabble”.

The meeting was not the most bad tempered the chamber has seen nor was it disordered. The planning applications were dealt with properly and efficiently as is normally the case, it should be said, under Cllr Moseley’s chairmanship.

It is true that there had been considerable applause for all those who spoke against the application for a building development at Wisley, but this was not a first. There was no calling out or attempts to interrupt the committee’s business, in fact the public attendees, sensing which way the wind was blowing, were in a buoyant and supportive mood.

Compared to the House of Commons during some debates it was the height of decorum.

Councillors were in tune with the public present at the meeting and the public were appreciative of their speeches, of course they were. Some present were residents who had been living with the threat of a deeply unwanted development on their doorstep that they felt would ruin the area they lived in. That is a serious and justifiable worry.

Who wouldn’t express a huge sense of relief when the councillors, their representatives, were backing them up and removing the threat, at least for the present?

What was it that could have caused Ms Moseley to make such a silly, inaccurate and offensive comment?

Did we see the mask slip and the prejudice many of the Tory group hold for the Guildford Greenbelt Group supporters, strongly represented in the public gallery, reveal itself?

Many GGG members are former Tory supporters and there is little as bitter as family feuds.

Whatever caused Cllr Moseley’s ill tempered and unjustified remark, (The Guildford Dragon has asked but she has not replied), she should apologise and quickly. The longer it takes, the less sincere it will seem. If she is in any doubt as to what needs to be done her party colleagues and the party leader should give some prompt and firm advice.

An unreserved apology is necessary if we are to have any confidence that Cllr Moseley is fit to continue in the responsible job of chairing the Planning Committee.

GBC as a council is not good at admitting mistakes. They couldn’t even do it over the farcical investigation that found Monika Juneja had done nothing wrong, shortly before she was convicted in the Old Bailey.

An apology now from this errant councillor might help restore a little faith that some lessons have been learned and councillors are not so proud they can never admit their mistakes.

Apologising when wrong is a sign of strength of character, not weakness. It should be given before it is dragged out of Cllr Moseley following at least one formal complaint that we understand has been made.

The GBC recording of the Planning Committee meeting on April 6th can be viewed here. Cllr Moseley’s remark at the end of the meeting has been removed.

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Responses to The Dragon Says: Cllr Moseley Must Apologise For Her ‘Bloody Rabble’ Remark

  1. John McDonald Reply

    April 9, 2016 at 10:11 am

    From what I read it seems they were a bit of a rabble. Which makes her remarks justified even if they were inadvisable.

  2. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    April 9, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Ms Moseley’s behaviour here is congruent with the ‘us and them’ attitude the [Conservative] parliamentary party flaunt, and it is having the same effect on the local party’s popularity.

    I’d rather people were passionate about their politics for free, than collecting a stipend for playing Candy Crush.

  3. Tony Edwards Reply

    April 9, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    The councilor was somewhat waspish with a fairly well behaved but enthusiastic public gallery. She spoke like a school mistress and interrupted speakers to scold those who clapped or laughed. And let’s face it, there was quite a lot to laugh at from the two speakers trying to defend the indefensible.

    The comments at the end demonstrated a total lack of courtesy and she should apologise.

  4. Jenny Procter Reply

    April 10, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I was at the meeting and if Ms Moseley really believed this to be a ‘rabble’ she must have led a very quiet life.

    As already stated it was an enthusiastic meeting with hard pressed residents expressing their appreciation when for once speaker after speaker including Councillors quashed an unworkable application. There was applause and some laughter and as far as I know a single instance where a few leaflets were raised.

    I suspect it was more the case that she was expressing her frustration at not having as tight a reign on the meeting as she is used to and that she was not happy to see one of the Planning Committee’s pet projects rejected. Sadly it is likely to resurface when the developers have gathered more ammunition.

    I agree with The Dragon that she should apologise.

    I was also at the meeting where she played games on her phone throughout. It was an important meeting for our village and it was extremely insulting that she could so disregard proceedings. Not good Ms Moseley.

  5. Ben Paton Reply

    April 10, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    To whom were the remarks addressed? To the head of Planning Development to her left and the senior legal adviser to her right?

    Are these sorts of comments about the public commonplace within the council? Is it part of the culture?

  6. Colin Cross Reply

    April 12, 2016 at 12:55 am

    I am going to plead for some clemency in this case.

    Yes, Cllr Moseley was caught with her guard down and let slip an injudicious remark. We have all done something similar and regret it at our leisure no doubt.

    But I recall she chose to allow me three extra minutes for my presentation to oppose the Wisley planning application.

    That’s not the act of a biased chairman and my personal view is it was a stressful night all round and we should cut her a bit of slack on this occasion. She actually does a pretty good job.

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem ward councillor for Lovelace

  7. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    April 12, 2016 at 9:51 am

    No one is calling her biased, they are calling her rude.

  8. Nick Bomford Reply

    April 12, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Ms Moseley’s manner seemed confrontational from the outset – more like a parking warden than an elected council member.

    Personally I was appalled by her aggressive attitude displayed throughout the meeting, and especially afterwards. A public apology is the very least we should expect.

  9. Jules Cranwell Reply

    April 12, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Never mind about apologies. This person has insulted the public she serves, and should do the decent thing and resign.

    There’s no coming back from such contempt for the public. Ask Gordon Brown.

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