High Peak's MP, Tom Levitt, this week used the word 'illegitimate' in his newspaper column. He was describing the strange administrative offspring of the current get-together between High Peak and Staffordshire Moorlands Councils.
All lovers of words will have spotted Mr Levitt's careful choice here, and his deliberate decision not to use the word 'illegal'. The really big Oxford English Dictionary in Transparency's offices states that the oldest recorded meaning of the word 'illegitimate' in English is from 1536:
Not born in lawful wedlock; spurious, bastard.
Tom Levitt (Labour) also criticised the back door methods being used to accomplish this strange new merger that nobody voted for. But Councillor Emily Thrane of the ruling Conservative group sprang to the defence of the bastard (not Mr Levitt, the product of the two local councils).
She said there was widespread misunderstanding over the 'strategic alliance', which is the label the Tories have come up with for the scheme. But misunderstanding or not, this has now resulted in the majority of High Peak services being run from outside the area. Good luck to Cllr Thrane if she's been given the job of bringing 'understanding' to High Peak residents on this subject.
High Peak Transparency has now learnt that several High Peak Conservative councillors are not at all happy with the direction that this 'innovative' idea has taken. Unsurprisingly, dismembering the council without asking the voters first is not why they stood for election as councillors.
History teaches that 'strategic' alliances made in secret and not between equals tend to end in tears.
For previous High Peak Transparency articles on the Strategic Alliance/ Illegitimate Arrangement/ Novel Totally Mad Merger follow these links: