(This is my speech in Council today on the Corporate Plan)
"This is a good plan and shows awareness of the challenges in our city. It is fine as an internal document, but not so much as an external document, for people out there.
There is something missing and that is politics. We shouldn't be afraid of politics because that is democracy. Democracy is going through tough times.
So I urge you to tweet now! Because if this is just for us, it is irrelevant, no matter how good it is.
We should go further, perhaps in another document, in our website. I would like to see our different visions, our different priorities and our different contributions.
I welcome the Chief Executive's talk of ownership within the Council. I would like to see ownership among councillors as well. But if we are depoliticised, we cannot claim any ownership.
We should not be local government councillors but representatives of democracy. That comes with responsibility, not the cheap political scoring we often do (some more than others).
Democracy is in danger today, across Europe, which includes the UK. We are not far or detached from this economic and democratic crisis. This should be a wake up call for us all.
There is a danger that populism might triumph. But it is worth remembering that the people in Athens who are protesting, are not protesting against the Troika (the European institutions and the IMF), but against their own government.
As we approach the elections, we should remember that we got elected not to pander to populism, but to act responsibly, to take ownership.
We should be mindful of the fragility and of the value of democracy.
We should remember we got elected not to please but to serve.