It is all likely to kick off a bit in tomorrow’s council meeting because the Tories seem to be unhappy about the council’s proposed ethical investment policy.
The proposal is that, when we invest in corporate bonds (which we don’t very often. Most investment is with banks or lending to other councils) we don’t invest in companies that are involved in tobacco, pornography, gambling, payday loans or armaments.
You would have thought that this would be quite an uncontroversial proposal, but it went to the cabinet at about the same time as the commons vote on bombing Syria and our Tory leader has a pathological compulsion to try and tie things in the council to national topical issues so tried to make this out as some sort of unpatriotic act.
The thing is that we are talking about investing public money on behalf of all the people in the town, and investing in weapons is something that quite a few of them won’t be keen on, so even if we were ‘allowed’ to do it we almost certainly wouldn’t do. I expect the Tories to try and spin this as a boycott of the defence industry, but the policy is in line with most religious organisations of all faiths, and many public bodies.
As an employee of a defence company I have a bit of a conflict of interests and so I will make a point of not taking part in the debate, but I certainly do not feel offended on behalf of my employers or their MoD customers. I try and avoid banging on about politics here (let’s be honest, I have avoided banging on about anything here for ages) but since I am excluding myself from the fray I have to take the opportunity to vent a bit here.
I expect the air will be thick with the odour of sanctimony in the council chamber tomorrow night.