We Will Not Be Bullied

People of Northampton will not accept being bullied by the Conservatives
People of Northampton will not accept being bullied by the Conservatives

We Will Not Be Bullied

Following a number of blogs about the outrageous and unacceptable behaviour of the Leader of the Council to those who have the temerity to challenge him and in doing so taking away his mania for total control of the agenda and questions I received the following unsolicited email.

It is self-explanatory and comes from a highly respected member of the public whose name and other references I have unfortunately had to remove to protect them from bullying by Cllr Mackintosh and the Northampton Conservatives.

My only comment on the letter is this,

I hope the organisations that the Northampton Conservatives are bullying will not bend the knee but stick to their principles and make all threats or bullying public and I would be happy to publish their thoughts and examples if they feel unable to do so themselves.

Name: Hidden to protect the author

Dear David, 

Thank you for your recent Sekhemka blog and for the very pertinent blogs on Delapre Abbey; none of it surprises me.

Cllr Mackintosh has a very thin political skin and prefers bullying to reasoning and he is fond of taking ways that are not strictly legal in many cases.

You are right when you say that he and the Conservative Administration of NBC are not legally entitled to dictate to independent societies re their officers or elections (FNMAG, The Sekhemka Action Group and the FNMAG Working party have had a legal opinion on this) so the sooner Cllr Mackintosh, his fellow councillors and NBC staff stop bullying the better. 

I rather doubt that will happen since the museums can no longer handle their own publicity in any media, it must all be done by the staff in NBC’s publicity office, resulting in poor media interviews and briefings which will NOT help increase the footfall in the museums.

And talking of Delpare Abbey – at one time FoDA was not allowed to handle its own publicity without checking with the NBC Cabinet. 

Northampton is NOT Cllr Mackintosh’s personal fiefdom; it is a living breathing town with traditions and roots going back thousands of years. 

It used to be a proud town where people would dress up even if it was only to go down to the butcher’s for the supper chop and be even more dressed up if they went into town proper.

Yes, there were class differences in income and circumstances but they all seemed forgotten when it came to football and cricket.

I came to Northampton for the first time in 1963 (on a church drama tour “sponsored” by Philip Turner, vicar of St Matthew’s) – our Northampton hosts were generous and shared their pride in the various historical sites with us that made us proud to be (hidden to protect author) since there were so many (hidden to protect author) ties and impressed by a town with such deep roots but also by such present vibrancy.

My husband (Northampton born and bred) and I came back in 1988 when Derngate Theatre was in full swing with a committed and enthusiastic director (Robert Moore) and the town had a lively cultural life despite the decline of the shoe industry.

But what has happened to culture since?

Both the young, contemporary culture along with the old-fashioned one seems to be vanishing despite umpteen signs announcing Northampton’s Cultural Quarter.

A town will not attract visitors or shoppers if there is nothing to buy or see, it is not enough to have loads of coffee shops: the town needs attractions at the museums – Sekhemka, at Delapre Abbey – interpretation centre, café, conference centre and a Cultural Trail that takes in a walk round the imagined town walls including the old churches and a decent shopping centre that does not have ambitions too big for itself. 

All these ideas have been suggested in the past, why don’t we sort them out ??? 

And while we are at it – somebody needs to update and scrub down Danes’ Camp Leisure facilities because I am not totally happy taking my grandchildren there.

As FoDA, Friends of 78 Derngate and FNMAG have shown a lot of cultural things can be achieved with VOLUNTEERS and then sustained by grants but that needs political commitment NOT political bullying –

One wonders, does Cllr Mackintosh know how to go about that?

Name hidden to protect author

Footnote: I have removed some indicators that would have identified the author to protect them from persecution and bullying by the Conservative administration.