Handforth residents, a comedian, and young political activists helped the explosive local council meeting go viral

It was the distraction the nation didn’t know was needed: a recording of a poor quality online Cheshire parish council meeting convened by two councilors “after the council chairman refused to attend to convene such a meeting “

Ordinarily, such a congress would have difficulty creating a quorum, let alone an audience of millions. Despite all the odds, the Extraordinary Meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee of the Handforth Parish Council in December on Thursday evening went viral

It made a star of its fiendish employee Jackie Weaver, who dealt with argumentative male council members by tossing them off the Zoom call and barely blinking when yelled at “To read the standing orders!” Read them and understand them! “

She remained calm when a man dismissed her by saying, “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” and ignored the roar of laughter from the remaining men when a councilwoman asked her to show some respect to Weaver (she soon retaliated they themselves with another relentless click of their evacuation button)

By Friday morning, Vice had an analysis of the fateful meeting with 3300 words created T-shirts were available that read “You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver” – the words of Council Chairman Barry Tolver before starting it off – and Weaver was holding court at BBC Woman’s Hour

Weaver, who was employed by the Cheshire Association of Local Councils instead of Handforth and apparently parachuted the meeting on charges of bad behavior by the councilors, told the BBC she was proud to face Her composure of remaining calm is described as bullying

“It’s hard to enjoy it, but I’m afraid if you are bullied, when you see that the other person has lost it, it makes you feel,” I did well there because I did managed to hold it together, ‘”she said

“There is an element of bullying and bad behavior in the ward councils and many of us work very hard, and that includes the central government trying to do something about it, they said at least 9999% of the ward council meetings weren’t that dramatic “They’re often less exciting than we might hope,” she said,

But Tolver was not remorseful and said he had a “reason to be angry” He told the PA News Agency that Weaver “had no status other than speaking by invitation,” adding, “I have nowhere else to think of any other council meeting that was taken over by an unqualified member of the public like this … Half remove from it The councilors at the meeting refused to represent half of the village’s voters – it was a horrific attack on their democratic rights ”

How this niche meeting was spread across all major TV channels and radio stations is largely down to the determination of some Handforth residents who were appalled at the behavior on display

For the past two weeks, Anika York had been trying to spark media interest in the affair and wanted a wider audience for what she calls a “communications breakdown” between members of the Handforth parish council who she believes is that they engaged in the way to help the community

“When personality conflicts and armed conflict prevent the council from doing positive things for a community, its approach must be challenged,” she said

Perhaps because the original take was an hour and 20 minutes long, it didn’t go viral until comedian Steven Morgan cut it down to 18 minutes and put an awful piece of clip art on the front

Morgan’s montage caught the attention of Shaan Ali, a young Labor member, who says he likes to idle for videos of council meetings: “All of these videos are usually hilarious – old councilors struggle, zoom and amazing arguments to use ”

He shared it with a group chat with other political activists, and one, Janine Mason, cut it down to 30 seconds: perfect for a 2021 attention span Add to that a boring Thursday night with all the pubs, and a viral sensation was born

TV presenter and novelist Richard Osman tweeted, “I’m busy writing Jackie Weaver in Thursday’s next Murder Club novel,” while Radio 1 breakfast host Greg James called it “the best British comedy in decades” described ”

It was left to women in public life to point out the obvious: “Beyond the humor, the behavior Jackie Weaver experienced is commonplace at all levels of politics,” said Labor MP Rosena Allin-Khan. that she sticks to it, but people who do their best in local politics, especially women, shouldn’t have to put up with it ”

Jackie Weaver

World news – AU – ‘Good on her’: How Jackie Weaver became an internet star

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/feb/05/handforth-parish-council-jackie-weaver-internet-star