The event which triggered the creation of this blog was the arrest of Jacqui Thompson for filming a council meeting.
The arrest was shocking, unjust and completely out of proportion. At the time the author of this blog still felt that somehow common sense would prevail and could have prevailed. That all looks very naive now.
Even more shocking were the cat-calls and jeers which rose up from the council chamber as Jacqui was led away in handcuffs. And now it emerges that even the police were disgusted by the behaviour of the baying pack.
Jacqui has now blogged about correspondence which came to light in the aftermath of the arrest, and you can read it here.
Council officers, it is now clear, told the police at the time that Jacqui Thompson had a history of being abusive to members. The only thing that could possibly refer to was the planning dispute which ended in 2007 in a libel case over the wording of a letter which had been circulated but not published in the media. It named one council officer. By the time of the arrest the case had long since been settled, and a formal apology made.
Does that constitute a history of abusive behaviour to members?
Unfortunately this is not the end of the matter. In what looks increasingly like a vindictive campaign by the authority, the council recently published a report giving the impression that it had tried hard to settle the libel action involving the chief executive before that reached court, and Kevin Madge announced that he would shortly reveal the truth behind Cllr Siân Caiach's decision to stand as a witness in the trial.
Readers may recall that the council snooped on Cllr Caiach's e-mails and falsely claimed that this was part of the disclosure process required by the court (the disclosure process did not begin until over a year after the e-mail monitoring episode).
Councillors became aware of the snooping in June last year, and have been waiting for a report from officers ever since. In November they were told that the matter would first have to go to the Executive Board. Four meetings of the board have taken place since then with no sign of the report. If and when it does finally see the light of day, councillors will probably have been left waiting for a year.
What still has not dawned on the council officers involved, and now apparently also Kevin Madge, is that the longer this carries on, the more the sordid truth will come out and the worse they look, as we can see from the Dyfed Powys Police letter.