Wednesday, 27 January 2016

More work needed
on this video nasty

On the face of it, the Meet the Cabinet stunt seems not a bad idea – but when the leaders of Boston Borough Council get their sticky mitts on it, it sadly becomes a mirror that reflects their exceptional incompetence.
Monday night saw the second such event – less well attended by the public and out of steam after 35 minutes.
It was less well attended by the members of the cabinet, too – with just five of the seven members present.
One of the absentees was on the other side of the world and the other in London – neither of which is a bad excuse.
But given the infrequency of these meetings and their scheduling flexibility, we feel sure that a date could have been found for the voters to meet the entire Insignificant Seven, rather than just 70% of them.
As for  the event itself – whilst it was in colour, the visuals had the jerky, twitching redolence of an early silent movie.
Placing the camera at the back was fine once the operator got the hang of zooming in the “stars” of the show – i.e. the cabinet.
But for the “supporting players” – i.e. the voters who had taken the trouble to attend – the camera showed only the back of their heads for the most part, or an occasional profile.
The sound quality was execrable – and in some instances inaudible.
Perhaps this is due to the in-house microphones favoured by councils everywhere – feeble boxes with stem microphones and lights on the top which must be shut off immediately after a question to avoid problems of feedback.
We are theoretically banned from viewing Boston Borough Council’s Twitter feed by some spiteful Worst Street pygmy – but bans such as these are unenforceable … so we followed the “coverage.”
To try to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, the number of questions listed was stretched to ten – even though at least one question had been split into sections.
Where stunts like this truly fall down is in the presentation.
Worst Street insists that questions are submitted in advance – theoretically to allow the cabinet members who bother to turn up to investigate and come up with the most thorough answer possible.
The inquisitor reads his/her question, and the cabinet member reads his (in last night’s case) answer.
The result has all the spontaneity of a Moscow show trial or a primary school play.
This token attempt at democracy needs a full review before it is cantered out again – assuming that it will be.
If you missed Monday night’s gala premiere, and think our review sounds over critical, there is an inaction replay on the borough website with some noisy computer game adverts to keep you awake.

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