No minute’s silence for Nelson Mandela in Nelson

soldiers stand at attention over former South African President Madela's casket before his burial in his home village of Qunu, South Africa (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, CGIS)
soldiers stand at attention over former South African President Madela's casket before his burial in his home village of Qunu, South Africa (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, CGIS)

Nelson Town Councillor Yvonne Tennant has complained that her request that members should stand for a minute’s silence in respect for the late South African president Nelson Mandela was rejected by the chairman.

A former councillor has joined the debate by saying those who objected to the idea could have left the room for a minute while those wishing to pay their respects did so.

That’s fair enough.

But let’s just hang on a minute.

Why on earth was Nelson Town Council even thinking about this gesture in the first place?

What connection is there between our town and the freedom fighting ex-president?

Mr Pendle has thought long and hard about this one, but he has not been able to find one.

And he has not heard of any other councils the length and breadth of the country having similar silent tributes to Mr Mandela – Pendle Council certainly hasn’t.

So on balance, Mr Pendle believes the council chairman got it right when he rejected Coun. Tennant’s call for the minute’s silence.

That is not the kind of thing councils – especially lower-tier councils such as Nelson Town Council – are elected for.

They should stick to the everyday affairs of local government and not start trying to make capital out of something the vast majority of Nelsonians have no interest in.