When Eric Pickles, the local government and communities secretary, forced through new rules allowing the press and public to film council meetings, many people perhaps hoped (at best) that heated verbal jousts would be caught on camera.
I suspect very few people expected a fight to be caught on camera.
And to be fair to the members of Briercliffe Parish Council near Burnley, they weren’t the ones fighting.
Instead, a row over the rights to graze sheep near allotments caused a fight among members of the public attending:
According to the Burnley Express, which published the video this week:
Shocked onlookers rang officers as tempers flared and fighting broke out just minutes into the Briercliffe Parish Council Allotments Committee.
The Burnley Express understands the argument centred on the rights of former parish councillor to graze her sheep on land belonging to the parish council in Harrison Street.
Coun. Margaret Lishman, who was chairing the meeting, said: “The meeting was adjourned due to a public disturbance.
“The matter is now in the hands of the police and on that basis I don’t feel able to comment until the investigation is completed.
“The parish council takes this matter extremely seriously and we will be taking steps after the investigation to consider what we will do in relation to the allotment tenants involved.”
If ever there was proof that politics is most passionate at the its roots, this video is surely it.