Why are councillors elected to be councillors? Well, to get decent roads, decent schools, decent housing, efficient refuse collection and – well, you know all that.
But some barmy Tory in London has got it into his mangled brain that they should pray, too. Yes, it's their duty to attend council prayers.
According to a story on the This Is Local London website, there's a row going on in Hillingdon Council about the fact that some members decided not to go to the mumbo-jumbo bit at the start of the meeting.
Councillor Doug Mills, a Conservative cabinet member, was answering a question about community cohesion at a meeting of the council and accused some Labour councillors of ignoring their duties to all their constituents by not attending the prayer session.
"They have a duty to respect all religions," he pontificated, "and I think their failure to turn up regularly to prayers is not a sign of that respect."
Then he trotted out this argument: "If it had been a Muslim doing prayers and we Conservatives had stayed outside, they would accuse us of being racist."
Unfortunately, some people would, because they're as barmy as you are, Councillor Mills. But they'd be talking bollocks all the same. Apart from the religion-is-not-a-race argument, which we secularists have to trot out ad nauseam because it never seems to get through to the Islam appeasers, what Labour councillors would have said if this or that had or had not happened is not an argument, and probably couldn't be proved, anyway.
The fact is, Councillor Mills, you're saying councillors have a duty to their constituents to do the ridiculous talking-to-an-invisible-friend thing, just because there are people in their wards who do the same? What about cross-dressing half the time because some of their voters are of the other sex? Perhaps they should vote both ways in committee and council debates because many of their constituents would go one way and many the other?
The prayers are there for the councillors. The great unwashed out there couldn't give a rat's arse, and most wouldn't even know, if you decided to start the meeting with a hearty rendering of "Roll Out the Barrell", as long as you then got down to business and improved the roads and the schools.
Apart from the fact that time shouldn't be wasted on prayers (if they want to gather for a prayer beforehand, I'm sure there's an anteroom somewhere they could use, and get together ten minutes before the start of the meeting), what if the councillors simply don't do religion? Wouldn't praying be sheer hypocricy?