So Bexleyheath council (who might they be?) claim I am harassing councillors and alarming them. I suppose I would be alarmed too if I was shown to be incompetent and worse on a daily basis, but harassing them; how come?
The last time I sent an email to a councillor was on 17th September 2009 when I advised John Davey (Lesnes Abbey, £9,543 + £7,782 from the Bexley Care Trust) of the existence of this site, then no more than a page or two. I have made none of the Freedom of Information requests which are admitted within council to be giving them so many headaches. I wrote to the mayor after my very first attendance at a council meeting because having come from a business background myself and not unfamiliar with high-level meetings I was absolutely appalled that her chairmanship skills were so obviously lacking. The mayor told me that she was wonderful and I did no more about it. No point; people that deluded dont listen.
I did send an official complaint when councillor Craske made personal remarks about Mr. Elwyn Bryant and when the reply came up with an excuse which was proved false by the councils own minutes I sent it back under the appeals procedure. That came back with another obvious lie but as I had in the meantime seen a letter from the Standards Board for England saying that they were themselves being closed down and in future there would be no sanctions against any local Standards Board however corrupt it might be I felt I had better things to do than pursue a lost cause.
A complaint I made against the mayor when she blatantly played fast and loose with Standing Orders and the timing of questions wasnt even acknowledged. I havent gone out of my way to be awkward with formal questions at council meetings either. I have asked if any precautions have been taken against the councils website going down during a major power cut as it did when EDF cables were vandalised in July 2009 and I asked what if anything was being done to retrieve the £1,931.95 that the councils website says is still owed by convicted Conservative fraudster and ex-council leader Ian Clement. I left my questions late so that the council had the option of replying privately by post and was rewarded with no answer at all.
So how else might I have been harassing them? If examining the inner workings of council, much of which they should be ashamed of, is harassment then I suppose they may have a point, but none of it has been made up and I frequently link to original documents or put things within quotation marks to indicate authenticity. If I was fundamentally wrong about anything a reasonable council would have sought corrections but they have said nothing; presumably because they know what is written here is always basically true.
Not really harassment in the accepted sense of the word is it? What about the nicknames? I was a little surprised to have to explain The Fat Controller to some readers; I had believed it was well known that the FC is the big boss man in the Thomas the Tank Engine series of books. Twankey came about after I first described a council meeting as a pantomime and the mayor looks so like a pantomime dame dressed up in her regalia that Widow Twankey seemed not inappropriate. What would she have preferred, the Ugly Sister? Unlike some others in the council chamber I do stand up when requested while she enters the chamber although I must point out it is to show respect for the office, not for her.
Where else should I look for signs of harassment? I have published some councillors addresses on the site but only those which show up after 30 seconds playing with Google and when I once published a freely available email address I took care to encode it in such a way that it would not attract spam.
Could it be NoToMob thats upset them? The council wont be liking their attentions and NTB told me (and its on their website) that it was Bonkers that attracted them to Bexley and it was me who provided contact details (including phone numbers with permission) of unfairly penalized residents. Saving motorists a pound or two is bound to get up councillors noses. How will they fund their Christmas outings?
What finally tipped this utterly brainless council into showing their hand and proving they read Bonkers so that it becomes worthwhile addressing them directly via its pages? My guess is that the last straw was when I turned up at Boris Johnsons little publicity stunt down at Erith station last week. I was the only nobody there and got the beady eye from the Fat Controller. I was there because her office leaks and because Erith Station car park is publicly accessible property and the council had not spent £1,320 on a team of bouncers to cut the riff-raff down to size as she was advocating at a council meeting only two days later.
Calling councillors Twankey, the Fat Controller or TLC is pretty mild stuff in the world of blogging, I never use bad language except when reporting insults traded between councillors. If they dont like that sort of heat they shouldnt be in their chosen kitchen - and I dont make them read the blog anyway - but thanks council for making it appear more influential than it probably is. But there again I may be wrong on that. Twankey wont like to hear it but the site is not entirely without friends in high places. I shouldnt put this one in quotations marks because I cannot reveal the source but I will say that someone deeply into Tory politics in Bexley said your blog is the best thing there has ever been for democracy in Bexley and went on to tell how councillors read it and are running around like headless chickens not knowing what to do about it. He certainly got that right!
Oh, the alarm thing. Yes Twankey and co. should perhaps be alarmed. Once Ive called a supporters meeting to discuss the ideas that flowed in overnight they should probably feel alarmed. All legal and above board of course, but a blog may prove to be the least of their concerns.