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Bonkers Blog November 2011

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13 November (Part 2) - The week’s post bag

I’m not going to be in trouble with the Royal Mail for that am I? In Bonkers Bexley you can’t be sure of anything apart perhaps of what sort of council and police we have been saddled with.

Bexley’s Boris Backer

The pro-Boris pro-Bexley feature on the Mayor’s website asks for comments. A correspondent tells me this is just as much a fraud as the planted article. He submitted a politely worded but detailed rebuttal of Bob Leitch’s article. It has never appeared. It’s the Boris equivalent of Bexley labelling a question vexatious. Anything they don’t like from blogs to questions and newspaper articles to radio programmes they try to ban, prosecute or shout down.

My correspondent navigated the warren that is Boris’s site and found that it refers to zip-codes rather than post codes. So for all his fine words he may not be backing local business. Perhaps he went to Bexley, Ohio for his web designer.

Shoot ‘em up

You can’t please all the people all of the time. On the one hand there are those who find councillors’ faces sliding by on the Home page (I have restored them for 48 hours so you can see what I mean) distracting and then there are those who are going to find themselves in a police cell before long for suggesting I turn it into a computer game. Fire something lethal with the mouse and down they go one at a time.

In a similar vein someone asks how I choose the nine faces for the rotating carousel that appears on some, but not all pages. Totally random dear chap, I have a list of names, I just mark nine when I think of it. I haven’t even kept a note of who has been shown and who is still waiting to be honoured, What about only using the faces that various people have ‘fingered’ for obscenities over the months. Yes, perhaps that is a good idea.

Poison pen letter

Would the anonymous nonentity (how I wish I had Olly’s skill at manufacturing insults) who castigated me so comprehensively about the pitchforks and flaming torches remarks go back and read them again very very slowly? It may then eventually sink in that the whole point of the report was to make it clear it was first published on another website altogether. Not Bonkers, not Olly Cromwell’s. You are not a policeman by any chance are you?

Letter to Borough Commander Stringer

“Would you please now confirm that the investigation is at an end.” Reply dated Friday 4th November, “I will find out and respond to you early next week”. Since then silence.

It might be hard for a Chief Superintendent to know what to do when having to work alongside a council like Bexley’s, but it really shouldn’t be. Just uphold the law before they drag you down to their level.

Complaint to Met. Police Directorate of Professional Standards

Tony Gowan's newsletter

Tony Gowen who believe it or not heads Bexleyheath’s Professional Standards Unit sent the above email to pretty much everyone who is anyone in Bexley and got it wrong. Just like he and his incompetent colleagues got pretty much everything wrong about what was claimed in the Magistrates’ Court last Monday.

I’m not so petty as to start libel proceedings or anything like that but I did email Chief Inspector Gowen about it. It would have been nice to have heard him confirm that it was yet another police cock-up, maybe the word "sorry" injected somewhere, and confirmation that he had withdrawn his notice. Result; silence. This man says that the police should operate by “the objective standards a reasonable person could expect”. You can’t keep letting these arrogant power crazed individuals get away with everything scot-free so a letter went to the Directorate of Professional Standards in yesterday’s post. It will be another whitewash when the answer comes in six months time but shooting holes in their excuses keeps so many Bexley people amused that I thought it a worthwhile exercise.

Complaint to Independent Police Complaints Commission

The complaint is less than a week old and I already have an acknowledgement complete with reference number. The on-line submission was handled very efficiently and everything has been far easier than what one gets from the Information Commissioner. You get no reference number from him unless you phone and ask for one or wait an eternity for a written response. On the plus side the ICO is proving very willing to put the boot into Bexley council.

This week he will have to work out who is telling the truth over the obscene blog. The police who say they interviewed Will Tuckley on 7th July or Will himself who says he is completely unaware of it.

Blue Badge warning

I have been getting reports of a Bexley council blitz on the disabled, or should I say those using disabled badges to park for free. Badge displayers are being subjected to questions and made to identify themselves. It’s probably necessary; my journalist daughter made a programme for BBC Radio 5 a couple of years ago about Blue Badge misuse outside a North London football ground, Arsenal, Spurs? I can’t remember, but a lot of people rightly got done for it. In Bexley the probability is that it is a scheme to boost parking fine revenue now that councillor Peter Craske’s schemes for fleecing the motorist have gone belly up.

On 15th August Craske swapped traditional parking meters for a pay by phone scheme. Craske bragged that people were rushing to sign up at the rate of 60 a day, I pointed out that even on the most optimistic calculations it would take nearly five years to get back to where we were in August, i.e. all Bexley residents able to park in what used to be a meter bay. How’s he doing in the near 100 days since the scheme started? According to the braggart (as reported in last week’s Bexley Times) he is now up to “nearly 3,000”. The take up rate seems to have fallen in half since the initial rush. Stand by for more probing questions from the always dependable councillor Munir Malik.

Do we have a minor truce?

Remembrance poppyToday being Remembrance Sunday a contingent from the Bonkers team went to pay their respects at the memorial in Hurst Road, Bexley. They found themselves standing shoulder to shoulder with councillor Colin Tandy. The last time anything like that happened councillor Alan Downing had to run away, councillor Sybil Camsey said something incredibly silly - though probably honest, and only last week, councillor Peter Craske tried to hide when someone was down his road delivering leaflets. Would hostilities break out all over again? Fortunately not because it seems that councillor Tandy has more sense, he shook Mick Barnbrook and others warmly by the hand and exchanged pleasantries. Do we have the 2011 equivalent of 1914’s Christmas Day truce when British, Commonweath and German troops played football and sang Carols together? Maybe it could even be an Armistice. It’s quite difficult to be critical of a councillor who behaves like a gentleman.


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