Another history lesson. My grandmother spent her early life in Rangoon and when she returned a widow in 1933 she worked as an office cleaner in the Beckton gasworks until the 1960s and famously never took a single sick day; then her memory began to go.
One day when I was reading a book on World War One bombing raids, she said “It was over Charlton, I watched from across the river” - she lived in Victoria Dock Road - “and the sky was lit up like daylight when the Zeppelin burned”. She then came out with the very same date as was in the book, all the while calling me Les, my father’s name.
Dementia is a horrible thing. By the end of her life she would sit on her doorstep all day waiting for her daughter to return from work. It has become something we are not supposed to talk about just like cancer not so long ago, something to be whispered between friends.
And so it is in Bexley. First it was a whisper, then various confirmations. One of our councillors is sadly at the beginning of the road my grandmother trod and no longer fit to do a councillor’s work effectively. Strictly speaking there should be a by-election but leader Teresa O’Neill is dead set against that and the Labour party has decided to go along with her. It’s not in a seat they could ever hope to win.
All very laudable on a personal level but the fact is that someone is pocketing £9,418 of tax payers’ money for doing nothing. All because Teresa O’Neill is running scared of her party’s unpopularity. Labour are too nice or too ineffective to do anything about it, just as their leader sided with Teresa over the excessive salaries in Bexley. Democracy is blown to smithereens again. Who can you trust in Bexley?