yesterday’s unveiling at the Bexleyheath Clocktower a councillor
asked me in a roundabout way how I was going to report the event. “Respectfully”
I said, there is a time and a place for criticism and ridicule and a quasi-Royal
event is not one of them.
I was surprised at how few councillors had bothered to put in an appearance. I’m sure some would have had long standing commitments elsewhere and family responsibilities, but half of them? It seems a bit far fetched that so many were occupied elsewhere but a council employee with whom I struck up a conversation told me they were only expecting 30 to 35 to be there. My own photographs clearly show only 26, there may have been a few more.
Whether this shows a lack of respect cannot be judged without full knowledge of the facts, but an absentee rate of 50% or more at such a prestigious event seems a little strange to me.
A reader has been having similar thoughts about the respect issue and sent me some photos to illustrate his point. As you can see from the small selection here, councillors were immaculately turned out. Colin Campbell instinctively knew that his aversion to neckwear was not appropriate when meeting the Queen. Betting man Peter Craske was wearing his Ascot Royal Enclosure suit while seeking out friends in the crowd and a well tailored James Hunt was happily handing out song sheets for those who had forgotten the words of the National Anthem; but standing there like a man dragged unwillingly from his bed, was cabinet and GLA member Gareth Bacon. Tieless, open necked, blue sports jacket, brown trousers and black shoes. Off with his bloody head!