Bexley council’s electoral team ran a ‘school’ for local election candidates
on Wednesday afternoon and I asked Nicholas Dowling to tell me about it. As one
would expect, no Labour or Conservative wannabees turned up as they must be well
versed in the rules by now but there was
a big UKIP turnout in addition to the
Blackfen Independents. I got the impression that Nick learned nothing
because he has thoroughly studied the electoral law and the guidance issued by
the Electoral Commission; not that is any criticism of Bexley’s electoral
team, not everyone will have been so assiduous.
In conversation with the UKIP team he discovered that they now have 22 approved candidates, far more than currently displayed on their website and that they have been persuaded by their controlling body that they should go for three candidates in as many wards as possible rather than spread them thinly, one in each.
It transpired that they were considering putting three in Blackfen & Lamorbey where the Action Group Independents have been canvassing for a month or two. Blackfen is a tough nut to crack with a large Conservative majority and the one UKIP candidate there at the moment has let it be known to a select few that she has little time for canvassing. Presumably UKIP will collect votes on the back of their current reputation in the same way as monkeys wearing blue rosettes have attracted votes in some parts of Bexley.
I have been trying to play a straightish bat in the run up to the election treating all the parties as similarly as I can. All of them have been given links to their websites when they have come to notice and this historically 100% Tory voter (me) is not going to publicly back one party over another. Readers must make up their own minds, hopefully based on the known facts.
However you might reasonably guess that I shall not be voting Conservative this time around. With the Conservative majority in my ward (Lesnes) being as low as six I had expected to support one UKIP and two Labour candidates in the hope of kicking out the local Tory who tried to stop the only supermarket within walking distance coming to town. He also knows that Cheryl Bacon is a liar but he won’t admit it. That makes him a liar too doesn’t it? Lest there be any doubt, I’m talking about Kerry Allon.
However if I find that UKIP have put up three candidates in Blackfen, splitting the anti-Craske vote and improving his chances of re-election, UKIP can kiss goodbye to my vote. I may have come to hate Teresa O’Neill for her dishonest attempt to get me arrested but I am not going to try to get her criminal team out by voting for a stupid party. If, and it is a very big if, Mick Barnbrook, Elwyn Bryant and Nicholas Dowling get elected in Blackfen, the likelihood is there would be a loose alliance between them and UKIP anyway. UKIP should put their three candidates in a different ward or I may not be the only one to conclude they are not very bright. But they have not made their decision yet, so I may be maligning them prematurely.
Note: Conservative councillor Simon Windle attended the ‘school’ as an election agent. He is not standing himself this year.