If a better offer doesn’t turn up I think I shall look in on UKIP’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
(PPC) selection meeting next Tuesday.
They haven’t yet made their choice for the Erith and Thamesmead constituency.
If the other parties conduct any part of their selection process at an open meeting I am not aware of it, certainly not the Conservatives who have been busy stabbing themselves in the back in Thamesmead. Probably an unfortunate metaphor given recent events down there.
From several messages, not totally consistent, it would appear that Amandeep Singh Bhogal, Alex Sawyer and Philip Read have finished up dividing the camp.
Amandeep was the Tory’s candidate for Belvedere in the May 2014 elections. Alex Sawyer is the husband of MP Priti Patel and councillor for St. Mary’s and Philip Read; well Philip Read is the nasty piece of work who tried to get John Kerlen banged up by making false allegations to Bexley police and refused to answer a perfectly valid question at a council meeting on the grounds that the questioner was once a member of the British National Party.
By all accounts Read’s nastiness has been spread to the constituency committee. Erith and Thamesmead is an odd one, split as it is between two boroughs and local party members are split similarly. The Bexley people think they own it. Its president is Mrs. Alex Sawyer, Priti Patel.
On brief acquaintance, Amandeep Bhogal is a genuine and nice bloke which probably makes him a bit of an outsider among the Conservative association’s leadership. He put himself forward for the MP selection process and gained a lot of rank and file support. However by all accounts Philip Read and Alex Sawyer jostled him aside, supported by their committee. Cue warfare between the Greenwich side of the committee and the Bexley bullies.
It doesn’t have to be like that. The Erith and Thamesmead Labour Party reselected their MP Teresa Pearce to be their PPC several months ago. They would have been mad not to.
Looking on the bright side, Philip and Alex will provide BiB with far more ammunition come 2015 than Amandeep ever could.
Regarding the evil Read deciding that he didn’t have to answer questions from anyone who might have been a BNP member - or perhaps voted for them when there was no alternative for people who don’t like the European Union - the council was asked what rule permitted his refusal.
There isn’t one so they decided to blame mayor Howard Marriner who chaired the meeting. He can make up any undemocratic rule he likes on the hoof apparently.
Note that the dictatorial Bexley council has prohibited further questions. That note has been appended to all the Freedom of Information responses I have seen recently.
And finally the horrible punning headline. Erlking is a character from German mythology whose specialty was abducting children. Given that councillor Philip Read is cabinet member for Children’s Services and what Bexley council gets up to in that department, it seemed more than a little appropriate if somewhat obscure.