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Bonkers Blog February 2014

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10 February (Part 2) - Maybe I have it all wrong again. Who knows the truth?

I’ve read through the gross of emails caught up in BT’s Infinity breakdown and as you might expect, road planning and parking issues formed the majority subject but not far behind was what one correspondent called ‘political dynamite’. Well it might be if it is true and can be proved, which in this case may mean “if the police don’t cover it up”.

I don’t like publishing things that I cannot prove but if I never pushed the boundaries that story about Bexley council letting a lady die in their care would never have found its way into the News Shopper. I think I will dip my toe carefully into the water again.

Some of the information received here comes from inside the council and some from Conservative party members who are concerned or appalled by what they see going on. Very occasionally a councillor will spill a few beans. Sometimes they give their names but more often they don’t.

One thing the public doesn’t like, to go by comments received here, is the number of married couples who regard being a councillor as easy money. Another term I have heard more than once is the unnecessarily colourful phrase, Bexley’s gay mafia.

It’s not something I would ordinarily mention as it makes no sense to gratuitously offend even a small proportion of readers but I think it is relevant to this story. I suspect the proportion of homosexual members on Bexley council is higher than in the general population but the only concern I have with that is that I know of no way of checking gay relationship as there is with married couples. It may be that we have more than six married couple on Bexley council because those in civil partnerships won’t have come to notice.

Over the past three weeks several emails have pointed me in the same direction with various degrees of crypticality. Is that a word? Probably not.

This is a typical (edited for brevity) comment…

Nepotism is routine practice in Bexley giving priority selection to spouses of councillors as candidates for vacant seats. It will be interesting to note how many 'relations' appear as new candidates in the forthcoming local election. Bexley residents deserve the best candidates selected on merit and experience/expertise - not on the basis of who they are married to on the basis that they are 'safe bets' who won't challenge the leadership.

The writer makes a good point, there is a whole load of spouses in Bexley Conservatives’ candidate list, but it is not perhaps an earth shattering observation. That is because I left part of it out, a part that links with other emails from elsewhere. Let’s look at one of those; again edited down to size.

Explosive news about homosexual partner (and candidate) of a current councillor arrested and cautioned for theft.

East WickhamYet another email implores me to do some detective work. That’s easier said than done. Then another tells me to take a look at East Wickham ward and gives a clue or two. So I did.

The Tory’s candidate list for East Wickham says the would-be councillors are Daniel Taylor, James Hunt, and Christine Catterall. Another name you’ve heard before. Here they are pictured alongside you know who.

So who in East Wickham is the partner of a current councillor? It cannot be James Hunt (wearing the white shirt) because he is married with a young daughter - I think he proudly told me when we bumped into each other in Broadway last year. He's a pleasant enough bloke and I hope he will forgive me if he said his child was a boy. So if anyone is being fingered it must be the fellow on the right who by a process of elimination must be Daniel Taylor. Who of the men on Bexley council might he be partnered with? Hard to say and Taylor is not an uncommon name which complicates matters.

But I found this.

Chris Taylor
Taylor is as I said a common name but this Chris Taylor lives at the same address as councillor Chris Taylor used to give in his Register of Members’ Interests, maybe he still does. So councillor Chris Taylor lives in the same house as Dan Taylor. It could of course be his brother, but Chris has twice told council meetings that he lives with his civil partner. So the chances are that all your assumptions are correct.

It looks as though the various informants have got at least half of their stories right. What we don’t know is whether Dan Taylor, prospective Tory candidate for East Wickham ward, was arrested for theft and cautioned. Informants can be wrong. On the other hand I’ve only known that happen once. That was when someone suggesting he was a councillor gave me ‘evidence’ that a certain named councillor was responsible for Bexley council’s obscene blog. He was wrong, and I was very wrong to take him seriously and if I was a betting man I’d put money on who had a vested interest in sending me on a wild goose chase.

How do we find out if the story is true? Maybe the News Shopper can look into it as they did the BELL case. Perhaps the police will come over all honest and transparent. I wouldn’t bet on that either. The present borough commander was all Teresa this and Will that at his very first meeting with the council within days of his arrival. It’s presumably still all mates together there.

Another way might be if one of the principal parties denied the whole story as otherwise it may blow up at just the wrong moment. Yes , that is probably the way to do it. But it’s not impossible that a good handful of Bexley council supporters have got together to set me up big time. Maybe time will tell.


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