I rarely have political leaflets dropped through my letterbox and rely
instead on neighbours to pass them on. I cannot say I am surprised. In the
past Labour candidates have been unwelcome on my doorstep and I’m sure to have castigated them
for making my life difficult in the nineteen sixties, seventies and noughties. Ten
to fifteen years ago I became convinced that Blair, Brown and Blunkett planned their
entire political strategy around punishing me personally and I’ve not really
changed my mind since. The Tories know there is no point in knocking on my door so I
don't see their message either, for that I mainly have to go on line.
The Tories locally appear to have only one message, that they froze council tax for four years. They could equally say they embarked on a slash and burn policy, cutting jobs, pay and services and racking up every charge by as much as three times what they were four years ago. Zero hours contracts, sub-minimum wage pay, people doing 30 hour shifts over Christmas to keep vital services running (I later heard of one of 60 hours), old ladies and children neglected - one died and one was murdered; it’s almost enough to turn me into a socialist.
From reading Tory propaganda they seem to promise only more of the same and sad to say the Labour stuff is uninspiring to say the least. The Lesnes Labour leaflets my neighbour passed to me yesterday appear to be left overs from the London Mayoral election complaining as they did about rail fares. Their website, mentioned last week, seemed to be on the right lines but it disappeared within 24 hours.
Who else can you turn to for a brighter Bexley future?
There’s some Independents over in Blackfen but no sign of a manifesto from any of them yet. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see one majoring on honesty and transparency, another on the hugely generous senior salaries paid by Bexley council and the third might have something to say on the iniquitous Residents’ Parking Tax tripled by Bexley’s number one bogeyman, councillor Peter Craske, who plucked some fictitious numbers from thin air and then doubled them for luck. But I am guessing at what Independents might do, they may be known to each other but the threesome are not joined at the hip, they might not all offer the same.
It doesn’t amount to much yet but at the moment the only place you will find a few policies is on UKIP Bexley websites - but only three wards covered so far. Their East Wickham ward candidate, Rob Comley, has popped up on a Guardian website (scroll down to third story) so you can get some idea what he stands for nationally and the Lesnes and Barnehurst candidates have gone public too, but as for the others, little is known. Tories; more slash, burn and stealth taxes. Labour, picking fights with Boris. Independents, your guess is as good as mine. UKIP, they are not the other lot.
UKIP Bexley website. (Don’t bother clicking on any link but Barnehurst, Lesnes or East Wickham. Waste of time otherwise.)
Seriously though, Bexley has become a dictatorship under the Tories. No one dares not to toe Teresa O’Neill’s party line; only once in the past four years has a Conservative councillor at any important meeting voted against Teresa, maybe not at lesser meetings either, but I don’t go to them all so could be wrong there. It’s not a benign dictatorship either. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Great Dictator or dares to speak the truth when she is busy hiding it is in big trouble.
“Appalling behaviour, arbitrary, no humility, the arrogance is unbelievable, council meetings are a stage managed irrelevance” are just a few of the things said about Bexley council, and those quotations I assure you all come from the mouths of those who should know. Whatever you do on May 22nd vote for a bit more balance and in Brampton ward vote against the Great Dictator. Without her even a Tory Bexley might be a fairer and more honest place.