It took a long time for me to escape from ‘Zombieland’ after nearly 40 hours without
sleep and Friday’s blogs
look every bit as badly written as I thought they might be. Unfocused and rambling!
I could have sworn I wrote some things that are just not there now. Probably just as
well, I think I speculated on whether or not the UKIP councillors would stand the pace.
They are sure to be given a hard time by the old guard.
The count was little but hard work for the staff but in part a social event for the rest of us. I met John Kerlen for the first time since we left Woolwich Crown Court together on 17th August 2012 following his acquittal on charges made up by Bexley councillor Melvin Seymour.
Seymour was at the count obnoxious as ever and he was keeping a tally of the Blackfen & Lamorbey votes as the counters flicked through the ballot papers. It was right at the beginning of the night and us newcomers had yet to get up to speed on the procedures. Nicholas Dowling asked Seymour why he was counting the X's. Nick then admitted that he “couldn’t see the point; what will be will be”. “That’s because you are a prat“ said the councillor to a resident.
I must be a prat too because I cannot see much point either. The only purpose I can think of for wanting to know the result early is to decide if mischief is necessary if things look too close for comfort. Have I missed something?
Blackfen candidate Peter Craske never once ventured over to the Blackfen counting tables, presumably too shy to risk seeing me and Nicholas “kissing in a tree” as someone with access to Craske’s land line phone alleged in 2011.
Councillors Craske and Seymour are two of many who never speak to me but several do. If I include those Conservatives who did no more than make a grudging nod in my direction on Thursday night the list would include both Beckwiths, both Slaughters, Alex Sawyer, Colin Tandy and Howard Marriner. Apart from Craske, always quick to dodge out of the way, others who consistently adopt the same technique include Linda Bailey, Val Clarke, Alan Downing, Philip Read, Peter Reader, Chris Taylor and John Waters and if you think that is rude they have nothing on their leader.
I was walking behind my MP who was looking glamorous in an outfit possibly just a little too reminiscent of UKIP colours, and the rather less glamorous Teresa O’Neill when I thought I heard the big one say to the smaller one something unbelievably catty. When I caught up with Teresa Pearce later I asked if my ears had deceived me. They had not. Teresa O’Neill is not just spiteful and vindictive to nobodies like me but enjoys dishing out the same irrespective of the target. The comment was far too personal and possibly hurtful to be repeated here.
The Labour people were universally friendly which I suspect might change if the vote ever goes the other way. I congratulated young Danny Hackett for becoming my councillor and asked if I could have my vote back as his 273 majority meant he didn’t need it. It was the first I had ever given to his party. I thought it might make me feel uncomfortable after 50 years of Conservatism, but it didn’t.
I understand that Bexley Labour will choose its new leader next Tuesday and I am hoping to see some rather more spirited opposition than we have had in recent years.
I was always disappointed that the outgoing Labour leader believed that Will Tuckley should be paid even more than he is and decided against making any political capital out of the Craske and similar scandals. Only Seán Newman (Labour Belvedere) made any attempt to support Elwyn Bryant’s 2,219 signature salary petition which went in the bin with the proposal not discussed.
When it was announced early on Friday morning that Mick Barnbrook had taken 884 votes from the Tories, councillor Alan Downing looked visibly shocked. It must be a serious embarrassment to Bexley Conservatives, so serious that they seem to have decided to remove Mick’s name from the official election results. It was there on Friday but not any more which means that when the newspapers went around gathering data for Sunday’s editions they learned nothing of Mick’s near miss. The numbers are neatly readjusted so they still add up to 100%.
Never underestimate the extent of the corruption for which Bexley Tories are renowned.
Click image above for source.