members of the public attended last night’s cabinet meeting at Bexley’s Civic
Offices. A Labour supporter who has taken a vow of silence, Eliot Smith, Bexley
Youth Councillor and devotee of Anna Firth, the three regulars from the Bexley
Action Group (Mick Barnbrook, Elwyn Bryant and John Watson), and me. As we left,
Mick said to me, “is it my imagination or are council meetings becoming more
pleasant and friendly?”
It’s not imagination, he is right, or at last partially so. The number of run-of-the-mill councillors, if I may use that term without appearing to be derogatory, prepared to speak or at least acknowledge my existence has been gradually increasing for quite a while and definitely accelerating in recent months but I am not so sure that Mick’s observation is appropriate to a cabinet meeting.
I have yet to have a conversation with the majority of cabinet members which is probably a good indication of the sort of people who Teresa O’Neill would have working with her. Unpleasant individuals including one prepared to assault bloggers whenever the mood takes her.
Of the eight members of Bexley’s cabinet five have never ever even looked at me and will take avoiding action when necessary and one who once smiled an acknowledgment when I held a door open. Which leaves just John Fuller and Alex Sawyer.
John, I feel sure, is perfectly OK but Alex is a mystery to me. Pleasant enough and always keen to say he understands people’s concerns but I suspect his only loyalties lie with Teresa O’Neill. She who reports bloggers to the police for “criticising councillors” and fails to expose criminals in her midst.
I could be wrong about Alex Sawyer but I have no doubts as to cabinet member Philip Read’s character. Nasty through and through.
Refusing public questions, insulting fellow councillors and picking silly fights on social media are his forté. There was another one of those yesterday - all over a spelling mistake in a UKIP leaflet. These things happen. There was a spelling mistake in a Labour leaflet that popped through my door last month and who could forget the Tories who couldn’t spell their own names last year?
However that didn’t stop the cretinous Read deciding a spelling mistake was the political issue of the day.
His comment about revealing more of yourself every time you Tweet is absolutely priceless. Labour councillor Danny Hackett hit the nail squarely on the head with his sarcastic retort.
UKIP was no less accurate when they described Philip Read as “a very nasty unpleasant person” which is a version of my own description.
UKIP Bexley went on to say they would block Read from reading their Twitter comments which I wouldn’t have thought was the wisest of moves.
Read predictably made another of his ill-considered but nevertheless priceless comments about people who resort to Twitter’s blocking facility.
If blocking “tells you everything about them [UKIP]” maybe Philip Read should look in the mirror. He has had me blocked since he first opened his account to public view. It used to be by invitation only.