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Bonkers Blog January 2015

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31 January (Part 1) - It’s not quite what it seems. When Philip Read’s behind a scheme, what is?

Referendum ReferendumI am in the strange position of not supporting any of the ideas spoken of by Ed Miliband and totally against his position on the electoral problems brought about by Scottish devolution but at the same time thinking that the Conservative General Election candidate for Erith & Thamesmead would be totally mad to campaign for a ‘referendum’ in Bexley calling for English votes for English Laws.

Why are Bexley councillors tramping the streets of Northumberland Heath handing out a ‘referendum’ leaflet when there are so many other things local councillors should be attending to?

English Votes for English Laws being more likely under a Conservative government may be a valid point but a ‘referendum’ in Bexley won’t influence anything. In Bexley not even Bexley council takes any notice of what local people say, certainly not central government.

SplashparkOne can forgive a millionaire barrister from Sevenoaks not knowing the difference between Bexleyheath and Thamesmead and not being able to spell Lesnes, but a ‘referendum’ would be a whole new level of silliness.

Spotting the forgoing on Twitter this morning my first thought was how much would a local referendum cost a near bankrupt council. I emailed a lady who might know. Teresa Pearce MP replied, “the cost of a local referendum is estimated by HOC library as between £85k and £300k”.

Would Erith & Thamesmead‘s would-be MP be happy to put around ¼% on the council tax on an ill thought out scheme? Probably not, for £300k she could have Belvedere’s Splash Park renewed. That might just get her elected.

However the whole thing is an underhand scam. Anna Firth is not calling for a referendum as her headline claims. Read the small print and she is trying to poll residents on a question that most people would probably answer ‘yes’ to. It’s just a cunning way to get your email address and phone number.

With the Mr. Nasty, Philip Read behind her, scams are to be expected, but if you sign up for the Erith & Thamesmead faux ‘referendum’, then please be aware of what it is all about. Breaching your privacy.


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