I’m not sure what the correct protocol is when friends fall out; ignore or take sides
or try being a peace maker? I tried the latter via Twitter recently but got pretty short shrift.
That was over support for the Tory’s slash and burn budget but this time I’m referring to the unseemly squabble between Councillor Hackett (Labour) and Councillor Beazley (UKIP).
Chris Beazley said that uncontrolled immigration has led to an increase in HMOs and called on Bexley Council to do something about it - which they have promised to do. My own opinion is that a population that has grown too big is the root cause of most of our problems. A factor is that people like me outlive their three score and ten but I suspect I will still be labelled a small minded, bigoted xenophobe, which is what Councillor Beazley was called.
The argument escalated to the pages of the News Shopper which misrepresented the facts as one has come to expect from that once respected local newspaper. Among other things they should learn that uncontrollable immigration is not the same as uncontrolled immigration.
They linked Councillor Hackett’s “bigoted and xenophobic” comment directly to the “vile and hateful” anti-HMO protest in Penhill Road and some of the comments caught on video during that protest undoubtedly were. Maybe the News Shopper misquoted Councillor Hackett but he appeared to make the link too.
Linking Penhill Road to Councillor Beazley’s question looks like pure mischief to me, but then I am by no means a leftie.
The Penhill protest took place on 10th July; Councillor Beazley tabled his question to Kevin Fox, the appropriate officer at Bexley council at crack of dawn on 27th April. Any suggestion that Councillor Beazley saw the disturbance in Penhill Road as an opportunity to make political capital from it is pure bunkum.
When Councillor Hackett asked Councillor Craske to condemn the UKIP question he answered only with a reference to Penhill Road. I doubt that he was being mischievous, it seemed a reasonable response at the time, but he may have unwittingly encouraged others to be so.