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Bonkers Blog May 2017

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1 May (Part 1) - Who they gonna call?

If you are a Tory in Old Bexley and Sidcup you know who you are going to vote for. If you are a Conservative in Bexleyheath and Crayford you know it’s David Evennett again but if you can find the blue voter in Erith & Thamesmead he still won’t have a clue which name will receive his X.

Anna Firth who spent much of her time on litter patrol in 2015 appears to have upset too many influential Conservatives and may be out of the running which leaves those of the Tory persuasion in E&T unsure of where they will be able to go. Who would you choose out of this lot?

Firth Smith Bhogal ReadAnna Firth who stood in E&T in 2015, Elliot Smith, a pleasant young lad who likes Teresa O’Neill more than I do. Amandeep Bhogal who was the Tory candidate in Upper Bann two years ago and who left me with a good impression following a two minute conversation, and lastly Philip Read who does his best to perpetuate ‘the nasty party’ reputation.

A Tory to the core who would appeal to the Thatcher generation which once upon a time included me. I voted Tory at every election from 1964 through to 2010. David Cameron and learning too much about Bexley’s Conservatives put paid to that.

This year UKIP nationally seems to have gone well and truly off the rails and locally off the boil.

I was pretty shocked by what I read on their Facebook page a few days ago.

FacebookI generally try to keep strong language away from BiB, reserving it for special occasions that require special emphasis, but what UKIP is saying about my Labour MP is the sheerest of bollocks. Don’t take my word for it, look it up on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority website. (IPSA.)

UKIP exaggerates Teresa Pearce’s pay by £5,000 and makes inaccurate comments about the salary she pays her husband Paul for his role as Office Manager.

More junior office staff are paid the going rate but Paul is not. UKIP could have looked it up for themselves but instead suggest that Paul is on “well over” £25,000 a year.

The truth is rather different and it is close to nothing because Paul works for love except for the odd week or two when Teresa’s office staff is exceptionally depleted by holidays. IPSA reports the total to be between £0 and £5,000. The lowest pay category it places on the record.

Incidental office costs tot up to £11k. but there is no claim for a mobile phone or travelling costs, petrol etc.

And “rich elite”. Where did they get that idea?

Last Autumn I had to deliver some documents to Teresa that she required in connection with my complaint that Bexley police conspired with Bexley Council and the CPS to make sure that ‘Councillor Craske’s situation was resolved’.

She has supported me throughout in contrast to James Brokenshire’s response to fellow complainant Elwyn Bryant who thought that assisting his constituent was “inappropriate”. (†)

It was a nice day and Teresa invited me through to her garden for a cool drink. The car outside was older than mine and at a quick glance her house was comparable and her TV was smaller. Of rich and elite there is no obvious sign.

You may sometimes wonder why someone with an almost 100% Conservative voting record so often puts the boot into that party locally. I hope it is obvious, it’s not very often it’s the policies that are criticised but the dishonesty and occasional corruption within Tory ranks that is.

Labour has fallen foul of BiB too but it’s hard to catch them out. Never dishonest, sometimes ill advised from a more right wing perspective but in recent days UKIP seems to have delivered an opportunity on a plate.

† The Department of Professional Standards (DPS) investigation into the various malpractices that led to the collapse of the case against Councillor Craske is still going well. Several Bexley police officers (a total of eight were in the frame when I last asked) have been interviewed under caution and the DPS continues to give every indication of a satisfactory outcome.

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