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Bonkers Blog February 2018

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5 February (Part 2) - Harassment News

It seems to me that the police must regard Harassment charges as easy pickings. A blogger on the South Coast has been telling me how he is going through a similar process as I am for revealing that a local organisation of which he is a member was claiming to be a registered charity when it is not.

Speaking the truth has put the Committee under stress so he is right now waiting to see if the police will charge him.

My own Charge is that I have been harassing Councillor Fothergill ever since December 2015 and should have known better. That date is when she was found guilty by Bexley Council of abusing her position to obtain a financial advantage. They plastered the guilty verdict all over their website.

I have been putting a file together for my solicitor and explaining how the Charge can go back to 2015. It covers the following.

Naturally Bonkers looked into Bexley’s guilty verdict and things didn’t look good for the Councillor. The bare news, not that there was a lot of it, was accurately reported but Bexley Council refused to reveal what Councillor Fothergill was supposed to have done. When Bexley Council goes into lock down mode and refuses all FOI requests one has to smell a rat. I was not alone in poking around in dark places and eventually the alleged complainant was traced and along with it the alleged offence.

Every step was duly reported and eventually it became obvious that Bexley Council had not fully observed every aspect of the law, for example they had never received a written complaint, they wrote it themselves.

Towards the end of the investigation I went to meet Councillor Fothergill and her husband and she showed me and a fellow investigator some documents that filled in the gaps in my knowledge. She strongly believed that she had been stitched up by fellow Conservative Councillors and that is the way it looked to me too.

A series of blogs came to an end with one entitled Maxine Fothergill is Innocent OK?

For uncovering her innocence I am rewarded with an allegation of Harassment. I acknowledge that at the outset I assumed that Bexley Council’s version of events would be correct and that view was apparent to those who read the earliest blogs on the subject but gradually the tone changed. An attempt was made to retrospectively set the record straight by prefixing every blog with an explanatory message. The message was simplified over time but the basic message remained the same. i.e. that Councillor Fothergill suffered an injustice.

That situation was accepted by everyone for more than 15 months, then suddenly it is harassment.

I would argue that if it wasn’t for the Bonkers’ investigation the first and last word on the subject would have been the guilty verdict on Bexley Council’s website; instead Councillor Fothergill was proclaimed innocent and can point any doubters to that verdict.

Perhaps if Bonkers had done nothing everyone would have forgotten the guilty verdict by now but that is not really how news reporting works. The priority must always be uncovering the truth. In 2016 it showed that Councillor Fothergill had been wronged. She doesn’t appear to be very happy about clearing her name.


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