was Bexley Conservative’s election slogan a year ago and pretty effective it was
too, they were returned with an increased majority. But was it an honest slogan?
Only when it suits them apparently.
When Councillor Danny Hackett became so disillusioned with what he saw as a hard left Labour party that he could tolerate it no more, did the Tories do all in their power to support him and maybe encourage others?
No not a bit of it.
Leaving Labour was an enormous step for Danny who had been a member of the party for around four years before he was eligible to vote but he has a serious problem with dishonesty, hypocrisy and what some might term bullshit. He is totally against it and in politics that can be a handicap.
True to form most of his Labour party ‘friends’ have shown themselves to be anything but, showering him with abusive comments.
Bexley Conservatives are a little more subtle than that, last Wednesday they decided that being anti-Corbyn needs to be punished and they voted to exclude Councillor Hackett from all Committees. They didn’t have to.
After thanking residents and Council officers for their support he said “some people in this room will stop at nothing to use the institutions of this Council to score cheap political points. It is pathetic political posturing”. While not disputing the regulations he said “a consensus could have been reached as in the past to ensure a Councillor outside the two main political parties could have been given a space on Council Committees. I am extremely disappointed it hasn’t happened. In my opinion, all the time Committee allocations are under the control of Group Leaders and Chief Whips the residents we represent are being dealt a great disservice.”
He knew his decision to leave Labour would not be easy but he would now only be allowed to represent the residents of Thamesmead East at Full Council meetings “and these as we all know are politically stage managed events. People know what questions are going to be asked, Motions are agreed in advance, it is a managed event. As an Independent it is very difficult to be an effective voice in this Chamber”.
He did not think “if a single Green or Liberal Democrat was elected” to the Council they would be simply “given a pass and told where the loos are” and nothing else. Councillor Hackett has had his desk and telephone taken away by Conservatives for having the courage to denounce Jeremy Corbyn. Being vindictive comes naturally to them.
Cabinet Member David Leaf was the only Councillor to express some sympathy for Councillor Hackett’s position and the abuse he has suffered at the hands of former colleagues but he endorsed the decision to downgrade his status.
Danny was the only Councillor to vote against the punishment for courage.
Over the coming weeks and months I will be twisting Councillor Hackett’s arm and buying beer if necessary, to obtain more details of what he has so far only hinted at. If I read between the lines correctly some of his erstwhile colleagues are not the pleasant and good natured people I had taken them to be.