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News and Comment May 2021

Index: 20202021

31 May - End of the month roundup

TweetIt is not worth making any great effort on the last day of any month because the page will flip over tomorrow and probably be forgotten.

I should have thanked those who enquired about my six week overdue scan results. Phone and email enquiries to the GP’s surgery, the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Director of Public Health all fell on deaf ears. I had given up on them reassured by the fact that I felt reasonably certain that the doctor’s worst fears would not be realised.

Then out of the blue the referring GP phoned last week and gave me the answer which was not much different to what I expected. Decent GP let down by abysmal support services.

The reconvening quiz team caught up on the news. Fortunately there was nothing particularly bad on the Covid front. The son of one member was deemed to be positive on a PCR test but never felt unwell and another said the man on the turnstile at the Leyton Orient ground had died.

The nearest anyone had been to a Covid death was the neighbour who fell off a ladder three weeks after a positive test.

 

30 May (Part 3) - It’s a dirty business - 2

Just a quickie to say that the advice to Councillor Hackett funnelled through BiB has been passed on to him. His email address is on Bexley Council’s website and if you have a Twitter account he probably accepts Direct Messages but the concern shown for his predicament is appreciated.

I am tempted to give him some advice too but not sure I would want it repeated on Twitter.

 

30 May (Part 2) - It’s a dirty business

As Councillor Hackett’s Tweets have indicated Bexley politics is not all Sweetness and Light but maybe it is the same everywhere.

My son’s school friend has been a member of the Conservative Party in North East Hampshire where Hart District Council has been an Independent stronghold for as long as anyone can remember. It was when I last lived there and that is nearly 40 years ago.

The friend was persuaded to stand as a ‘paper’ candidate this month in a seat he couldn’t win - but he did thanks to the blue wave that washed over much of the country.

My son describes his friend as resilient and thick skinned which is just as well. He has ignored the death threats.

Maybe he shouldnְ’t, Hart District Council unlike secretive Bexley gives Councillors’ home addresses prominence on its website.

 

30 May (Part 1) - Media manipulation. Hiding the truth

ProtestI took the train to London yesterday and there were few masks in evidence. Changing at that appalling interchange station known as London Bridge (†) I at first estimated the number of the maskless to be close to 50% although I later scaled that back to 30%.

It became apparent that there was an anti-vaccination passport demo in London which explains the platform rebellion. It is worrying that on the day itself one had to go to Russian websites to find any reference to it. Is our own media so totally in hock to a less than honest government? (Today LBC Radio reported 12 miles of protests.)

The trains out of Waterloo were very frequent but jammed solid. Standing room only and any bug on board would have had a field day.

At Richmond rugby ground there were no Covid restrictions in the Members’ Bar apart from card only payments and an hour before kick-off six assistants were waiting to pounce on their only customer. The beer flowed more liberally later.

To stretch my legs I circumnavigated the ground where the crowd, such as it was, leaned against the boundary rail one or two people deep. The stand was near empty due to an unprecedented decision to charge extra for sitting down. Not a single mask anywhere. Literally not one.

Life seems to be getting back to normal. Later today the old pub quiz team will reconvene but not in a pub. As a team we used to be successful but our skills are waning. No one seems able to add up to six or even two.

There is little Bexley news around right now and what there is is being held over until June. It is not only the national press which suppresses news!

† I can remember when changing from a Cannon Street train to one for Charing Cross meant walking from one side of an island platform to the other. Yesterday it was from Platform 3 to Platform 9 via two long escalators and the main destination boards. I can remember when journeys took barely half the time it does now.

Due to an act of stupidity on my part the original 3001 blog was lost. This is a rewritten replacement and may be considerably different to the original.

 

29 May - Recycling recycling

Today blogging is replaced by ball bouncing. My old rugby gang is returning to the field, that’s watching of course, not participating. We have decided to boycott the bar if there is any suggestion of Covid complications.

Meanwhile a brief mention for 2 West Heath Road which is once again the subject of a string of planning applications. There has been an anonymous report (hence the answer here) that it is owned by Mr. Leather Bottle himself but I can find no evidence of that. If you know better…

A relative newcomer on the Bexley Twitter scene is @tonyofsidcup who was responsible for the Twitter analysis a few days ago. Now he has repeated the exercise on recycling stats and come up with the ‘startling’ news that Bexley is top recycler because its residents are keen gardeners.

That is not new news but it is good to see nothing has changed since it was analysed here in 2010. A horrible old non-mobile compliant page gives the details. There was a blog about it the following year.

Right, that’s it. Sandwiches to make.

 

28 May - A nest of vipers

Racking my brain for something to say today beyond the news that the Daniel Morgan Investigation Panel’s report will be made public on 15th June and how our fake Green Government has just quadrupled the electricity VAT rate applied to electric vehicle chargers when I belatedly noticed Councillor Hackett’s two day old Tweet.

TweetDanny Hackett (Independent, Thamesmead East) has had a torrid time since he resigned from the Labour Party in February 2019.

He used to be my ward Councillor and pre-Covid I would meet up with him every few months and what he told me and showed me after his resignation came from sources I would not otherwise have believed capable of such words.

Things have not calmed down as much as one might expect but Councillors are always reluctant to say much about complaints made against them maybe because they fear prejudicing the outcome.

Reading what I can into Danny’s comments I have concluded that there have been three complaints from his former Labour friends with follow up appeals when the complaints were thrown out.

There was also that scurrilous story which ended up in the News Shopper and from the evidence I saw at the time it looked dubious to say the least. Danny now knows it was a put up job to discredit him. He says he has a letter from someone who admits and regrets a stupid prank gone wrong. I have not seen the letter.

Danny Hackett may not be the only Councillor to be subjected to frivolous complaints. Like Danny they don’t say much but there are two more I know of who have been on the receiving end of what they believe to be politically motivated complaints.

Where from? One I know the other I don’t.

Councils are a bit too keen to go down the vexatious road, I have been threatened with it twice and Mick Barnbrook got an FOI ban when he was a bit too close to uncovering some truths, but on this occasion, if the Monitoring Officer continues to find Danny a blameless victim, it would seem to be entirely appropriate.

Maybe Danny should compare notes with the other Councillors, he must know who they are, to see if there is a common factor.

What he can do about the News Shopper is not so clear. They will have chosen their words carefully and publishers have no obligation to remove things from their websites which are neither libellous, racist or defamatory. Maybe Danny will be able to make use of the letter he claims to have.

What a rag that paper has become.

 

27 May (Part 3) - New Labour Group appointments

The Labour Group in Bexley has formally announced its new Leader and front bench team.


Cllr Stefano Borella, Leader – Corporate Policy
Cllr Wendy Perfect, Deputy Leader – Cabinet Member for Adult Services, Children’s Services & Education
Cllr Daniel Francis, Places – Environment, Transport & Leisure
Cllr Nicola Taylor, Communities – Community Safety, Equalities, Health & Housing Allocations
Cllr Joe Ferreira, Resources, Regeneration & Growth


Press Release. (PDF.)

 

27 May (Part 2) - Toxic Town

At the end of a month which has seen another legal challenge aimed at dictating what can appear on Bonkers and what cannot it would be easy to just pack up and go away but on the other hand it would deprive Bexley Council employees of an outlet.

The following is a shortened version (with identifying features stripped away) of an email from within the inner sanctum…


I’ve left Council employment now but how happy I am about that. The place is so toxic that working from home provided a welcome modicum of relief.

The worst thing is being forced into a corner by a Personnel Manager to accept his settlement.

I have worked at other Councils where Personnel is impartial and worked [in accordance with the law] in support of both sides. I’m pleased to be free from the chaos but I am stewing when reminded of some of the pay-offs; it may be why the Council is so hard up.

Paul Moore was paid off, same for Kevin Murphy and David Bryce-Smith. Long standing servants all stabbed in the back by colleagues.

Sickening behaviour.


Here’s another in similar vein from last year.


Malcolm, as a current employee of the London Borough of Bexley I must warn you and other residents of the borough of big changes. Unfortunately the current Chief Executive [Jackie Belton] and Directors which she brought with her at varying times are determined to undermine the hard work of officers. Some have been played to such an extent that they cannot continue to work for the authority as it’s got so bad. I’m afraid it will go downhill rapidly.


How right that man was.


Note: I am moved, somewhat reluctantly, towards switching off the mailbox@ email address at the end of today. If that has been your contact point and you think you merit something other than the Contact Form, then now is the time to tell me.

This blog comes with the usual warning that links back to 2019 are to an area broken by the technical disaster of early last year which broke many of the links. 2014 to 2019 blogs await their turn to be checked and may not work correctly.

 

27 May (Part 1) - A little more about last night’s Council meeting

You wait ages for a proper Council Meeting to put some meat on to the BiB bone and it is all over in half an hour with only one thing happening that had not been predicted here.

MeetingI had dozed off in a chair and woke up at 19:29 just in time to rush upstairs to the PC and record and view the Full Council Meeting which fortunately started a few minutes late. The audio was pretty naff at times and the video was worse.

On the spur of the moment I decided to live blog it.

As expected, the Covid Mayor James Hunt was given a second chance which seems fair enough to me. His Deputy is to be Councillor Alan Downing who was Mayor himself in 2012 and earned the accolade of rudest man in Bexley for his finger wagging activities directed at members of the public. Pre-webcast days Council meetings could be more like bear gardens.

The previous Deputy Mayor Sue Gower MBE was elevated to Cabinet status three years after election which is a surprise to me bearing in mind our conversations at various times.

Councillor Sawyer gets the elbow presumably because he is unlikely to have been a Yes Man which is an absolute requirement under the present Leader. I’ve never known what to make of Alex Sawyer. He says whenever the opportunity arises that motorists are hard done by but tries to yellow box them into submission.

I find it hard to accept the show of sincerity that he displays is genuine and I think my mind was made up when four Crossrail delivery lorries could not get into the Abbey Wood station site and could either drive down Wilton Road over and over again creating traffic chaos or pull over. They chose the latter and got a ticket each. Sawyer said they should have created chaos instead and told me they must pay the fine.

At least I have some confidence that Sue Gower has more common sense than that.

Scrutiny Chairmen seem to have suffered the chop too and the most ludicrous must be Resources and Growth where successful businessman Councillor Dourmoush kept a critical eye on the pair at the helm while Bexley was driven perilously close to the rocks. Then Cabinet Member now Deputy Leader David Leaf and Finance Director Paul Thorogood.

Good Chairman too. The first to break ranks and welcome me personally to his meetings. Probably his downfall.

Councillor Munir who used to chair Children’s and Adult’s Services gets a leg up to the Cabinet - Growth. The only change that was not predicted here.

 

26 May (Part 2) - Council News as it happens

The first live Full Council Meeting in more than a year is underway in Bexley.

• Labour nominate Councillor Esther Amaning for Mayor. Proposed and seconded by Councillors Nicola Taylor and Mabel Ogundayo.
• Conservative Cafer Munur nominates James Hunt exactly as predicted. Seconded by Councillor Peter Craske.
• Inevitable vote in favour of Mayor James Hunt. Bexley Conservatives are not very keen on sharing. There has not been a follow on Mayor since 1950-1952.
• Mrs. Hunt Mayoress. Councillor Alan Downing Deputy Mayor with his wife Ros as Deputy Mayoress. I do like how Bexley Council refuses to adopt the language of woke.
• The Mayor announces that the Councillor Allowance increase that they volunteered not to accept this year will be spent on a thank you event for Covid volunteers thereby adopting the Hackett Amendment that the Conservatives threw out at the last meeting.
• Previous Deputy Mayor Sue Gower is, if I heard correctly while popping over to the fridge, (†) promoted to Cabinet status so presumably Alex Sawyer has been thrown out for sometimes being too honest for his own good.
• David Leaf is the new Deputy Leader as yet another honest Councillor decides it is not the job for him. Cafer Munir is rewarded with a Cabinet job too.
• The Council Leader who appears to be firmly in position as always introduced a new F word into her vocabulary. Fabulous has been added to fantastic.
• Councillor Stefano Borella the new Labour Leader congratulated the new old Mayor.
• Councillor Dave Putson (Labour, Belvedere) was invited to speak but was completely inaudible as he is not sufficiently senior to merit a microphone.
• The Council formally adopted the Hackett Amendment on Allowances because good things must be laid at the Conservatives door and no credit given to anyone else.
• The meeting closed at 20:08.

† Confirmed. The Mayor only made two jokes about his girth. Must do better!

 

26 May (Part 1) - Contact Us - but not as easily as before

It’s been a bad year hasn’t it? More than a year actually and I have felt increasingly depressed about it, so much so that for the past few months I have ignored the Covid rules and met up with whoever will have me for the sake of my mental health.

Yesterday I had done everything I planned to do by 11 a.m. which left just the four walls for company. I tinkered with the car that let me down in a software sort of way at the weekend and I think I now know what it demands and where I went wrong. And then the phone rang.

It was young Danny Hackett, that’s Councillor Hackett to you, who detecting a less than happy voice suggested a visit to the pub might be in order. Last time I was in a pub was 1st March 2020 and I wasn’t mad keen on the likely petty rules but I went anyway. A whole half pint and an orange juice downed. Well I was driving!

I was trying to work out when I was last with Danny. It was certainly 2019 and it may have been the middle of 2019 because I remember walking to his preferred pub in daylight. Frightening to think how quickly two years may have flashed by.

One reason for not being full of the joys of life is Bonkers. It keeps me busy but the amount of abuse it can generate gets steadily worse. I alluded to it way back in January and more recently. It has got to the stage that I am afraid to open my email Inbox for fear of what comes next. Twice recently I have made serious stress induced mistakes with my written work, once on this blog and again in a letter and it impinged on the well being of friends. I don’t think I have ever dropped such large clangers before.

The wickedness out there is almost unbelievable and on one occasion I reported a threat to the police. One 101 call handler was so incredibly rude that I rang off and called again. Number 2 was much better, I now have a crime number. (No one any of you would know.)

Which brings me to the point of this pitiful blog. I used to have my phone number on the Contact page and that was soon abused and I had to buy one of those Truecall devices to block unknown numbers. Now I am doing the same for email.

The address that has been displayed at the bottom of each BiB page has gone and in a day or two it will cease to work. Regular and trusted correspondents have always used a different address but casual contacts will have to use the Contact Form in future. I am fed up with opening the email and getting another unwanted surprise from the deranged, the obsessive, the irrational, the aggressive, the unreasonable and the demented.

What remains will be much the same as often used commercially, I confess I don’t like it but there will be no email, just a Contact Form and if necessary I will reply from a No Reply address.

Twitter DMs remain open but that has a block facility which email does not.

All my regular contributors and correspondents should be unaffected and if they are a one off reminder via the Contact Form will fix it.

Obviously I don’t have any need to use the Contact Form myself so apologies to those who have been putting up with a broken banner image on it. I increased banner resolution and the Contact page had not been updated. Fixed now.

The Contact Form does not have a fully functioning menu either. It is far too difficult and time consuming to keep it up to date.

 

25 May - The Home Secretary is legally illiterate

Britain’s slow emergence from Johnson’s Covid tyranny allowed me to meet my daughter legally last weekend for the first time since September 20th and before that February 1st 2020.

j4d j4d
She is right at the centre of the Daniel Morgan corruption report and explained a few things to me. Following the farce in Parliament yesterday afternoon the true situation needs to be more widely known.

The Home Secretary is not entitled to an advance copy of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel’s report, just a day to organise things for Parliament and the ensuing questions.

National Security is a red herring, maybe National Embarrassment will be a problem but not security. The report has already been checked for that by a QC paid for by the Home Office and a team under strict embargo within the Metropolitan Police. No problems were found.

Personally I find it slightly amusing that a Minister sacked for potentially jeopardising National Security is now trying to hang on to that particular straw allegedly to protect her friends at News UK who are sure to be severely criticised in the report.

www.justice4daniel.org.

 

24 May (Part 2) - Google is not my friend

I’m not sure if I mentioned it here very directly but among the comments received from readers over the past month was a complaint about the site not being Google friendly. Each page has a line of code designed to send search engines packing and I have come to see being marked as unsafe (no https but not a Cookie to be seen) as an asset.

My occasional Tweets are deleted after 30 days too; Bonkers is just transitory chip paper as far as I am concerned and when I used to use Google Analytics it showed the number of visits to old pages was minimal. The links laboriously added were almost never used.

They are there because I enjoy code tinkering, Bonkers Is a pastime not an ego trip. I take a certain amount of pride in making sure the code is simple and reasonably efficient and devoid of adverts, spelling errors, grammatical errors and mistakes. Too much time is spent reading old blogs and polishing them which may be a bit obsessive. I doubt anyone notices but I wouldn’t like Google to Index pages which I no longer regard as good enough or in rare cases accurate enough.

Anyone with a photographic memory might notice huge numbers of changes too minor to attract attention. Bonkers maybe but I was born fussy.

It hasn’t happened too many times but there have been occasions when I have made an amendment because it makes someone - usually a Councillor but not always - feel better. It first happened in 2012 when someone still a Bexley Councillor in 2021 emailed his request, followed up by a phone call, and we have been on good terms ever since.

A couple of months ago another phone call said that whilst my quoted text was absolutely correct the context in which it was placed was not as clear as it should be. Another amendment, arguably more generous to the complaining Councillor than was requested, went on line. Inconsequential to me and probably you too but it made him happy and with luck made another friend.

Last week my own checking detected an error. From memory I’d attributed a comment to a Councillor and I was wrong on both counts. The quote was not quite right and it didn’t come from a Councillor. Whoops!

CopsNot everyone is as reasonable as my regular correspondents; some simply jump straight in and report me to the police. Three times so far, seven if I count less formal approaches. One follow up apology from the Metropolitan Police for exceeding their authority and all three complaints dropped after sometimes protracted arguments.

Maybe you will now understand why I have twice announced that Bonkers is finished but I always get pleas to carry on. Madness probably. It can get quite difficult when the police and politicians have been quite obviously in cahoots with each other. Less now I think. Maybe the move to Lewisham helped.

I am losing count but some people embarrassed by their exploits appearing in the ‘news’ get their solicitors to fire warning shots, sometimes not asking me to do anything but clearly anxious to extract a fee from their gullible clients. Four times now.

They wouldn’t dream of doing it if the reports had been in the regular press so I can only assume that bullying bloggers is seen as easy.

Fortunately; through my Daniel Morgan connections I have friendly legal advice on tap so I have been assured that nothing I write gets anywhere near being libellous or defamatory although to be fair no one has ever accused me of that. I find it odd that in every case the complaint comes through up to two years after the event and never immediately after. Presumably something in such people’s lives tips them over the edge and an irrational rage kicks in.

According to my lawyer friend some of the threats made against me over the years have amounted to menace and bribery. If you don’t do as I demand I will etc. Perhaps I have been too forgiving.

It would be easy to give up - actually I am not sure about that but why should political animals and the like be allowed to get away with it?

I hope my correspondent now better understands why site searches are not made easy.

 

24 May (Part 1) - Tweet tables

Not much of a response to yesterday’s Twitter League Table but one of the anonymous Council insiders suggests repeating the exercise on senior officers.

He wagers that Nick Hollier will top the table but his own low-tech enquiries revealed, so he says, that the Finance Director has deleted his Twitter account. If that is true one must wonder what he wanted to hide but it is probably a wise move. Who am I to criticise? I delete all my Tweets when they are a month old. There is always the danger that mischief makers will attempt to find an example of me contradicting myself. It’s what some people do for a hobby.

 

23 May - Top Twits

An occasional correspondent who very obviously knows far more about Twitter than I do has constructed a database which collects details about who is most active on the platform. Firmly in his sights are Bexley Councillors and their local party organisations.

The front page is at https://public.tableau.com/profile/tony.of.sidcup#!/vizhome/BexleyCouncilonTwitter/RunningTotals but if you browse around you can find other display formats such as the one below or another that shows who is Retweeting who.

What needs to be done now is run a polygraph algorithm on the text. I suspect that would change the pecking order dramatically.
Tweet totals

 

22 May - Recycling tip

New bin Paper ballBexley Council left houses at the end of my road with no paper recycling facilities for more than a month and the bins weren’t emptied for about six weeks before that. Arguably it wasn't their fault but they could have been a lot quicker solving the problem.

On Thursday this week a brand new bin was delivered, a bit awkward to use as it has been placed back to front but I expect that will be fixed eventually.

Meanwhile we weren’t sure what to do with the accumulated paper. My solution was to tear it into smallish chunks, envelopes torn into three or four bits etc. and throw it into the bowl of hot water after doing the washing up. Leave it five minutes, ruffle it up a bit and squeeze it. A week’s worth went down to the size of a small grapefruit. I was thinking of tossing it in the green bin but the new paper recycling bin turned up in the nick of time.

I suspect if we all turned our envelopes and junk mail into papier-mâché Bexley Council could use smaller waste trucks. Saves money on buying a shredder too. When dried out it might even save on heating costs if you have a wood burning stove.

Normal service may be resumed next week.

 

21 May - Normality? Not everywhere yet

While still awaiting news of who may have climbed the Greasy Council pole which will come next Wednesday (Leaf, Gower, who knows?) and nine months after I last ate out life took just a little step towards normality yesterday and again today. Three of us went to a café. Sanitise your hands at the door - I didn’t (alcohol and eczema don’t mix). Stand up? Then wear a mask - two of us did. Only one person per table to place an order. Ignored. Give your address. One of us did. Sit at the table to be served. Masks off. Counter assistant delivered meal to three unmasked gents at table. Leaned right over us but masks and plastic screens were essentials when she took the order.

Toilets locked. Leave only by the back door. We won’t be going back.

Three of us sitting elbow by elbow in a café. All OK. Return to one gent’s house afterwards. Three households, illegal. Maybe we ignored it, maybe we didn’t. Nothing makes any sense.

Much the same again today but four of us. Walked into café holding mask. No one inside was wearing one so didn’t bother. Placed order, meal delivered to table. Not a mask in sight. Toilets open and spotless. We will be going back.

Not a lot makes any sense, especially things that Boris and Co. have had a hand in.

Tomorrow I will be with family unseen since September, Easter Egg and unsuitable for posting Christmas present at the ready. I feel better already.

 

20 May - The road to Ramsgate

Sometimes my phone can go days without a call; email and text messages appear to have taken over, but yesterday it kept me busy. (Including four names that Bexley watchers will know well.) So busy that I didn’t notice that I had screwed up the BiB menu. Apologies, I hadn’t touched it; honest! but I suspect I accidentally dropped some code that should have gone on to the justice4daniel website into BiB.

Alastair Morgan, brother of murdered Daniel, had feared that publication of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel’s report would receive little publicity what with it being originally planned for Lockdown Lift day and the newspaper industry likely to come in for critical comment and ignore it.

However the “legally illiterate” Priti Patel provided an unexpected bonus when she opened her mouth and put her foot in it. The national press has been remarkably quiet, Guardian excepted, but the broadcasters did Alastair proud and he gained 1,200 new Twitter followers. (But still not as many as my daughter. 43,000. How does she do that?)

There was panic when Alastair exceeded his email quota. Something I had to fix. Alastair and computers are not always a good combination.

Today I will do something that I have not done since late August. Meet up with Mick Barnbrook late of this parish so I am not expecting to be here again until tomorrow.

Have a good day. I think I will.

Oh! This has just arrived courtesy of a friendly MP. Hansard yesterday.
Hansard

 

19 May (Part 3) - Patel’s reputation should never be allowed to recover

It has been a bit hectic on the Daniel Morgan front, Alastair’s email Inbox chose today to fill up and his website required further amendments. He was on LBC Radio this morning and right now is at the ITN studios.

Some websites are making the same point as I did this morning. If the Metropolitan Police suffers catastrophic reputational damage as it undoubtedly should it might have security implications. The answer is to relieve them of those responsibilities and restructure and take a new direction, not cover up for crooks.

Byline Times archive of articles is worth a read especially the most recent issues. Zelo Street is another good one that pulls no punches.

Chris Bryant MP Labour MP for Rhondda raised the issue in the Commons this afternoon. Daniel Morgan grew up in that part of Wales and his sister still lives there. Chris Bryant has been campaigning on behalf of Daniel for at least the past ten years.

 

19 May (Part 2) - Yet another indication of corruption at the heart of Government

You have heard me bang on for years about corruption. Corruption in the police, corruption in Government. Yesterday evening confirmation came through in Spades that beneath the superficial veneer things are truly sick.

Elwyn Bryant and I spent seven years pursuing the Metropolitan Police after they initially refused to investigate and eventually backed down contrary to Crown Prosecution Service advice when a Bexley Cabinet Member posted obscenities about both of us on the web. In my MP’s Port Cullis House office the officer investigating our complaint told us that six, seven or even eight Bexley officers were likely to face internal disciplinary action which could result in dismissal for what one of them had already admitted. Allowing “crippling political interference” in a criminal investigation.

When the final report was issued it was page upon page of wrongdoing followed by a paragraph to say no one had done anything wrong. A diligent officer had written his report and sent it ‘upstairs’ where its entire direction was changed. No one bothered to edit the bulk of the report but the final paragraph sent it into reverse.

Something similar seems to have happened to the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel.
Tweet Tweet Years ago when discussing the case with Daniel’s brother Alastair I would say, “Alastair, if what you are telling me ever gets into the public domain it will bring the whole of the Metropolitan Police down” and sometimes offered the opinion that because of that, the truth would never come out.

The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (DMIP) has taken eight years and spent £15 million looking into the murky depths of Scotland Yard where several Commissioners, aided and abetted by a Chief Constable from another force are thought to have contrived to cover up the police’s involvement in the 1987 murder of Daniel; a private investigator about to expose the police corruption rife in South London.

It is a hugely complicated story involving not only the police but also the Murdoch press (Morgan family’s letter to Rupert Murdoch) which employed several of the suspected men and with the police worked towards perverting justice. His organisation encouraged their criminality which included phone tapping. Why do you think The News of the World was closed down?


One of the implicated managers went on to work for David Cameron in Number Ten. Corruption cannot be discounted anywhere.

WeddingIs it surprising that Home Secretary Priti Patel has canned the DMIP’s 1200 to 1500 page report while she considers what might be redacted? The DMIP is not happy (their statement here) about yet another Government moving of the agreed goalposts as they should be if their painstaking INDEPENDENT report is being edited by a Home Secretary who claims that right and refers to National Security for which it has already been checked by the Met itself.

If the Metropolitan Police is brought down there would be security implications. Isn’t terrorism part of their remit but does that mean we have to tolerate the corruption which has gone to the very top?

Perhaps the Murdoch press has been bringing pressure to bear. It is likely to have been severely criticised and too many top politicians are on good terms with Rupert. Celebrity magazines reported that Patel went to his wedding to Mrs. Mick Jagger in 2016.

The subject will not rest there, too many people follow the case. The Untold Podcast has been downloaded more than ten million times. Redaction will undoubtedly wreck whatever reputation that Patel may have had.

The Daniel Morgan Independent Panel has the same legal status as the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

 

19 May (Part 1) - All’s well that ends well

I was pretty impressed when I found the Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group website a week ago, it seemed to be genuinely sympathetic to the needs of patients. It was not so pleasing when I found their email address was bad and their phone numbers didn’t answer.

Yesterday the CCG phoned me. I have no idea how they found my landline number, maybe I was traced through my on-line complaints but if so nothing was said about it. A mystery.

It was explained to me that the BCCG does not exist any more and amalgamated with others to form the SE London CCG. Why the old website is allowed to exist I have no idea, a pop up notice and a redirection to SECCG would be a trivial bit of coding.

The lady was every bit as helpful as the BCCG website said they would be but I also learned that the postal address provided on it is out of date too. The office staff cannot be blamed for that but it doesn’t look good and probably has confused far more than me.

I am now the proud possessor of a new email address, a phone number and the direct line to the Bexley department. With a record of two complaints in 34 years I am hoping not to use them

The lady suggested to me that if Bexley Group Practice has gone five weeks without telling me of the scan results I can probably assume there is nothing to worry about. I hope she is right.

 

18 May (Part 3) - Beware of the spike

Did you rush to the pub yesterday? Me neither. Boris giving me permission to carefully hug one’s nearest and dearest, enter a neighbour’s house or cross the threshold of a café will make zero difference to my life and I suspect many others and as such it is not likely to provoke a spike in infections.

I am not one for breaking the law. I don’t go way over speed limits however idiotic they may be and I have never dropped litter whether a vulture is watching or not. I still wear a mask in shops, albeit it is one of the pair Danny Hackett gave me more than a year ago. One broke almost immediately but it was replaced by another friend. I am legal but I doubt I am saving anyone.

My suspicion is that the reason there will be no spike is because most people I know have been meeting up inside when necessary for the past month or two. Without extending to cousins once removed etc. there are only eight households in my family circle and I know for a fact that they have all been careful but maybe not entirely lawfully.

What is one to do when a friend and his wife turns up at your door on a rainy day and suggests that a cup of tea might be nice or you arrange a barbecue with just one neighbour and it pours with rain?

Probably people have largely stopped reading up on the rules having realised that too many of them are simply illogical.

Another friend has been telling me how he is keen to see someone who has not been well but patiently waited until this week to visit because of the rules. I didn’t like to tell him that his plans involve four people from three households so he is breaking the law.

On the other hand I have been invited to meet up with some aeroplane enthusiasts (because of my memories of Farnborough) in a café somewhere South of Croydon. Apparently it is perfectly OK for us to ignore social distancing and sit together as long as we are waited on and wear a mask if any one of us gets up to go to the loo.

I’m told it is legal but whether it is or not I am going anyway. But you cannot do the same thing in a house.

At the end of the week I will see my granddaughter for the first time since September. Her Welsh Aunty and Uncle will be there too. We will have to take it in turns to go inside. Unless Welsh rules are different of course. The Easter Eggs are packed!

I had been due to go to a rugby match on 29th. Just a small club with a stand that might take a thousand at most. The local authority has said it cannot be used and everyone must spread themselves around the pitch boundary. Stuff that. Standing next to strangers slopping beer is a discomfort too far.

Don’t tell me that most of the rules are not nonsense.

 

18 May (Part 2) - Leader’s choice. Waffle or walk

It is a barrel scraping day again so I will follow up on a reader’s comment from last week. His theme was that some Councillors are not value for money and the 2018 intake in particular had proved to be especially poor. Several names were named and I didn’t think his criticism was entirely fair.

ְ“My Councillor Christine Bishop has never been mentioned on your blog” he said and I promised to prove him wrong. But I can’t. A software search of the blog source data finds nothing apart from when she became Mayoress to husband Brian snd a single reference to “waffling”.

Much the same is true of Councillors Christine Catterall - no mention except when she went well off topic in a budget debate - and Adam Wildman. Nothing reported here except when he asked a question designed to curry favour with the Leader. I unkindly described it as “arse licking of the highest order”. Oh dear, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.

So maybe my reader knows more about what I have written than I do.

Where we did agree is on the distinct tendency for Councillors who resist the party line to disappear, either from Chairman roles or worse.

At the same time as I was being reported to the police for “criticising Councillors”, Councillor Peter Catterall was praising me for holding the Council to account. Whatever happened to him?

Deputy Leader Simon Windle - described here in 2011 as “too decent to be a Bexley Councillor” - was also noted as being polite to opposition Members and was caught out responding to public questions about reducing allowances. He stood down in favour of Councillor Colin Campell. We can only guess why.

More recently the far too honest Deputy Leader Rob Leitch baled out at the first opportunity and his successor, the never criticised Louie French, is going the same way. Will Alex Sawyer survive? Another Cabinet Member not afraid to plough his own furrow.

May 26th (Full Council) should be an interesting day.

Note: In my opinion, Councillors Richard Diment and Howard Jackson have earned their keep since May 2018.

 

18 May (Part 1) - NHS opt outs. Them from patient care, you from data collection

It is not often that I am pipped to the post by Hugh Neal’s Maggot Sandwich, in part because his weekly format puts him at a disadvantage but the main reason is that he covers different ground. However he definitely got ahead of me last Sunday.

On my To Do list was coverage of the NHS’s massive data grab which I spotted on The Register last week. You have until the 23rd June to opt out of their central database which will be made available to a variety of organisations at home and abroad if it doesn’t simply leak.

The PDF opt out form is here. You will not be able to retrospectively apply for an opt out. The 24th June will be too late.

I am tempted not to opt out. It seems to me that if my medical records are stored centrally there is more chance of my scan results becoming public than me getting them from Bexley Group Practice.

The excellent Doctor Singh thought I should be urgently checked out. QEH were absolutely on the ball but BGP’s admin. is still as bad as it was in 2015 when the Clinical Commissioning Group rated them as “Needs Improvement”.

The Bexley CCG needs improvement too. Their published email address is a dud and both their telephone numbers go to answering machines. What a useless shower they all are.

 

17 May (Part 4) - Bexley Group Practice. Unbelievable

A month and five days after two supposedly urgent scans and 12 days after an email enquiry my Inbox is honoured with a response. “If you phone the surgery this afternoon one of the admin staff will let you know the results.”

A more sensible response might be to give me the result. A more helpful response would have included the phone number.

I phoned the surgery where I had been examined in March and listened to the announcement that assured me it was open for business and after pressing 2 as directed a further series of announcements informed me that business was nothing like normal.

Four minutes and 42 seconds later the receptionist told me she does not have any scan results. Oh, well! I am not dead yet.

 

17 May (Part 3) - Sleight of hand? It doesn’t add up

I am not only wrong about Brexit and Council lies, I am gullible too.

An email which may have come from the Council’s Finance Department but was anonymous so I cannot be sure says I have been suckered by Council Leader O’Neill about the improvement in Council Reserves. In the words of my informant she speaks bollocks and seeks to deceive Conservative Party members.

I am referred to the Public Cabinet Agenda for last January which is reproduced below centre (click to expand) alongside the December 2020 and February 2021 issues.

Accountancy is not my strong point but my arithmetic is good enough to see that the January/February columns do not all add up. £31,072 plus £10,143 does not equal £45,055 and even I can read that more than a million was transferred from the Financial Planning Reserve in the following month, but the General Fund does not appear to have gone up. Another typo maybe?

A year or so ago a friend joked about not being sure if Finance people can count. It is beginning to look to be the most likely explanation.

Whatever it is, the Leader appears to have been in full on deception mode when she wrote to everyone who had paid their subs.

Note: There was more than one Council source for this report, one of whom has drawn the same conclusion about the Leader’s letter as I have.

Agenda TAgenda Agenda

From the Public Cabinet Agendas of December 2020 and January and February 2021.

 

17 May (Part 2) - Not fit for purpose

TweetIf it were not for Home Office incompetence, this morning would have found me heading towards Church House Westminster to hear what the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel had to say after eight years of deliberations and police induced delay. But I am not.

At first the DMIP banned family members from attending and then they cancelled the Press Conference altogether. The speculation that it will happen next week has not been confirmed to the closest family members as of right now.

Following what was described as “a particularly fractious zoom meeting” the head of the DMIP has relented on family members. It was previously thought entirely reasonable that Daniel Morgan’s own son should be banned from proceedings.

Alastair Morgan told me he blames a Home Office cock-up for the delay. Remind me. Who runs the Home Office?

 

17 May (Part 1) - Who is Roesia De Dover anyway?

When the decorated dead tree was photographed on Saturday it was with the ultra-wide angle lens as the object of that day's outing was to grab some shots of 238 Woolwich Road.

A more suitable lens reveals a few more details.
Decorated tree Decorated tree Decorated tree

TQ 47900 78813 is the Ordnance Survey grid reference.

Roesia De Dover.

 

16 May - There cannot be much doubt that they lied

Keeping Bonkers just about afloat while not being allowed to visit friends and the rain never being far away is not easy but it helps to keep the dementia away and amuses a few people. I am told that my dissatisfaction with Bexley Group Practice is not confined to their neglect of my scan results and others have waited much longer than I have.

I have no idea how many people relieve lockdown boredom by looking in here because I don’t bother to collect the statistics but the number of Twitter followers slowly climbs which is odd because I rarely say anything there except mention new blogs. Email contacts have probably not increased by much but there is more critical comment than there used to be. In the same way that Bonkers gives me something to do while life is otherwise on hold maybe the lockdowns provoke others into starting arguments and making demands.

It would appear that I am not yet forgiven for backing Brexit and I shouldn’t so often assume that Bexley Council lies. History suggests that used to be their standard operating procedure but I am asked to prove it. Rather than refer to numerous old blogs, here is something new. Not a new subject but material that wasn’t used at the time. A clear cut case of lying at the top? I think so and several Councillors took the same view.


Firstly please take two minutes to look at this ancient video not seen here before. Bexley’s former Deputy Leader is on TV defending a Council decision to exclude every member of the public from a meeting. One resident had taken an audio recorder to a meeting after Government Minister Eric Pickles said he could.

In summary the Deputy Leader said…


• There’s a small group of people who have a history of disrupting meetings and being abusive.
• The meeting Chairman talked to individuals to try to get them to behave. They absolutely refused to do so.
• A group of people who are being abusive were breaking up the meeting.
• It was obvious from the beginning they were there to disrupt the meeting and not to merely record it.
• They have a history of disruption.
• We allow photography. If you want to film you simply call us on the day to say you would want to film, you don’t even have to give a reason. These individuals did not do that.
• They stuck an iphone about six inches from the face of the Chairman.


Every word was a lie. The Deputy Leader was not at the meeting, someone must have briefed him on what to say. Maybe it was Bexley’s Legal Department who lied with a vengeance. Among many was…

Statement
They sent a similar report to the News Shopper which printed it.

I emailed every Councillor present at the meeting apart from the Chairman to ask if they agreed with the statement made on TV or not. This is the core section of it.


1. Mr. Danny Hackett sat alone in the public gallery and said absolutely nothing and did absolutely nothing throughout the proceedings but was not able to attend the reconvened meeting because it was announced it was to go into ‘Closed Session’.
2. I (Malcolm Knight) sat alone at a table placed no more than five feet from the nearest Councillor, and said nothing, waved no papers and remained in my seat throughout.
3. The four people named above sat together and Mr. Gussman said nothing.
4. Mr. Barnbrook said nothing except that he specifically asked permission to attend the reconvened meeting and was refused.
5. Mr. Bryant said nothing except during the adjournments.
6. Mr. Dowling was polite throughout, never raised his voice and did not put his microphone within six inches of Councillor Bacon’s face or anything remotely similar.
7. Councillor Bacon when directly addressing Mr. Dowling and standing immediately before him while he was seated in the public gallery did not address other members of the public and certainly not Mr. Hackett or myself.
8. That the Closed Session meeting was held in a room that was barricaded from inside, at least initially, to ensure that no member of the public could gain admittance.

May I respectfully request that if you feel able to answer, that each question is either given a yes to indicate your confirmation or you make a comment if your recollections are at variance with my own and some other helpful documents I have in my possession.


One Councillor who had already spoken on the matter was asked an additional question…


9. That you will stand by your earlier statement that members of the public were treated with contempt.


Four Councillors replied comprehensively. Do not assume that none were Conservative.

One reply was Yes to all eight questions and the supplementary Number 9 and confirmed that the door had been initially barricaded to prevent entry.

A second reply confirmed statements one to seven but could not comment on eight because he had his back to the door.

A third confirmed 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 but said so much was going on he could not clearly recall 3, 4 and 5.

The fourth Councillor gave a much longer answer of which this is part. “I can certainly confirm 1-3, 5, 6, 7 and 8. As to 4, I could not be certain that Michael Barnbrook said nothing during the time when there was a conversation between Cheryl Bacon and Nicholas Dowling. There will be a direction telling Members on no account to reply.”

In fact seven more Councillors, all Conservative, did reply with identical texts but preferred to make no comment. Apart from Linda Bailey none of them are Councillors in 2021.

For the record the “We allow photography” comment (on TV) was definitely a lie. Bexley Council once confiscated my camera and another time after repeatedly refusing my requests to take a photograph, refused the suggestion that a Council Officer used my camera to take an approved photograph.

The police investigated these lies and sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS contrived to lose the file and the investigating officer left the police service. Mick Barnbrook who made the criminal complaint never did get an answer.

In a case where eleven Councillors present at the meeting refused to back the statement by the Legal Department and the comments made on BBC TV (both having been briefed by someone else) I think the only possible conclusion is that the Leadership of Bexley Council has a history of serious lying and should always be regarded with suspicion.

Whilst I do not always agree with them politically, Labour Councillors have never been caught out lying, it is solely the preserve of Bexley Conservatives and Council Officers who value their jobs.

 

15 May - A walk in the park

Lesnes Abbey Woods Lesnes Abbey Woods Lesnes Abbey Woods Lesnes Abbey WoodsWhile Bexley Council’s Planning Department was recommending the desecration of Lesnes Abbey Woods (not the Councillors who resisted the retrospective application) another department was planning an arty crafty crown on the top of a dead tree.

Photo 1 is the woods before the trees were ripped out. Photo 4 taken today. “Violators!” (Photo 2.)

Who is the violator at 238 Woolwich Road?

While I was photographing the decorated tree today, not for long, one couple walked by and didn’t raise their gaze. The park is lovely even in a dull day but maybe the signs can be improved. You will have to expand the images below to have any chance of seeing what is at the top of the tree.

Index to related blogs.

Note: Photo 3 by Steve.

Lesnes Abbey Woods Lesnes Abbey Woods Lesnes Abbey Woods Lesnes Abbey Woods

 

14 May (Part 3) - Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group. One bad joke!

Bexley Clinical Commissioning GroupHaving established that Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group’s email address does not work I tried phoning. The 020 number shown on their website is not answered and the 0800 number provides an announcement which says they do not answer phone calls.

So much for “NHS Bexley CCG actively encourages people to share their thoughts and feelings on the healthcare they, or a relative have received. Only by listening to the views of local people can we effectively implement the changes and improvements that are needed to bring improvements to future patients”.

Bexley’s GP services and its CCG are proving themselves to be utterly useless. Not one of their contact methods work.

 

14 May (Part 2) - NHS closed for business

Doctor Nikki Kanani has flipped again. From recommending last September that GPs meet patients in person, to switching to on-line only a couple of months ago, The Daily Telegraph reports today that she is back to favouring proper doctoring.

We are supposed to believe that such people are competent. God help us!

Daily Telegraph Daily Telegraph

Bexley Clinical Commissioning GroupWith Bexley Group Practice not letting me enquire in person following my two ‘urgent’ scans and leaving me in ignorance for a month by not responding to either phone or email, I thought it was time I contacted Bexley’s Clinical Commissioning Group where Doctor Kanani was once its Chief Clinical Officer.

The BCCG helpfully puts its email address on its website. Unfortunately like much of the NHS it doesn’t actually work


Reporting-MTA: dns; smtp1.e.amses.net
X-Postfix-Queue-ID: CFBBC1089B3
X-Postfix-Sender: rfc822;k
Arrival-Date: Fri, 14 May 2021 07:34:37 +0100 (BST)

Final-Recipient: rfc822; Bexccg.contactus@nhs.net
Original-Recipient: rfc822;Bexccg.contactus@nhs.net
Action: failed
Status: 5.4.1
Remote-MTA: dns; nhs.mail.protection.outlook.com
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 5.4.1 All recipient addresses rejected : Access
denied. AS(201806271) [CWLGBR01FT007.eop-gbr01.prod.protection.outlook.com]

 

14 May (Part 1) - Labour Leader Stefano Borella

Stefano BorellaMay I be among the first to congratulate Councillor Stefano Borella on his election to the Leadership of the Labour Party in Bexley so soon after raising the Labour GLA vote in Bexley and Bromley to their highest ever levels?

Stefano will be some way to the left of me politically but I cannot think of an example on Bonkers to prove my case. He has been tireless in his campaigning for local residents against a sometimes unreasonable governing party.

In my experience he has been as honest as the day is long and when Bexley Conservatives and the Council itself circulated false information about me and a number of other residents to justify their slightly unlawful activities it was Stefano who first provided me with a signed statement of support specifying exactly what actually happened. So did some of his colleagues and unlike the support which came from Conservative quarters, he did not chicken out when the police took an interest and requested copies of the supporting statements.

Stefano’s knowledge of the local issues that actually interest residents is unrivalled and he has been the outstanding advocate for transport improvements.

The work involved in combatting a Council that is convinced of its superiority over the opposition and occasionally behaves in the most arrogant manner imaginable will be immense as I am sure outgoing Leader Daniel Francis will have warned him.

Good luck Stef. Keep those Tories on their toes. Maybe they will learn to pronounce your name correctly. Calling you Stefan Borello annoys me more than it should; it happens so often it must be deliberate rudeness.

 

13 May (Part 2) - Democracy stirs from its Covid slumbers

There will be a Full Council meeting in Bexley in two weeks time, the first to be held in the Council Chamber for more than a year. Pity the poor devil who has had to make the arrangements which absolutely must comply with Government regulations however stupid they may be.

CovidBexley’s Covid cases have reached the giddy heights of 30 over the past seven days (14 per 100,000 of population) and 0·2% of tests have shown up as positive.

The 100,000 rate in individual areas comes up with numbers that look strange because none of the wards have anything like that level of population. West Heath scores zero and six more wards are in single figures which will translate to less than one case per ward. East Wickham next door to West Heath scores more highly which probably indicates that the statistics are all a bit random and low enough not to be a worry.

So with Covid levels well below normal flu levels what is Bexley Council forced to do to comply with the regulations? I have attended meetings in the past coughing and spluttering and no one took any notice beyond the occasional kind Councillor fetching me water.

If coming by car Councillors must mask up as soon as they leave it but not use the car park entrance. Front door only but not just any old door, it must be the one on the right. Sanitizer provided.

They must go directly to the Chamber; no nipping off to offices allowed.

Masks off when sitting down, on when standing. How does that work when standing to speak?

At the end of the meeting a socially distanced single file through the rear doors to the car park.

The usual debating area will accommodate 21 Conservatives, six Labour Councillors and the Independent. The excess must sit in the public gallery without the benefit of microphones.

It is all inevitable, given the rules, and almost certainly futile. With the infection rate standing at 14 per 100,000 how many is that out of 45 Councillors plus a handful of senior officers most of whom have been told to stay away?

Will my hope that the Mayor should be given a second crack of the Mace come true and who will lead Labour now that Councillor Francis has called it a day? There must be lots of talent to choose from, after all one Labour Councillor who did not make a huge contribution was deemed to be shadow Cabinet material by Kneel Starmer.

David Leaf looks to be the obvious candidate for Deputy Leader,

Presumably it is pretty safe to assume that no member of the public beyond Councillors’ families will be queuing up to witness the annual ceremonial Mayor selection.

 

13 May (Part 1) - NHS. Not Having Sense

The hopelessly out of touch Welling GP Nikki Kanani has had a well deserved drubbing over the past week in the Daily Telegraph’s correspondence columns for her preposterous assertion that the National Health’s GP Service is operating more or less normally. Clueless doesn’t begin to describe her failure to recognise the truth.

Alison Pearson who wrote the article that caused so many readers to tell their tragic stories returned to the theme yesterday. Telegraph articles are pay-walled but a small section is reproduced below.

Daily Telegraph Daily Telegraph

Jaw dropping.

Today has seen yet more letters from long suffering victims of Nikki Kanani’s complacency.

Daily Telegraph Daily Telegraph

Janet Milliken from Folkestone pretty much sums up the unnecessary difficulty one encounters when trying to get hold of a GP although to be fair it was not very different pre-pandemic.

Eight months ago Kanani was advocating face-to-face appointments, today it has been revealed that they are all but abandoned. (See headline below.)

Daily Telegraph Daily Telegraph

As I said before my own situation is fairly trivial. After being sent for two urgent possible cancer scans in March I still don’t know the result. My surgery is inaccessible. I was turned away at the door but referred to a phone number and an email address. I have had no response from either.

In around 25 years registered at the same surgery I have never seen the same GP twice although with one possible exception they have all been perfectly OK once past the inquisition at the door. The rot seems to have set in after the take over by Bexley Group Practice.

In 2015 it was rated by the Clinical Commissioning Group as “Needs Improvement” over its lack of adequate administrative procedures. No access, no phone contact and email ignored. Maybe the CCG should be reminded that they have not improved.

Note: The GP was very thorough and no doubt right to order two urgent cancer checks on 26th March but I very much doubted his fears would prove to be right in one case and was more optimistic than he was that the second would prove to be OK too, hence me not being unduly worried, but it would be nice to have confirmation. Surely a month is more than enough time to pass on QEH test results? Hiding behind an impenetrable wall of receptionist, phone lines that refer only to the web and an email system that doesn’t work at all is unforgiveable.

 

12 May (Part 2) - The Great Escape

Council Leader Teresa O’Neill emailed every Conservative Party member in the borough yesterday which means that rather a lot of people were free to leak it and a copy ended up in my Inbox. Quite an interesting exercise in positive spin but I am not sure that it would be entirely fair to take great chunks out of it for all to see.

However there is one section which deserves to be widely known…


We will not be drawing on the Capitalisation Order, and, in addition to that we have succeeded in increasing our General Fund reserve by £1m to £13m.

It’s important that you are not misled by spurious tales and know of our fiscal competence.

 

12 May (Part 1) - Suspicious or what?

For those who have followed Alastair Morgan’s campaign to expose police corruption following the murder of his brother Daniel 34 years ago, some worrying news. The Inquiry ordered by Home Secretary Theresa May eight years ago will not now publish its report next Monday as previously announced. No one knows why but those in charge have not been very helpful just recently. They at first banned family members like me from the Family Room to prevent them witnessing the Press Conference - something that is still being contested - and then went further by deferring the whole thing.

Some Twitter accounts have speculated that it will be only a one week deferral but I am assured by those closest to the action that the 24th May is by no means guaranteed.

Alastair has been too busy with journalists in recent days to speak to me but if I were to speculate it would be that some serious redaction is going on. Mrs. May wouldn’t have dreamed of the depths of corruption that has been a fact of life in the Metropolitan Police and if the Investigation Panel has done its job properly they will have exposed some pretty well known names.

I’d guess that the current Home Secretary would not be happy with that, she did after all want to cut the Inquiry short when first appointed.

Meanwhile I am charged with updating the Justice4Daniel website. It has been neglected in favour of Twitter in recent years but may come back into its own when the report is eventually published. Will I ever find higher resolution images more suited to high speed broadband?

 

11 May - Back in Bexley

I really should learn not to offer to do DIY work for people who live 75 miles away. I thought the job would take a full two days but the travelling time and the slowness that comes with old age made a mockery of that. Fortunately someone at Highways England put up ‘Minimise Travel’ notices on most of the motorway gantry signs which helped enormously and the job is now done. A mere five days of sore hands and aching knees.

An added bonus of absenteeism was not being around to feel a little election result comment might be necessary. It seems to me that while the Labour Party plus its own small circle of friends, Guardian journalists, teachers, bishops, heads of quangos protecting their jobs etc. continue with their woke agenda, they are doomed. No one outside their own perpetually loyal group believes in eradicating British history, apologising for it, knocking down statues, knee bending, political policing, mobs threatening death because of a cartoon, 100 different genders and ad infinitum. The vast majority of ordinary folk, many of them in the north, have no time for it and vote accordingly.

FortuneIn the south of England there are some signs of a reverse drift. Our own Stefano Borella notched up more GLA votes than any of his predecessors. Maybe if I had seen his leaflet I would have been tempted. I decided who to vote for only 20 minutes before the deed was done and all four of my choices lost. At least Stef didnְ’t stand within view of my front door, leaflet in hand but not delivering.

I would be tempted to think that both parties had decided to keep me in ignorance for fear of adverse comment but both Dave Tingle (Labour) and Lisa-Jane Moore (Conservative) sent me their leaflets with polite and friendly covering notes. Councillor Lisa Moore is off to a good start on Bonkers.

With the Daniel Morgan Panel due to report in a week’s time maybe I should mention Len Duvall the GLA member for Greenwich and Lewisham. Apart from kind words from the Morgan family’s own constituency MP, Len Duval was the first elected politician to believe that the police might be up to no good. It was him who bit by bit nudged the case upwards from where it crept into the public arena after the Home Office in the shape of Hazel Blears MP had, like her numerous predecessors, cocked a deaf ear when surrounded by Met Police corruption.

The News Shopper’s website still has coverage of Len’s involvement.

Len Duvall is one of very few heroes of the Daniel Morgan case. Even Mick Barnbrook, scourge of bent politicians and coppers, thought he was a good guy after an unplanned meeting while holidaying in the same resort. By the way, Mick has Tweeted that he has been discharged from St. Thomas’ and is back home with his rare heart disease on a pills for life diet. A much better result than seemed likely a month ago.

Back to Bexley politics, I found it nauseating that Conservative Councillors were congratulating others elsewhere who I know without much doubt to be supremely incompetent or possibly corrupt. Perhaps they follow the Hazel Blears school of politics.

Parking issues
I am not sure it is something to be proud of but I do not recall ever paying to park in a Bexley Council car park which in turn means that any money I spend goes outside the borough. I have vague recollections of going into the Mall multi-storey many years ago and the one outside Sainsbury’s more recently but neither are operated by Bexley Council.

When I was new to the borough I bought furniture in Welling and Eltham and in both cases parked without charge in the street outside the shop. Both shops have since closed down.

A correspondent says I am not alone in shopping elsewhere if possible…


I went to Erith today to visit a well known electrical shop. I got to the car park not far away and tried four times using two machines to get a parking ticket with no luck.

A notice suggested I download an app to my 2G mobile phone to get a ticket. Obviously that was not possible so I tried the other way using a standard telephone number but there was no O2 phone signal in the car park.

I know mobile signals can be bad in out of the way places so I grabbed my back up EE phone and got the parking sorted out but there were no signs that said the machines did not work. It also cost me to use the back up phone and frankly the whole thing was a right pain in the rear.

When I eventually got to the shop I told them it was too much hassle driving there and that if in future I needed anything from them requiring a visit, I would make other arrangements. This situation is a shame as the organization concerned is one I have used often and found to very good.

Bexley Council strikes again.


My knowledge of Council car parks is so poor that I don’t know of one in Erith. Morrison’s has one and I do wonder whether my correspondent meant to say Northumberland Heath where the car park is close to an electrical shop. By coincidence I used that car park for three minutes yesterday (see below) but after 6 p.m. when it is free. The cash machines looked to be neglected and dilapidated.

Council Accounts
Bonkers lost its tame accountant several years ago but I am reminded that the period in which Bexley’s accounts will be open to inspection is fast approaching.


• Your chance to discover how much of the Boris loan has been spent.
• Is there enough cash in the bank?
• Is Housing still in crisis?
• Who got the big bonuses and payoffs this year?
• Has BexleyCo made any money?
• Is it really true that Covid wrecked the finances of only one Council in London?
• What was the price of the divorce from Havering and oneSource?
• Is outsourcing worthwhile? Capita, Serco bin strikes, the Mitie mess?


One must be thankful that Bexley poached oneSource’s Finance Director who was making such a resounding success of that organisation.
oneSource


It’s all about me
Norman Dodds HouseAfter Norman Dodds House was revamped in the image of the MP for Erith and Thamesmead some would have said it looked somewhat smarter than before but maybe not any more.

The whole of the front window has been covered with photos of Abena Oppong-Asare and it looks as tacky as Starmer’s front bench.

Norman Dodds House


The end piece
It is nearly a month since Bexley Council withdrew the paper recycling bin from the four houses opposite mine. The Council said it was contaminated and needed to be cleaned. How long can that take London's top recycling borough?

It is four weeks since I had the two emergency scans a GP ordered two weeks earlier but I have heard nothing more. The hospital scan man said my GP would be in touch to tell me the result. He has not and calling in at the surgery and the phone number and email address on display there have got me absolutely nowhere. Anyone know Nikki Kanani’s email address? Someone needs to shake her out of her complacency.

 

7 May (Part 2) - Not in the real world

Alison Pearson who writes a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for me at least she absolutely hit the nail on the head on Wednesday. With illustrations from a bulging postbag she related how the National Health Service has pretty much collapsed. Today’s death at home figures confirm it.

A short extract from her article is shown below left.

If I was to rate the villains of Covid, General Practitioners would top the list followed by the police, SAGE, school teachers and the Government. In every case, SAGE excepted possibly, one must add the proviso “not all of them” but a sizable minority at the very least. They have failed the population to varying degrees.

Welling GP Nikki Kanani begs to differ with Alison and was given space for her reply today. She was my computer programming friend’s doctor in Welling and he spoke highly of her before he died anyway, a loss I feel almost daily.

It may be going too far to say that Nikki talks rot but like all people who rise to hold top positions she will be surrounded by sycophants anxious to please and to quote carefully selected statistics. From almost every quarter I hear similar albeit less traumatic examples of NHS failure.

I waited a year for a telephone consultation but managed to get one face to face in late March. I was fast tracked for two scans as a cancer precaution and QEH didn’t hang about, but the GP certainly has. Not a word.

I called into his surgery in the hope of getting a post-scan verdict but that is not allowed without an appointment. I took note of a telephone number and email address. The phone number refers patients to the web and the email disappears never to be heard of again.

Nikki may be right about the GPs’ practices she is allowed to look at but unfortunately that places her firmly in cloud cuckoo land.

My experience is probably trivial but there can be no doubt that attitudes such as Nikki’s are killing people.

Mick Barnbrook with his rare heart disease neglected for at least nine months was transferred from Ramsgate to St. Thomas’ Hospital a fortnight ago and my conversations with him cause me to be a little less pessimistic for his future than I was. All fingers crossed!

Alsion Pearson NHS nonsense

I have just had a masked man at my door sporting a yellow Bexley jacket asking if I would consider taking a weekly I think he said, Covid test. I told him I would not unless he could convince me that testing the healthy twice vaccinated was anything but a ruse to artificially inflate the number of cases. He didnְ’t even try.

 

7 May (Part 1) - Big mistake!

Exactly 34 years go today i was sitting roughly where I am now awaiting the arrival of the removal van that would complete my transformation from country bumpkin to townie. I had become fed up with 25 years of commuting from Hampshire, the time and the expense. It was possibly the biggest mistake I ever made.

Bexley levied almost the lowest taxation in London, Bromley beat it by a whisker, and the fastest trains took me to London in less than half the time of the fastest from the sticks. My only London based friend lived 20 minutes drive away. Where did it all go wrong?

The train to Charing Cross currently takes more than double the time it did back in 1987 and longer than the fastest to arrive on Platform 9 (usually) at Waterloo Mainline. Bexley Council has been mismanaged from 3rd lowest taxes to 25th lowest and this morning my friend took 50 minutes to come over from just the other side of Chislehurst station.

Can’t be long before I put things into reverse.

 

6 May (Part 4) - Nice people

TweetAiming to prove that Labour really is the nasty party this local Labour activist is determined to tread in the footsteps of Jess Phillips MP.

The same Labour activist who likened me to Owald Mosley’s fascist Brown Shirts last September for suggesting that extreme police violence against elderly female protestors was unacceptable.

It is amazing that the local party is happy to harbour such people within their senior ranks.

A couple of hours ago I voted for four different political parties, none Labour. Probably I am scum.

Guardian

Guardian headline. (19th January 2020.)

 

6 May (Part 3) - Just an ordinary guy

A reader messaged to say he was disappointed not to be able to read “a devastating critique of Sadiq Khan” here today which makes me think I should remind him why this website is here.

I was an ordinary resident just a little bit annoyed by Council uselessness and high taxes until 2009 when I became aware that they could lie on an industrial scale to defend the indefencible and spoke up publicly about it. I soon learned that lying was the tip of an iceberg which masked criminal activity. I could point you to several such incidents.

I am still an ordinary resident except that in twelve years and with the aid of a reasonable memory I learned how Bexley Council can dither, obfuscate and when their own memory fails happily contradict themselves as they attempt to have their cake and eat it.

I also learned that some Councillors are very nice people aiming to do their best for the community and the extraordinarily dishonest ones are with maybe the odd exception, long gone.

Twice in the last couple of years I have announced that Bonkers is to cease publishing forthwith and twice I have been reminded that it should continue because Bexley no longer has a source of local news. Its ‘local’ newspaper comes from Basildon and takes its stories from Facebook and Press Releases. I know of no other source of Council news but with public meetings cancelled until 26th May there is little of it here either. Fairly trivial fill-ins are the order of the day. For the most part it is to pass the time while Boris Johnson condemns me to solitude. If it amuses anyone at all it is a small bonus but there is no compulsion to read it.

Bonkers carries no adverts, attempts to avoid indexing by Google (<meta name="robots" content="noindex">), except in January it includes no Cookies (so I have no up to date idea how large the readership may be) and does its best generally to be ‘low key’.

Until five-ish years ago Council critics were liable to have their collars felt. There have been at least five occasions when a Councillor has walked into a police station and demanded that a critical resident is arrested and the police dutifully jumped to attention. Not all were arrested but the exceptions were warned that would change if the criticism continued.

I thought that had come to a stop but another came to my attention in recent months. I have my doubts that it will ever be un-embargoed but it is naive to believe that politics is not corrupt and while it remains so Bonkers will probably be kept ticking over. Just don’t expect the sort of “devastating critiques” that you might read in a national newspaper. Here you will get a mixture of serious Council news when it happens and not a few pot-boiling rants from someone who finds it difficult to accept the depths to which this country has sunk.

For the record all the out and out disreputables alluded to above came from the same political party - and it wasn’t Labour.

 

6 May (Part 2) - Keep Greenwich safe

Two weeks ago Council Leader Teresa O’Neill said that as soon as the plastic adverts had been applied, a ‘bus’ would be deployed across Bexley to encourage the vaccine reluctants to have the jab. The borough of Bexley is being interpreted rather liberally. This week the bus has spent a lot of time in Abbey Wood Sainsbury’s car park - that's Greenwich - and when I have passed by doing zero business.

In its defence it is close to the main route from Thamesmead East to the nearest railway station but who is going to make the diversion if there is no one out to bang the Covid drum?
Bexley's Covid bus
It is still there today.

 

6 May (Part 1) - Labour MP bids to make hers the nasty party

Jess Phillips MP. Human crapI woke up after a restless night with mind still not settled on the preferred candidates for today’s elections.

Then top of the Tweet pile was this poisonous bilge from Labour MP Jess Philips. Mind instantly made up.

My politically active friend from yesterday was right. Anyone who votes Labour today will be supporting twisted minds like that of failed Labour leadership contender Jess Phillips.

Thanks to too many people like her the party deserves to die.

Have some more of Jess’s gems…
Jess Phillips MP. Human crap

Jess Phillips. Tolerated as an MP. Labour, attracting all the nasty people.

 

5 May - One lost vote

Daily Mail headlineThe local Tories are either not serious about beating Khan tomorrow or they are just plain stupid. The two Tweets below make me think it is the latter.

The polling stations are due to open in fewer than 12 hours time and I have yet to see a single Mayoral or GLA election leaflet. I know the Tories came down my road very nearly a month ago and my suspicion is that they simply went straight past my door - but then so too must the Labour lot presumably.

Now Councillor Read Tweets that every household in my area has been given a Bailey and Fortune leaflet. It simply isn’t true.

I might have dithered enough over my chosen candidate to vote for Peter Fortune if he or Read had bothered to wander up my garden path but it’s too late now.

Just as I was thinking about two alternative candidates this morning and wondering who should be the number one choice and who might be number two the phone rang and a politically aware friend asked if I had come to a voting decision yet.

I said “No” and the response was that he/she didn’t blame me because “all our politicians are shit”. Then I was dared to post the comment here. It’s a bit extreme but maybe he has a point.

Am I alone in thinking that Philip Read in a hat looks rather too much like George Galloway?

Tweet Tweet

Councillor Read is still in breach of Bexley’s Code of Conduct by blocking me on Twitter for no reason. As you can see his decision is futile.

 

4 May (Part 2) - Bacon attack on Mayor Khan

I have been asked to post a video of Gareth Bacon MP (and Bexley Councillor for the next two days) expertly demolishing the appalling Sadiq Khan who responds by lying as if he thinks he is Boris Johnson.

Normally I would think twice about using precious web space on more video especially as a near identical edit has been on BiB before but if it helps reduce Khan’s votes by even one…

If I thought we had a worthy successor to Gareth Bacon at the GLA I might be persuaded to vote for him, but since I know absolutely nothing about Peter Fortune I will not.

Khan is an unbelievable little cretin isn’t he? How does he get elected? Oh, I think we know! London is lost.

 

4 May (Part 1) - Four failures

Planning Departments. Definitely not fit for purpose
DestructionFollowing yesterday’s revelation that the existence of the concrete bunker at 238 Woolwich Road has been condoned following appeal the next door neighbour stated that it was allowed because it was felt “the development doesn’t have enough of an adverse effect on neighbours”. What sort of lunatic came to that conclusion?

The neighbour had to leave their home thanks to the developer and the lunatic plus those in Bexley’s Planning Department who recommended the retrospective application for approval.

The Planning Committee members (Councillors) were powerless to stop the wrecking of the woodland. One might ask, what is the point of democracy when individual dictators in Bexley and Bristol can overrule them?


The election
Voting cardIt is either proof that the Covid panic is well and truly over or that those who govern us are bonkers but on Thursday I am invited to enter the nearby old peoples’ home to cast a vote for someone who might be slightly less bad than the other lot.

Casting the family circle quite widely I am related to three ladies in care homes, two dementia one not, whose spouses have not until very recently been able to visit them at all and a year ago were being deliberately put in harm’s way by a government that thought it was a good idea to export Covid infected patients into their homes.

One of the aforesaid ladies was given no chance of survival from her Covid in April 2020 but her two children were refused permission to see her. Miraculously she did survive but a year later her children are still not permitted to see her. If the care home rules haven’t prevented it the travelling and overnight stay rules have.

I am not sure which of my two voting rules to apply on Thursday. One is never vote for anyone who cannot be bothered to pitch their case via a leaflet through my letterbox. None have so should I simply stay at home?

The other rule is Covid related. I will not vote for anyone whose leader is a spineless liar. It goes further, I will not vote for any party that employs Boris Johnson, Priti Patel or Michael Gove in a senior position.

Patel has shown her true colours by backing unlawful police action and the spineless one has dictated that I have not been able to legally see any close family member since 1st February last year when there was a dual birthday celebration.

Tweet Tweet

Messages of dubious worth.

I saw my son and daughter during a minor relaxation of the rules last September but including my granddaughter the number of us reached seven. Boris Johnson would label me a criminal. At Christmas I was unable to see them again but instead made a day trip to have dinner with my sister. Something that Johnson allowed if family lived within walking distance or one of them owned a car. Buses and trains not being an option on Christmas Day.

I packed my pyjamas and made use of them. I am a criminal again. Three times in the past year I have mended by daughter's computer or phone line. BT changed her number by accident and caused chaos. I became a triple criminal in order to keep her working from home.

Some people have suffered far worse than I have because Johnson is happy to inflict maximum pain for minimal gain. Not once has he been able to provide evidence that masks, social distancing, scotch eggs, ten o’clock curfews and similar nonsense work or have a significant impact.

The news media points us towards India which spent its money on space exploration instead of health facilities and not Florida where they did both. It’s been psychological warfare which has up to a point succeeded. (“I can never eat from someone else’s plate ever again.” God help us!)

All the evidence points to the vaccinations being the reason for Covid effectively going away in this country. Johnson denies it and insists on me being isolated from distant family for another seven weeks. I have heard of five Covid related suicides of people who had some sort of tenuous relationship with myself but applying the same relationship standard to Covid deaths; only two. One definitely contracted in hospital.

I will never forgive Johnson and his unthinking cronies for any of that. Who will get my cross on Thursday? Still thinking about it right now but not Khan or Binface.


Recycling abandoned
It is now two weeks since Bexley Council withdrew the recycling bin which serves the four houses opposite mine. They really donְ’t care do they?


Health care abandoned
On 26th March I managed to get a telephone call from a Consultant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital over something which should have been checked twice in the previous year but wasn’t. I was referred to my GP and after jumping through the inevitable obstructive hoops was seen on the 30th. He ordered urgent scan appointments for two different things and appeared to be more worried about them than than I was.

Two weeks and a day later (14th April) I was in QEH for the two scans and told that the GP would be in touch. Has he Hell? Absolutely nothing from Bexley Group Practice and their e-consult booking system doesn’t make provision for enquiries such as mine.

Small beer in the grand scheme of things, I still don’t think my problem is as bad as the cautious doctor may have imagined but it is another illustration of government failure to realise that Covid is not a worse killer than cancer and heart disease. And as my friend Mick Barnbrook revealed on Twitter this morning he is still in hospital four weeks after emergency admission following at least nine months of neglect. It has put his life in serious danger. According to an earlier @sleazebuster Tweet he is suffering from Loeffler endocarditis. Look it up. Very nasty. Good luck Mick.

 

3 May - Bexley Council’s Planning Department. Not fit for purpose

When I was a little ’un in an age when street fights rarely got beyond a shouting match we had a small armoury of favoured slogans. “It’s a free country.” “Sticks and stones will break our bones but words will never hurt me” and “Cheats never prosper”.

It was an age of innocence.

Seventy years on and Britain is well on the way to not being a free country, the police are more interested in hurtful words than violence and cheats do prosper over and over again. Here’s one example among several in Bexley right now…

Apart from new readers I am sure everyone will remember the desecration of Lesnes Abbey woods by a rogue building developer. It was first brought to notice here two and a half years ago.

There were subsequently tussles with the Planning Committee over a retrospective application. Every Councillor condemned what had been done to a garden on the fringe of the woods but eventually they were beaten down by a Planning Department that worked against them and let down the whole borough. The occupant of the house next door to the concrete bunker that emerged from the woods two years ago provided a situation update on Facebook yesterday and it is reproduced here with permission of the author.


Hello - I live next door to the development on Woolwich Road visible from the main road, houses and woods. Long post, sorry. I posted in 2018 in response to many enquiries about what was happening in the back garden of the property. I have been asked to provide an update and am happy to do so. A potted history:

1. 2018 - Retrospective permission for the works was denied; in part thanks to locals’ objections and the Councillors who unanimously opposed the works.

2. Developer appealed to the Planning Appellate in Bristol; denied.

3. Second application for retrospective permission was submitted by the developer that only addressed a small portion of the illegal work onsite, namely the highest corner of the concrete slab; the Planning department recommended these plans for approval but this was again denied because a majority of local Councillors opposed the plans after a site visit.

4. Developer appealed for a second time to Bristol; this time the appeal was upheld. The developer is now free to retain the works in the garden with the exception of the removal of the highest corner of the concrete slab. This obviously does not come close to the outcome the neighbours had hoped for. I’m sure the local residents and people who use the woods recreationally who were so shocked by the changes at the site are very disappointed too.

Running concurrently to these Planning issues was an Enforcement Notice to remove every element of the works. This was not carried out, so a Court date was in place but was postponed for a couple of different reasons.

Puzzlingly, the Planning Department recommended the second round of plans for approval at the same time the Enforcement case for the REMOVAL of all works onsite was being pursued in the Courts. No satisfactory explanation as to how these two outcomes could possibly reconcile was ever given. We were reassured time and time again that they were completely separate issues. But as soon as the planning permission was granted, yes, you guessed it, the Enforcement case was quietly dropped with zero explanation.

It has been three years of hell and we were so very grateful for the support we received from the community. We found living at the property too painful and have now moved away. However, we retain links to the area and are still on this Facebook page! We are aware work has started there again. Only time will tell what kind of outcome this will bring. I’m sorry not to be able to bring you better news.
Lesnes woods before Lesnes woods after

Before and after.


Development site history.

 

1 May - Norman’s back and someone’s not happy

I had hoped we’d seen the last of this subject but I have received a complaint of “spreading false information” and for good measure the phrase is repeated.

The subject matter is Norman Dodds House.

I have reviewed every word written over four days and changed just one. Labour activist has become Labour Party member because I realised that activist was an assumption on my part. I’ve already admitted that the story about my 229 bus ride was an invention to mask the identity of the informer but apart from that everything is a careful reflection of the news - gossip if you insist - that came in uninvited.

What I find significant about this episode is that over time three people contacted me about the loss of historical signage. Why would they do that? I can only think they had no response or had one they didn’t like from within the party.

All three were happy to give their names and reply email addresses. All three had been in touch at least once before so had gained some sort of credibility and one would be known to everyone who reads this blog regularly.

They were not nobodies and did not ask for anonymity although perhaps they know me well enough to assume it would be given without asking.

The complainant used the anonymous contact facility and claims to be an activist. Maybe he is right and the Norman Dodds face lift was part of a long term planned building upgrade. Maybe it would have been done quicker and aroused less discontent if a local signwriter was used instead of one from Bromley.

The self-confessed activist may be right and my informants may be the “jealous resentful activists” he claims they are but I hesitate to fully accept Mr. Anon’s opinion of people that I’ve known of for quite a long time.

The question remains. Why did Labour members send their stories and photos to me? Surely it must indicate some sort of division in the party ranks and Mr. Anon slagging them off sort of confirms it. Doesn’t it?

 

News and Comment May 2021

Index: 20202021

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