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Bonkers Blog April 2011

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17 April (Part 2) - Hang ‘em and flog ‘em

Not my words of course, I might get arrested for them, but from the Daily Mail when reporting a speech by the wife of councillor Alex Sawyer (Northumberland Heath, £9,543).

I’ve a feeling this blog will be long and wide ranging; blame it on ex-councillor Leaf who connived with Bexley councillors to restrict residents’ question time at the meeting on 6th April, for it is he who prompted the enquiries which have led to today’s jottings. When I got home that evening I Googled David Leaf and found he was still claiming to be councillor for Belvedere. “Welcome to Cllr David Leaf’s Website”. I should have taken a copy for it had gone two days later, but Google’s cache came to the rescue.

From that undemocratic episode flowed information that ex-councillor Leaf was research assistant to Priti Patel, Conservative MP for the very safe seat of Witham, Essex and then the revelation that she is married to Alex Sawyer, councillor for Northumberland Heath.

Ms. Patel gives every impression of being a proper Conservative, not the namby-pambies most are now, almost indistinguishable from any other main-stream politician. At her Witham constituency selection committee meeting in 2006 she wowed her inquisitors and trounced the candidate who was favourite to win, one James Brokenshire. Can’t say I am surprised. I have a friend who is a Ugandan Asian (‘morning Tariq) and to listen to him you’d think he is more British than I am. Ms. Patel comes from the same mould. “I said I would never vote for the euro because I want to see a Britain that is governed by the British for the British.”

So Priti is no Liberal Democrat, good for her, we need a choice of politicians not uniform colourless nonentities, but is she, excuse me, whiter than white? Her website says…
Priti's address
She lives with her husband and son in the heart of her new constituency Witham? How many husbands has she got? The husband we know about says something entirely different on the Bexley council website…

Alex Sawyer says he lives in Welling. This may not be a scandal of Daily Telegraph Expense File proportions but both can’t be right. But did you expect the truth? Probably not.

Alex's addressJames Brokenshire must have been very upset by being shoved aside by Essex Man in favour of the aptly named Priti. Essex Man said of him, “James was slick but he tried to be too clever by qualifying every statement, whereas Priti jumped straight in and told them what they wanted to hear”. Qualifying statements and by implication sitting on the fence. Sound familiar?

The Queen Mary Hospital campaigner John Hemming-Clark, labelled Brokenshire a liar which I thought was more than a bit OTT on the evidence available but there is not much doubt that James Brokenshire MP faces an uphill struggle to prevent the demise of Queen Mary’s. He was quoted in the News Shopper of 30th March 2011 as saying he is pressing for Queen Mary’s to be taken out of the South London Healthcare Trust’s hands and two weeks later (12th April) the Trust says (I have the letter) “Queen Mary’s Sidcup is one of South London Healthcare NHS Trust’s main sites. There are no plans for this to change”. I think the MP is probably living up to the reputation he earned at the Witham selection meeting. Qualifying everything and facing both ways at once. He’s in a difficult position, facing an angry electorate and looking over his shoulder for his ministerial career. It would be surprising if the odd fib didn’t pass his lips. In fact I know they do.

When one of his constituents pressed him for an appointment to discuss his Queen Mary concerns he found all the MP’s surgery time had already been booked, but five minutes later James happily made an appointment with a substitute constituent hastily arranged by the first one. Is no one honest any more?

With thanks to ex-councillor Leaf and his co-conspirators for being instrumental in exposing the Sawyer/Patel link and the unusual stated living arrangements.


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