I get used to being the only member of the public listening to Bexley
council press on with its mission to bring the borough ever closer to a characterless
dictatorship and by the end of yesterday evening it was pretty much business as
usual. Me, one or two others, and 45 councillors intent on demonstrating how
nasty and vindictive they can be.
But the meeting didn’t start that way. It began with me, 50 or 60 Splash Park supporters and 45 councillors demonstrating how nasty and vindictive they can be.
Anna Firth bottom right, Ronie Johnson, UKIP, Erith & Thamesmead PPC, top left
As well as a large deputation of Splash Park supporters being present, so was Erith & Thamesmead’s Conservative candidate Anna Firth who has joined the Splash Park campaign with indisputable enthusiasm. As one of our councillors said to me yesterday “she has played a blinder of a campaign” and while I expect she has upset a few of her rivals along the way, no one could deny she very rapidly became high profile on social media.
The full council meeting was a very good one. Too often I sit at this keyboard struggling for words to adequately describe what I have seen the night before. It would be easier if I more often strayed towards the language of the school bus but to do that too often might dilute the message.
It would be easy to dismiss Bexley Conservatives as a bunch of crooks but I try not to because some of them aren’t - there's err, well believe me, one or two are OK; but more importantly readers who haven’t seen Bexley’s Conservative council on top form might not believe a word of it. Can any council really be that bad?
So last night was from my point of view an extremely good meeting. If I lazily describe Bexley’s Conservatives as a bunch of crooks in future I know that there will be 50, 60, 70, or whatever their number was, of Belvedere based parents who will nod their heads in agreement.
Throughout the meeting there were incidents, of, to borrow the words of a UKIP councillor from last night, pure vindictiveness.
Time after time all the Tory hands went up to block a perfectly reasonable opposition request. The mayor wouldn’t allow an obvious error in some old minutes to be corrected, the Tories voted against extra time to discuss a motion after 15 minutes had been lost due to the meeting starting later than usual and they voted against paying the living wage. The nasty party lives and thrives in Bexley.
Early on in the meeting I felt I wanted to collar Anna Firth after the meeting to ask her if she was proud to be associated with such a disreputable bunch of, what’s the word I am looking for? “Scumbags”, yes that’ll do, but she buzzed off back to Sevenoaks long before the end.
There will no doubt be more on last night’s meeting after I have properly listened to the recording. Meanwhile for the latest news there is always the campaign’s Facebook page and for extra and maybe better photos there is Brian Barnett’s picture gallery.