When you are kept awake through the night by the flu or Kent Police one’s
mind can stray into strange territories, one was the widespread assumption that
Bonkers relies on a lot of leaks from mouthy Councillors.
I know of one Conservative Councillor who was hauled before Teresa O’Neill’s Kangaroo Court after she was seen talking to me in the Council Chamber and given a very rough time indeed for doing so. It was so severe that her husband told me about it presumably because he wanted me to very aware of the consequences of a friendly conversation. My own Councillor Danny Hackett was warned by a Bexley Council Director that he should not talk to me. Danny appears to have ignored him.
Things may have become more relaxed since then but I am still accused of gathering embarrassing information from talkative Councillors and it just isn’t true. I compiled a few statistics.
4 • Labour Councillors with whom I have never exchanged a single word on anything.
4 • Labour Councillors with whom the conversation has never gone beyond “hello, how are you”.
5 • Labour Councillors who I could email without going through their @bexley.gov.uk addresses. (Excludes Danny Hackett since he changed jobs two months ago!)
3 • Conservative Councillors who I could email without going through their @bexley.gov.uk addresses.
3 • UKIP Councillors who I could email without going through their @bexley.gov.uk addresses.
1 • Councillor other than current and past married couples whose spouses’s names are known to me. (Conservative.)
1 • Councillors whose car I might recognise - I know the make and type. (Conservative.)
1 • Councillors whose spouse’s car I might recognise - I know the make and type. (Conservative.)
0 • Councillors’ addresses known to me without looking them up. (Two I have an idea within half a dozen houses because I occasionally pass them by. One from each main party.)
2 • Councillors who I have bumped into in the street by chance and who have been happy to engage in friendly Council related conversation. One from each main party.
2 • Councillor mobile phone numbers on my mobile Contact list. One is Danny Hackett’s and the other was last used in April 2015.
1 • The number of home landline phone numbers (with name) registered on my landline telephone’s memory. (Conservative.)
1 • The number of work phone numbers (with name) registered on my landline telephone’s memory. (Conservative.)
1 • The number of mobile phone numbers (with name) registered on my landline telephone’s memory. (Conservative.)
4 • Councillors who have Direct Messaged me on Twitter. One UKIP, one Conservative, two Labour.
2 • The number of Councillors who have knocked on my door and been invited in. Twice in one case.
1 • The number of Councillors who I have met to discuss Council matters on neutral ground. (Conservative.)
1 • The number of anonymous brown envelopes that have been sent to my address. (Plus one which came via Michael Barnbrook’s address.)
Perhaps I should repeat that Danny Hackett is my own local Councillor.
I don’t know about you but the list does not look very impressive to me. I have been directly accused - in a friendly way - by a Cabinet Member of feeding off of Labour Councillors’ leaks but the buggers say almost nothing. As the statistics show, more than half of them might as well be mute as far as I am concerned.
I don’t think I have ever received a useful leak although some Councillors have tried to influence Bonkers editorially. Both Conservative and both made their case well in my opinion.