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Bonkers Blog August 2019

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8 August - A one sided conversation. Anonymous messages

It’s been said before that allowing anonymous messages via the Contact page is a mixed blessing; if the subject matter doesn’t get an airing here because it is judged to be of minor interest it risks alienating the sender and perhaps not getting something important on a later occasion.

Rather too often, plausible stories come without supporting evidence and there are limits to what can be put on line unchecked and sometimes senders appear to be a little upset if a modicum of poetic licence is employed. I confess to sometimes not being entirely honest with the stated sources in a possibly lame attempt to protect them from identification. If someone claims to be in the thick of the action and choses to blow the whistle I am not likely to reveal their position. Firstly their claim might not be true but when the likelihood is that it is absolutely so it becomes even more important to fib about sources.

Anyway here’s a little round up of a selection of fairly recent anonymous messages, those that I can remember. Apologies if yours has been missed. I’ll start with one that did come with supporting evidence.

Post Offices
Councillor Richard Diment has a bee in his bonnet about Post Office closures and somebody needs to have one. I’m sure that closing so many of the borough’s Post Offices is a serious inconvenience to many although I am perhaps too typical in not having the need of one since I bought my last lot of Christmas stamps. Maybe closures are a good excuse not to send any more.

The anonymous informant wished to remind me that Bexley Council actually owns a Post Office and the evidence can be seen in the Asset Register. They bought it for a reported £925,000 a year ago, seven times the price the previous owner paid. There will be some strategic property wangling going on.

Members Register of Interests
The Councillors’ Register of Interests went off line five months ago. I complained to the Council about it and I asked my local Councillor to enquire but nothing came of either. It’s illegal not to have it available so one would think that Bexley Council would sort the problem out quickly.

Eventually I forgot about it.

An anonymous correspondent says that the Register has just come back on line. He also says that Councillor Wildman whose addresses both before and after election has posed a minor mystery is still at 12 Embassy Court; but he has changed his job. Companies House says he changed jobs in September 2018. This is perhaps getting close to trivia!

Council Accounts
When Bonkers relied on a small band of helpers this one would have come up long ago, but now there is no time for it.

The message says that the reserves went down by £15 million last year which is three times as much as in the previous year. The author blames it on recruiting a Finance Director from the Socialist Republic of Newham but I’m not sure that is entirely fair. My recollection is that he came from the jointly operated OneSource, the dysfunctional organisation which made such a mess of billing me for my aunt’s respite care. He may even have gone there from Bexley in the first place.

The message sender worries about future Council Tax rates as do we all but maybe accounting will be in trouble before then because he alleges that Bexley’s auditors failed to meet their 31st July deadline. Draft Accounts. It was probably mentioned at the recent Audit Committee meeting but I didn’t go. Usual excuses apply.

Homes in Multiple Occupation
Maybe I shouldn’t cover this one, it needs to be referred to an earlier blog which I cannot find or maybe never got around to writing. However my correspondent again refers to more than a dozen similar house purchases (Band A three beds converted to flats) all being completed on the same day and all at the same price, well two different prices actually but still suspicious. He points his finger at Bexley Council going about its business of forcing up house prices and making a fortune from the additional Council Tax. But it may be no better than an informed guess.

If I ever find the missing info I may expand on this.

“One evil woman”
I wonder who this anonymous correspondent was referring to? Clue. It is not a current Councillor.

Former Council Leader Ian Clement
He misappropriated Bexley’s cash and did the same to London Mayor Boris Johnson’s, what’s he doing now? Not a word about his jail sentence.

Thanks for an anonymous message backed up with hard evidence.

“That pair of shits”
Someone was talking about the goings on in Thurrock again. Not sure I learned anything new from that message apart from allegations I dare not publish. I suppose it is a fair enough description when so many children have died both north and south of the river.

The same correspondent alleges that from 11th July 2016 Thurrock’s Director of Social Services was also a Councillor for the same authority having been appointed by their Monitoring Officer. Again no evidence that I have been able to track down.

Out in the open - Just
TwitterI’m ending on something which is not anonymous but the writer didn’t want me to see it. Bonkers is blocked from following his Twitter Account and I missed it.

Someone I know well came to the rescue.

After the row in Council last month over the criticism the Local Government Ombudsman directed at Bexley, the Conservative’s propaganda machine had to be cranked up to full speed.

Their main effort was directed towards an unreachable goal, that is to blame the Labour Group for their misapplication of the law or failing that, at the very least, to obfuscate the truth.

More than one of their attack dogs said that Labour Leader Daniel Francis should apologise for making three misleading statements.

I have listened to what Daniel said several times and I would accept that a case could be made, albeit a not very conclusive one, that he overstepped the mark once during an impassioned statement - but three times?

I haven’t a clue what the Tories are rabbiting on about. Does anyone or has their spin machine have no scruples at all?

I think that some of their authors are such accomplished liars that they no longer know when they are doing it.


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