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News and Comment November 2011

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22 November - Well out of order - Click image to read why James Cleverly is ‘well out of order’

James CleverlyIf I had known in advance that Ken Livingstone was speaking in the United Reform Church in Geddes Place at the same time as the police meeting in the Civic Centre I may have gone there instead. I’d heard he was in Welling earlier listening to the same widespread discontent with Bexley council that he could have read here. The Bexley Community Policing Engagement Group meeting was a friendly and informal affair with no real connection to Bexley council. Chief Superintendent Stringer said Bexley has 4·19 crimes per month per thousand of population. Seems a lot but the London average is 9·55. The before and after contact with the audience proved more interesting to me.

There was a complaint that Bonkers cannot be read at public libraries, a councillor (†) said that Bexley council’s obscene blog wasn’t a crime and Chief Inspector Ian Broadbridge when offered a Bonkers flyer said "Oh, Olly Cromwell’s blog”. None of them have got a clue, no wonder Chief Inspector Gowen named Bonkers on his list of forthcoming prosecutions - and still not apologised for it. I had hoped to ask him why but he slipped away too quickly.

The silliest comment came from Bexley’s London Assembly Member James Cleverly. He said Bonkers is “Well out of order”. Not Bexley council’s dishonesty and criminality is well out of order, it’s their critics who are at fault according to the man we chose to represent us at County Hall. Another politician with a totally distorted sense of morality. Couldn’t have been worse if I had gone to see Ken.

One thing that was said at the meeting needs to be reported. In response to a question from Elwyn Bryant, Borough Commander Stringer said the investigation into the obscene blog was still continuing. A surprise to me because I have a letter saying it’s ended, documents from Olly Cromwell saying it was not being proceeded with and just to confuse things, an email from Stringer himself saying he does not know one way or the other. Why can’t Stringer keep us informed? All the evidence and signed statements from Bexleyheath police to say nothing is happening has led to strong criticism of Stringer from me, now I have to consider whether it was wrong. On the other hand, if the investigation is still in progress why was Elwyn allowed to request a copy of the file and be told a month later that it was not in the public interest to reveal it? If the file is still active the correct course of action would be to reject the request at the outset. Something doesn’t add up.

I wouldn’t entirely dismiss the idea that the file has been reopened and it is Elwyn or me being investigated to see if they can pin anything on us and let councillors (or their accomplices) go free. Down in Sussex things aren’t much different. A Conservative activist there Tweeted that a journalist was a whore and the police refused her complaint. She said the police adopt a selective crime fighting policy. I won’t argue with that.

† He said he was a councillor but I didn’t recognise him and even after looking at their pictures I’m not totally sure with my identification. So no name until I am.


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