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News and Comment July 2012

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24 July - The Obscene Blog. A daily diary

Melvin Seymour and Sandra BauerAfter these two Bexley councillors invented their story about “dog faeces” and “letter boxes” and persuaded their police servants to swallow the lie, it took just two days for a Bexley resident to be arrested and charged. Ultimately it led to a criminal record and this blog and others found itself unprepared for the media interest. It took several days to cobble together a chronology of events and meanwhile quite a lot of misinformation was disseminated.

With the possibility of more media interest in the months to come I don’t intend to be caught unprepared again. The issue, as you will have guessed, being that of Bexley council’s obscene blog.

Unlike when Bexley councillors spin a story to the police there has been no instant flurry of activity. Bexley council’s crime was committed 14 months ago and still the matter is unresolved, although it has advanced somewhat since the former Borough Commander said that “all enquiries have been exhausted” together with an assurance that the blog was “not generated from a Bexley council computer”. Without pressure from two MPs, there the case may have rested. Thanks to them we now have “an individual arrested” but not yet named or charged.

It has been a long road, there have been false trails laid, inaccurate accusations and lots of letters. For their dilatory approach and statements last year, some former Bexleyheath police officers now find themselves accused at the highest level of neglect of duty and bias towards Bexley council. The police whitewash machine has already been readied for action but a counter attack has been launched against it. The details of that must remain under wraps for a while but there is no longer any reason why most of the story cannot be provided in a media friendly fashion. Later today a new Home page providing a ‘day by day’ account of the blog investigation will go on line and advised via the RSS feed.

It wouldn’t be true to say it contains nothing that hasn’t already been revealed in this blog, because it does. There have been times when blogs have been vague about dates for a variety of reasons which are no longer valid, so the new ‘diary’ can be precise. There is more new than that but what you will not learn is the name of Bexley’s obscene blogger. Until the police provide a name and say it is OK to publish it that is the way things must stay and so far they have done neither. As you will learn from the ‘diary’, circumstantial evidence has led me well and truly up the garden path in the past but I am hoping my antennae are more finely tuned this time around.

I think what puzzles me most about the culprit is that (s)he left the blog on line for more than two weeks before pulling it. Surely if one does something that stupid, under the influence of alcohol or a mind altering drug perhaps, then next day, having sobered up, you’d realise just how stupid you have been and wipe it all away as soon as you can? Did the culprit not have a moment of sanity in the whole of those two weeks?

Note dated 17th August 2012. At an appeal hearing where both Seymour and Bauer were called as witnesses and cross examined it became clear that it was Seymour who had dishonestly exaggerated the content of the Tweet in order to attempt a miscarriage of justice and Bauer had merely sent him a copy and took no part in its embellishment.


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