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News and Comment May 2012

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28 May - Local Government Ombudsman. Useless as usual

Will Tuckley Teresa O'Neill CS Dave StringerAs predicted, Helen Bingham, investigator for the Local Government Ombudsman has ruled that anyone, including Bexley council, is at liberty to report anybody to the police for any offence real or imaginary and it is up to the police to weed out the malicious, the misguided and the mistaken. It is a quite persuasive argument in some ways but every cloud has a silver lining and Ms. Bingham’s response provides yet another insight into the corruption and lies upon which Bexley council is built.

Ms. Bingham confirms the LGO’s inbuilt bias by refusing to countenance that reporting the messenger to the police rather than the source or perpetrator is wrong in principle and she is dismissive of any suggestion that such logic would lead to news media being accused of murder every time they report some lunatic with a knife. She similarly fails to see any weakness in Bexley council’s defence argument to her.

Bexley council said they thought Hugh Neal’s comment on his own blog about pitchforks and flaming torches and my friend’s comment about petrol bombs were “tantamount to incitement to violence and there was a duty of care on the council to its members, officers and members of the public”. Note the order of priority.

Let us assume there is a ready supply of pitchforks, flaming torches and jerry-cans in Bexley and an army of revolting peasants willing to carry them. Also that one is sufficiently gullible as to accept that Bexley council truly believed they were about to come under siege and went to Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer convinced by their own cock and bull story. Given that CS Stringer sent a raiding party to Olly Cromwell’ house fewer than 48 hours after councillors Bauer and Seymour made their false police statement about dog faeces and letterboxes you would think he would have an armed response unit outside my house within minutes of a genuine threat of flaming torches and bombs. But no, it was five weeks before the postman came around with a Harassment letter.

There is no way that Bexley council’s response to the Local Government Ombudsman can be true. They went to the police with the sole intention of hatching an illegal plot to have members of the public silenced in whatever way their policemen friends might suggest. Bexley council lies non-stop. The police at the time with their history of taxpayer funded dinners with Bexley council were at their beck and call.

Not to be forgotten is that Tuckley and O’Neill deliberately gave the police the wrong names, Olly’s and mine. This blog made no secret of where the original comments came from, it was entitled ‘Arthur Pewty’s Maggot Sandwich’ and Olly Cromwell’s blog and Twitter account were entirely free of any mention of the impending inferno. Olly was just a man who had turned up out of the blue the previous week armed with nothing more dangerous than a mini-DV camera and a copy of Eric Pickles’s Department’s letter about the need to welcome citizen journalists to council meetings. He wasn’t even breaking any council rule, Bexley council had yet to raise two fingers in Pickles’ direction by changing their Constitution.

Helen Bingham of the LGO has concluded that Bexley was not “unreasonable or perverse” when, worried stiff about their impending incineration, they decided it might suit their agenda better if they passed the wrong names to the police. They are all in it together. The police, however, may no longer be.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has acknowledged that issuing the Harassment warnings to both Olly and me broke every rule in their Standard Operating Procedures. That what Bexley council reported to the police was entirely lawful activity and no offence had been committed. But on the other hand, Helen Bingham has ruled that Bexley council can report anything or anybody to the police on the merest whim if they should see fit. Watch yourself, don’t walk by the Civic Centre without stopping to prostrate yourself before our lords and masters. Upsetting them could prove disastrous. Look where Olly ended up.


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