Sunday, 31 January 2010

An Open Letter to all West Shoebury residents

In an article in last weeks Yellow Advertiser, Cllr Mike Assenheim, in neighbouring Shoeburyness Ward, tried to politicise routine maintenance works in North Shoebury Road which is, incidentally, in West Shoebury ward.

The Independent Party in Shoeburyness took camapigning to a new low when Cllr Assenheim shamefully got his wife Evelyn to imposonate as a West Shoebury councillor when in fact she is only the Independent party candidate in West Shoebury. I would like to reassure residents that Cllr Liz Day, Cllr Derek Jarvis and myself are the elected councillors in West Shoebury.

If this isn't bad enough, in a recent leaflet, the Independent Party candidate asks residents to question what I have been up to personally. Bringing my personal life into the political arena smacks of dirty tricks and gutter politics of the extreme. This type of campaigning only helps to alienate people from the political process and drive them to extremist parties.

However, for Mrs Assenheim's benefit, since being elected in 2006, the last four years have been the happiest of my life, representing the residents of West Shoebury, meeting my now wife Michele and witnessing the birth of our beautiful daughter Grace.

I will never indulge in this type of campaigning as the election will not be decided by any candidates private life but by my record of delivery and action in helping deliver a new Youth Centre, refurbishments to Shoebury Leisure Centre, locally listing the former cinema in Ness Road and a no Drinking Zone in the Four Rivers Estate to name a few.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Do I now Own Newcastle United

Catching up with the news, I was a little surprised that Northern Rock had agreed a new £10 Million sponsporship deal with Newcastle United especially as the bank was one of the first and continues to be bailed out by the taxpayers.

Does this mean that you and I now own a part of Newcastle United?

Milenium Clock - Cllr Longley Forgets Time

This week Southend Council decided to put into storage the Milenium Clock in Southend High Street as it has failed to work for years.

'Milenium Mayor' Dim Leb, sorry Lib Dem current leader has criticised the council for not producing a design which is waterproof.

An important point I hear you say but the problem with this was that Cllr Longley was leader of the council from 1994-2000 when the clock was comissioned.

To try and blame the Conservatives for his past failures is disgusting opportunism and quite frankly is a bare faced cheek. It is these actions which makes all us politicians

Friday, 22 January 2010

Lies, dammed lies and the Independent Party

It must be relatively easy being leader of collection of political misfits with no moral compass as you can practically say and do what you like without ever being scrutinised.

I know I have exposed the Independent Party for saying one thing and doing another on this blog but I have unearthed a porkie of massive proportions.

You may recall reading in the echo in November that Southend council issued all zone parking permits to all councillors to save costs to the council.

Prior to this scheme, members could only park for free at the Civic Centre and any other expenses for car parking accured by memembers whilst on official council business could claim it back on expenses.

This was a very expensive way to administer these expenses when the issuing of an all area parking permit to each councillor only cost £5 a time. In a grubby bid to get a headline, no only did he smile nicely whilst paying for a ticket in a photoshoot, but Independent Party Leader Cllr Martin Terry made the following claim:

“I do not think councillors should be getting free perks like this in the current economic climate, and with feelings running high about expenses as a whole.
“As a group, we think it is unacceptable and will all be sending them back and making it clear we think this is not the right thing to be doing.”

Last week under a freedom of information request I had asked the council to provide details of all the councillors who have returned their All Zone pass.

Despite Cllr Terry's pledge that his party will be handing their passes back, only ONE Independent Party member had. I bet this was Cllr Terry I hear you cry but no, it was Cllr Ron Woodley.

What do I make of this? I find it staggering to say the least that the leader hasn't shown the way at the very least and seems like a case of do as I say and not as I do.

With his credability shot to pieces, a phrase used by Tony Blair before the 1997 general election springs to mind for Cllr Terry: At least Nigel Holdcroft leads my party unlike Cllr Terry who follows his!

Friday, 15 January 2010

A Cast Iron Campaign Pledge

An online poll has been running on for the past five months, asking local residents if they feel that there are too many takeaways in Shoeburyness.

Over 300 people responded and a massive 96% of residents polled said that there were far too many takeaways in Shoeburyness, in particular West Road and Ness Road.

Due to the high response rate, I have given a cast iron guarantee campaign pledge not to support any new takeaway planning appications for West Shoebury ward.

I believe that the public need to be clear on what I will be fighting the local elections on and nearer the time every household in West Shoebury will receive a contract between me and the residents and what I pledge to do.

If elected, it will be on these pledges that I will be asked to be judged upon. As this document is in its planning stage I am asking residents what other issues, campaigns or policy areas that they would you like me to focus my campaign on and put in my pledge contract.

Today's the day for lots of ward work

Sometimes there are occasions when a number of different ward issues force me to use some Annual Leave from my main work.

I always new today was going to be busy as I was delighted to be invited to the official opening of the re-furbished Shoebury Leisure Centre.

13:00 - Nice converstion with Michele Archer at the Echo wanting to do a piece on why I have publicly decided to decare that one of my campaign pledges will be not to support any more new takeaways in Shoebury.

14:00 - Preperation for a huge canvassing session with James Duddridge tomorrow afternoon.

15:00 - Official opening of the refurbished Shoebury Leisure Centre

16:00 - Another nice chat with the Echo regarding the airport planning application

16:30 - Had a glimpse of this evenings newspaper where the Echo report that my hard work in getting a no drinking zone implemented for the Four Rivers estate was agreed by Southend Council.

17:00 - Spending some precious time with my family before Miss C stays with Nanny and Granddad this weekend

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A brave, principled and decent man - but I don't like his politics

Over Christmas, I was dissapointed this evening to hear that Peter Tatchell has stood down as the Green candidate for Oxford East, where most political commentators gave him half a chance of winning.

His withdrawal is a consequence of brain injuries he received back in 2001, when he was the only person in western Europe to stand up to Robert Mugabe’s vile regime in Zimbabwe.

He tried to arrest Mugabe on a visit to Brussels and got his head kicked in (literally) by Mugabe’s goons. Two years ago he was beaten up again by neo-Nazis while campaigning in Moscow.
He had hoped the injuries might abate with time and allow him to campaign in Oxford, but there was a slight relapse in the summer and he simply isn’t up to it.

I do not share many of Tatchell’s politics but for me he is one of the most brave, principled and decent men in the country.

He has been absolutely steadfast and relentless in standing up for freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and in fighting persecution wherever it occurs.

This has lost him many, many friends on the left, when he has been campaigning against Muslim preachers or misogynist and homophobic rap artists, whom he believes we should not lionise. His commitment to the principle of freedom of speech is absolute and unyielding.

Tatchell deserves the utmost respect for the way he conducted himself in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election.

Tatchell was the Labour candidate in this safe Labour seat but was defeated by a scurrilous and vicious homophobic hate campaign which was, at the least, sanctioned by the victorious Liberal candidate, Simon Hughes.

Oh, the irony. And yet, even then, Tatchell did not raise the question of Hughes’ own sexuality, not once over the intervening 25 years. Hughes recently apologised to Tatchell, shortly after the Lib Dem MP had admitted, at last, to his own bisexuality; Tatchell accepted the apology graciously and said nothing more about the matter.

It almost goes without saying that the strongest condemnation of the convictions of seven Muslim protestors for shouting nasty things at returning British soldiers would have been by Tatchell himself.

It matters not to Tatchell that these men would, if they found themselves in government, immediately chop his head off, or flay him to death. Freedom of speech is unconditional.

Blogsphere claims it's first parliamentry casulty in 2010

Greg Stone has resigned as Lib Dem PPC for Newcastle East as a result of the fallout following some lewd comments he made during one of Guido's Faukes PMQs live chats a year or so ago.

Amongst other comments were a reference to whether Hazel Blears was on Botox and asking whether she had had a stroke and describing a Labour MP as a "sour-faced bitch"

There was various coverage of the comments last month in the press (for example here) and there had been calls for Mr Stone to stand down after an anonamous dossier was sent to Conservative Candidate Dominic Llewellyn.

The dossier included:

  • On Wednesday June 25, 2008 he said “anne mcintosh needs a makeover” … “depressed woman in blue is anne mcintosh (vale of york)”
  • On Wednesday 9th July, 2008 he said “annie mac looks like a deckchair today” and “quite like darling’s tie…. looks like neapolitan icecream”, “alan reid – lowest profile mp ever”, “spellar nasty old right wing union hack”
  • Wednesday 15th October 2008 – “teresa looks like she’s going for the scottish widows ad look”, “darling and osborne have same tie on”, “roberta blackmanwoods top left – sourfaced bitch”, “straw’s got a hard on”
  • Wednesday 4th March 2009 – “sort your tie out ossie”, “miliband looks monged”, “i quite like hague’s tie”, “yvette’s looking quite cute”
  • Wednesday 25th March 2009 – “like hague’s tie”, “how much botox is hazel blears on?”
  • Wednesday 13th May 2009 – “Mickey Fabb looks pissed”, “nick brown might not be around after the GE :)”
  • Wednesday 20th May 2009 - “Nice suit/shirt/tie combo for Hague”, “Anne McIntosh is in spinster librarian mode again”
  • Wednesday 28th October 2009 – “chloe needs to sort out that monobrow”

It must be an intresting election in Newcastle East as the Labour incumbent is the government Chief Whip Nick Brown not known as Gordon’s enforcer for his delicate approach to politics.

Nick Brown you may remember survived a rent-boy scandal – because he claimed he did not pay for sex – he just gave the rent boy financial gifts!

David Lammy MP campaigns against his own government (with your money)

David Cameron has promised to abolish the Communcations Allowance. So has Sir Christopher Kelly. Here's a good reason why.

This leaflet has been put out by David Lammy in my old stomping ground of Tottenham, campaigning against hospital closures in the local area. He's actually campaigning against a decision of the very government he is a Minister in.

That's astonishing enough in itself, but when I tell you that he has used taxpayers' money in the form of the House of Commons Communications Allowance to fund it, you will see why my dander is well and truly up.

Every leaflet which is funded by the Communications Allowance has to be approved by the House authorities before it is printed. Question for David Lammy: Was this approved, and has he been refunded the cost?

The Telegraph's Ed West is a constituent of Mr Lammy. He's none too impressed, either...

It’s easy to forget there are some decent politicians left, some real unsung heroes whose only wish is to serve their country and make the world a slightly less horrible place. Up here in north London, Tottenham MP and “Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property”, David Lammy is busy campaigning against plans to abolish the A&E facilities at Whittington and North Middlesex hospitals in Islington and Tottenham. I’m with him on that one.

Lammy, as he never stops mentioning, is a mate, acquaintance or possibly Facebook friend of Barry Obama, but is better known these days as the MP who claimed over £25,000 for home expenses, despite living in inner London.

Still, I hear many people weekend in Tottenham these days – the shooting is great this time of year.

As Lammy says in this leaflet: “In a borough where male life expectancy falls by 7.2 years within two miles we simply cannot afford to make cuts to these vital services.”

We? You mean, the government you’re a paid-up member of? If he cares so much, why doesn’t he resign, or stand as a Kidderminster-style independent, since this is a pretty serious issue to people in the area.

But not only he is campaigning against his own government in order to save his own skin come May, he’s also making you pay for it. For at the bottom of the leaflet you’ll notice the small print: “This publication is funded from the Communications Allowance”.

The taxpayer, in other words. He hasn’t, of course, broken any rules, which state that:

“The Communications Allowance provides funds to allow you, as a Member of Parliament, to communicate proactively with your constituents and inform them about your Parliamentary duties. You may claim up to £10,000 per year from this allowance.”

But it’s still taxpayer’s money. God bless Labour – even when they’re attacking each other, they still make taxpayers foot the bill.

Paul Waugh also covered this in the Evening Standard. He didn't mention the Communications Allowance, though.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Did Dave hold back at PMQ's?

Late yesterday evening I caught up with yesterday's PMQ on BBC Parliament. I actually thought that Gordon had one of his better performances before the damage inflicted by Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon's requesting that all Labour MP's hold a secret ballott over the leadership of Gordon Brown dominated the news.

There is no doubt that Gordon Brown as Leader of Labour Party is an electoral asset to the Conservatives and I'm sure there might be one or two nervous people in CCHQ. This got me thinking that David Cameron new what was about to break and actually held back a PMQ's just in case this put the final nail in Gordon's coffin.

The public rarely vote for a divided party but this Labour Government is not only divided but discredited and in total disarray! Roll on 6th May!

So they are finally a party?

It's true, finally, the Echo have recognised that the 'Independents' are now a policital party in this town. In an article in yesterdays Echo there was an intersting passage which could change the make up of the local elections. It read:

Independent party leader Martin Terry said no deal had been made, but added he would be open to the coalition working should his party end up holding the balance of power.
He said: “We’re not going to do any deals with any political parties because that would be a betrayal of those who vote Independent.”

I presume to Cllr Terry this has been made up, he was misquoted etc. I will now wait for apology to be printed.....thought not!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Lost in the Importance of Christmas

Happy New Year to you all. I am back after after the Christmas break and my bout of winter vomiting bug that seems to have hit just about everybody.

I hope santa was kind to you this year. He was very king to leave me a bill for £400 for a new alternator after we broke down on Christmas Day coming back from the in-laws!

Christmas is a time for families, which seems something lost on Judge John Reddihough on a story of huge importance which got lost in the mist of Christmas and the festive season.

The case of Munir Hussain should send shock waves down the spine of all those who believe the law is on their side.
The nightmare for the 53 year old family man unfolded when he came home from worshipping with his family at their local mosque in High Wycombe to discover three masked intruders.

They threatened Hussain and his family, tied their hands behaind their backs and made them crawl around the house before forcing them to lie down in the living room.

A teenage son manged to escape and alert his uncle who lived close by. Help arrived and the intruders fled, chased by Hussain and his brother.

The brothers caught up with one of the intruders and beat him with a cricket bat. Suddenly, the intruder, a serial criminal with over 50 convictions, became a victim as Munir Hussain and his brother Tokeer were jailed for 30 and 39 months respectively.

I have to ask, a man who savagely beats an intruder with over 50 convictions to his name, who tied up his family at knifepoint is now serving a 30 month prison sentence. The judge said that he has a public duty to send hime to prison. Was the Judge right?