Amid the sales pitches from online viagra merchants and offers of money from Nigerian princes, I do occasionally get items of interest in my inbox. Today saw one such item: an email sent by UKIP’s Cllr Floyd Waterworth sent to all Southend councillors.
For your entertainment and elucidation, (and, yes, in the interests of transparency) I reproduce it here:
At this time of year the political parties start to announce who will be standing for them in May and try to encourage fresh faces to get elected and join the Council.
What worries me is how many genuine people will be put off by the personal attacks made on councillors. I couldn’t encourage anyone to stand for Southend Council unless they have a very thick skin.
I would therefore call on all the parties to think twice before they encourage people in their ranks to make such personal attacks.
This particularly applies to the Labour group. I have reproduced below a letter I have sent to the press in this regard and I would call on long-standing councillors such as Cllr Norman (the blogger concerned describes you as ‘principled, hard-working and dedicated’) to attempt to reign-in some of the comments made. This should also be of concern to Cllr Gilbert, who I understand is the Labour group Leader.
I have no examples of these personal attacks coming from Independents or Liberals.
Nor are there many from the Conservatives, with the exception of Cllr Courtenay, who deals in fiction rather than fact. I have written to Cllr Lamb privately in this regard.
Surely at this time of year – ‘goodwill to all men’ – we should all be looking forward to fierce debate over policy and what is best for Southend, rather than making personal attacks, which may discourage a lot of very good people from standing in May.
The letter below may well not be published, due to the number of asterisks!
Seasons greetings and best regards,
Cllr Floyd Waterworth
Labour have selected Matthew Dent to stand in Blenheim Park next May. One wonders if he’ll be in the same election as everyone else, as he thinks it’s on May 8.
Rejected decisively by the people of West Shoebury last May (13.33% compared with UKIPs 46%), Mr Dent arrives with a street map and some choice vocabulary.
Here are some of his offerings from the internet: David Amess MP is described as ‘bat s**t crazy’, whilst political opponents have ‘f****ng stupid ideas’. Oh yes, young Dent has a way with words.
And he likes to specialise in personal attacks, often without having even met the people he comments on.
It will be no worry to James Duddridge MP that Dent describes him as a ‘puppet’ of the Conservative Party Chairman.
More worrying is that people new to politics, who have bothered to put themselves up for election, also come in for the ‘Dent treatment’. Cllr Nick Ward, elected last May as an Independent for Shoebury , is described as ‘a competence-vacuum in the shape of a man’.
Unhappy about comments written in a leaflet by Cllr Mark Flewitt (Conservative, St Laurence), Dent asks: ‘Was he drunk? Has he gone mad?’
What use will Dent be to constructive debate, if he ever made it to Southend Council chamber? He did turn up in the public gallery at the last main Council but was gone within five minutes. One of his favourite films must have been on – ‘Blessed are the Damned’ and ‘American Horror Story’ are the subject of his latest reviews. The latter is also ‘bat sh** crazy’ by the way – you will see that his ideas are limited.
What I find interesting is that Labour supporters, who claim to care about people, are happy to go for the man rather than the ball.
So if Matthew Dent comes knocking at your door, my advice would be to give him a few choice words of your own!
Cllr Floyd Waterworth
Ukip, Blenheim Park
Impressive, eh? I have to say, I’m pretty damn flattered.