Month: February 2015

08 “Valediction” (Agent Carter season 1) [SPOILERS]

agent carter

For some reason, Agent Carter‘s first series is criminally short. Only eight episodes. I presume that’s some sort of precaution against it being awful and getting cancelled straight away.

Because, of course, that’s what Marvel products are known for.

But regardless, here we are at the final episode. I’ve enjoyed the previous seven episodes; giving the supporting cast of the first Captain America film room to run was a good decision on paper. On screen it has worked even better.

The story is well penned, setting an early-Cold War mood of suspicion and adding a Marvel twist, and giving its characters good story arcs to work with.

As with any series, though, all of that could be undone with a misstep at a critical juncture.

Why hello, critical juncture!

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

UKIP Southend candidate goes home early, misses council budget vote

Meet Floyd Waterworth 2

Apparently taking his cue from fellow UKIP councillor (Well, maybe — it’s all gone a bit People’s Front of Judea with Southend UKIP -Ed) Lawrence Davies, Floyd Waterworth disappeared at last night’s vote on the Southend Borough Council budget for 2015/16.

He was definitely there early on, sitting with an extremely glum look on his face whilst his group leader (Well, probably not -Ed) made a speech.

I guess staying and representing the people of Blenheim Park ward was too much to ask, for the man who wants to be the next MP for Rochford & Southend East…


Why wasn’t Kursaal’s UKIP councillor at the budget meeting?

cllr davies on holiday

Anyone tuning into the Southend Borough Council budget meeting might notice the absence of Cllr Lawrence Davies, the UKIP councillor representing Kursaal. If any voters in Kursaal ward are wondering why their councillor isn’t at one of the two most important council meetings of the year

…my little birds report that Cllr Davies is on a weeks-long holiday in South America. With several thousand pounds a year of allowances out of your taxes.

Money well spent?

Southend Conservatives: Out of power, out of touch, out of ideas

Southend Tories we don't have a clue

Tonight, Southend Borough Council will debate the first budget of the joint administration. Or, to put it another way, the first Southend budget in fourteen years not to have been written by the Conservative Party.

I’ve made my own thoughts on the budget known, but as of 6am yesterday morning (Who makes announcements at 6am? That time of day is for repeatedly hitting snooze on the alarm, and eventually forcing yourself out of bed -Ed) Conservative councillor James Courtenay has made known his party’s.

And they’re fairly…weak.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good that they’re trying. But one would think for the party which actually set the budget for nearly a decade and a half, and which has thrown quite so many hissy fits since it lost power over how others are doing it wrong, they might have something more solid to contribute.

Read on…

Tory Mark Flewitt’s scaremongering is a disgrace to Southend politics

mark flewitt

Regular readers will have seen before my disagreements with Southend Tory councillor Mark Flewitt. They will know that I don’t rate him as a councillor, and have called him to task before for poor politicking, for ham-fisted attacks, and for general poor conduct.

This, today, is not that. This is something of another order, a different league.

A letter has come into my possession, written by Councillor Flewitt, to residents of sheltered accommodation in his ward of St Laurence. This letter makes claims that the council will not be undertaking any maintenance or repairs on their property, whilst a review of sheltered accommodation is undertaken.

Which would be a big concern for residents. Except it isn’t true.


Did Southend Greens exclude UKIP from debate – then lie about it?

green ukip

My little birds (Which, yes, is a Game of Thrones reference -Ed) are clearly gaining a measure of fame, being recently mocked by Southend’s Lib Dem activist. They do, though, give me some very interesting little tidbits from time to time.

Like the fact that the Green Party parliamentary candidates for the two Southend constituencies apparently voted to exclude their UKIP opponents from an election debate.

When Southend Against the Cuts made the decision earlier this month, I couldn’t have been much more forthright in my disagreement. I have little time for the idea of “no platform” — if you are not confident enough in the strength of your own beliefs, then you need to seriously examine them. Not to mention that the only people who this helps is UKIP — who now get to claim martyrdom — and the Tories — who no longer have to face a challenge from the right.

At the time, Simon Cross — Green Party candidate for Rochford & Southend East — tied himself in knots trying to agree with both sides.

Despite Simon Cross’ protestations, my little birds report that both he and Jon Fuller voted that UKIP candidates should not be invited to participate in the hustings. Now, I stress that I wasn’t there, but I have heard this report from more than one source — some of whom also voted to keep UKIP out.

Whether or not you believe that the UKIP candidates should be included — and I think it’s quite clear that, on a point of principle, I do — someone standing for election should have the strength of their convictions. Whatever their beliefs, if the Green candidates are going to present themselves as worthy of representing Southend in parliament, then a little backbone wouldn’t go amiss.

(And the irony, after the outpouring of wrath and fury when the Greens were excluded from the general election party leaders’ debates, has not been lost on me. Fans of intellectual consistency may remember that I also opposed their exclusion, and after yesterday’s sneak preview from Natalie Bennett, I am very much looking forward to the whole circus).

At the time I challenged Simon Cross to clearly state how he and Jon Fuller voted. Despite belligerently playing both sides in the discussion up to that point, he went mysteriously silent after my challenge.

I offer them both the chance, here and now, to declare themselves: Simon Cross and Jon Fuller, did you vote to exclude UKIP from the Southend Against the Cuts hustings or not?

Read the non-denials…

17 “Red Hood” (Gotham season 1) [SPOILERS]


Gotham feels, at this stage, more like an epic than a TV series.

It’s hard, as I’ve said before, to remember that this is only the first season. It has already succeeded so much in creating a world which lives and breathes. Gotham feels like a real city, and its citizens feel like real people.

There’s a larger story at work, not just the development of Gordon and Wayne, but the whole Batman world in embryonic form. Already we’ve had major milestones, and big moments.

And we’re still a few episodes away from the big finale.

Read on… (and mind the spoilers)

Southend Tory candidate “too busy” for St Luke’s

james cottis and nigel farage

As Southend Labour announce their candidate for the ward of St Luke’s at the 2015 Southend local elections, the Tory candidate is standing down.

Is he ruining scared of Jess Phillips?

He claims not. According to James Cottis, he is too busy with personal projects to run an election campaign. Quite what he expected to be the result of becoming an election candidate would be, is not readily apparent.

Those who have been paying attention may recall that James isn’t a Southend resident. Rather, he lives in Rochford, where he sits on the parish council. Given that he’s not standing down from that, St Luke’s voters could be forgiven for reading this as a declaration of his priorities; James Cottis is just too busy with Rochford to bother about St Luke’s.

No official word as to who the Tories will be replacing him with, but my little birds are pointing to Friday as the selection date.

Of course, the best choice residents could make on May 7th is to vote for Jess and the Labour Party, who aren’t afraid to work hard for the ward.