Can somebody get UKIP’s Southend West candidate a map?


brian otridge wrong constituency

Continuing my apparent series of blogs on local would-be politicians with slightly questionable geographic awareness, enter Brian Otridge.

Brian is the UKIP candidate for Southend West, and is hoping against all electoral likelihood to topple that tireless dodger of local journalists and champion against cake, David Amess.

Electoral mathematics aside, one thing Brian might like to do some when before May 7th is figure out exactly where it is he is standing for election.

I sometimes do wonder if the anti-immigrant rhetoric that UKIP so frequently spout includes internal immigration. I’m sure that there are more than a few local kippers who might like to kick me out of Southend (And their Rochford & Southend East candidate Floyd Waterworth would probably like to send UKIP councillor James Moyies back to Scotland -Ed), but it does seem rather a…well, stupid perspective.

Perhaps, though, it’s what leads Brian Otridge to emphasise his deep connection to the town, having been born and grown up here, even if his home more recently has been somewhere in deepest, darkest Hampshire. He has moved now back to Southend, but he seems to have, err, missed, and ended up in Rayleigh.

I should say, I don’t think it matters a jot. I’ve touched on the subject before, that I see no necessary problem for an MP/councillor not living in the constituency/ward which they represent (Though they should live within the area of the authority they sit on, and be subject to the decisions they impose -Ed). Julian Ware-Lane would make an excellent MP for Southend West because he is passionate, dedicated and has his priorities in the right place, the fact that he lives and was born in the constituency being incidental.

One thing, though, that any candidate should do, whether they live in the area they are seeking to represent or not, is familiarise themselves with the boundaries. This, I would suggest, seems to be where Brian Otridge has fallen down.

He has made a video for his campaign, in which he stands in various places in Southend and talks about why you should vote for him. One interesting bit has him driving his car whilst speaking to the camera, the safety of which concerns me a little.

But the bit that really jumps out at me is when he stands outside Currys and Homebase, and talks about locally generated electricity — and I’d point out that Labour as part of the joint administration have started steps to set up a Southend Energy Company.

Thing is, I know where Currys and Homebase are in Southend. In fact, they are very close to where I live. And that particular business park is not, actually, in Southend West. It’s over the border, in neighbouring Rochford & Southend East:

brian otridge map

Is this damning? No. But it does suggest a lack of attention to detail on the part of Mr Otridge and his campaigners.

That said, I am looking forward to the next videos, with Floyd Waterworth communicating his Rochford & Southend East campaign by mime, and Kursaal residents attempting to find their UKIP councillor.

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4 comments

  1. southends municipal power station used to run some diesel units that where stripped from German WW1 U-boats (now wreaks in the Medway (Europeans and their technology, tsk!) eventually these units where replaced by coal fired turbines. The coal arrived via the southend authority loading jetty and was transported by tram hoppers to the power station.

    with this infrastructure now gone and roads being the only means of bringing fuel for any new local power station, what effect would this have on congestion. Not to mention the environmental impact of local generation. The cost of wiring a power station into the grid would be massive. The demand peaks and troughs of modern power needs is also a factor of consideration.

    Are UKIP a party who remain stuck in an imaginary past where everything was better. The simple fact is that we get most of our power from the likes of Drax coal power station, several hundred miles away.

  2. Um, Matthew, you must be desperate for points scoring there. I was well aware of the geographical location of where I was stood, but my point was about power for Southend, which is an indivisible Borough, even through 1.9 constituencies sit within it. Indeed, not only was I born in Southend, I was born in Victoria ward, and said power station and even the tram tracks on the coal jetty (which jayman mentioned) stand clear in my childhood memory.

    There was also a scene (which fell to the cutting room floor for sound quality reasons – it was a flipping windy day!) of the massive sub-station at Rawreth through which all of Southend’s power now comes. It ain’t in Southend, but it’s pretty important to Southend West, indeed all of Southend.

    And responding to jayman, Drax USED to be the largest coal-powered power station in UK, now it is fired by bio-mass, which is potentially stealing food from our tables, another brilliant Green Party idea – it seems that Labour and Green policies are quite interchangeable then.

    1. Drax can co-fire biomass. but is still primarily a coal burner… on another note. Southend’s sub station is behind the curries pc world between homebase and north road.

    2. hmm. Acquaint yourself with fallow crop rotation and low crop yield land. This is where we get agricultural biomass. other biomasses come from waste foods and organic waste products. It’s simple economics. A farmer is not going to give up £71 per acre food crop for £15 per acre biomass (plus EU farming subsidy :O) .

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