If pressed to describe my political blogging, I would usually go for “robust”. Doubtless those who have found themselves criticised on this blog might describe it in different terms, but I am quite satisfied with my coverage of local politics in Southend.
So I am going to rebut quite emphatically the accusations of Tory activist Gavin Chambers, who this morning out of the blue tweeted me this:
Anyway, what followed was a slightly different morning experience.
Before I get started, it’s probably worth recapping that the reason Gavin is particularly sore is that he appeared on a Conservative leaflet for Milton councillor Jonathan Garston in the run up to the May elections, and I had the black-hearted temerity to point out that this “local Milton resident” was also a Tory councillor in not-so-nearby Epping Forest.
Following up my requests to know to what personal attacks he was referring, I received this:
Which aside from not answering the question, has a bit of a cheek to it, no? Out of the blue he tweets me, calling my blog poisonous and pledging to campaign against me at the elections (Hey, go for it. Residents will just be astonished to see an actual Tory activist -Ed), and then wants me to do him a favour by removing a perfectly legitimate scan of a publicly distributed election leaflet.
You know, I don’t think I will.
Which elicited this:
Vague threatening statements aside (And, actually, the next thing popping up in the Twitter notifications “space” was a follow from one Gavin Chambers -Ed), I pressed on trying to identify what poison and personal attacks he was referring to. Eventually we reached this:
So the root of all of this is that I published that he was a Conservative councillor in Epping Forest, rather than “just a Milton resident”, and that I said that Cllr Garston (jr -Ed) must be “lonely” in order to have to draft in councillors for other boroughs. I also stated what I had heard from my little birds, that Cllr Bernard Arscott’s victory in Leigh was down to a Lib Dem collapse rather than the strength of his personal charisma.
Now, all of this sounds very much like his chief objection to my blog is that it is not fawningly supportive of him and his mates. Which, to be fair, it is not. But I believe that politicians should be held to account for their actions, that the voting public in Southend have a right to journalistic — and it is not often I will describe my ramblings as such — examination of their politicians, their local parties, and their activists.
Gavin Chambers, it seems, does not believe that politicians should be subject to scrutiny. I do hope that he enjoys the picture at the top of this post, and I am (Not -Ed) sorry to inform him that this blogger will not be cowed by his trolling.
UPDATE: Well, that was fun while it lasted…