Politics

Posts about politics, both local and national.

Full list of Rochford District local election candidates 2018


It’s a bit later, but here is the full list of nominated candidates for the local elections in Rochford District, on 3rd May 2018. Also as before, I have put sitting councillors in italics, and Labour candidates in bold. The wards and candidates are listed in alphabetical order. If you’re not sure which ward you’re in, the Council’s website has a handy tool which will tell you.

The polls will be open from 07.00 until 22.00 on Thursday 3rd May. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday 17th April, whilst the deadline for new postal vote applications is 17.00 on Wednesday 18th April and the deadline for applications to vote by proxy is 17.00 on Wednesday 25 April. Read on…

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Southend Labour local election candidates 2018


Belfairs – Taylor Barrall

Blenheim Park – Laurie Burton

Chalkwell – Sean Jones

Eastwood Park – Ros Sanders

Kursaal – Matt Dent

Leigh – Michelle Williams

Milton – Cllr Cheryl Nevin

Prittlewell – Jennifer Beck

Shoeburyness – Greg Keane

Southchurch – Martin Berry

St Laurence – Janet Phillips

St Luke’s – Ian Pope

Thorpe – Jack Reason

Victoria – Cllr Margaret Borton

Westborough – Cllr Kevin Robinson

West Leigh – Hillary Scarnell

West Shoebury – Tom Murray

Full list of Southend-on-Sea local election candidates 2018


As has become something of a tradition, I share below the full list of nominated candidates for the local elections in Southend, on 3rd May 2018. Also as before, I have put sitting councillors in italics, and Labour candidates in bold. The wards and candidates are listed in alphabetical order. If you’re not sure which ward you’re in, the Council’s website has a handy tool which will tell you.

The polls will be open from 07.00 until 22.00 on Thursday 3rd May. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday 17th April, whilst the deadline for new postal vote applications is 17.00 on Wednesday 18th April and the deadline for applications to vote by proxy is 17.00 on Wednesday 25 April.

Total No of Cllrs Wards up for re-election No of Candidates
Conservative 28 7 17
Independent 12 6 12
Labour 9 3 17
Liberal Democrat 2 1 16
Green 0 0 8
UKIP 0 0 3
Psychedelic Future Party 0 0 1

Read on…

Are Southend Conservatives in health service distress?


Flying a flag upside down is — as any good Boy Scout will tell you — internationally recognised as a sign of distress. How, then, to read the above photo from Southend Conservatives, published in today’s issue of the Southend Echo?

One could argue the wisdom of launching your local election campaign with the Secretary of State for Health, at a time when the NHS is in crisis and thousands of local residents are flocking to the Save Southend NHS banner and marching against health service cuts. Particularly when the very voters who you are going to be calling on in a matter of weeks have been systemically denied consultation on costly and dangerous local NHS reorganisation, which seems designed to cover up budget cuts and poorer services. Indeed, your blogger was one of many who were denied access to a “consultation” event after the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership required tickets late in the day, and refused to allow people in even though there was space.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the local Conservatives, chaining them to an unpopular and failing Health Secretary, have taken leave of their senses. But perhaps there is one small voice of sense, crying out in distress from the back of the group photo?

Who can say…

Westborough voters are “scumbags”, says former Conservative candidate


For those who aren’t quite as avid followers of Southend local politics as your blogger, Daryl Peagram was the Conservatives’ candidate for the Southend West ward of Westborough in 2015 and 2016. On both occasions he was unsuccessful, losing to Labour both years and going from second to third between the two years.

His campaigns were most remarkable for his bizarre election literature, but nowadays he runs a niche and little-followed Facebook page where he approaches local politics with fury and factual accuracy of Fox News across the pond.

Today he’s helping out the Tories’ campaign in the ward for 2018 — by, err, describing residents as “scumbags”.

Read on…

The Strange Death of Southend UKIP


It has been, all in all, nearly three years since UKIP burst onto the Southend politics scene, winning five seats on the local council from nowhere. The fact that, as of last week, Southend UKIP no longer exists in any meaningful form is a testament to quite what a dramatic ride it has been.

On Friday, The Southend Echo reported that Cllrs Floyd Waterworth (UKIP – Blenheim Park) and David McGlone (UKIP – St Laurence) had both defected to join the Conservative group. The previous day, the Echo had broken the news that Cllr James Moyies (SIG – West Shoebury), the former leader of the UKIP group until he was kicked out of the party, had made the same move to the Conservatives, from the band of expelled UKIP councillors calling themselves the Southend Independence Group.

In the last three years, six UKIP councillors have been elected to Southend Borough Council. One stepped down and three were expelled. Three of those six now sit as Conservatives, and two as independents. There is no longer a UKIP group on the council, nor indeed any prospect of one reappearing any time soon.

So what happened, exactly? How did the newest political faction on the scene implode quite so dramatically?

In this blogger’s opinion, UKIP in Southend have been a victim both of their own success and their own ineptitude.

Whilst I disagree with him on a whole range of political subjects, I actually have a lot of time and respect for Cllr Moyies. He was someone who had worked hard to get elected, and had done so out of a genuine desire to make life better for residents. The same, sadly, could not be said of some of the other UKIP councillors, in particular Cllr Waterworth.

The trouble really started when Cllr Moyies lost the selection to be the 2015 UKIP candidate to Cllr Waterworth, in what was a massive upset. As easily UKIP’s most impressive figure locally, it had been taken as a foregone conclusion that Cllr Moyies would fight the local election. Accusations were tossed back and forth about unfair practices in the selection, but the end result was Cllr Moyies refused to support Cllr Waterworth, and was expelled from the party, taking the other three 2014 intake councillors with him.

One of these four exiles, Lee Burling, decided that all of this was much more trouble than it was worth, and stepped down at the 2015 local elections (Probably a wise choice, in retrospect -Ed), triggering a by-election that was won by UKIP’s now-Cllr McGlone. In the 2015 general election, of course, UKIP badly underperformed in Southend, and the St Laurence by-election aside they didn’t do well in the local elections.

Following May 2015, Cllr Moyies and his supporters formed the Southend Independence Group, which entered the joint administration, with Moyies himself serving in the cabinet. Cllrs Waterworth and McGlone, comprising a UKIP group of two, didn’t do a great deal until it came to 2016, and they almost accidentally held the balance of power on the council. They threw their lot in with the Tories, of course, in exchange for a pair of council committee chairs (And the lucrative allowances that come with them -Ed).

The fact that they’ve officially gone over to the Conservatives should be no great surprise to anyone. The Brexit vote, followed by Theresa May’s assent to 10 Downing Street, has repositioned the Tories onto UKIP’s ground, and Nigel Farage’s personality cult is flailing about looking for a purpose. With Waterworth and McGlone both up for re-election next year — and Waterworth in particular knowing that I outpolled UKIP as the Labour candidate in his seat last year — they will be looking around for a strategy to hang onto their seats. And becoming born-again Tories is probably the best one open to them.

The same, realistically, is true of James Moyies in West Shoebury, though I’d argue that he’s actually attempted to do the job of representing residents. Politically, I’ve had him pegged as a eurosceptic Thatcherite, so he doesn’t fit May’s brand quite as well as the other two, who are more in the eurosceptic authoritarian mould.

Honestly, I think UKIP’s hour in Southend is done. Their USP is gone, and the Tories in this part of the world were always on the same page as UKIP. In a way, it’s actually quite impressive to see that its councillors have realised this. But the upshot of this is quite straightforward: a vote for UKIP is more than ever a vote for the Tories.

The CLP, the ineligible candidate, and a lost Labour council seat


picard facepalm

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for a while now, and I’ve been meaning to come back with some deep, thoughtful post.  Of course, I should have known that it would be blind rage that drove me back to the keyboard eventually.

Last night Labour lost a council seat.  That’s not all that surprising, really.  Our poll ratings are in the toilet, and we’re losing here, there and everywhere (Still winning those parish council seats, though! -Ed). The issue here is that the election was for a Labour-held seat on South Hams district council, and there was no Labour candidate on the ballot paper!

This is, to say the least, embarrassing. It happens from time to time, but Labour Parties across the country do their best to make sure that there’s always a Labour option for voters. We can’t be successful all the time, but the story here seems to be a tale of incompetence and poor decision-making.

Read on…

Cross Simon for Green Party Leader!


green banner

I wouldn’t normally get involved in the internal business of other political parties, but after the kind assistance of so many members of the Green Party in the last Labour leadership election, it would feel rude for me to not offer an opinion.

Fortunately, someone has arisen whose bid I can wholeheartedly and unreservedly support. Someone who can take the Green Party in exactly the direction I want to see it go.

I am proud and delighted to endorse Cross Simon, for Green Party leader.

Read on…