The petulance of Southend UKIP

believe in southend

I always enjoy election counts. They’re one of those rare moments in an election campaign — like the candidates and agents’ briefing which kicks off the whole affair — where whilst the tension doesn’t diffuse, there is a measure of calm. By that point, everything that can be done has been done.

This year’s count was the first time I met two of my four opponents. Cllr Courtenay I have known, and jousted with, for a while. The Green candidate, Jimmy Wild, I canvassed during the election campaign — though before he was selected as the Green candidate.

All of my opponents came across as, I have to admit, nice people, and the campaign was marked by the lack of rancour shown. I have had a number of friendly, fascinating conversations with my Lib Dem opponent Richard Herbert. Richard is chairman of Leigh Town Council, a body which I would like to see replicated across the rest of Southend, and I hope to have more conversations with him still to come.

It was my UKIP opponent, though, who was the most interesting. I maintain that only two of us — myself and Cllr Courtenay — were actually doing any real campaigning in the ward, and I can count on the fingers of one finger the number of residents I spoke to who could identify Mr Paul Lloyd.

A little surprising, then, that he seemed so put out not to have won.

Before the votes are counted, they are “verified”; meaning they are counted raw, to make sure that the overall number of votes there is what it should be, and none have been mislaid. At this point, watching the verification, it became quickly clear that Cllr Courtenay had been re-elected. At which point, also, Mr Lloyd declared that he wasn’t going to come to the actual count, which would take place the following day.

In the end he did turn up, but he didn’t seem terribly happy, and made a single line thank you speech. UKIP, admittedly, had a bad night. In Blenheim Park, I have to say, they deserved it based on the amount of work they didn’t do. Mr Lloyd, as I said, seemed like a nice man; but not a campaigner.

I don’t know if Mr Lloyd plans to stand for election again. If he does, he would do well to learn that turning up at the end of the fight and expecting to win by right smacks of arrogance; and throwing your toys out of the pram when you don’t win of petulance.

Kipperwatch! Has House Moyies gone over to the Indies in its entirety?

dodgy indie bar chart

The most obvious sign of a convergence of Southend’s Independent Party Group and the UKIP exiles is the name Alex Moyies on the West Shoebury ballot paper as an Independent candidate. It’s a little less obvious that Margaret Haydon, the other Indie in West Shoebury, is James Moyies’ mother-in-law.

It’s hardly surprising, really. The sudden supremacy of Floyd Waterworth seems to have put a lot of noses out of joint, both amongst those who were elected for UKIP last year and those who might have stood for UKIP this year, not least of which Moyies Jr.

The joint leaflet issued by Moyies Jr and Haydon is an interesting read. Like most indie literature, it uses an impressive number of words to say very little. But it’s the bar chart which grabbed my interest. I love a good political bar chart, and it’s usually the Lib Dems who excel in this field. Here the bars seem, broadly, accurate to the West Shoebury results last year, but take a gander at the axes.

LD, Lab, Con….and Moyies? Funny, I thought James Moyies had won last year as a UKIP candidate, not an independent.

Now clearly the Moyies name is Alex’s best chance at actually winning, but this makes an interesting suggestion to me, one which chimes with the whispers that I’ve heard from the dispossessed Kippers: that post-election we’ll be seeing the anti-Waterworth faction — led by Cllr James Moyies — joining the Independent Party Group.

Given that the outcasts’ leader has been expelled from UKIP, and condemned personally by Nigel Farage as not being “team players“, it doesn’t seem like there’s any way back that way for him. And given that the only requirements the Indies put on its councillors is to bend the knee to Ron Woodley and Martin Terry…

If you’re still in doubt, though, have a look at the imprint on the Haydon/Moyies Jr leaflet:

west shoebury indie imprint

Kipperwatch! Southend UKIP civil war spills onto the ballot paper

believe in southend

When I spoke privately with James Moyies a month or so back, he hinted that there might be some Independent UKIP candidates on the ballot paper this year.

James, in my experience, is a man of his word, and I wouldn’t say that I doubted that he meant it. But I was, I confess, surprised to see on the list of nominated candidates yesterday a number of Independent candidates I could clearly identify as being Kippers.

This, to me, marks the final disintegration of Southend UKIP. Up until now it’s been in the background, a war fought online and in the papers, and in the backrooms of the local party. Now it’s very real.

There are eight candidates in the Southend local elections this who are standing under the description “UK Independence Party (UKIP)”. There are also at least three who I can identify as being UKIP supporters, who are standing as Independents.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! Don’t vote for UKIP! (says UKIP’s leader in Southend)

believe in southend

There comes a point where even I get a little sick of the back and forth of Southend UKIP’s absurd civil war.

A friend of mine described it as the political wonk’s equivalent of Neighbours, being entertaining to those of us with a political fascination, but not signifying a great deal beyond that.

The latest episode in the saga includes a broadside from Moyies, and a rather weak riposte from Waterworth. It seems undeniable, though, that despite apparently few redeeming features, Waterworth seems to be winning this war.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! Something is rotten at the heart of Southend UKIP

reservoir ukip

We’re nearly a week on, now, from the bizarre latest clash in the Southend UKIP civil war, and I’m not entirely sure what we’ve learnt.

I did say, back when there appeared to be some sort of reconciliation between Cllrs Moyies and Waterworth, the leaders of the two “factions”, that it wasn’t over. I am delighted to have been vindicated.

The thing is, this isn’t just a battle between egos, but a fight for the soul of UKIP in Southend. I have long suspected that the party’s surge (Isn’t that word trademarked by the Green Party? -Ed) in popularity has brought into the fold a lot of, shall we say, less savoury folks. It would explain how UKIP members in Rochford & Southend East managed to take a no brainer like Moyies vs Waterworth and still get it wrong.

No, it comes down, for my money, to Moyies being “too moderate” for the new UKIP. And my little birds are bringing me suggestions that this is exactly the case.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! Southend UKIP leader James Moyies expelled by UKIP

reservoir ukip

The mutually-assured destruction of Southend UKIP’s civil war continues, with group leader James Moyies (who was already suspended) expelled by UKIP High Command from the party:

Since their suspension, the four remaining councillors (Moyies, Callaghan, Davies and Burling) have still been describing themselves as the UKIP group on the council, and at the last council meeting they stripped Floyd Waterworth of all committee positions.

No word on whether the other three councillors have been expelled, but if they haven’t then they are facing a choice of whether to bend the knee to Waterworth, or to follow their defeated leader into exile, perhaps with the Independent Party Group?


Pretty shoddy stuff from UKIP, if that’s true.

Kipperwatch! Southend UKIP’s descent into farce is near complete

ukip front of southend
The budget debate at last Thursday’s meeting of Southend Borough Council would most years overshadow all other business on the agenda.

But this wasn’t most years.

This year we have Southend UKIP to contend with, and the ongoing tit-for-tat saga of their civil war.

The current state of affairs is a little difficult to keep up with, I’ll grant, and the whole thing reminds me of the “Judean People’s Front” bit from Monty Python’s Life of Brian. At present there are two nominally UKIP groups on the council.

Read on…

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…


Kipperwatch! Waterworth & Moyies have destroyed Southend UKIP

reservoir ukip
I really don’t like blogging so much or so frequently on the same subject. It can feel, at times, like flogging a dead horse.

But with Southend UKIP a dead horse might be about the best metaphor.

In a short week, UKIP have gone from an awakening force in Southend to a shambolic joke. Five councillors were elected in May, to the general surprise of those political watchers of the town.

Now, eight months later, the UKIP Group on Southend-on-Sea Borough Council effectively doesn’t exist.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! The concerning control-freakery of Cllr Moyies

kipperwatch local

On a personal level, at least, I like Southend UKIP’s group leader James Moyies. I get on with him, at least. He has a sense of humour, doesn’t take himself too seriously, and manages to avoid most of the cruder stereotypes of his party.

So I’m a little bemused by his recent behaviour.

The bad blood between himself and Floyd Waterworth has given me plenty of material, and I like to think I’ve been a fairly neutral reporter of the Southend UKIP civil war. On the one hand, declaring that you won’t vote for your party’s parliamentary candidate can be seen as an immature reaction to losing a selection battle. On the other, Cllr Waterworth is a singularly uninspiring candidate.

So I’ve been enjoying the theatrics in which the Southend ‘kippers have been merrily indulging, but James reaction to the latest blog of my friend and Labour councillor Julian Ware-Lane, is a little concerning to say the least.

Read on…