‘KipperWatch

Kipperwatch! Where was the other absentee Southend UKIP councillor?


lawrence davies ukip

In all the excitement of a kipper-on-kipper conflict in Southend, it’s easy to overlook that Southend UKIP’s answer to Robert E. Lee, parliamentary candidate Floyd Waterworth, wasn’t the only UKIP councillor to miss a key vote at the recent council meeting.

The change from cabinet to committee system, a UKIP local election pledge, was lost by two votes. And missing were UKIP’s Cllr Waterworth, and councillor for Kursaal ward Lawrence Davies.

Lord knows what Waterworth’s reason for missing the meeting was — though judging from his letters in the Echo, he seems to have no problem breaking promises to voters — but I do have some idea of where Davies was.

I am always loathe to rely solely on rumour, but I do not rule out reporting it especially when I hear the same thing from different sources. Here, my little birds tell me that Cllr Davies was unable to attend the full council meeting and honour his election promises because…he was on holiday.

I wonder if Kursaal residents feel particularly well-served by a UKIP councillor who can’t even attend meetings to represent them?

Kipperwatch! UKIP thugs trash Labour street stall in Corringham


corringham labour street stall trashed
The image above shows the state of a Labour-run NHS street stall in Corringham, run today by Labour candidate for South Basildon & East Thurrock Mike Le Surf, after a group of thugs identifying themselves as from UKIP attacked it.

The group apparently came out of nowhere, shouted insults, trashed the stall, and disgracefully kicked an elderly woman on a mobility scooter. Interestingly, they were reportedly recording the whole thing; a classic BNP tactic from their heyday.

I have always thought that the Kippers who claim that they exclude far-right BNP/National Front/etc elements protest too much. Certainly there should be no place in modern politics for this sort of base, violent intimidation and thuggery.

Today South Basildon & East Thurrock UKIP have utterly disgraced themselves, and given voters another reason to steer well clear.

UPDATE: The chairman of Eastern Region UKIP has apparently disavowed this, and claimed that he:

…cannot believe they were representing UKIP, we do not promote this kind of attitude.

I am 100 per cent sure it has nothing to do with our party members – who have had very good discipline through very tough circumstances themselves.

100% sure is a bold claim. For myself, I can’t see how anyone can be certain of this. It seems unlikely that it’s a frame job, as some kippers seem to want it to be, and I struggle with the idea that this is not connected to UKIP in some way. I just don’t see who would try to frame UKIP, and why.

Kipperwatch! Southend UKIP errupt into full-blown civil war


UKIP ides of march

Blimey.

For a party new on the scene — they had no presence at all in the chamber until May — UKIP in Southend have certainly taken to factionalism quickly. Since James Moyies announced that he wouldn’t vote for UKIP parliamentary candidate Floyd Waterworth at the general election, the whole local party seems to have come crashing down on itself.

Regardless of his reasons, a senior party figure announcing they won’t vote for their party’s candidate is tantamount to a knife in the back.

When the revelations broke on Sunday (with thanks to Cllr James Courtenay), it was staggering enough. But since then James Moyes has been sacked (or resigned) as chair of the local branch, and the whole thing featured in a whole-page spread in the local paper.

I have been saying for months that UKIP are a disorganised rabble, without the nous to organise a drinking party in a brewing establishment, let alone provide responsible, effective representation in the council chamber. I submit this spectacular and public display of the wheels falling off the UKIP bus as exhibit 1.

Read on…

If UKIP’s leader won’t vote for Floyd Waterworth, why should anyone?


floyd waterworth shrug

When Cllr Floyd Waterworth (Blenheim Park) was selected as UKIP parliamentary candidate for Rochford & Southend East, it was to widespread surprise.

Partly because he was an invisible presence locally, unknown to even the local political anoraks, elected in his ward primarily due to low turnout, high UKIP presence in the media, and the European Parliament elections being an issue catalyst for his voters.

It was also because the candidate-presumptive had been Cllr James Moyies (West Shoebury), UKIP group leader and the person who probably deserves the most credit — after Nigel Farage, of course — for UKIP’s breakthrough.

I have no real idea why Moyies lost out to Waterworth (though I have my suspicions), but it does seem that there is some bad blood between the two. Conservative councillor James Courtenay (Blenheim Park) has today blogged that, James Moyies told him, “I won’t be voting for him [Floyd Waterworth] in the general election.”

Read on…

Kipperwatch! Committee system sunk as UKIP don’t turn up


kipperwatch local

In the run up to the elections in May, I warned that UKIP did not make for good representatives. In the European Parliament, their attendance has been nothing short of dreadful. They consistently rank amongst the worst absentees, whilst taking home all the same pay and claiming all the same expenses as those MEPs who do the job.

It does not surprise me therefore, and should not surprise anyone who pays attention to Southend local politics, that at last night’s full council meeting in Southend two fifths of the UKIP group were absent.

What pushes this even further into the realms of absurdity, is that the absence of those kippers meant that a policy that they supported — changing the council from a cabinet system to a committee system — failed.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! U-splits in Essex UKIP


kipperwatch

It’s a universal truth that all political parties are coalitions. The Labour Party, for example, is a coalition of old Labour traditional socialists to modernist “Blairite” factions and everything in between. The Conservatives have (a declining faction of) one-nation-type Tories, ideological Thatcherites, and further right almost-nationalist types.

The Liberal Democrats are still broadly divisible into the Liberals and the SDP, with a mix of those who joined when they were a left-of-Labour party, and have since pretty much melted away. And the Greens are an alliance between the middle-class, tree-hugging liberals of old, and old socialist elements floating around since Kinnock declared war on Militant Tendency.

But UKIP — UKIP have perfect the mongrel art of the political party. Farage is a sometime-Thatcherite, with a taste for the little Englander world-view, whilst UKIP’s first, and at time of print sole, MP is more of a classic liberal. And in elections in the north of England, they have been manoeuvring to be an Old Labour replacement.

So with such a varied composition, it can be no surprise that there are ideological fault-lines all over UKIP’s topography. And they seem to be coming to a particular head in South Essex.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! Has UKIP already reached its peak in Thurrock?


kipperwatch

Thurrock is just down the road from Southend. About fifteen miles or so from my door, as the crow flies. And to go there, to listen to UKIP it’s already theirs. They did indeed do well in the local elections in May, but then they did well in Southend without much of an idea of what they were standing for.

Tim Aker, the UKIP MEP for the East of England and candidate for Thurrock, is even going on Newsnight and describing Thurrock as “his seat”. Which is presumptious, given that it’s a three way marginal which he hasn’t won yet.

But it illustrates a point: they think they’ve got this sewn up. So in a by-election in a Labour council seat, a week after coming within six hundred and twenty votes of winning a safe Labour parliamentary seat, they’d look to storm it and win in a landslide.

Funny that they lost, and by a considerable margin.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! “New and Improved”?


kipperwatch

“New and improved” is one of those hateful phrases which gets under my skin. It’s a contradiction in terms. If something is “new” then there wasn’t anything there to be improved upon. If it is “improved”, then it existed previously and cannot by definition be new.

It is this phrase which comes to mind with the Tory MPs who have defected from the Conservatives to UKIP. For both Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, the two defectors (At time of press – Ed), both seem to have taken up the mantle of political outsiders, a breath of fresh air to shake apart the Westminster establishment.

Which kind of ignores that, up until very recently, they were part of the very same establishment.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! Scottish vote saves Moyies from UKIP migrants policy


kipperwatch local

Local politics is a bizarre game sometimes.

In the run up to the Scottish referendum on independence, my good friend and fellow Labourite Julian Ware-Lane posted a brief blog on the subject. The blog was reasonably unremarkable (Sorry Julian! – Ed), especially considering what came afterwards.

In response to Julian’s suggestion that Scottish independence would cause problems for local UKIP leader (and Scotsman) James Moyies, and my own suggestion that he would no longer have an automatic right to live and work in the UK, Cllr Moyies got a little upset.

Apparently, I’m sinister. And, er, a racist.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! James Moyies is counting his chickens again


kipperwatch local

Sometimes it feels like local politics goes in circles. Case in point: I am sure I’ve written this blog before. I have, in fact, back in December last year: A Coalition of Fools.

Back then, I said:

I’ve no idea what the May elections will bring. More than likely there will be no party in overall control, and extensive negotiations will be necessary to provide Southend with local government. But regardless, any concept of a stable Independent-UKIP coalition taking control is limited to the fanciful imaginings of Messers Moyies and Terry.

I hesitate to blow my own trumpet, but I did call it right. I underestimated the number of UKIP wins, but no one party had a majority, and a UKIP-Independent alliance was a mathematical flop. That doesn’t seem to have disuaded them though; in the pages of the Echo they’re at it again: Ukip eye up coalition with Independents.

Read on…