Politics in Southend is, to be honest, a joy. You never know what’s going to come along next.
I don’t know if it’s something in the water, but politics seems to be particularly…weird around here. So in the spirit of the end-of-year listicle, I decided what better way to round off the year than with a rundown of my personal favourites of the lot (And split it over two posts to boost traffic -Ed).
Here it is then. Numbers 10 to 6 in my top 10 rundown of the maddest things that happened in 2015 in Southend local politics.
I blogged a little while back on the shenanigans going on down Southchurch way, and regular readers may recall that Rochford & Southend East Conservative Association deselected longstanding Southchurch ward councillor and former mayor David Garston.
Not that they’re admitting that’s what happened, mind.
Tony Cox (Con – West Shoebury) makes a valiant effort toeing the party line on his blog, saying:
“On the contary to what has been published on the local blogssphere, David has moved to Leigh and decided to fight a seat in the West of the town.“
I’m absolutely not suggesting that Tony is telling porkies; I am sure that David has moved to Leigh, and has decided to fight Prittlewell. But the fact remains that he has done so on account of his having been deselected in Southchurch.
And my little birds report that Southchurch residents are less than impressed.
It seems it’s been a bloody summer, for the Conservative Party in Rochford & Southend East.
Getting all their selections out of the way very early on for the May 2016 local elections has thrown up a bit of internal bloodletting. The exact nature of the labyrinthine internal politics of Southend Conservatives is not, I’ll admit, exactly clear to me (Case in point: I expected the Courtenay/Cox putsch to succeed in May -Ed), but I expect there are some personal grudges being played out here.
The list of candidates which my little birds tell me for the east of the borough throws up relatively few surprises, with the honourable exception of Southchurch.