ian gilbert

On the Rochford & Southend East election hustings (Bell Vue Church)


I like to leave a little space between a debate and giving my thoughts on how they went.

Partly, that’s related to my attempt to more widely document such debates, by recording and publishing them. As I discussed with fellow local politics blogger John Barber recently, I think my own views and commentary should remain separate from the actual recording itself, so that people can make their own minds up.

But also, I do like to digest what I’ve witnessed, to give a more thoughtful analysis (Some may disagree on that point -Ed). To that end, getting on for five days later, let’s take a look at the Rochford & Southend East hustings on Wednesday 22nd April 2015, held at Bell Vue Baptist Church.

The first thing I’d like to say, before looking at the candidates, is how well hosted I thought it was. The candidates were mic-ed up, it was all clear and audible, and the questions were wide-ranging and challenging. The evening was, in total, attended by somewhere between 100-150 people, if I had to guess. Most even lived in the constituency, I believe.

If you haven’t had a listen yet, I implore you to do so before reading my own views. Make your own mind up.

Read on…

LISTEN: Rochford & Southend East parliamentary hustings 22/04/15

(Note: This is an ambient recording, and as such won’t always be fantastic. Luckily, Bell Vue made their own recording of the microphone feed. So if there’s bits of this which are inaudible, try listening to theirs.)

Rochford & Southend East general election candidates 2015

rochford & southend east

Nominations for the general election next month closed yesterday at 4.00 p.m., and the following is the list of the persons have been confirmed by Southend Borough Council as being nominated for the constituency of Rochford & Southend East.

The election takes place on May 7th, and the deadline to register to vote is 20th April.

Meet the candidates…

No, a YouGov poll doesn’t show UKIP winning Rochford & Southend East

believe in southend

So, there was a bit of a stir yesterday, over a YouGov “poll”. The Southend Echo reported it under the headline:

Forecast puts Ukip on top in Thurrock and only just behind in Rochford and Southend East

Which is a fairly ground-breaking claim, liable to induce panic in the Tory and Labour ranks locally (The Lib Dems have, as I’ve said previously, already clearly given up -Ed).

Only one problem really: that headline is not actually true.

Read on…

Lady Basildon graces Southend West

ian, angela and julian

Saturday night, Southend West was where the party was at. Specifically, a fundraiser to fill the coffers ahead of May. All those leaflets don’t pay for themselves, you know (They don’t deliver themselves, either -Ed), and for all the fuss around big donor money, all of the local party activities that I have seen are funded through the personal generosity.

Our members believe in the cause we fight for, and invest themselves in a Labour victory.

The guest of honour was Baroness Angela Smith of Basildon, the former Labour MP for Basildon. She was, as I did not know before hearing her speak, a one-time long-time Labour candidate in Westborough ward, and had brought along one of her 1980s Labour leaflets.

Her view from the House of Lords, of the Liberal Democrats’ willing duplicity in oppressive measures like the bedroom tax and withdrawing legal aid from victims of domestic violence — all the while clinging onto the fiction of being to be more progressive than, and to the left of, Labour.

Fetid nonsense, of course. There is only one party who can stop the Tories, and who can kick them out of office on May 8th. It isn’t the Liberal Democrats, the Greens or UKIP.

No, if you want to get rid of the Tories and the disastrous policies of the last five years, then on 7th May you need to cast your vote for Labour — for Julian Ware-Lane in Southend West, and in Rochford & Southend East for Ian Gilbert.

Kipperwatch! What next for Floyd Waterworth?

UKIP ides of march

Almost a week has passed since the latest dramatic stage of the Southend UKIP civil war. I am talking, of course, of the unanimous decision by UKIP’s Southend Councillors to expel their Rochford & Southend East candidate from the council grouping. Time has not, honestly, made this look any less shambolic.

I am not even entirely clear on why Cllr Waterworth has been subjected to this indignity. The Southend Echo report contained a line purporting to explain the whole thing, but in its usual style only confused matters more:

It is understood Mr Waterworth, who represents Blenheim Park, has1 been kicked out because he allegedly warned a fellow councillor he would interfere with his chances of getting re-elected for Ukip, a charge Mr Waterworth denies.

So…is that a threat made by Cllr Waterworth? Or is it meant to be that he claimed that another councillor would hinder his own re-election?

I don’t know. But I do know that shambles doesn’t even come close to describing it.