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.

Which Southend councillor turned up 3 hrs late to planning committee?

cllr davies on holiday

On Wednesday, the Development Control Committee (Planning committee, to you and me -Ed) met as it always does, at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, to decide on the planning applications before it.

Well, most of it did. One of the councillors sitting on the committee was a little late. Nearly three hours late, in fact. Which councillor could this have been?

Surely it couldn’t have been the councillor who missed the council’s budget-setting meeting, because he was gallivanting off on holiday? The councillor who has only just been appointed to the Development Control committee, replacing the parliamentary candidate that his party group kicked out? The councillor who, if rumour is to be believed, fancies himself as his party’s next leader in Southend?

You might very well think so, but I couldn’t possibly comment

Kipperwatch! Former Tory mayor of Southend goes Kipper


Last night on Twitter, journalists at the Southend Echo were promising the scoop of a former Tory councillor defecting to UKIP. And this morning, they have delivered: Roger Weaver, former mayor, one time councillor for Eastwood Park, and 2011 Tory candidate for Westborough, has joined the Kippers and will stand next May for them in St Luke’s ward.

Now, defectors are good, headline-grabbing news for UKIP (Doubly so if it distracts from the local chaos of the Southend UKIP civil war -Ed). But to draw parallels with the defectors on the national political scene, there are the defectors UKIP bigwigs might have chosen for their party (Carswell), and the defectors that they might well not have (Reckless).

Roger, I would humbly suggest, falls into the latter camp.

Read on…

Kipperwatch! “New and Improved”?


“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…