‘There’s no shame in resigning a political party to serve you better, Churchill did it twice’

AS ALWAYS, Bob Spink, our local MP, chooses to associate his particular brand of politics with renowned historical figures. But what his sound-bite does not say is that it took Winston Churchill a lifetime to achieve that distinction.

On the other hand, it has taken Bob just eighteen months to set a new record for changing parties six times.

The headline is a quote from today’s Yellow Advertiser advert, foretold in Bob’s email to his ‘independent’ colleagues last week – and overcoming any possible doubts that readers might have had in that letter’s authenticity.

The advert also confirms independent sources’ information that Gail Boland, with whom Bob lives on Canvey, is sponsoring the Independent Save Our Green Belt Party that Bob, after many attempts to find a suitable title, finally launched last week.

The advert might have been composed by Luke Akehurst. Spink is portrayed on the left hand page sporting the new Save Our Green Belt logo; but his positioning of the word ‘Independent’ is carefully placed below his name. (Unlike the opposing local candidate page which sees the same word reduced in size and positioned as the foundation of the logo).

This may indicate that Bob has yet to decide whether to officially adopt the new fledgling party for his campaign – or whether, if the press is unfavourable, he might retain the simple ‘independent’ label.

Hansard has yet to recognise Bob as an Independent Save Our Green Belt Party member.

Also notable in the advert is that Bob has distanced himself from his partner, Gail Boland. Bob’s sponsor is the same ex head-teacher of King Johns who was financially rewarded for acting as his agent in the 2005 campaign – Ian Yeoman.

At that time, Bob received over £15,000 for his campaign from the local Conservative Association.

Where his funding is coming from this time remains a mystery, because the new ISOGBP party, registered in April 2009, has yet to publish any accounts.

Notably missing from the advert is any detailed manifesto – or any allusion to one. Readers are presented only with a short list of issues, which few would not support. It is a pretention to being a party that anyone can safely vote for; but, at some distance from the ‘policies,’ Bob’s page also proclaims: ‘We are true independents. We will never take orders from a political party or vested interests.’

In other words, no groups with a common interest will be able to persuade the ISOGBP members to change their minds; and no promise is made to the electorate to follow any of the policies listed on the page.

Some may think I am being unduly harsh in my analysis of this advert’s wording – particularly because all readers like to read what they wish to see. But that is precisely the way this advertisement has been designed. It has been purposely constructed to mislead.

At the bottom of Spink’s page is inset thumbnails of five posters that actually tell their own story.

The first shows Bob’s total lack of respect for the Fallen’s War Memorial by saluting with a bare head, and dressed in civilian clothes.

The second is a poster campaigning to save our Post Offices, which had nothing to do with Spink. It was the Tory led Essex County Council that saved hundreds of post offices from closure across this county and brought back more.

The remaining three: ‘Save the Chase,’ ‘Stop the Gas Plant’ and ‘Save Our Greenbelt’ campaigns were begun by residents – and quickly taken over by Spink to ensure local press headlines and further the lie that he is ‘Britain’s hardest working MP.’

Spink even makes clear his contempt for the Democratic process itself by choosing to promote the following in his sub-header:-

‘We are registered with the Electoral Commission simply to meet election laws.’

This is reflected in the fact that his new party has filed no financial accounts. Legally, of course, he does not have to – yet. But all responsible parties are careful to make their financial dependencies public on their Websites in an effort to ensure transparency.

There is, as yet, no official ISOGBP website – and nowhere the electorate can go to discover anything about that party’s constitution; its financial backers; its position on national matters; or what it would seek to do for local residents.

It is nothing more than a Canvey Island Independent Party clone – and residents have already experienced that party’s particular brand of negative, nimby politics designed to halt any type of progress on this island.

It is your vote. Use it wisely this year…

… (20/02/2010) – Castle Point Or Passport To Pimlico?

19 Responses

  1. I think this is a fair comment the question is if they do a job anyone can survive without a party,

    Regards Neville.

    • You are right, Neville. It is about being able to do the job – if, by that, you mean being able to represent the voters. But those who seek to undermine the British language and mislead the electorate into believing that a collection of independent politicians can form a party to pursue specific political aims are not qualified to undertake any such appointment.

      Such ‘independents’ not only abuse their mother tongue, they undermine the value of the true independent politician upon whom our Democracy is based. The independent who uses his position to influence other parties to reach a consensus in favour of his constituents. The independent who offers other parties his office as a means of mediating between opposing party views, and the independent who is able to assist governments by acting as a negotiator with their enemies.

      Independence is not about conning the electorate into believing you can change things by simply opposing the majority’s plans. And it is not about sitting on your backside and doing nothing but stoking-up minority anger and resentment as a means of retaining your job.

      Politics is the art of intelligent debate and persuasion to ensure all members of a community can benefit from the majority’s progress. It is the art of managing and representing change for the common good.

      It is not about opposition. It is about ensuring everyone benefits from the progress mankind makes.

  2. Hi Ted.
    Thank you for your reply some of your comments are sound but also if you are the ruling group its not good enough to blame the serving government with the excuse we had to do it because they said we had to, i would rather resign than agree with a policy that is damaging to my residents.

    The reality Ted is the un-popular vote to remove the sea pool was a disaster for the Tory’s in Castle Point we are not making them un-popular they are doing it themselves, the cabinet must have the courage to vote against policy’s that the residents don’t want.

    Ted these were there voters long abandoned on Canvey Island who want there own self determination to rule we are better off without Castle Point, i promise you this we would listen the Tory Group as abandoned Canvey so now we have how own Councillors all of them Canvey Islanders all of them live here.

    Ted thank you for being open honest and transparent maybe the ruling group of conservatives can see Canvey in the light you do.

    Regards Neville.

    • Resign and abandon the electorate, Neville? The electorate that put their trust in you to represent their views? That isn’t politics – it is pure prima donna grand-standing.

      Politicians are elected to serve the people – not themselves. And the electorate expect them to be honest. They do not expect their political parties to misrepresent themselves by claiming to offer independent thinking, when, in fact, they mean political isolation.

      If the CIIP’s purpose is to have the island break-away from Castle Point, why does it not have the honesty to say so? And why has it specifically chosen not to make this clear by calling itself the Canvey Island Independence Party and mentioning such purpose in its manifesto?

      Is this the pact you have with Spink? Is this the purpose of the ISOGBP? to infiltrate the borough council and align itself with the CIIP to pass a separation resolution?

      How about being ‘open and honest’ here yourself, Neville?

  3. What next after separation – do we get the Leigh Beck Independence Party? There is sense in belonging to a wider whole. Canvey Islanders already pay more council tax than the mainlanders owing to the Town Council precept – there will be a cost associated with full independence.

    Like it or not, CPBC is a democratically run organisation. Democracy is not a ‘my way or the highway’ ethos – it is about debate, compromise, and making the winning argument. The real issue at Kiln Road is that the CIIP is ineffectual. Rather than holding the ruling party to account, they allow them free reign.

    • As an aside, Julian, what would separation from Castle Point achieve constitutionally? Would that create another parliamentary seat, which, it just so happens, would be the one geographical area in which Spink believes his support to be the greatest?

      • Parliamentary boundaries are set by the Electoral Commission. Castle Point’s is co-terminus with the borough boundary, and this is quite unusual. The EC aim for an average on 72,000 voters for constituency, and Canvey going its own way in local governemnt will make no difference to how it is represented in Parliament.

        The Conservative Party are advocating a 10% reduction in the number of MPs, thus increasing the average size to something like 79,000. My best guess is that Castle Point, for Parliamentary elections, will merge with one of its neighbours, possibly taking a chunk of Southend West (which is the smallest seat in Essex). I could yet live in the constituency without having to move!

  4. If the Independents domination of the Town Council is an indicator of how they would govern a ‘breakaway’ Canvey Island then NO THANKS!

    They have allowed Town Council projects to stall because of political in-fighting amongst themselves, they have made more headlines for unfair dismissal cases than for good deeds and let the MP turn a fantastic armed forces day into a political rally for himself.

    Neville is quite right that Canvey Islands voice is not being heard loudly enough at Kiln Road but that is down to his own Councillor colleagues lack of ability above anything else.

  5. Hi Ted.
    I thank Colin Maclean for at least admitting to Kiln roads failures if Colin thinks i lack ability he could always challenge me to a public debate i would accept, Colin at least you admit that there is a problem with Kiln road.

    Councillors are judged by what they do that’s the way it should be but there is no excuse for Tory Councillors to vote against there residents wishes, the Canvey Island Independents wont ever do that.

    We try hard to make the Tory Councillors that represent the Island not to vote in this way so why do they? as you are standing for election Colin tell me would you have voted to destroy the seaside pool?

    And to answer Julian tell me Julian and this is important do you agree with your Governments Housing targets without the infrastructure to support all these homes? to mass build blocks of flats even in London they are pulling down estates that are breeding ground for gangs, why are they going to build a problem for the future?

  6. Neville,

    As just a humble resident I am fortunate that I didn’t have to make the tricky decision between Officers advice, residents wishes and votes at the forthcoming election!

    As for the issue of ability, there is a clue in the word ‘colleagues’, there is no doubt that you personally stand up for your ward and Canvey but some of your members comments are cringeworthy and damage the reputation of our Island within the community.

    I will give you a quick example, on the facebook pages for your own party, the leader Dave Blackwell has posted the following statement

    David Blackwell “canvey will stand upto those toff torys on the mainland they will never defeat canvey people .we will fight them on the beaches”

    That statement alone shows why it is imperative that the MP’s green army do not take mainland seats which could lead to Dave Blackwell ending up as Council leader.

  7. Neville

    I have long argued for infrastructure improvements and for the green belt to be protected. I could argue that Dr Spink is stealing my clothes with his latest political creation.

    I do not hide from supporting the target for house-building in the borough (which, by the way, is a borough target and not a Canvey Island target – it could all be met by mainland building). Labour locally has made sensible suggestions about moving the Manor Trading Estate, and whilst Dr Spink argues to protect the green belt, he opposed the re-development of Hadleigh Police Station – having his cake and eating it in my view.

    The Conservatives have failed Castle Point’s residents –unfortunately I see the CIIP as culpable in this failure. Whilst there are many good people supporting the CIIP, it’s existence is marginalising Canvey’s voice.

    • Hi Julian.
      The question at the General election will be the green belt there is no argument about that with reference to the Manor trading estate project we agreed with that it was a sound decision,Bill Sharp brought the attention of this sound project to the Council so did Brian Wilson it was not even given a fair hearing why?

      Because of this decision it lead to disproportionate building on Canvey Islands green belt but in the next round of the Core strategy the green belt on the mainland will be built on, so whose kidding who come on Julian be fair Labours easy up of green belt building as caused this in the first place. Both Eric Pickles and Caroline Spelman instructed the conservative Councils to vote the Core strategy down and wait for a Tory Government to come to power so why did they vote for it the n=mind boggles does it not.

  8. Colin

    The powers that the Canvey Island Town Council have are a gift from the Borough Council. I think there is a valid argument for passing more power downwards – would you support that?

    • Hi Julian.
      Sorry you are wrong the Town Council is not a gift from Castle Point it is law from your Labour Government one of there better policy’s i must say the residents of Canvey Island had the required votes to achieve this in a democratic vote, the law also stated the Borough Council must not be obstructive to the ambitions and progress of a Town Council Have Castle Point?

      Regards Neville.

  9. Julian,

    The Town Council should have been run at local level by residents not dominated by political parties.

    At present the majority of the Town Councillors are also Borough Councillors which makes no sense to me.

    In these difficult financial times people are looking closely at every penny and the extra money levied against Islanders for the Town Council is not being justified by the progress made.

    • Hi Colin.
      Do i take it there will be no Conservatives standing at next years Town Council elections? sorry my friend your first mistake always check with Bill Sharp first i can see him smiling at this one, you have already been a candidate in the Town Council, if you win in this years borough election can you guarantee you wont stand for the Town Council?
      Colin you cannot win them all.

      Regards Neville.

  10. you would have expected me to join in this one I am sure ..
    It shows what I know that Neville and Colin if elected are and would be first class cllrs as they listen to the people but have the logical mind to know what can and cannot be done within the confines of a budget. What is being spoken about in this web is Spink’s bandwaggon hopping antics and the way he is using people as he always has…..I am sure that all of the people putting there names forward as part of his new TEAM are keen and honest . They will realise they are being used .. Why has he got a different agent than they have ? why is Gail Boland the agent and listed as living at Downer Road ? we all know where she lives and with whom..
    I have every rite to dislike this morally bankrupt creature who has hi-jacked our Borough for his own financial gains and that will not change .
    I am happy to own up that this Borough is not run in the manner that satisfy’s me. but this group of independents along with most of the Canvey Independents will not change it . Neville and I have voted together on many issues in the chamber because we look at things as presented ratehr than who presents .. Do you really believe this will change Neville if the indies become a group on the mainland . I dont.
    The government of the day will make the rules and how we oppose those rules for the benefit of the Community will show the colour of the Councillors not Red Blue White or in Spink’s Case Yellow.

  11. Hi Bill.
    Thank you for this article and yes our PDG group has the best Councillors that as opposed this cabinet more than any committee that’s true i told you and you know i deal only with facts not fantasy,you know bill this election will be a telling point for all of us the way it should be returning to old style politics.
    You know i wont get involved with comments of a personal nature i have told you this, i judge Councillors on what they do who ever they are this is silly season that we all know we hate, you are an old fashioned Tory with strong principles and conservative values.

    I try my best to give honest answers and get on with the job our way of thinking is not far apart and yes we have voted along side one and other in the chamber, to be fair to you i think if you were a Cabinet member you would have voted no on many things that the cabinet have voted yes to.
    But you like me will never get any where because we are not yes men that’s the problem this site as give me a platform and i am grateful that i have that, And i will tell all the winning candidates who ever they are what ever colour they are well done with an hand shake.

    This election is going to be exciting the best in Castle Point for many years and i wish all good luck.

    Regards Neville.

  12. Hi Ted.
    What a great debate this as been thank you for having an open honest transparent site i have enjoyed this and thanks to all that have participated.

    Regards Neville.

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