‘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?