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Bonkers Blog April 2011

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11 April (Part 2) - I thought they were cleverer than that

Although the object if this website is to inform Bexley residents of some of the murkier goings on in council I would be less than human if I didn’t wonder what councillors and staff think about it, but the fact is I don’t (or didn’t!) really know. I have never used any leaked information from current council employees, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone losing their job, and the number of leaks from councillors can be counted on the fingers of one hand so the truth is I really didn’t know what they think of Bonkers or even if they read it. The Tory grandee who reads it every day and said that mayor Val Clark was about as useful as a chocolate teapot was as good as it got.

I thought their silence was a clever policy as far as the council is concerned. The quieter they are the more difficult my job is, but now the councillors have shown they do read Bonkers as anyone who reached this blog today via the site’s front page will know. Bexley council have at long last acknowledged the existence of Bexley-is-Bonkers and additionally banned their employees from looking at it. One of my ‘friends’ at Bexley council contacted me to say the site has just been barred on the council’s webserver. It’s a milestone in Bonkers’ development but what is it that they are trying to hide?

The council broke their silence by getting their friends in the CID to send a letter warning me about the way I “criticise the way Bexleyheath Council is run by Councillors”. They say it is harassment. We are prevented from asking councillors questions because they plant their own, we are not allowed to take photos and now we are not allowed to criticise them. It really is The Police State of Bexley.

How is criticism harassment? If I get things wrong I correct them. The About page has said as much since the day the site was created. On one occasion I quoted the News Shopper which was quoting a councillor. That councillor asked me if I could amend his quoted words because the News Shopper had it wrong. I took his word for it and gladly did so. That facility is open to anyone but no one else has ever made contact to say Bonkers was anything but truthful. Should I assume they don’t like nicknames such as Twankey and Fat Controller? For goodness sake! Some London blogs label their councillors with words which would get the **** treatment in even the most scurrilous of newspapers. I called the mayor a ‘Lemon’. Oh, goodness me, whatever next?

One could say that if councillors feel harassed by such low level mickey-taking they shouldn’t go out of their way to read the blogs as they clearly have been. It seems altogether more likely that councillors want to have the site closed down because they don’t like their comfy and lucrative little world disturbed by “modern communication methods” and the sentiment “that elected representatives who have put themselves up for public office should be prepared for their decisions … to have a direct line of communication to their electorate”. Both quotations being words of wisdom from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government. Unfortunately Eric Pickles (the Minster) and Bob Neill MP both seem to have this quaint idea that Bexley councillors harbour the same ideas about democracy as they do.

More revelations about Bexley council’s financial fiddling coming just as soon as my email inbox can be dealt with!

 

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