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Bonkers Blog January 2014

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20 January (Part 1) - Lucking lies?

Two local political websites changed overnight. Bexley Action Group has gained a column as Elwyn Bryant throws his hat into the electoral ring and UKIP (Lesnes ward) has apparently discovered that Bexley Conservatives are a bunch of liars. Well who’d have thought it, Bexley councillors lie, whatever next?

The story is best read on UKIP’s site (link above) but it was first reported here on 7th November 2013. In that blog Michael Barnbrook related his conversation with Mr. Conor Lucking at a full council meeting. Mr. Lucking, a Conservative local election candidate, had, along with two other would-be councillors, been chosen to put questions to council to the total exclusion of genuine members of the public. Mr. Lucking excused himself by saying that John Davey, councillor for Lesnes ward, had asked him to submit the question.

Mick Barnbrook put in a formal complaint against mayor Sharon Massey (who in theory selects the questions) to the Chief Executive on 7th November. Part of it read as follows…


The third person on the agenda, Mr Conor Lucking, admitted to me that he was also a Conservative candidate in next year's council elections.

When I asked him why he was asking questions at a public council meeting when, as a Conservative candidate, there were other forums where he could obtain that information, he replied "Because Councillor John Davey asked me to."

Mr. Lucking was unaware who I was and to his credit was just being honest.

However, as in previous council meetings, it is obvious that the Conservative Party, by careful selection of questions that are not embarrassing to them, or by arranging for individuals to submit questions on their behalf, are corrupting the democratic process by denying ordinary members of the public the opportunity to hold elected members to account.


I was close enough to that conversation to be able to pick up the general drift of it and confirm its principal point.

One of the people present at that meeting was Chris Attard, the UKIP’s man in Lesnes Abbey. As he saw it the council was promoting one of its brethren which might have a detrimental effect on his own campaign. The members of the audience present might be swayed by the answer to the stooge’s question and the Lesnes majority was only six at the last election. It was not an unreasonable assumption for a political rival to make and like Mick Barnbrook Chris penned a complaint.

John DaveyNaturally it was dismissed by that arch disseminator of council misinformation, Mrs. Lynn Tyler, their Legal Officer and equally naturally Chris rejected her excuses. Bexley’s review of his complaint has recently produced an assurance from the top man in Bexley’s legal tree and he says that councillor John Davey didn’t ask Conor Lucking to plant his question.

Chris has concluded that John Davey is a liar. I will concede that John Davey is a complete and utterly useless chump who has done nothing for Bexley other than help name this website but maybe he is being unfair on Davey. It seems to me that it is just possible that Conor Lucking is the liar. But who cares who it was?

It has been proved once again that Bexley Conservatives answer all questions with lies. It’s what they do. If they had wanted to get at the truth they might have asked Mr. Lucking what he said to Mr. Barnbrook. But the truth is an alien concept to Bexley council, so they didn’t.

Chris Attard is disappointed that Davey has not been deemed to have broken the Code of Conduct for Bexley councillors. I am gong to disappoint him even more.

There was never any chance Davey would have fallen foul of the code. He may have lied, he probably did lie, but as Ms. Tyler has been keen to point out before, there is nothing in Bexley council’s code of practice that outlaws lying. How could it be otherwise? They would be tripped up almost daily. Their record of never finding a councillor guilty of misconduct would fly out of the window. In the last three years all 49 complaints against councillors from members of the public have been rejected. Now it is at least 50.

I assume that Mick Barnbrook’s complaint was rejected too, I don’t seem to have a copy of the reply to his letter.

 

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