Mr. Perrin’s blog: A word in Your Ear.
Mick Hall, in a blogpost dated 9 July 2018, asked “Should Thurrock Labour take up Thurrock Independents’ offer? The offer being an alliance with the Labour Group.
My answer then was NO! NO! THRICE TIMES NO!
After they suffered a “crippling” blow at the Local Election in May 2018, not only losing their leader Graham Snell in a crushing defeat but also four other councillors, resulting in their relegation to third place in the Council, they suddenly found themselves having to swallow the bitter pill as “losers” and the heady days of the UKIP victories in Thurrock were just distant memories. Gone are the swaggers of the past four years to be replaced with the staggers.
What has happened since?
The Thurrock Independents Party (TIP) now led by Cllr Luke Spillman like to be known as “Thurrock Indies”. I believe that a far more apt description would be “Thurrock Windies” i.e. hold your finger in the air, see which way the wind is blowing, and go with that.
I think Mick Hall said it all, and made the case that Thurrock Labour should NOT take up Cllr Luke Spillman’s offer when he says: “Governing in a minority administration can be a thankless task, Labour managed it pretty well under John Kent, although it was far from a resounding success as a minority administration must make comprises”.
The problem with accepting support from another Party is that it comes at a price, well illustrated by the 2 billion pounds price tag paid by the Conservative Government to the Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for their support.
It would be absurd to suggest the price of the support of TIP would be anything like that paid to the DUP, but I believe they would make demands that would benefit them financially, have little to do with local issues and would be based mainly on promoting the ambitions of TIP and securing positions as Portfolio Holders and Chairs of Committees.
Mr. Hall also says of Cllr Luke Spillman, “I doubt opportunism is his main motive, his hatred of the Tories is palpable and clear to see”. I disagree, in my opinion, Cllr Luke Spillman will do a deal with any Party or anyone provided it benefits him personally, politically and financially. Along with Cllr Tim Aker and his “gang of four”, of which Cllr Spillman is a member, they spout their mantra “we will always put people first and politics second”, in the hope that you will support TIP and vote for them in Local Government elections.
The recent defection of ex-Cllrs Snell and Jones to the Tories is a clear indication of the true philosophy of the Thurrock Independents. If you allow us the appearance of power and influence, by appointing us as Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Council Committees, along with the financial benefit such appointments engender, we will support you and willingly do your bidding.
Should Cllrs Spillman, Aker, Duffy, Allen and Smith lose their seats in the May 2019 Local Government Elections it will be, from me, “Goodbyee, goodbyee, I shed not a tear from my eyee”. Well maybe just a tear or two for Cllrs Duffin and Smith.
Since Mick Hall’s blog there has been a change in the Leadership of the Labour Group, Cllr John Kent returning albeit for an interim period. My advice to Cllr Kent is, no deal with the Thurrock Independents is better than a shady deal.
“Never stop to smile at a crocodile, never be taken in by it’s toothy grin.”