Saturday, September 30, 2023

Labour Foghorn/Tory Stooge

Editorial Comment

A YOUNG Labour council candidate recently told some of his senior colleagues that he just been interviewed by YourThurrock. He was taken to the side (according to our source) and advised to have no truck with YT. “Just a mouthpiece for the Tories”

A while back, we were removed from the mailing list of a community forum for our constant criticism of the Labour members.

Earlier this afternoon we received an e-mail from a councillor who gave us much needed advice on media bias as we seemed to be consistently anti-Tory.

They counselled us: “If you want to be taken as a serious media outlet, you must stop being a Labour party foghorn”.

Later on in the day, a comment passed on our site asked: “Is Your Thurrock a news service or is it just a mouthpiece of the local Conservative party?
This article appears, particularly with the words in bold font, to be nothing more than a promotion of the local Conservative Party line. What is it doing on here without any context or balancing comment. It is either shoddy journalism or a political advertisement.

I was always told that rule one in journalism is that if you dish it out then you better take it. If you can’t, quit.

We have said this before and we will say it again. We’re not on anyone’s side. We are simply a critical friend to the borough.

We report our news in a rolling news style. We will run a press release from John Kent in full and we will later run the same for Garry Hague.

There are councillors from both sides who are very good at public relations. Who always pick up the phone and are responsive. There are others who have not replied to an e-mail in five years. One said that they didn’t do e-mail but miraculously is able to set up the direct debit for the thousands of pounds in allowances they take from the taxpayer every year.

So, as an independent business our only bias is against those who, we suspect are at it. We know there are councillors who burn the midnight oil going over documents and others who we suspect are actually on the witness protection scheme and living in Eugene, Oregon.

We have our views on issues. The recent “historic” Tory victory over the budget for example. Could be a sound amendment and re-structuring of the Labour proposals. The four architects could sweep themselves back into power on the back of it or it could be, in light of the May elections (and I quote) ‘the longest suicide note in political history” that will see them condemned to return to pre-2004 shadows.

Likewise, Labour chief John Kent could find his position (further) isolated. The “long tail” of the Cabinet further exposed and subsequently, the group fail to make the inroads that they should on May 5th.

Who knows. Whatever happens, we will be there, interviewing the candidates and giving what we believe is the best coverage we can. Since we launched in Sept 2008, 200 local newspapers have gone out of business. It is harder and harder for the local voice to be heard. We like to think that we are bucking that trend and showing how independent publishers can produce news for a local community.

At the same time, we appreciate every single viewer that looks in on the site. We embrace the feedback because that is one of the ways in which you gauge  the political temperature and it is, after all, your Thurrock.


  1. Keep on doing what your doing Your Thurrock. When both Conservative and Labour accuse you of political bias then you can assume you have got the balance just about right. You give members of the public easy access to a means whereby they can air their views,, exchange comments and debate issues they feel strongly about. Unlike the Councillors in the Council Chamber you do not make it difficult for people to post their comments by imposing unneccessary restrictions or pedantic rules. I thank all the staff of Your Thurrock, all those who contribute to your blogs, members of the public who have their say and especially Mike Casey who seems to be everywhere at the same time though I am told he is indisposed at the present time, get well soon Mike. If only the rest of the local media were as diligent as Your Thurrock then perhaps the Council would be more inclined to listen to the voice of the people and take actions that accord with public demand. .

  2. Keep on reporting – I fully support the Local Labour Party but I believe Yourthurrock provides the basic facts and the politics comes from the Blogs. Thurrock People need more Forums for discussion & debate and if you cannot take criticism as a politician plus sudden wins / defeat and reversals and come up with a “Cunning Plan” do not engage in politics. There is no need for Yourthurrock to defend its reporting record – its excellent. The blogs volume demonstrate this. Carry on Michael and team great job done.

  3. Keep doing what your doing YT, you are a true voice for the people of Thurrock, so what if you start to raise the hackles of certain councillors, if they don’t like the criticism then get out of public office.

    The reporting on YT is non political and gives a view point from both sides of the fence, your investigative journalism is a credit to you and your staff, you seek to identify those who are doing an unjust service to the people of Thurrock, long may you continue

  4. This is quite an amusing story when you look at it. If there is one thing that Political Parties can’t abide it’s an independent news source. The politico’s love a nice politically biased avenue to get their stories out to the public, that way they can spin their yarns as much as they like. However, in yourthurrock they come across a news service that just (horror of horrors!) reports the news how it see’s it rather than the way the politicians would like us to see it. I for one applaud Mr Casey for his sterling work and excellent website.

  5. Whatever you do, you will never please everybody. Particularly the Labour or Tory parties in Thurrock. I really do enjoy reading this site, frequent, interesting and insightful updates, but also with a good dose of realism. I also feel the site lets me make up my own opinion. My feelings on recent topics as a result of reading this site wouldn’t side with any party – broadly, Labour have done a better job since taking over last May, but the budget amendment pushed through by the Tories demonstrates clever analysis and manouevring and is on the whole a better deal, even if it is a bit of a shifty backroom deal, as your article on Richmond Road college indicated. Val Morris Cook and John Kent are good leaders, and the Belhus councillors are obviously, from an independent perspective, victims of what has turned planning difference into witchunt, but some of the Tory councillors like Amanda Arnold really know their brief very well, it doesn’t always seem like Labour members (Diana Hale aside) do.

    The point is that this site let’s people like me make their mind up. It’s evident that Garry Hague was on to YT the very second after the budget yesterday, but we still have yet to see Labour’s response – I’d suggest they do the same to get their side of the story across, as opposed to complaining your a tory mouthpiece! Column inches are always given to the Lib Dems and Clive Broad/UKIP also, which I like to see. Let’s hope YT continues, it’s an excellent read and is great for democracy.

  6. for years the thurrock gazette was hand in pocket with the local labour mafia,perhaps yourthurrock is just levelling the playing field.

  7. It’s a tragedy… NOT… That the Thurrock Gazette had all of their advertising taken away but, lets look at the reality. The Thurrock Gazette reaches many more Thurrock residents than the Essex Enquirer. So, I’m not surprised that the Labour administration want to involve as few people as possible. They did it pre-2004, they are doing it now. What you don’t know, doesn’t hurt you until it is too late….


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