Mr.Perrin’s blog: “A Word in Your Ear”.
The Dependent Independents.
SEVENTEEN Thurrock UKIP Councillors have resigned their membership of UKIP and formed a new “group” titled “Thurrock Independents Group (TIG)”. In a breathtaking display of arrogance and contempt they have abandoned Thurrock UKIP Members, along with the thousands who have supported and voted for them in both local and national elections and taken them for granted.
In so far as I am aware they took this action without consulting with Thurrock UKIP Members, assuming they were entitled to their continued support and membership of the newly formed Group. They say they are not a conventional political party and seek to convince the public of this by calling themselves a Group, not a Party, comprised of 17 Independent Councillors. A rose by any other name is still a rose.
These 17 Councillors are in need of tuition as to the criteria to be met in order to be defined as independent:-“Not depending upon the authority of another; not in a position of subordination; not subject to external control or rule; self governing; free; not dependent of each other; not dependent on another for support or supplies; not influenced or biased by the opinions of others; thinking and acting for oneself; refusing to be under obligation to others”.
These 17 Independent Councillors (albeit unelected as such) are entirely dependent upon each other for their ability to be an effective force within the Council, They are also dependent upon a paid membership for financial support in order to function effectively, which begs the question, are they using Thurrock UKIP Membership payments to fund the Thurrock Independents Group? They are nothing but a bunch of nonentities posing as elected Councillors for a Group/Party which did not exist at the time they were elected. They would be more respected if they had resigned their seats as Councillors and stated their case to the electorate by means of a bye-election.
I note that Cllr Graham Snell still functions as Leader of the 17 Independent Councillors, a contradiction; surely you cannot be independent if you are led, and a leader is someone you follow. He says that “TIG hopes that Conservatives and Labour share our rejection of the old politics of pettiness, confrontation and conflict. TIG will bring upbeat, optimistic and positive politics to Thurrock. TIG will be the standard bearer for “A new, kinder politics”. Fine words Cllr Snell and an admirable goal to strive for, but you seem to lay the blame entirely on the doorsteps of the Conservative and Labour Groups whilst ignoring the fact that a practitioner of confrontation, conflict and thuggish behaviour was one of your own Group, namely Cllr Kevin Wheeler.
In my opinion the Thurrock Independents Group is lacking integrity. Despite the fine words and lofty aspirations, espoused by Cllr Snell, I believe they are insincere and are just a means to an end, namely the furtherance of the political ambitions of the members of the Thurrock Independents Group.
I am not going to make any predictions about the fortunes of the Thurrock Independents Group candidates in the May Local Elections, nor will I be so foolish as to say I will eat my hat if they are not reduced to just a handful of seats. Suffice to say, it will be a very interesting count on the night of the 3/4May 2018.
Speaking of integrity brings me to Cllr Tim Aker and his “gang of four” local assistants, namely Cllrs Smith, Spillman, Duffin and Allen. Mr Aker claims, in order to remain a Councillor, he had “no option” other than to comply with the decision of the other UKIP Councillors and become a member of the Thurrock Independents Group, surely that is the action of someone who is dependent on the actions of others, not someone claiming to be Independent. I do not see any reason why he could not have remained a UKIP Councillor other than it was politically expedient and ensured the Thurrock Independents Group “inherited a majority of seats over the Labour Party.
Mr Aker, along with his “local assistants”, says he will continue to work as a UKIP MEP and support UKIP regarding BREXIT. Who do you think you are kidding Mr Aker? I believe your decision has more to do with the large salary and allowances you receive as a MEP which, despite the attempt by Cllr Spillman to give the impression that he is an “employee” of the European Parliament and therefore paid by the European Parliament, enables you to pay for the services of your little gang of helpers. Which is it Mr Aker, are you a member of UKIP, Thurrock Independents Party or just plain Independent?
I have just received a leaflet published by the “Thurrock Independents Party titled ”Who are Thurrock Independents? Quote:-
“Thurrock Independents, is a new residents party in Thurrock, currently we are the second largest party on Thurrock Council. Thurrock Independents have the only councillors in Thurrock whose prime concern will be Thurrock residents. They are not compromised by an attachment to a national party. The party will only be standing in local elections. Thurrock Independents have had enough of the aggressive and bitter reality of party politics. Our Councillors have won widespread admiration for their hard work from residents across the political spectrum. Our logo represents the ethos of our party; hard graft, working together towards common goals, sacrifice and the importance of the protection of our environment,”
I am still somewhat confused are the Thurrock Independents a Party, a Group or 17 individual Independents? It is my considered opinion that the episode is a desperate attempt by 16 Councillors of a disintegrating UKIP to cling on to their Council seats simply by changing their identity and a new logo. People are not idiots nor are they easily fooled, Thurrock Independents, you may fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
The Thurrock Independents end their leaflet with the rallying cry:-
“IF YOU WANT CHANGE, VOTE FOR IT!
I caution them, there could be a terminal sting in that little bee’s tail come the 3rd May 2018.