Friday, December 8, 2023

Letter to Editor: On “Covid heroes” in Ockendon

Dear Sir, 

Regarding your article titled “Tory council candidate slammed over “Covid hero” election leaflet.

Is there no limit to the depth Cllr Spillman will sink in order to promote his political  ambitions?

Cllr Spillman’s claim to be a “Covid hero” is an affront to the real heroes such as NHS staff, at all levels, and other key-workers who have literally put their own lives at risk and sadly some have themselves died from Covid-19 caring for others. 

He states he was “unaware”  of the wording on his election leaflet, and says it (the Covid hero claim) had not been down to him.  He also states  “I don’t chose the wording for all my leaflets. Personally I found it a little embarrassing. 

I do not believe Cllr Spillman’s statement that  he was “unaware”  of the wording  in his election leaflet. If he cannot be bothered to  vet  his own election leaflet then he has only himself to blame for any inaccuracies contained therein.
However, if he is telling the truth then, at the very least, it was irresponsible and careless of him.  He should have made himself aware of the content of his election leaflet.
Candidates seeking election to public office are morally obliged to ensure the information contained in their promotional leaflets is true and does not mislead voters. 
 I  believe he was fully aware of every word of his election leaflet and sanctioned its distribution, unaltered, delivering it himself through the letter boxes of the residents of the South Ockendon Ward.
Cllr Spillman seeks to mitigate the “Covid hero” claim  saying “I understand that this is reference to the work I’ve been doing with the rough sleepers initiative “.
I am baffled as to why working on the rough sleepers initiative entitles you to the status of a “Covid hero”.
He says the wording of his election leaflet “had not been down to him”.  Typically he blames everybody else but himself for the content of his election leaflet and the “little” embarrassment caused him.
Cllr Spillman says “Call me old fashioned, but I think climbing over peoples graves (those who have died from Covid-19) to get votes is something to be frowned upon”.
That is exactly what Spillman is doing by claiming to be a “Covid hero”.  It is something to be more than frowned upon.

The rebuke from Ruth Clapham, Labour candidate for South Ockendon, is not enough.  It is all very well to say “I was disgusted and angry.  The very least he (Cllr Spillman) can do is to apologise for the disgust and deep offence he has caused”.

What is required is a far more robust attack by all the other South Ockendon candidates, especially  UKIP, Thurrock Independents candidates, regarding Cllr Spillman’s past record  questioning his fitness to hold public office. 
Yours sincerely,
Mr. Perrin.


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