Never saying never

There are ten Independent councillors on Southend-on-Sea Borough Councillor. One is truly independent (Cllr Marimuthu Velmurugan), the others are in the Independent Group.

Those in the Independent Group have branded literature, group meetings, and a leader – rather like a proper party. Of course, they are still against party politics, a convenient slogan designed to seduce the ‘none of the above’ vote. This independent stance does not stand any real scrutiny, yet it seems to have convinced enough voters – there is a lesson here for those of us who value honest politics.

Some of the Independent Group were once in proper political parties, I can only count three who can claim to be truly independent (Assenheim, Van Looy, Woodley), yet even Cllr Woodley at the last full council declared himself to be a Conservative.

Cllr Cox (in his blog) shows a comment from Cllr Ayling where he almost concedes that they are a party in all but name.

What worries me is that this group seem content to align themselves with UKIP, a party to the right of the Conservatives. On a personal level I quite like James Moyies, but his politics stink. Who knows what the chamber’s precise composition will be after May’s elections, but since it is almost inevitable that the Tories will lose seats some sort of agreement or coalition is likely (although a minority administration is also possible). If the opposition parties manage to unite long enough to oust the Tories it must be accompanied by a lot of compromises.

Politics is the art of compromise and accommodation can be made on almost any issue. The tough bit is just how much movement one is prepared to tolerate, and whether the outcome is worth it.

2 Responses to Never saying never

  1. Not strictly true, if you look back at past election results, you will find that both Cllr Woodley and Cllr Assenheim stood for Alliance Southend which was a bone fide political party registered with the Electoral Commission. It had Cllr Terry listed as the registered leader and a registered logo

  2. Which leaves Paul Van Looy as the only truly independent councillor.

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