The principle-free zone

Anne Chalk was elected on Thursday to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. I have campaigned for Anne on a number of occasions but I did not cheer her result this time. This is because she abandoned her principles a year ago and went ‘indie’.

Having worked with Anne many times over the year I have been privy to her thoughts about independent candidates in years gone by. Let’s just say that Anne was not complimentary. I also know that she professed deep Labour principles – principles that now appear elastic.

I can understand her desire to get elected, I desire this too. However, unlike Anne I will not be looking for the nearest flag of convenience; I like to think I have integrity.

Anne’s full electoral record is here :-

year party ward result
2000 Labour Prittlewell 6th
2001 Labour Shoeburyness 3rd (elected)
2002 Labour Shoeburyness 3rd
2003 Labour Shoeburyness 2nd
2004 Labour Shoeburyness 2nd
2006 Labour Shoeburyness 3rd
2007 Labour Shoeburyness 3rd
Sep 2007 Labour Shoeburyness 3rd
2008 Labour St.Lukes 3rd
2010 Independent Shoeburyness 2nd
2011 Independent Shoeburyness 1st

(Anne resigned after a few months in 2001 over a technicality.)

Anne Chalk also has a website, thus far devoid of any policy detail. It is curious that the contacts page has both Anne’s and Mike Assenheim’s details – so much for being opposed to party politics. The Southend Independent grouping has a leader, common literature, and ‘official’ independent candidates – I would like to know how this differs from other parties. The main thing that distinguishes them from the mainstream parties is their ineffectiveness.

Anne Chalk joins a select quartet of Southend-on-Sea councillors who cut their political teeth as Labour candidates, used the party to gain some prominence, then betrayed it. I look forward to the day that their electorates see through their duplicity.


6 Responses to The principle-free zone

  1. Ian Pope says:

    In a democracy, everyone should have the right to stand for election whether they belong to a political party or not. However, if you present yourself as ‘independent’ then your campaign should be self-financed and you should produce your own election materials.

    Whether or not they have a joint policy platform or exert discipline (the party whip) is irrelevant, the Southend Independents are clearly connected to each other. For instance, the Southchurch candidate Mike Wilson had his leaflets published by the independent Councillor Tony Delaney.

    I wonder whether the Labour Party should check the returns of election expenses by the independent candidates to see if they are funding one another and seek to publicise the facts if they are.

  2. Rob Brown says:

    They are definately funding each other, we know that. I wonder how Terry paid for his glossy Dr Vel endorsement leaflet.

    Two candidates miles apart in policy but somehow united in not having policy.

  3. Bernard Chalk says:

    I think Julian is probably one of the most sincere members of the Southend and Rochford Labour Party and has certainly worked harder than many other members of the party to try and get Anne elected. Unfortunately Julian wasn’t present in the Shoeburyness ward when the ruling group of the Labour Party in Southend decided it would be prudent for their councillors in Victoria ward to improve their political standing with the electorate by voting to move the EGL Company from their ward into Campfield Rd, Shoeburyness. The rest is history not worth repeating except to say that this caused the split of Southend East and Southend West and also caused Martin Terry, Mark Flewitt and eventually Anne Chalk to walk away from the party. Socialist principles and ideas don’t in fact belong to any party or group, so to assume that these people have abandond their principles is naive.


  4. Bernard Chalk: Anne was quite a vociferous opponent of the so-called independents at one time. To suddenly become one of them is at the very least a U-turn. Anne now flies under the banner of opposition to party politics, also a U-turn.

    Of course, belonging to a political party requires compromise. Perhaps Anne’s unwillingness to compromise says much about her – ‘my way or the highway’ is not my approach.

  5. Pingback: Anne’s wooden spoon « Julian's musings

  6. Pingback: Juliet « Julian's musings

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