The peasants are revolting, or so it appears. Plumstead residents, fed up with the piss-poor service they are receiving from the council have set up their own political party and are now pursuing a local agenda in direct opposition to the incumbent Labour group.
Claiming to be non party political, they are campaigning on the principal that locally elected politicians should take more than a passing interest in local affairs and should not sacrifice community needs in the interest of wider national party policies.
The idea has spread and there is now a movement to set a similar group up in Abbey Wood; local social media is full of it and there definitely seems to be a lot of support for the idea. Personally, I will support anything that breaks the stranglehold of what must be one of the most damaging aspects of the British electoral system, the Micky Mouse voter.
A few years ago, I used to work with a woman who had been a lifelong Labour Party activist and would never consider voting any other way. In 1983, she campaigned to get Michael Foot elected because he was going to abolish our nuclear deterrent. In 2010, she campaigned to get Gordon Brown re-elected as she supported his plan to replace our ageing fleet of Trident submarines.
"Hang on"! I hear you say, "how can you support both the abolition of our nuclear deterrent and it's replacement at the same time?" The answer is of course you can't.
The two policies are totally irreconcilable, completely opposed to one another. To make it worse, she supported abolishing our nuclear deterrent at a time when the Soviet Empire represented a clear and direct threat to our country, then supported retaining it when that threat no longer existed.
So what's going on? The Micky Mouse effect is what's going on. She wasn't opposing or supporting nuclear weapons, she was supporting Labour. It didn't matter a toss what the policy was, she voted Labour because she voted Labour because she voted Labour, ad-infinitum.
Put simply, the Micky Mouse voter is someone who votes for the same party at every election regardless of what that parties polices are or, more importantly, who the local candidate is. The argument goes that if the party you support puts up Micky Mouse as their candidate, you will still vote for him.
Interestingly, some of the debate going on at the moment around the Abbey Wood proposal highlights just this syndrome. Aside from the predictable conspiracy theorist "It's all a plot by the Tories to split the Labour vote" contribution, they also have someone bleating on about how you should only vote Conservative. Never mind that the Conservative candidate may be a crook; never mind that the whole council may be being run by lying, cheating, self-serving hypocrites (see Bexley is Bonkers, ad nauseam), you still have to vote for them.
I will be keen to see how this develops. The Thamesmead Party anyone?
HUFFING, PUFFING AND TOSSING.
Exactly as I predicted in my blog dated 20 December 2016, there has been a hysterical reaction to Bexley Council's new litter patrols from our smoking community. Also, it's exactly as I predicted, that it would be only our smoking community that was doing the protesting.
Setting aside the fact that the company Bexley hired to do the job were the subject of a recent Chanel 4 documentary about their illegal practice of setting their agents targets, (this was inevitably going to happen, as night follows day), there is the sad fact that smokers really do think that the world is their ashtray and "flicking a fag end" as one commentator put it, doesn't constitute littering.
I'm assuming that Bexley's litter patrols don't fine anyone for dropping their fast food containers, drinks cans/bottles or for gobbing their chewing gum onto the pavement as I haven't heard anyone complaining that they had; it's only the smokers that are being picked on.
It's not like fag ends are a problem. Smokers may flick about 4.5 trillion of them every year and although they are all saturated with a cocktail of toxic chemicals, many of which are known to cause cancer in humans, they soon get washed down the drain where they end up in the sea and who cares what we throw in that?