Another word in your ear: Columnist Peter Perrin responds to 'doffed cap'

  Posted: 12.05.21 at 16:08 by Mr. Peter Perrin

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Thurrock Nub News' occasional columnist and well-know local commentator of all things political in the borough Peter Perrin responds to an acknowledgement of his role in a recent election success!
He is reacting to the accolade by Cllr Luke Spillman, who says Mr Perrin's criticism of him spurred him to great things!

LUKE Spillman thanks the people of Ockendon for giving him this “fantastic” opportunity to serve and says; “As always, I will work tirelessly to fulfill the duty you have awarded me”.

Cllr Spillman goes on to say: “I would also like to thank Mr. Perrin, whose inspiration shone a light on this path. I find it only fitting to dedicate my victory to him. Mr Perrin, I doth my cap in gratitude”.

Normally I would be very pleased to be told that my “sage” advice had inspired him to offer himself to serve the residents of Thurrock, South Ockendon in particular.

However, at risk of being considered churlish, I do not take any pleasure from Cllr Spillman’s “praise” and am cautious regarding its sincerity.

It is no secret that I have been very critical of Cllr Spillman and his fellow defectors. I do not retract one word of my criticism of them over the past year.

I can only say that I aired my opinions, not with spite or malice, but because I considered their defections to be disloyal to those people who trusted them and voted for them as UKIP and Thurrock Independents. I felt I had a public duty to caution voters as to the fitness of the defectors to hold public office.

I have to accept that, despite my warning, the voters' decision is what matters. I can only hope that those who voted for Cllr Spillman, and the other defectors, did so simply because they were Conservative candidates and not because they condoned their disgraceful past behaviour.

Typically Cllr Spillman cannot resist exaggerating his victory and claims he “now carries an overwhelming mandate to represent, fight and support every resident in my ward” (Ockendon). He makes his claim based upon the fact that he received more than 55% of the vote.

South Ockendon has an electorate of 8,205 of which only 2,198 (26.86%) actually cast their vote. The reality is that he received 228 votes more than the combined vote of the Labour and Thurrock Independents candidates (985). Cllr Spillman should, instead of bragging, show some humility and accept that the result was more underwhelming than overwhelming and was not an endorsement of his past conduct.

Incidentally, I did not liken either Cllr Spillman or Cllr Duffin to slugs, I merely commented that I would rather hug a slug.

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