Local election time and the Confelicity Party
Some people will be aware that I have, in my recent past, been a local political geek (and for a number of years I attended the best show in town – the count following the local elections) and while on good terms with many (but not all) local politicians (specifically councillors and wannabe councillors), especially these past twenty odd years when my community activist interests brought us both into contact (often being pleasantly surprised at the dedication of many who have taken up political office and often finding that beneficial actions can result upon agreeing common ground ).
Ever since I stopped being a Labour Party supporter as a teenager, I have not aligned with any party (and especially nowadays, being disillusioned with the inept Tories, the woke Labour and the neither here nor there LibDems) and having toyed in the past supporting the Greens, who despite wacky notions appear strong on social justice and UKIP when a going concern due to Brexit, and the local matter of the Independent (we aren’t really a) Party, choosing rather to be a floating voter based on who I see as the best candidate, engaging when I can on issues I care about and adopting an equal opportunities policy, when insulting all sides in equal measure.
Covid-19 has played an important part in my losing interest in the past two years, lamenting the part the fake pandemic has played at the expense of the welfare of the town, now city, and with the acquiescence by all sides, the unnecessary persecution in the interest of political correctness of them that don’t play ball and, talking of ball, the unsavoury shenanigans by the Rainbows (Labour, LibDem, Independents) to gain power (not that the Tories are above these things). But Local Election time has come round again – 5th May, only seven weeks away, and already there are signs of folk going door to door canvassing. As to what any of them can bring to the party, that remains to be seen although, while hoping I’m wrong, based on recent experience, I am not expecting to be impressed.
My Ward is St. Lukes, currently served by councillors from the Conservative, Labour and Independent Party. In my estimation, all of them have brought something to the Ward but with the Independent chap (as I understand it) now stepping down, St. Lukes has to choose a Councillor (and it will be someone new unless my friend Brian stands again and wins), as do the other 16 wards in Southend. Who will win in St. Lukes, I can’t say other than with the Paul Van Looy Independent dominance in recent years, before Paul’s untimely death, now seemingly at an end, it can be anyone. As for who to endorse, I don’t know enough about the candidates, and even if I did I won’t do so as it usually ends in the kiss of death.
Whether the Independent bubble is about to burst, I can’t say other than it could well be based on what I have seen. As for a son of UKIP arising, to appeal to disaffected deplorables, disillusioned with the main parties, who like me question the official narrative, it is premature to say, but locally that still leaves the traditional parties: Conservative, Labour and LibDem (strong in the west part of the City) all vying for seats and wondering what deals can be made with the Indies or whoever to ensure control of the Council. I am not into spoiling ballots and rather choose the lesser of the evils even if not agreeing politically. Which brings me to the new kid on the block – the Confelicity (means taking pleasure in other people’s happiness) Party, who I suspect many reading this may not be aware off.
Checking out their Facebook page entry of six days ago, we read: “Good evening one and all, I am delighted to announce that as of 3rd March the City of Southend-on-Sea has its very own political party fully devoted to serve the residents in our city. We are the Confelicity Party and we stand for local, ground-level politics unbound by national party obligations. We are neither right or left of the political spectrum – we merely want to make practical change to improve our lives. Our main priorities are to build local business success to create more jobs, and pay for the public services we all want. Our manifesto and more information about our party can be found at confelicityparty.com. We will be running in the forthcoming local elections on May 5th, and we hope you can put your faith in us when the time comes”. According to their website, we find they will be fielding candidates in 15 of the 17 wards, and as far as manifestos go at a local level, it is one of the more impressive with a number of good ideas which, if elected and they were able to carry these through, will overall benefit the City of Southend.
New Southend-on-Sea City Council logo is under review
Certainly, there is nothing certain about the prospects of this new addition to the political landscape. But they will have rocked the proverbial apple cart and could even take over the spoiler role of the Independents (although too early to say as of now). As I say, I am not here to endorse or otherwise any candidate in the forthcoming election. While what a councillor can achieve is limited. In my experience, central government and local council officials wield more power than local councillors, but as I have witnessed over the years, a good councillor, irrespective of political affiliation, can make a real difference and all credit goes to those who have served us well over the years. While, in the past, I have despaired of the fickleness of the electorate in their voting decisions (and this has nothing to do with my political views), I am still hopeful for an engaged, intelligent electorate and voters will consider what each candidate is offering and vote accordingly, and that in the end the best candidates win.