Monday, 8 February 2010

Judgement of Lord Hanningfield, and the end of the Essex Way

It's not every year that I've personally met someone in the national news. I had many years in local government, and hugely enjoyed meeting a very wide range of people. I wouldn't usually come on here passing comments about them, but today's blog is about the former Leader of Essex County Council, born Paul White, but usually referred to as Lord Hanningfield.

As Leader he has to look at his role and responsibilities, weigh up different priorities, make some tough judgements, and implement courses of actions. A tricky balancing act, and over the years I have stoutly defended our elected representatives for what they are doing.

It has been a great pleasure serving our councillors and the public (from different parts of the political spectrum, and all tiers of society - if we are allowed to admit they exist), and I am proud that I have done my best to serve them fairly, without fear or favour. And one of my customers was Lord Hanningfield.

He's the man who has made judgements that affect my life, so I am going to step outside my usual bounds of decorum, and pass judgement on this individual. In all the years
I have worked with thousands of people, my opinion is that he is the most pompous and arrogant person I have ever dealt with.

He's in the news now, charged under the Theft Act in connection with his expenses, one of four parliamentarians up before the judge, following the long running MP's expenses row that has brought shame to our parliament. Now I appreciate he's innocent until proved guilty, regarding overnight hotel bills in London for evenings when he was driven back to his home in Essex by his chauffeur; but I can't help but think the Crown Prosecution Service has been very carefully looking at the evidence before deciding to pursue the case, knowing the high public profile of the individual accused, the national sensitivity of the whole issue, and, dare I say it, the power, influence, contacts and resources available to a person like Lord Hanningfield.

In paralell with Hanningfield's work as leader of Essex County Council, I've been busying myself walking the footpaths of the Essex Way. Starting from Harwich (picture above) I've been walking with Jules and Valerie, and we are now approaching the very outer reaches of London. We've a fair few miles to go before we finish the Essex Way. But at Essex County Council, Hanningfield has resigned as Leader, and has stood down from his frontbench duites at the House of Lords. The conservatives have suspended him from the parliamentary party. The end of his Essex Way, at least for the time being.

Disclaimer. All facts taken from BBC My opinion is my own.


  1. With you completely on the content and sentiment of this post Swifty. Strangely have just poted on the same issue - but more on the generalities.

    They're a shower of wasters in many instances and its a pity that the actions of a few - well actually 50% of those checked - impact on our perceptions of the whole when politics is life and society, for better or worse.....

    enjoy the walking my bloggy friend.

    Sunny days.........Al.

  2. Hullo,

    Aye, me again.

    Listen, sorry but I have never come back to you on the worst album in my record collection post you did a while back. I've just posted on favourite music, which is probably a lot easier.
    I have still been thinking about this though and I have come to the decision that the very worst album in my collection is 'Go West' by Go West.

    Admittedly it was very closely followed by almost any of the 6 Chris De Burgh albums I {sob} would have to own up to.

    I would also have to say that I would probably have had many more earlier options had I had the money. In so many ways, I'm glad I didn't......


  3. I've heard of these albums, but don't know them, so I won't be seeking them out! I'll do my favourite song blog soon.....

  4. Hi There. The duckhouse seeking MP is that in
    <a href=">Essex Chauffeur car hire</a>

  5. Hi Nick, welcome. The MP that claimed for a duck house was representing Gosport. The duck pond I photograped was at the hamlet of Olivers in Stanway. The MP's duck house cost the public purse £1,645 (according to the BBC). The one at Stanway might fetch 50p.



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