Monday, November 04, 2013

One Campaign Too Many?

Some will say they saw it coming but others will most surely spring to the defence of a celebrated local political character. One who has courted controversy since he was first elected as a Councillor.

I can of course imagine readers pausing to think of all those Thanet Councillors who might fit that description? This time however, it's the turn of Cllr John Worrow, the Council's Diversity Champion and the former' leader' of TIG - a title now passed to his last remaining colleague Cllr Dr Jack 'Rowley' Cohen.

For those of you who can still afford to buy the soar-away Thanet Gazette on Fridays or indeed find those gems of local news worth reading within its pages, you may have noticed John Worrow, featuring prominently on the front page under the headline: "Councillor Arrest for Sex Assault."

I should add, at this point that the Police are investigating a 'Serious' allegation and Cllr Worrow, protesting his innocence, comments: "I wholly deny the twisted nature of the allegations leveled against me." He is of course innocent, until proven guilty of any charge leveled against him.

What Cllr Worrow can't avoid of course are the rumours surrounding his 'off-duty' behaviour over the years and the Gazette story is simply another. Alert readers may have caught some curious references on the local blogs. The more imaginative of these might disturb even the most broad-minded members of Thanet's electorate.

Cllr Worrow, as the Council's Diversity Champion has not been reluctant to celebrate his personal commitment to diversity and gay rights. I would argue, with many others, that Thanet's Labour Group, have been reckless in appointing him to a senior and well-paid role in the Council's political administration. This in return for his important minority vote to keep Labour in control of the Council and Cllr Poole - presently enjoying the sunshine in Australia, in control of Ramsgate's future. I really do wonder how Cllr Michelle Fenner can now support her protege at the next full meeting of the Council. I'm sure she knows as much as the many other Councillors who have taken a keen interest in the career of John Worrow over the last few years and I'm really very surprised that this one allegation, which goes back many months, has taken so long to surface in the local press.

With what may appear to some to be a slowly developing local version of the Nigel Evans story, how broad, I wonder should we be in a broad-minded society and what standards of public behavior should we expect of an elected representative given the circus performances of the last year? In Thanet, this has been tested to near destruction again and again in the past but there's always, it appears, a character with a megaphone ready to push the limits of the envelope, regardless of political party, sexual orientation or indeed both.

Somehow, I think the mysterious Mr Fox excuse, used on the last controversial occasion may not stand-up too well this time.

Finally, I see from Twitter, that the aspiring  Labour Parliamentary candidate for South Thanet and equally diversity conscious Cllr Will Scobie, has been 'Campaigning' in Westgate over the weekend. I had rather thought that Westgate was in North Thanet and so there is clearly no end to his political ambitions and I'm sure Sir Roger must be worried.. However, I can't complain, because if he bought his partner, the elusive Cllr Jodie Hibbert along with him, to deliver his campaign leaflets, that counts as a result of sorts and a rare sighting indeed; on a par with that of our manifestly absent KCC UKIP County Councillor who, I'm told, lives in Ramsgate.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that the Deputy Leader of the Council instead of being in Australia would have been here in Thanet during the launch of the new recycling and refuse regime.

Laurence Davies

Simon Moores said...

Very wisely in Australia at this exciting moment for his portfolio of responsibilities. Could be worse of course. If Worrow and Cohen hadn't put Labour in control you would be stuck with me carrying responsibility for the new waste regime!

Anonymous said...

Finally I hope the truth will come out! Surely Hart must remove him from the senior position he has given him??

Bemused of Birchington said...

Having watched the first collection of the new regime the thought occurred to me that a sturdy box was once issued for paper collection. This would be a much better container for paper and card because it would be easier for the operative to empty into the truck, rather than struggling with a red bag that seems to have a mind of its own, especially as wet paper is not an issue. (A brick on top prevents wind from blowing paper about).

You mention that our diversity champion was arrested some time ago. Would this be about the time when he was flouncing/storming out of meetings?

Anonymous said...

Sooner Worrow gone the better. Should have done the decent thing when he left the tories.

Norah Batty said...

The new recycling regime is a farce. We are the only household, apparently, in our road to have been missed when the new bins were delivered. Being blissfully unaware of exactly when the new regime began (not having the new schedule that was supposed to be delivered with the bins/bags etc.) we watched, horrified, as the refuse lorry collected everyone's bins in our road last monday! I tried for 3 HOURS to get in touch with TDC and was finally put through to a human at 12.30 pm. I was assured that our bins would be delivered shortly, they weren't (and on Thursday night I am STILL waiting !) and I was assured that the missed collection would also be sorted out. I now have nearly three weeks worth of waste in my black bin and an overflowing recycle bin. Thank you TDC for yet another cock up. The dustman can forget their Christmas bottle of whisky, they have missed us three times this year so far and failed to deliver my new bins. They have also failed to take my bins from my garden or replace them even ONCE as I am in a wheelchair and unable to move them myself. I have registered as needing assistance and my bins are stickered to that effect, and have been for an entire year, yet the dustman blissfully ignore the sticker and ignore my bins, even though I ask my neighbour to help me put them on the path outside my property.
TDC are rubbish at rubbish collection - pun intended.

Anonymous said...

Nora, you are not alone. We have received nothing from TDC in relation to bins etc. We have phoned several times and got on the merry-go-round that is the 'lets do it together' hot line. Press whichever option you like you will still end up back at the beginning without a live human voice in earshot.In desperation I phoned the TDC switchboard and was told that for some reason the option to press 9 for assistance had been left off the recorded message on the 'lets do it together' telephone hot line. I gather the situation is being looked at, but we have now been promised three times that our bins will be delivered 'next week'. I am beginning to think they don't want our particular properties to be involved in their new scheme.

Bemused of Birchington said...

The theme of this particular blog entry is the deeds of a Birchington councillor, yet most of the comments are to do with rubbish collection. Any connection?

Anonymous said...

I too was surprised at the lack of vitriolic comments that I assumed would follow the Worrow story. If true, this is indeed a very serious offence, and I wait with interest to see how Messrs Fenner and Poole dig themselves out of this ever deepening hole!

William Epps said...

Interesting how people were so quick to prejudge and condemn Sandy Ezekiel when he was awaiting trial, but this time there is a much more wait and see approach. Could it be that we blue tinged folk are a bit less inclined to engage in triumphant rejoicing at another's potential fall from grace?

Anonymous said...

William, as John Worrow is an ex-Tory it will reflect more badly on your own party than it will Labour.

William Epps said...

It is not so much who or what JW's arrest reflects badly on, 3:06, but more the effect it will have on the balance of power in the council. Anyway, my point was primarily that this time people seem less inclined to pre-judge and condemn, possibly because he no longer belongs to any party.

If you want to think this reflects badly on the Conservatives, so be it, but he left us because we are such a bunch of homophobes, according to him, and aligned himself with Labour. Obviously he must have felt more comfortable there.

Anonymous said...

Crickey 3.06, what a load of rubbish. That little toe rag betrayed the trust of the Tories, and more importantly, his electorate. If there is anything in this which is going to reflect, it will be on those who have given him positions way beyond his capabilities and supported his pointless rantings and tantrums at council. The sooner he is booted out the better for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm largely in agreement William and 8:31, but unfortunately I still think the media will see it as just another discraced ex-Tory. It would be different if he actually joined Labour afterwards instead of just siding with them. Anyway, let's presume innocent until guilty.

Bemused of Birchington said...

It is probably too much to ask that he steps aside or even stand down from his positions of power while this court case is pending? It took time for Nigel Evans to stand down as deputy speaker, and I believe he now sits as an Independent. Annoyingly Worrow is Independent but sides with Labour, thus holding the balance of power within the council.

Anonymous said...

In the good old days honour would require a cllr to resign from positions of responsibility until the issue was resolved. Sadly today they stick it out to the bitter end whatever the cost.

Anonymous said...

It appears he has been charged on two counts of assault, does anyone know anymore?