as widely predicted, Shirley Merriott, she of the bizarre hairdo and unfortunate complexion, has been deselected in Park ward in favour of Basher McKenzie. She is not happy, she had to sleep with several of the Reading boys in order to get selected at all in the first place, despite her sterling work in 2004 in sending Reading East Labour Party members a fraudulent and barely literate letter drafted for her by former Cllr Howarth (prop. Public Impact Ltd, remember "Your Better Off With Labour"?); the letter had gone through the franking system of the South-East Regional Labour Party, keys to whose building were held at the time by Ms Kathryn Peak, a former amateur actress and police officer who is married to Malcolm Powers, the party's current regional director. In Shirley's place I would be well disgusted too.
Basher McKenzie will incriminate himself. He is an ignorant thug known for bullying and violent behaviour, so he fits right in with the Reading boys, but the electorate know what he is. Why did he lobby me when his wife's teeth needed fixing? His candidature probably adds 50 votes for Rob White before we even start.
Richard Stainthorp, the man who sold his vote, is standing down in Katesgrove, though the His Master's Voice report of this cannot quite bring itself to say so, and inserts a deliberate typo, see if you can spot it.
Malcolm Powers, to whom I gave his first job in politics (though don't worry, I'm not going to go all Mayor of Casterbridge on your asses) is an imposed candidate in Church ward. There is a history of this, as that ward's Labour Party members prefer to select someone they think will work hard and have the ward's interests at heart, rather than a puppet of the Reading boys - so they regularly get a candidate imposed on them. This happened to them when former mayor Maureen Lockey died - the candidate was imposed by the boys even before Maureen's funeral - and when that very fine man and fine councillor Wilf Wild also died.
More to come on all of this. BTW, Reading Labour party usually selects its council candidates in November. It's September. They've left north of the river and Tilehurst till later. Oh and I was appalled to discover that Singleton-White, the fraudster's friend, has reproduced again. Been in His Master's Voice, so it must be true.