Letter: 11 September 2009

By-election win is just the beginning
(Headline for multiple letters)

I WRITE in response to Michelle Southby’s article about her parents’ decision to resign the Labour Whip (Medway Messenger, September 7). The same comment was posted on my own weblog on the eve of the by-election – and quickly spread through the Internet before any non-postal votes were cast.

I have always had great respect for Tony and Val Goulden, and could only admire their decision to resign the Labour Whip as a matter of principle. However, I am left in little doubt, after Cllr Bhutia’s victory at the polls, that their resignation was more damning than they probably foresaw.

One thing struck me, though, in the comment, in that Mrs Southby made mention of the rumours flying around regarding her parents’ resignation. Speaking personally, as one of those bloggers who accepted those rumours, it is easy to understand why they were so widely believed.

The Gouldens remained tight-lipped about their reasons for leaving – and in their, admittedly understandable, silence allowed rumours to spread, albeit apparently strongly-sourced rumours.

I would like to thank Mrs Southby for providing her side of the story. Her concise account has both dispelles some rumours – particularly of the issue of the Labour candidate herself – confirmed, and expanded upon, many others.

It is not often that a simple local by-election provides such drama, right to the finish, yet Luton and Wayfield has had politicos mesmerised.

It is a shame, but I fear that such an exciting by-election will never be seen again here in Medway, at least for a generation or so.

Alan Collins,
Goudhurst Road,

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