The Guardian's coverage of the Levenson enquiry this weekend rang vague bells, and as I read it, I considered the parallels between my experience in Somerton, particularly the response of Somerton's 'old guard'.
When I look back to the events of 2009, in the months before the mass resignation, I realise that the old guard was already organising its troops and their strategy was not to deal with the serious questions raised about the behaviour of the then Town Council - their strategy was to denigrate and attack their critic.
In Somerton, the response of the old Town Council to criticism, was, firstly, to deny their single critic access to public records. Later, Ex-Chair Keenan suspended a Council meeting to enable the abuse of their single critic by Councillors, prominent amongst whom was soon to be Ex-Cllr Martyn Smith. Later, in September of 2009, three individuals (Macklin, Davis & Briggs) read out statements during a Council meeting and, of these, the most interesting is the contribution of 'Mr Briggs'.
The statement he read out (as recorded in STC's Minutes) indicates that he was researching my past, research that, in similar vein, later appeared: on the vindictive, malicious and anonymous website 'SomertonSanity'; in the Town Council's 'stasi file' (describing their efforts to deny access to public documents) and also in anonymous leaflets distributed around Somerton by none other than ex-Cllr Martyn Smith.
Whilst it is easy to see why members of the Keenan/Canvin administration might want to attack their critic, Mr Brigg's interest is slightly harder to understand, unless you consider that Mr Brigg's partner, Mrs Briggs, is the 'assistant to the Town Clerk'. The possibility of a future job as Town Clerk, with the not insignificant remuneration, might be a very good reason to attack any critic of the old Town Council or of the Somerton Community Association (Chair - Mrs Briggs) which funnelled significant funds into Council inspired projects.
Today, a little more than 2 years after the mass resignation Somerton's old guard have significantly failed to dispute any of the documentary evidence which I presented to the External Auditor yet there continues a co-ordinated effort to denigrate anyone who criticises the activities of the old Somerton Town Council or its membership.
The Auditor's Report cannot come soon enough and it will be interesting to see what is says about the events of 2008/9. Whatever it says, I suspect that its findings will be rejected by Somerton's old guard and their supporters. Whatever it says, I suspect that the vendetta against the old Somerton Town Council's critic(s) will continue and it will be interesting to see who else involves themselves in that vendetta.
Till next time, I'm still Niall Connolly