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We recently received this delightful Facebook message from a charming and thoughtful fellow calling himself 'Gary John'.

We're not sure what we did to irk Mr 'John' but his Facebook pictures bear an uncanny resemblance to a gentleman called Gary Butler who failed to become Faversham's local MP in last year's May General Election after mustering just 369 votes.

It wasn't the first time Mr Butler, who stood as an independent, has tried unsuccessfully to become our parliamentary representative. As we reported in our Eye Election Special, his name previously appeared on the ballot in 2015, as a candidate for fringe far-right party and racist hate group English Democrats.

There is one small physical difference however: Mr Butler was clean-shaven in his campaign photos, whereas Mr 'John' appears to have attempted to grow a dark little 'toothbrush'-style moustache on his upper lip.



It must be wonderful living in Cosgroveworld, a parallel universe where you don’t need a fact check, a sanity check or even a spell check. One of his latest tweets says: “Should emergency powrrs (sic) be used to conscript students into farm working for the next 4 months?”

Fact check: The Emergency Powers Act is about saving lives not saving the blushes of the government for failing to attract the thousands of immigrant workers needed. Four years ago ministers closed a temporary visa scheme for migrant labour, then Brexit drove away British farmers' mainly EU workforce.

Sanity check: No farmer wants conscript labour. It doesn’t work. It never has. And as for spelling. Tut tut. Should have paid attention at school. In future, can we suggest you press spell checker before clicking send. On second thoughts, spare us all and don’t click send at all.

Perhaps Mr Cosgrove could even tear himself away from Twitter, pull on his wellies and take up the suggestion of fellow Tory, former cabinet minister Owen Paterson who, it was famously reported, said pensioners should be enlisted to pick fruit and veg in place of migrant workers.

Come on Mike, your country needs you! Give a hand on the land! Pick for Britain!



It is not just the Tories who live in parallel worlds. Take Denise Knights. When Faversham Post Office closed again recently, the Lib Dem councillor piped up on social media saying, “I would like to know why it’s shut and worry for our town.” The reasons for the ongoing closures have been covered extensively in the Faversham Eye.

As a true representative of the people she issued a cry to arms, saying “Faversham must come together and save it.” The former Labour parliamentary candidate Jenny Reeves then pointed out to her that there was been a noisy and very public campaign to save the Post Office since last year (which culminated in Jenny delivering a petition to Number 10 Downing Street). Knights' response? “Rude.” Ouch. Well there’s putting you in your place Jenny.

Interestingly, on the Swale Borough Council profile it says: “An interest has been declared, the details of which the monitoring officer has agreed not to disclose.” The Lib Dems pride themselves on being the party of open government so come on Denise, time to fess up. What’s the big secret?



Throughout the coronavirus crisis there have been heroes – doctors and nurses working double shifts without proper masks and protective clothing. But what about the true unsung heroes of these troubled times? The lawyers. So people of Faversham raise your glasses to the selfless saints at Tassells solicitors. For more than two hundred years they have had “a unique understanding of the local community and its needs”.

And in these troubled times they have taken to Facebook to remind us in a post titled Coronavirus – Wills, that they are “very much open for business ready to help with writing wills.” Genuine tribunes of the people they are prepared to visit people in their homes, witnessing wills at a safe distance. Ah lawyers, you have to love them.



On the day Britain entered lockdown, with 422 hospital patients already dead, health minister Helen Whately somehow found time to post a smiling photo of herself leaning on a broadband cabinet.

As Faversham's MP, Helen has campaigned tirelessly on local issues by standing near things in photos. And she wasn't going to let a global pandemic get in the way of another self-promotional opportunity.

So while nurses wearing bin bags begged the Department of Health for proper safety kit, its Minister for Care was busy 'campaigning' for better rural internet by uploading pictures of herself grinning next to roadside telecommunications equipment.

She may as well. After her excruciatingly awful recent radio and television meltdowns, it's the only cabinet she's likely to get anywhere near any time soon.


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