With no one party managing to achieve a majority in the Council chamber in Southend-on-Sea it was inevitable that an amount of horse trading would ensue. Whilst I take no pleasure in seeing the Tories back in control, the marriage of two right-wing parties to make this possible was inevitable.
At least those who allowed themselves to believe that UKIP was an alternative to Conservatives will now be somewhat disabused of this notion.
What was surprising, though, was sight of a Conservative Leader effectively bribing his own members to support his challenge for leadership of the council. Weak leadership now characterises the top of the local Conservative Party.
Cllr Lamb has expanded the size of the Cabinet (in spite of pledges to do the exact reverse) so that dissident voices could be bought off. The only other explanation is that it takes eight Tories to do what the Joint Administration managed with seven (which may be true in any case).
For the record I have never had to be seduced into showing my loyalty, nor offered support in exchange for either filthy lucre or the baubles of office. I support my party as that is where my principles lie.
As for some in the Conservative Party, it seems that their attitude to principles mirrors that of Groucho Marx ("Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.")