Emerson Park Ward: a Crumbling Conservative Stronghold

Background

Emerson Park is Hornchurch’s only Conservative ward. It’s a wealthy area with ten million pound plus houses for sale.1 It’s the fiefdom of Roger Ramsey who’s a veteran councillor He’s smooth, clever, wealthy, massively experienced, a fluent speaker and everything modern Conservatives aren’t. But Emerson Park Conservatives are vulnerable.

Discussion

Over the years, the Conservatives have lost safe seats in Upminster and Cranham to huge Resident Association (RA) majorities.2 The signs are Emerson Park is going the same way. Roger’s holding it together with his personal vote. He’s done 50+ years but even superstars prefer life without whining colleagues. He’s cabinet member for finance, which is demanding even for eager beavers.

The 2014 election brought UKIP into the equation. One seat was won by a man who wasn’t a Conservative, which was his only virtue. In 2018 three Conservatives were elected but the RAs failed by four votes to win a seat. This is an ultra marginal outcome.

2018 was a good year for Conservatives but Roger Ramsey’s stronghold turned ultra marginal. The next four years weren’t been kind to the Conservatives. Bob Perry left and reinvented himself as a ferocious anti-Conservative campaigner in Squirrels Heath after the gerrymandering scandal.

The Conservatives have been in power 20 years. Their image is tarnished by their use of Special Responsibility Allowances which don’t look warranted. Emerson Park Conservatives may well pay the price in 2022.

Notes

1 Correct on 1st November 2021

2 Linda Hawthorn has a 2000 vote majority over the Conservatives in Upminster, which is unbelievable in local elections. Local elections | Election results | The London Borough Of Havering

Havering Councillor: Roger Ramsey (Emerson Park)

Roger is a nice old gentleman who’s fallen in with a bad crowd. He became a councillor 41 years ago and was Leader between 1984 and 1990. In the 1980s he was a One Nation Tory. During that period he was repelled by Margaret Thatcher and famously did a ‘sit-in’ during a Stalinist* standing ovation for her. Little did he know that a Romford teenager would become his mortal enemy. Andrew Rosindell (now MP for Romford) was in love with Margaret.

Roger found out he had an enemy in 2006 when he wasn’t elected Leader but a Rosindell acolyte, talentless but loyal, was elected. The bizarre politics of Havering means Romford is the only reliable area for Conservatives. Havering councils are always dominated by their members. As time has gone on, the Havering Conservative group has shrunk to a Romford cabal. Roger is necessary to show ‘inclusion’.

Roger became Leader again following the UKIP incursion in 2014, which left the Conservatives in second place behind a motley crew of Resident Association members. The extremist Romford Conservatives were toxic to the RAs and Roger was the only acceptable Conservative. The 2018 election meant Romford once again asserted its power and Roger lost the leadership to Damian White. Damian is another acolyte of Andrew.

Roger kept a cabinet position but the agenda is set by Andrew and Damian. Once again he’s a puppet. As an elderly millionaire you wonder how he can take the humiliation. £38,000 p.a. is nice but is it enough to make a difference to him? Surely not.

Roger should rescue his dignity and resign.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDkUYbCSZro This is a 13 minute standing ovation and is well worth the title of Stalinist.