A campaign launch like no other


By - Tuesday 30th September, 2014

As Croydon’s politicos get ready for Election 2015, Gavin Barwell’s right-hand-man praises the MP’s campaign launch


On Monday evening, Gavin Barwell, Member of Parliament for Croydon Central and Government Whip, launched his 2015 re-election campaign.

For other MPs, campaign launches are quiet, unglamorous affairs typified by a one inch column in a local paper, a largely ignored press release on the candidate’s website, and a few sporadic but generally unimpactful tweets.

Gavin Barwell MP

Gavin Barwell MP.
Photo by Tim Pollard, used with permission.

Barwell’s launch, however, was none of these things. It was the closest to a US-style political rally that any constituency MP has ever attempted, replete with an energised Mayor of London as star speaker and nearly 400 in attendance.

Unlike in many American senate or congressional races, lone British MPs don’t hold the popular status that necessitates a large and similarly slick campaign launch. We on Gavin’s team felt that this perception needed to be at best challenged and at worst irreparably shattered.

Croydon Central has a Conservative majority of 2,969 – not small enough to be on Conservative HQ’s 40:40 ‘attack and defend’ list, but far and away not enough to be free of the electoral danger zone.

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose.
Photo by Tim Pollard, used with permission.

The decision was taken a few months back to do something different to the usual, bland political campaign kick-off. This was for two reasons: first, with his current majority it could obviously do no harm to Gavin’s reputation. Second, why not try something different to the little-noticed, vanilla British politics to which we’ve all become accustomed?

In the past two months, Barwell’s volunteers delivered around 35,000 leaflets targeting largely non-Conservative residents to his #BackBarwell2015 campaign launch. The theme: to celebrate a positive ‘Vision for Croydon’, the title of his co-authored 20,000 word manifesto for the borough.

Email invites were sent to tens of thousands of residents. Social and local media were used to spread the word as widely as possible. Huge banners were designed and the Fairfield Halls, a large performance theatre in Barwell’s constituency, was booked.

A positive campaign launch, championing the people that make Croydon a fantastic place to live, was put on. A celebration where key and non-political local figures would come together to promote their work, their love for the town and share their passion for change all under the banner of the enabling MP for Croydon Central.

A local development director spoke first, followed by a feisty tech entrepreneur. A head teacher discussing her educational philosophy preceded by an expelled teen who has set up a successful anti-gang and knife crime charity. A head boy from a local school and a young political mentee of Gavin’s cleared the way for the Mayor of London.

Rosina St James

Rosina St James.
Photo by Tim Pollard, used with permission.

In typically fine, bombastic form, Boris Johnson praised Gavin for his work in Croydon, bantered with the willing panto-crowd and waxed lyrical about the potential of ‘London’s Third City’ in light of the £1 billion Westfield and Hammerson retail development coming to the town.

Boris praised Barwell’s work fighting for local residents in the wake of the Croydon riots in 2011. He referenced the piloting of his Mental Health Discrimination bill to an Act in 2012. Boris also mentioned his own success working with Gavin to ensure 117 extra police would be coming to Croydon by 2015.

By the time Gavin arrived on stage, the crowd was ready. His speech wove together all preceding themes, illustrating his positive, conservative hope for what his home town could become, built on the grassroots work of aspirant communities.

#BackBarwell2015 volunteers

#BackBarwell2015 volunteers.
Photo by Tim Pollard, used with permission.

Leaving the stage to a suitable Kings of Leon track to greet his wife and children, the dozen or so ‘Back Barwell’ clad volunteers descended on the crowd to encourage people to help Gavin’s campaign. It proved to be a very valuable night, with dozens signing up to support the Conservative candidate.

Those that attended left elated – they’d never seen anything like it and, from the numbers wanting to help, they evidently liked what they saw. The Conservative troops exited energised at the start of what’ll be a closely fought constituency campaign. The local press has favourably reported an unexpected and refreshing start to their electoral season. Gavin’s Labour opposition has thus far made no comment on the event. Stunned silence, perhaps?

To our knowledge, this has never been done before in British politics. For a constituency MP to launch a local campaign and successfully attract a crowd of 400 people, with a professional production and a set of diverse, interesting local speakers is unheard of.

Let’s hope other candidates mimic this initiative. If successful it’ll change the tone of all future general elections, upping our collective game when it comes to engaging with the electorate. It’ll help raise the profile of incumbent MPs, potentially counterbalancing any negative national party political connotations, making all the difference to those in marginal seats. Who knows, it may even eventually contribute to increasing turnout and decreasing voter apathy.

This is may all be hopeful conjecture, but one thing’s certain: for 2020, I’m getting Gavin a glitter cannon.

Mario Creatura

Mario Creatura

Mario is a lifelong Croydon resident. He works for Heineken as their Public Affairs Manager. He has previously worked in Parliament as a researcher for Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central. Mario has been a Conservative Councillor for Coulsdon West on Croydon Council since May 2014.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - LinkedIn





  • David Callam

    This is precisely the kind of Advertising Feature I’d expect to find on the Croydon Conservative website.
    May I assume The Croydon Citizen has nailed its colours to the mast this early in the General Election campaign?
    And if so, should I treat any subsequent political ‘editorial’ that appears to favour Mr Barwell’s candidacy with a large quantity of salt?

    • Tom Black

      Hi David – the answer is no, no colours are being nailed to any masts. Thanks for asking, I’m happy to clarify – your assumption is incorrect. I would direct you to the numerous articles by Labour, Green and UKIP operatives and candidates on the site – the ethos of the Citizen has always been to welcome pieces of any political stripe and allow others to comment, or write response pieces. I would particularly recommend the following articles, by an array of figures from various parties (the last of which was published ten minutes ago, funnily enough):

      http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/lets-build-co-operative-croydon/
      http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/somewhere-call-home/
      http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/legal-challenge-incinerator/
      http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/ukip-wont-local-party-whip/
      http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/delicious-judicious-review/

      We hope to maintain this attitude of pluralism, with more submissions from a diverse selection of political backgrounds. I daresay someone from Sarah Jones’ team – or Sarah herself, who has written for us in the past – will submit us an article promoting an event of hers in the near future. We will, in accordance with our principles of pluralism, publish it.

      I am happy to answer any further questions, and – as the editor responsible for overseeing political submissions – would welcome a response piece to this article (or on any subject) from you, David. Thank you for being a reader.

      • David Callam

        Thank you Tom.
        I stand corrected and I look forward to reading all the pieces mentioned above and any others that come along in the period between now and the General Election.
        I also look forward to your analysis of the political fortunes as they ebb and flow in this most interesting of marginal seats.

        • Mario Creatura

          Tom (a card carrying Labour member) has been nothing if not fair to any and all political philosohpies wanting to share their ideas on the pluralistic Croydon Citizen.

          If you’ve got a spare minute David, I suggest you scroll through the ‘politics’ section and tally up the number of ‘Conservative-y’, ‘Labour-y’ and other pieces published on the site. I think you’ll find the odd commentary from me doesn’t taint in the slightest, but rather adds to a broader discussion about the future of our town.

          The Citizen encourages debate from normal people across Croydon. Anyone can contribute. And unlike on some local websites, the bias and background of the author is always declared in the biography box. I’ve always enjoyed your other articles, perhaps we’ll see one on here some time soon?

          • David Callam

            Interesting defence Mario. Can you confirm that you are a founder member of The Croydon Citizen and that the site has been partly maintained with money from Croydon Conservatives?

          • Mario Creatura

            I can confirm that both of those things are categorically untrue and it’s ludicrous for anyone to suggest otherwise.

            I am not a ‘founder member’ of The Croydon Citizen. I have never had any influence on its open and inclusive editorial processes. I was not a part of the discussions that led to the creation of the site or print edition and did not contribute to its inception in any way, shape or form.

            I can also categorically confirm that no money from the Croydon Conservatives has ever been given to The Croydon Citizen.

    • bieneosa

      David, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Then again, what did you expect? I have it on good authority that this publication is the brain-child of Cllr Creatura. Therefore, it is unsurprising the editorial team has no qualms about publishing this saccharine- filled post (advertisement feature) that supports Cllr Creatura’s boss.

      • David Callam

        Bienosa: Please see Tom Black’s response above. I’m happy to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what comes of it.
        But should we be sceptical of anything written about the Tories by Mario Creatura? Well of course we should!

        • Anne Giles

          Why?

          • David Callam

            Why what?

          • Anne Giles

            Why should we be sceptical? I am sceptical about anything you write, because we all know what you are like.

          • David Callam

            Mario is a full time paid officer of the Conservative Party. He is hardly likely to write anything critical of the Tories, is he?
            You too are an active Tory so you are also following the party line. You will say and do anything to get Gavin re-elected in this marginal seat.

          • Anne Giles

            We also have opinions of our own.

          • David Callam

            Okay Anne, prove it. Express a view that differs from the Tory Party line, either nationally or locally.

          • Anne Giles

            Really? I have just come out of hospital after spending a week in there after a full knee replacement, am in terrible pain and suffering from nausea, and you want me to prove something to someone who really does not matter to me at all???????? DOH!

          • David Callam

            I hope your new knee gets better soon. Meanwile, there clearly isn’t a cigarette paper between you and Tory central

        • Stephen Giles

          Please don’t bring Redbien into the equation!!

          • David Callam

            Have you stopped taking your tablets again, Stephen?
            What are you on about?

          • Stephen Giles

            Ask your girlfriend!

        • Stephen Giles

          No, she’s been in hibernation after her last show was cut short!!

          • David Callam

            Oh dear! Did she upset somebody? And if so, how?

          • bieneosa

            Perhaps you should stick to facts, Stephen. By the way, thanks for being a loyal listener.

          • Stephen Giles

            Am I? News to me!!

          • Anne Giles

            I have asked him to download the podcast. Couldn’t do it before, as I was in hospital. He puts them on CD for me and I always listen.

        • Mario Creatura

          Of course you should be sceptical of anything I write. Indeed, you should be sceptical of anything anyone wanting to utilise their ideas to improve Croydon says. But it comes from a place of wanting to help. Same with Labour, same with the Greens, same with all the other local political parties.

          Criticise the ideas, not the person, and Croydon will be all the better for the debate. A service the Croydon Citizen very able provides.

      • Anne Giles

        Wrong. The person who stated that this is the brain-child of Mario Creatura does not know what he/she is talking about.

        • bieneosa

          It was me, and I know exactly what I am talking about. The initial idea, from Councillor Creatura, stemmed from a desire to produce content that would counteract Inside Croydon.

          • Stephen Giles

            Evidence?

          • David Callam

            My own sources confirm precisely what Bienosa is saying. Also that the site is or has been substantially funded by Croydon Conservatives.
            Why else would you and Anne be allowed such unfettered access to it?

          • Anne Giles

            Everyone with an opinion is allowed to comment, unless they become abusive, which has only happened once.

          • PolarDog

            Saying “my own sources confirm….” can hardly be regarded as evidence. How about some actual hard facts to back up what you say?

          • David Callam

            Okay, just this once let’s feed this anonymous Tory troll.
            Its evidence to me because I know and trust my sources.
            On what basis do you question what I’m saying? You don’t even have enough faith in your own argument to tell us who you are!

          • PolarDog

            You are making an assertion. I’m just asking for actual evidence to back it up. This does not seem unreasonable.

          • Stephen Giles

            You see, they just keep on and on and on, even to the point of threatening I don’t know what…..

          • PolarDog

            V.amused to be called a Tory troll.
            Doesn’t a troll have to be abusive or threatening?

          • Stephen Giles

            Yes I thought so too, well I really don’t know I must say!

          • Anne Giles

            I didn’t think you were a Tory voter anyway. A troll is someone who is abusive and who continually tries to insult someone again and again and again.

          • Tom Lickley

            As I’m no longer part of the editorial team, and therefore do not represent the Citizen, I no longer have to bite my tongue at ludicrous comments like this. This is aimed squarely at yourself and David Callam and anyone else who believes in this ridiculous conspiracy theory. Having been a member of the editorial team for well over a year, I can tell you this much:

            - The guys on the team work extremely hard, on a voluntary basis. This includes weekends, and after busy days at work in London or elsewhere.

            - There is absolutely no political bias whatsoever. The only member of the team who is a member of a political party is Tom Black, a card-carrying Labour member – and he is clearly very objective, thoughtful and intelligent when it comes to political coverage, which is more than can be said for most of the ‘journalists’ in the town.

            - There has been no funding, influence or anything at all from the Croydon Tories besides the very occasional article. Firstly – why would the Citizen need funding off the Tories? The website overheads are very little, and the print is paid for by advertising. Secondly, even if the Tories or any political party offered them cash, they would refuse. They are extremely professional and serious about the publication, and they would never do anything to compromise that.

            - There has been no influence from Mario. It wasn’t his idea and he has never attended a single editorial/business/social meeting. I don’t really understand why a Tory councillor would want to set up a website which an intended 50% or more of the political coverage is devoted to parties other than his own. Articles like this are the best type of content as it stirs up emotions and interest, just as a Labour slanted article would.

            (And even if he did set it up, at least it would be with the intention of actively improving the town, rather than pontificating all day on social media about conspiracy theories).

            - Lastly, how do you think it feels when people like you constantly criticize those on the editorial team? Those who are breaking their backs to deliver this publication for no tangible gain? When somebody who is quite obviously partisan (and yet never declares it) makes comments like this I find it deeply ironic, and it would be hilarious if not so sad. If you don’t like the website, fine, but please don’t slate those who are trying to improve the town when you are unwilling to declare your sources or make any effort to improve the town yourself – just comment, moan and criticize.

          • bieneosa

            Of course, the team at the Citizen are the only people trying to improve the town. How arrogant. I’ve been hosting a radio show, on a community radio station setup after the riots to give the people of Croydon a voice, for two years! If I didn’t care about the place or have an interest in improving it, I wouldn’t do this. Furthermore, there are many other people doing things throughout the borough, who many not necessarily appear in this publication, to improve the town.

            Revealing my sources: I’m not a professional journalist, and I have never claimed to be one. However, as a citizen journalist I respect the fact that one does not reveal one’s sources. I’m not the only one with sources who share the view about the origins of the Citizen. If you don’t like those views or disagree, fine. However, you have no right to censor my views or what I wish to express. You label it as criticising or moaning because it’s a narrative that you don’t like. It doesn’t mean that narrative will disappear.

            As for the partisan line: water off a duck’s back.

          • Tom Lickley

            Firstly, thanks for spinning my words. At no point did I say the Citizen team are the only ones trying to improve the town. Quite clearly there are others trying to improve the town, the guys behind Croydon Radio for one.

            Feel free to criticize, but you’ve got no leg to stand on. Having been in charge of the company behind the Citizen’s bank account for a while and attended 15 months worth of editorial meetings – about 150 hours – not once have I witnessed even a mention of Conservative Party involvement. That’s my evidence, and my ‘source.’ Which do you think would stand up better in a court of law?

            Protect your ‘source’ all you want, but I’d speculate I know exactly who your source is, and exactly the reason they’d like to spread rumours about the Citizen. You have conjecture, and I have irrefutable facts, which is the difference between me and you.

          • bieneosa

            I have no information about the financial dealings of the Citizen, and if you had read my post I stated the idea for the Citizen stemmed from Cllr Creatura who wanted to create something to counteract Inside Croydon. I don’t spread rumours, and my source is someone who told me this information some time ago. This source is not a Labour party sympathiser – in fact, quite the opposite, so your speculation amounts to zilch. I don’t know who David Callam’s source is, but it is interesting that he has information too. As for a court of law, if this is some sort of veiled threat, you have no idea who you are dealing with, but I have certainly got the measure of you.

          • Tom Lickley

            Sigh.

            Bieneosa, I have no personal issue with you, just this one particular point which has been hanging around like a bad smell since I became involved in the Citizen – hence my original address to you or anyone else who believes this nonsense. It’s simply not true. In any way. Your source is mistaken.

            Again, even if Mario Creatura came up with the concept of the Citizen, I’m sure the Tory party would be unhappy with a publication which gives Labour, Green, Lib Dem etc. supporters a real voice in the community, and, who knows, may have even contributed to the change of Council and may affect next year’s election. What would possibly possess the Conservative Party to support that? Even if I was a complete outsider to the Citizen and Croydon, I would find the idea insane, because it’s completely illogical.

            Please, just go back to what you doing best which is your radio work. If you don’t like the Citizen or dislike who funds it (i.e. nobody) then fine, ignore it, block it on your computer, whatever. But please don’t consistently insult my ex-colleagues – and good friends – by ceaselessly promulgating a conspiracy by an unnamed source. If you want to provide some proof on here or privately I’d be delighted to apologise or discuss.

            And no, of course it’s not a veiled threat. It’s a common turn of phrase…get some perspective, your comments are distinctively more threatening than mine. Hey ho.

          • bieneosa

            Again, you seem to be fixated with trying to tell me what I should be saying or doing. It’s not going to happen, so please just give it up. I have neither insulted anyone or made any threats. To tell you that you do not know who you are dealing with is fact. You don’t know me from Adam. The only contact you have had with me is from behind your computer, favouriting tweets where various members of Croydon Conservatives have made comments about my radio show.

            The existence of the Citizen doesn’t upset me. However, I don’t think the origins of the idea should be concealed. This is why, along with my own observations about the publication which I have shared with the editor, I have requested for my articles to be withdrawn from the site.

            I don’t have any additional time to continue this chain with you. Suffice to say the views of my source (and others) are out there. People will make up their own minds whether they wish to accept or reject this, and that’s good enough for me.

      • Stephen Giles

        Might be better to discuss your comments with your girl friend first lad.

        • bieneosa

          This is the kind of comment that I would expect from a teenage boy. Get a grip, Stephen.

          • Stephen Giles

            Well hell, it’s good to stay young !!!

          • David Callam

            Unfortunately Bienosa these Giles people think they own this site. Maybe they do! After all they are big fish in the ever reducing pool that is the Croydon Conservatives.

          • Anne Giles

            Stephen is not a member of the Conservative party and we do not share the same views on a lot of things, even if we do on many.

          • Stephen Giles

            “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now” !!!!!

          • Stephen Giles

            Aha…for a free quote contact

  • Sean Creighton

    Mario as you work for Barwell of course you are
    going to praise him. I wonder how much the event cost and whether it will be
    declared against election expenses? He would truly deserve praise if he
    declared his support for a large section of his electorate and denounced George
    Osborne’s announcement of another round of vicious attacks on those on
    benefits, including the working poor. If he does not no one who is active in
    the community and voluntary sector should remain under any illusion that he
    cares about many of the people they work with. They should boycott any further attempt
    to give him an air of legitimacy by endorsing his next lot of publicity events.
    At rock bottom he is the MP for the private
    developers who are dumping the multi-storey slums of the future on to Croydon. Their
    effect on house prices and rents will further drive those at the lower end of
    society out of Croydon. Yes elections should be fun. I have certainly enjoyed
    them in the past: anti-Tory leafleting outside their public meetings; tagging
    opposition cars onto the end of their motor cavalcades – yes lots of potential
    fun to be had. And as for individual Tories who say ‘Sorry but I vote Tory’
    there is only one response: ‘And so you should be.’

    • Stephen Giles

      Noted.

    • Mario Creatura

      The election expenses period hasn’t started yet, so no to your second question.

      To the rest of your partisan points, you’re welcome to your opinions and your very well-articulated (if slightly disingenuous) ideas. That’s what elections are about, a battle of ideas from lots of people wanting to improve Croydon and the country.

      Good that you’re looking forward to the campaign trail – everyone passionate for our town should be.

  • http://idioplatform.com/ Jonny Rose

    I wish I had been there.

    • Anne Giles

      You were, but you didn’t notice yourself.

  • Stephen Giles

    Excellent article Mario.

  • ArfurTowcrate

    “a feisty tech entrepreneur” – anyone we know?
    ;-)

    • http://idioplatform.com/ Jonny Rose

      Whoever it is sounds like a right chancer.

    • Stephen Giles

      And who is this Towcrate hiding under a pseudonym I wonder??

  • Stephen Giles

    Something is going wrong-ish with the order of comments. In this well patronised thread it is becoming difficult to see what is answering what!!

    • Stephen Giles

      However, it’s quite possible to see which comments are Labour-ish!!

  • Anne Giles

    It is sad that the arguments are going on and on and on. Does anyone care about the poor man who has had his head chopped off?

  • James Naylor

    Ok this has gone on long enough.

    I have held my tongue for long enough but this thread has got so nasty and snipey (and full of inaccuracy) I am tempted to delete ALL the comments. I see a lot of childish behaviour and unnecessary aggro here. This very much includes @Anne and @Steve – I would like you both to stop.

    It’s time to, once and for all, set the record straight. @Bieneosa @David – please take note.

    “The Citizen has been funded in some way by the conservatives” – This is a lie.

    This one seems to have been spread – from what I can tell – by Steven Downes because, I suspect, he doesn’t like the competition. Unless I am ,secretly, some kind of remote-controlled Manchurian candidate who is taking action in a fugue state I can categorically confirm I, nor the Citizen, have ever received any money from the conservatives at any point. I funded it, from my own pocket. It cost very little to get started because things on the internet don’t.To be honest, I don’t understand why I’d even need funding from somewhere else. The only explanation I can think of is this: it is strongly motivated by a deeply unprofessional rivalry and believed by people who don’t understand that it costs very little to get a website going. I have no idea who these “good sources” are. If they are ultimately when you trace this rumor back, from Steven Downes, you should probably think a bit more about why he might have an interest in saying this. You’re both supposed to have a reputation for having enquiring minds that see through the bullshit, so I’m not sure why you accept this so uncritically.

    “The Citizen is the branchild of Mario Creatura” – This is a lie.

    But the reality is more complicated – as it often is – so why not simplify it to something that seems like libel?

    Mario did briefly want to create an alternative to Inside Croydon called “Real Croydon”. While I was working on basic plans for my own Croydon journalism project, he invited me to be involved in such a thing because I was – very briefly (just under a year) – a member of the conservatives. I suspect this is what you’ve heard about. Something which has been, through lies, twisted to serve a nefarious purpose and passed-on like Chinese whispers.

    I joined the tories because I wanted to be a councillor, to serve my community and maybe, one day, lead Croydon politically. I choose the conservatives because I had met them and they seemed more pragmatic than Labour to me, if a little cold. I thought – as many people vote tory do: “Maybe they are the ‘nasty party’ sometimes, but they’re better with the money and actually running thing; thats what matters in the end”.

    But I quickly felt uneasy about all of it and realised that party-politics was not for me. I didn’t want to do what I thought of as pointless leaflet deliveries when we could have been organising community action. I didn’t want to work my way up this party because most of all I didn’t really sympathise with who they were. Ultimately, they were conservatives in the truest sense – my views don’t tally with that well. I may not be a classic lefty by any means either but I do believe we need some radical solutions to our problems and the constant pandering to older people with all the money and favouring the status quo is simply not cool. Most of them were individually very nice; I have no interest in attacking them. But this wasn’t about individual loyalties – this was an ideology and a culture that I couldn’t get behind.

    We all try things in our 20s. But being a “young tory” was not for me and neither was this ’Real Croydon’ idea of Mario’s. Ultimately, I could see it becoming the tory Inside Croydon, whatever its aims. When what we really, really needed was a neutral platform that wasn’t about acting as an opposite; another hyper-local partisan rag among many springing-up in the wake of the decline of print media. It would be something very different. A place that would move beyond party politics and the endless, nasty, pointless slander and sniping of the Croydon twittersphere (sadly evidenced here). Something that would propose solutions as well as pose questions. Something that would infuriate party loyalists precisely because it wouldn’t only publish content designed to confirm what you think you already know (as national newspapers do) but encourage genuine contributions from across the political spectrum (including ones that say, as you’d expect, that “my party is awesome”. Is the pope a Catholic?). Something that could last as long as the Croydon Advertiser by creating a sustainable model of citizen journalism. We have only just started on that journey,and I’m sure we have much to improve but this is the aim.

    Truth be told – myself, I don’t really care who is in power if Croydon succeeds. I think many of its problems are way beyond the power of any local government to solve. I might still be personally suspicious about Labour’s track record on spending and I like the pragmatism of the tories. But Labour do at least seem concerned with providing a decent amount of social housing for Croydon people, so people on low wages can actually afford somewhere to live! That’s a big winner in my book. But again these are my rarely exposed, personal views.

    Thus the Citizen was born. I created it as just one project among many in Croydon to make it better (we are not the only ones, nor have ever suggested so – there are many people more worthy than us). But I do believe it can help. I set its mission. I designed and built it, paid all its (small) costs. I organised and the put the editorial team together – none of whom are members of the conservatives or who had anything in the slightest to do with this “Real Croydon” thing that never actually got off the ground.

    So I hope you will see why I might be a little offended that you’re suggesting it’s anyone else’s idea but mine. It is radically undermining of everything a lot of people have done for nothing (as making up lies about Croydon Radio would be) and it is simply false.

    @Bieneosa – I don’t expect this to change your fundamental view of the Citizen as not something you can get behind; I know you have other concerns. That’s cool – we’re all entitled to an opinion (no one is censoring you btw – if they were, they’d delete your comment!). But I would ask you just to stop repeating these lies and I would appreciate it if you would correct others. I know you would not like people to suggest you’re secretly a member of the Labour party either. This is one of those claims I have heard from multiple “sources”. However, it seems I can see that it’s clearly bollocks. Before I believed that, I’d want some stronger evidence; especially when you’ve clearly stated your own neutrality on many occasions.

  • trypewriter

    See what you get when you try balanced reporting?