Like many residents of Crawley, I was very surprised to see that following the defection of one Councillor from Conservative to UKIP five months ago, that the Crawley Observer immediately decided to give this Councillor, Karl Williamson, his own weekly column.
Let us not forget that this Councillor left the Conservatives under a very dark cloud indeed, having received a huge 98% No Confidence vote from the Crawley Conservative Association because of his behaviour. It very much felt like a defection of convenience and necessity, rather than of any sudden and genuine political conversion.
Despite this, and the fact that Crawley has never, ever, seen anyone elected as a UKIP Councillor, Crawley’s premier local newspaper decided to give him his own weekly local column. This effectively elevated him in the eyes of their readers, to being on a par with the Leader of the Council’s column (representing 20 Conservative Councillors) and the Leader of the Opposition group’s column (representing 16 Labour Councillors).
These local political columns are supposed to have some relevance to Crawley and of course be written by the columnists themselves - not copied and pasted from party political websites or from other newspapers. Both the Crawley Conservative and Labour Councillor groups manage to write their columns themselves and come up with their own original material.
Let’s scrutinise some of Karl Williamson's UKIP columns. Many don’t appear to be published online by the Crawley Observer, but I did manage to find some and I have taken photos of others I found from previous weeks. The last six weeks of Crawley UKIP Councillor Karl Williamson’s Crawley Observer columns are as follows - all six have been copied from elsewhere.
8th January 2014 Cllr Karl Williamson Crawley Observer column.
Copied and pasted from UKIP national website 31st December 2013.
Copied and pasted from UKIP national website 16th December 2013.