MARSHALLGATE; TRUE OR FALSE?

Hard upon Cllr Richard Marshall’s stepping aside from his council cabinet post as head of Leisure in Sandwell, his one time correspondent and bezzy mate, Julian Saunders, aka the Sandwell Skidder, has posted an interesting blog.

Julian Saunders’ blog contains what purports to be a transcript of the Whatsapp conversations between him and Cllr. Richard Marshall covering a period of more than a year.

Having failed to heed warning of old Chinese proverb “If you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.”, Mr. Saunders now finds himself the subject of attack.

The Eling gang are attacking those revelations on the grounds that they are manufactured, that Mr. Saunders is an embittered drunk, that statements have been taken out of context and that Cllr. Marshall is innocent.

And Mr. Saunders, who unlike Marshall, has been “used and abused” is, rightly, somewhat aggrieved.

Any suggestion of manufacture of the disclosed dialogue appears ludicrous. It’s incompatible with the amount of material, the content of the information disclosed and the motivation for some of these disclosures. Often, what is said chimes with the strategy of the Eling regime to malign and vilify local political opponents in the Labour party.

If these records have been concocted it’s the biggest con since the Dirty Digger[Rupert Murdoch] was sold “Hitler’s [forged] diaries” .

We don’t know Mr. Saunders and don’t know if he tipples or tipples too much. But even if he does that does not mean he’s a forger and liar. All the evidence, internal and external, suggests the documentation is authentic. “In wine, truth” may or may not be an appropriate adage.

The smear campaign, conducted in the Whatsapp transcripts and now turned against Mr. Saunders, has the finger prints of the debased Eling regime all over it.

On resignation Marshall moaned “I think this has been completely misrepresented to date”. With such a large volume of material and the range of topics covered, Marshall has set himself a mammoth task if he is to explain away every incriminating tit bit fed to Mr. Saunders . The “lewd messages” part in which is described a sex act involving two female counsellors is so graphic as not to be susceptible to any misinterpretation.

The defence “It weren’t me guv” suggests that a third party impersonated Marshall to bring him into disrepute. What is clear is that Julian Saunders’ correspondent had a great deal of inside knowledge of the doings at Sandwell council and the ability to accurately forecast events before they occurred or became public knowledge. A capability possessed by only a few.

Once it is accepted that Eling, Marshall and Saunders met up in a pub specifically to set up a channel by which poisonous natter could be publicised, any impersonation defence loses all shreds of credibility. Is it really possible that the three met, decided to exchange information, but nothing happened, then some mysterious third party came along, set up the WhatsApp connection and impersonated Marshall?

Again the ruling junta of Sandwell Labour is treating its electorate as gullible idiots, if it attempts to persuade this happened.

The Sandwell public are expected to swallow contradictory defences. There is a logical difficulty in claiming both misrepresentation and complete denial of involvement. A bit like riding two horses at once in opposite directions, at different racecourses.

The preponderance of evidence has Marshall bang to rights. And he and his friends are aggravating matters by inventing excuses.