A (French) toast to absent (Tory political) friends … the tale of Budleigh Salterton sur Mere!

Another correspondent remembers old times …

Owl has recently featured a number of stories of Conservative Candidates standing in local elections when they appear to be spending time in places far removed from their constituencies, such as Cambridge and West Sussex.

One of Owl’s not so myopic Moles has a sense of déjà vu.

Moley recalls that in 2010 Budleigh Salterton, for a year, became a French Commune. This was when Malcolm Florey, Conservative District Councillor for the Town, retired to live in France and continue his reign of governance from there.

As was explained in an article in The Journal:

“Cllr Florey said his move to France had not affected his work championing the town and district.
“The ward member hit back at Budleigh Salterton Town Council’s recent claims he was failing to sufficiently serve the town.
“He said email and telephone allowed him to keep his finger on the pulse as far as Budleigh and the ward was concerned.
“Cllr Florey rubbished claims his constituents had been let down by his decision to relocate from the UK to France…..
“Cllr Florey said his decision to remain a ward member while living in another country was one of responsibility to the people who elected him.
“He said stepping down as ward member had been an option – a move he had decided not to take so close to an election…..
“I could resign and let the people of the ward down, but I am still doing things that are benefitting the community.”


Malcolm was a protégé of Cllr Ray Franklin and it was Ray who took on the role of voicing, within the Knowle: “ses réflexions au sujet des affaires locales britanniques”

Both Cllrs Franklin and Florey had a track record of paying more attention to the voices they heard in their heads from the “silent Majority” than from electors or the Town Council.

The story does not end well for the Party of Strong and Stable Government. In the subsequent elections in 2011 the dummy withdrew and the ventriloquist was de-selected.”