One day, dear reader, you may find me face down on a pavement. Don't jump to the obvious - I may not be drunk, I might be needing urgent medical attention. If you find me in such a situation and you want to help me, please DO NOT let the ambulance crew take me to the North Middlesex 'University' Hospital, Edmonton. Slip them a fiver for the extra petrol and direct them to the Whittington Hospital at Archway or the Homerton in Hackney.
Tomorrow I have a funeral to go to in All Hallow's Church in Tottenham. My Godmother's mother's cancer worsened when she caught MRSA, the deadly superbug, in the High Dependency Unit (she was admitted with a chest infection). If the HDU contains bugs, what hope is there for the poor sods on the ordinary wards? Paying my respect to Joan today, I couldn't help but think we were all robbed of another few years of knowing her.
News has just reached me that a friend's friend's mother has just kicked the bucket aged 49. Guess where? You guessed it! She was admitted to the North Mid with breathing difficulties and was put on an observation ward. She caught a bug even worse than MRSA.
It would be easy for Panglossian fans of the NHS to write off this post as a crude attack on hardworking staff. It isn't. I realise that there are people working at the North Mid who do amazing jobs under very difficult circumstances. But there is all too clearly a minority of staff who provide poor care to extremely vulnerable patients. This can be manifested as a lack of people skills, an uncaring attitude, professional incompetence and poor personal hygiene. These people need to be identified, warned to improve and sacked if they don't - stuff the unions!
The North Mid - regardless of what the crazy 'star' systems give it - has a widespread reputation in these parts as the worst hospital around.
My press release in this week's Journal.
Alway nice to see one's work in print! Might have a letter, too? Will have to wait until the morning to find out!
When the group was first formed, I wholeheartedly supported Women2Win’s basic aim: to encourage more women to enter politics for the Conservative Party. I still do support them BUT, what I’m hearing, isn’t encouraging!
Yes, there are some highly talented women in W2W and some of them have already been selected for safe and marginal constituencies. Jane Ellison (Battersea), Harriet Baldwin (West Worcestershire) and Laura Sandys (Thanet South) are just three such shining examples.
But other women, often wannabe candidates, meet every other week in expensive bars, the kind of places where a small glass of chardonnay will knock you back ten quid! They bitch, plot and expect everything to be served on a plate – preferably by David Cameron himself. They don’t want to get their hands dirty with ordinary constituency campaigning, swallow every eye-catching initative from CCHQ and, more often than not, their knowledge of Plato is non-existent.
Most of the them are aged between 25 and 45, have rich husbands or partners and see politics and the Conservative Party as a “fun hobby”. I know of one young woman, who seriously lacks people skills and political nous, who has been short-listed for a very winnable seat. What the devil is going on?
After almost 10 years of listening and watching Blair’s Brain-Dead Babes in the Chamber, could Dave’s Dishy Dolls be even worse? The jury’s out.
One such story which is unlikely to appear in North London "Focuses".
Last night, on Number 18 Doughty Street, Steve Norris more or less confirmed that he will again seek the Conservative nomination for London Mayor. As Newmania has dropped out, I will once again support Steve’s bid. I emailed a question to Steve. To my surprise, he spent almost a minute just lavishing praise on me! Thanks, Steve.
Steve did, though, express some serious misgivings about the EU. As he is not a loon (like most Euro-sceptics I know), I will carefully reconsider my support for closer political and economic ties with Union. If anyone’s going to convince me of the Better Off Out (BOO) case, Steve’s the man to do it. The man has the ability to turn water into wine!
I'm no Quentin Letts, but I'll do my best to describe what happened at Monday night's Full Council (at which the budget was agreed by the Labour sheep, sorry, councillors).
The Mayor, nice-but-dim Cllr. Gina Adamou, listed her official engagements. She had attended an event to celebrate a Haringey Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender event. She told us that everyone was "happy" (get it?) and that we in Haringey have lots of "talent" (she been on Gaydar again?). Bless!
Sometimes councillors have very good reasons not to attend council meetings. But given the Labour majority is only three, you would expect both sides to ensure maximum attendance at the not-too-onerous schedule of full council meetings: there are opportunities to defeat the administration and it's the only council meeting guaranteed media coverage.
Yet one LibDem was late and two were missing altogether(Cllrs. Baker and Cllr. C. Harris). Cllr. Winskill (Crouch End) was absent (in the loo? Making the tea?) from the vote against the Labour budget. Astonishing! If Cllr. Knight (the 86 year old Labour member for Seven Sisters) can still get to meetings and sit through to the bitter end, why can't the younger opposition members show such dedication?
Cllr. Mughal (Dim Leb, Noel Park) made his maiden speech calling for the Council to support local businesses. Just where does your party have its Focus leaflets printed, Cllr. Mughal?
Among the bunch of nonentities comprising the Lib Dem group, Cllr. John Oakes (Bounds Green) has never distinguished himself, being known only as 'the one with the wooden leg'. Last night, however, he was one of the awkward squad, and had to be ordered by the Chief Executive to shut up about a matter which is subject to a court investigation. He hadn't a leg to stand on!
Sad and confused Cllr. Aitken (the Conservative-turned-SNP-turned-Conservative-turned-Independent-turned-Pro-Life-turned-Ulster Unionist-turned-Conservative-turned-Lib Dem member for Crouch End) started off by eloquently seconding a good motion on the Freedom of Information Act - which should be renamed as the "Ability to Pay" Act. He then, rather bizarrely, told us about a FoI request from a Hampshire resident who asked her local constabulary how many eligible bachelors there were in their ranks. Almost 600, according to the answer, of which 200 were uniformed. What this has to do with Haringey is anyone's guess - and he didn't declare his interest either! How sad! How confusing!
This farce was making the fast-talking Cllr. Meehan, the Council Leader, red-in-the-face angry. He stood up, screamed at the Libs, mocked Saddo Aitken and threatened to withdraw his troops from the Chamber. I thought he was going to have a heart attack! I think the Chief Exec. should keep a team from St John's Ambulance on standby at future meetings.
Shining amidst the shit were Cllr. Kaushika Amin (Lab, Northumberland Park), a rising star and Fib Dum Justin Portess (Highgate). He may not say much, but that puts him head and shoulders above his Dim Leb colleagues who can never resist making prats of themselves. Portess, elected just last year, looks like he can't believe he has walked into a 4-year stretch with the cabal of inadequates he must call colleagues. I bet Lynne Featherstone never told him it would be like this! Hopefully his £10k+ annual stipend cushions the misery somewhat!
The worst two were Dhiren "Techfresh" Basu (Lab, Seven Sisters) and Cllr. Winskill, for missing a key vote.
Cheeky Chappy Cllr. Gideon Bull (Lab, White Hart Lane) was confirmed in his role as the borough's Court Jester.
The deadline for adding your name to the e-petition against road pricing and tracking on the Number 10 website is fast approaching. Sign here NOW to make your voice heard!
Even if you do favour making motorists pay more in tax (which I don't), this scheme will allow the State to track every car journey WE make - whether you are collecting little Megan from nursery, going to Waitrose for the week's groceries or visiting your mistress, the STATE WILL KNOW ABOUT IT. This is yet another attack on our civil liberties by this increasingly authoritarian/need-to-know Socialist regime.
I have already added some additional features to this blog - can you spot them? If you have any advice on how I can make this blog look more professional and easy-to-view for my many readers, please do email me. Thanks, H&S.
When we lived in Highgate (2000-2), we were rudely awoken one morning (at 6am!) by the government-run Charity Commission (CC), aided by the Met Police. Why? Because our landlady, who resided downstairs, ran a charity which was targeted by zealots from the CC.
Of course, they didn't find anything 'dodgy' but they made life hell for her and fellow trustees. If you run a small charity and play by the rules, then you're 'easy prey' for interfering government officials. If, on the other hand, you're a larger charity, then the Commission is all too willing to turn a 'blind eye' to misdemeanours (as seems the case with the Smith Institute). On another matter, just why is Greenpeace, a blatantly political organisation, a registered charity?
The CC should cut down on regulations and do its job better. It should also be independent of the government. In the meantime, Guido, you can expect an early morning wakeup call - and it won't be a Lib Dem delivering a "Good Morning" Focus!
PS. famous Spy, David Shayler, now occupies our old Highgate apartment!
Spent all weekend 'chilling'. Did, though, wake up in middle of the night in excruciating pain in the area below my left ankle. Dr. James reckons that I pulled a ligament. I've not had a drink since Tuesday, and my skin is already starting to look a lot better. And I feel at peace with myself! Just finished watching part one and two of the Ice Age - a children's film; a kind of rip off from Kipling's Jungle Book. It also, in part two, covers climate change - the icecaps melting, flooding and rising temperatures. Rating: 5/10.
A special "hello" to Isabel McKenzie, a new reader from Yorkshire. Isabel is Catriona’s sister and will marry in August (I have, apparently, been invited to your wedding). I am told that you look like Julia Roberts. I can't wait to meet you, your soon-to-be husband and the two pussies, especially the three-legged one! Welcome to my blog and do feel free to post comments.
The Daily Telegraph today reports how one NHS Trust, The Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, is so strapped for cash that lightbulbs are being removed form the corridors in a bid to save money. Secretaries are being asked to weigh babies and nurses and midwifes are working for free or below the minimum wage. Locally, St. Ann's is close to full closure, beds and operating theatres are closing at the North Mid and the A+E at Chase Farm will soon close its doors. Closures, cuts and soaring MRSA cases are the hallmarks of today's NHS. Would the last person to be sacked from St Helier's please return the lightbulbs - they will be working under the next Conservative government.
"24 hours to save the NHS?" - if there is a Hell, I hope you rot in it, Mr Blair. And take David Lammy with you!
In recent days many Labour and Lib Dem bloggers have come out for Hillary Clinton to be the Democrats' next Presidential candidate. Although I don't have a vote and my influence within the Republican Party is very limited, I am today declaring for Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York.
Rudy has a fantastic record of cutting crime and encouraging economic growth by keeping taxes to a minimum. And who could possibly forget his Leadership during 9/11? He's also a moderate and can expect support from the East and West coasts, traditionally Democratic 'strong holds'.
I probably would have held my nose and voted for Bush in 2004 (that just goes to show what a Clown Kerry was!). I'd enthusiastically support a Rudy-led Republican Party and would be more than pleased to offer my services to Republicans Abroad.
Go, Rudy, go!
"We all know how Lib Dem campaigners just love rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in to dumped rubbish, graffiti and dog poo..." Lynne Featherstone, MP, on are Liberal Democrat campaigners about to be put out of a job?
Mark Oaten springs to mind. Oh dear, Lynne, don't think you really wanted to remind us about what Fib Dums do when they have the munchies.
....is the title of the beyond-satire Cllr. Emma Jones' latest blogging effort. Dear Emma is a hippy at heart, born after her time. She writes about Haringey's outward-bound centre in Pendarren, Wales, to which lucky Haringey schoolkids get taken briefly to escape the lung-choking fumes generated by Labour Haringey and Luddite TfL's combined mis-management of traffic in these parts.
Once upon a time, outward-bound centres let active urban kids blow away the cobwebs, see Nature in all her glory and generally see that there is (a better) life beyond the fried chicken outlets of West Green Road. But not any more! Give Emma a piece of the outdoors and a bunch of kids and she wants to put them indoors. Or within 'flaps' to be more precise. Here's what Emma says: "We discussed some quite exciting developments for the site, including the purchasing of a tipi (sic) to be located in an open space in the wood, in which a professional storyteller will perform for the young people, hopefully inspiring their own writing which is also done on the trip."
Is this just pretentious and culturally-insensitive New Age claptrap or what? 'Professional Story-teller?' Give me a break! Half the kids in Haringey already think that black slaves picked cotton in the fields of Lancashire. Give Emma the chance and they'll be thinking that Red Indians were the victims of British genocide in the Welsh Valleys! And if Haringey Council (of which Emma is so proud) could be bothered to teach its kids to read then they wouldn't need someone to read the stories TO them, they could read a book themselves with a torch after lights out! Lashings of ginger beer, anyone?
Yours truly in yesterday's Grauniad. My hypothesis is that Mark Pack, of number 4 Cowley Street, gave them the 'story'.
It's more than a "tad hypocritical" from the party that wants to legalise "Toliet Duck" and other such bathroom gems.
Anyway, thanks for the 'name check', Mark.
Conservatives - 1666
Labour - 1025
Lib Dems -552
Green - 147
Congratulations to Mrs. Tambourides on an excellent result. Commiserations to the Labour and Green candidates. Notice I have left out the Fib Dem? Why? Because their campaign was entirely negative, carried lies and personal attacks. Their candidate, Sean Hooker, lost his Mill Hill seat to us in May of last year and then issued a "Focus" to residents saying that he would "never quit" the area, so it was a surprise to see him stand in East Barnet. He is a career politician - a complete opportunist who will say different things to different people. Cllr. Robert Rams, an East Barnet councillor, pays a very moving tribute to former Cllr. Olwen - who sadly passed a way (see post below).
Yes, it was a two-horse race after all - between Blair's Labour Party and hard-working East Barnet Conservatives. The Lib Dems were totally humiliated. Matt, mate, you should have stayed in bed!
I was seiously delayed for campaigning in today's Barnet by-election - I had promised the Team that I would be at Cockfosters tube station at 1pm, but didn't actually get there until 6pm as somebody had broken into our car. Most of the afternoon was spent trying to get in touch with the police!
The popular Conservative councillor, Cllr. Olwen Evans, died after a long battle with cancer. She had represented the area since 1968 and will, they tell me, be a very hard act to follow.
I spent four hours out with Theresa Villiers, the local MP and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. I've known Theresa for ages and it was nice to catch up with her and hear the latest news and views from Westminster.
I was freezing cold and my feet were soaking wet. I even fell over in a voter's garden. The voter told me he wasn't going to vote but as I called on him, armed with "Good Evening" leaflets and fell in his garden, he was going to vote after all. I also convinced three people to let us take them to the polls.
Finished around 9:30 and was taken back to the station, along with a chap called Barry who works for the Conservatives at London Councils (formerly the Association of London Government).
Everyone seemed to be confident of a Conservative win but we won't know until tomorrow morning as the Count was postponed due to this horrible weather. Goodness knows what will happen if the weather does not improved - we could be waiting for weeks!
Fellow Haringey blogger Cllr. Matt Davies, a Lib Dem, was delivering his "Good Morning" leaflets at 5am (click on link to see pics). I, on the other hand, was curled up in my bed, like a cat, fast asleep.
Anyway, my fingers are crossed for Mrs. Tambourides, our candidate. She will be a strong voice for East Barnet and I wish her the best of luck.
Yesterday I was walking along St. Ann's Road, Tottenham, and I noticed that St. Ann's Church was opened for people to view the building, pray or simply have coffee. I knew that I was baptised there when I was six months old but I didn't know when and by whom. I popped in to be welcomed by a lovely woman, Mrs Goodhew, whose husband is the honorary curate. They both arrived in Tottenham about two years ago - to retire from Hants (strange but true).
It turns out that I was baptised there by the Rev. R.C. Fields, presumably dead now, who retired in 1982. This took place on the 19th July 1981. All such information is recorded in a special book - one they are still using today.
I assume that the church was once fairly 'high' - not any more. Giant TV screens have replaced hymn books and the traditional church organ has made way for drums and tambourines. Still, they seem lovely people - really warm. I may even attend a Sunday service for a chorus of Shine Jesus Shine!
I've often wondered what Guido Fawkes> looks like in person, so I decided to Google him under images. I found this> picture of him on the Libertarian Alliance's website.
What a hunk he was in the 80s - I wonder if he's kept his good looks? Hunter and Shooter is intrigued! Does anyone have any recent pics of him? Perhaps I should just email him and take him out for a beer or two?
I'm not going into great detail, but there were about 40 people here on Saturday night (not bad considering I have a small flat!). Up until about 11pm, people were chatting to each other and things were very civilised. Then the fun stated. There was substance-misuse in the toilet, a relationship breakdown, several rows, people thrown out for bad behaviour and a physical fight. We got through about fifty bottles of wine on top of all the spirits. Thankfully, the Labour councillor left before all the drama kicked off. Most here were Conservatives - obviously very liberal ones - LOL.
Excuse this, my very last post (I promise!) on the subject of gay adoption and the Catholic Church. We've all noticed how every other party seems to be tieing itself up in knots about this - but, what did Respect think? I haven't heard a word from them. When I visited their website, not only could I not find any mention of their position on gay adoption but no mention of EQUALITY at all!
Why? Because Respect is led by a devout Catholic (Galloway), Islamo-facists and a few white middle-class women suffering from Stockholm Syndrome (think Yvonne Ridley).
Long gone are the days when you could rely on the 'progressive left' to defend gays, Jews and women. And If you don't believe me you can read Nick Cohen's excellent new book, What's Left.
This BBC website gives us the story of Abdelaziz Mohammed, a Somali gentleman resident in my own burg, Tottenham.
Now, I was born here, so I have an excuse! But what's his?
Abdelaziz tells us: It cost me $2100 to come to this country. I saved for two years. Going to Europe was a dream come true – it was where I was going to start a new life.
When I first arrived in Tottenham I looked around and all I see are black faces and I say “Am I still in Africa?”
But, as thousands have found before him, life in N17 isn't all roses. "I was dreaming of something better than Bruce Grove. I dreamed of Sunset Boulevard."
Abdelaziz may not have the fast car and fancy clothes he dreamed of, but he does have a job (running the international telephone centre on Bruce Grove where people of different nationalities call those they left back home) and is able to send support to his family back home.
Seems like a nice chap! And refreshingly candid about his reasons for coming here. But, don't you suspect that, if written up in The Guardian, he would be described as 'fleeing from war-torn Somalia….'. And how interesting that despite having a wife and children to support, he is still able to send money to Somalia. I expect that's the 'Family Tax Credits from Gordon!