Is Labour set to ditch popular former Mayor?


Rumours are circulating around the borough that Labour is set to de-select Cllr. Sheik Thomson, the jovial Member for Tottenham Hale, for either Zena Brabazon (for it is her!) or Reg Rice, that old has-been.

Given the alternatives, Hunter is considering setting up a Save the Sheik campaign...

Meanwhile, a certain NUT rep is going after Cllr Brian Haley in St. Ann's Ward. More soon.

When the tough gets going, the Lib Dems get nasty and personal...


Previous Lib Dem leaders, e.g. the likable Charles Kennedy, tried, even when their members didn't, to keep personal attacks on their opponents out of the political arena.

So it was rather sad to hear Nick Clegg spending most of his conference speech making nasty personal attacks on David Cameron.

Hunter wonders if, after these ill-advised attacks, the Lib Dems poll position (12% in a poll out today) will drop even further...

PS. Based on today's poll, the Conservatives would win Hornsey and Wood Green and Islington South and Finsbury...

Message to the Electoral commission: study Canada's voting system


Hunter has become a huge fan of CHUMFM, a Canadian radio station.

Canadians will vote in their general election on the 14th of October (Hunter will be there to learn from the Conservatives), when PM Stephen Harper (Con) is expected to be elected with a working majority.

CHUMFM has been carrying ads, on behalf of the government of Ontario, reminding people to vote in the election - and highlighting that they need TWO forms of ID (including proof of residency) to vote. Here, we don't even need a poll card to vote!

Britain's Electoral Commission (EC) is a toothless, spineless and incompetent body.

It would seem at time sthat its only task is to record donations, but, even then, it does little, if anything, to punish parties who provide late or dodgy donations (think of the £2m given to the Lib Dems from crook Michael Brown).

It is high time the EC recommends tightening up the voting rules. Nobody should be allowed to vote without, at least, two forms of ID - Canadian style. Unlikely to happen though; the EC lacks the courage to recommend real changes to root out abuses and the Labour government is, usually, the main benefactors of illegal and multiple voting. Think Bradford and Tower Hamlets...

Answers? Hunter's not saying a mumbling word...

Guess which councillor... (part three)


Guess which Haringey Lib Dem councillor is rumoured to be briefing against a councillor colleague for "being in the pockets of estate agents and developers"?

How long have the Lib Dem 'high command' known about this and what do they propose to do about it now they know?

Guess which councillor... (part two)


Guess which Haringey Liberal Democrat councillor is rumoured to be under an investigation for possibly breaking electoral law, including being falsely registered at two addresses?

How long have the Lib Dem 'high command' known about this and what do they propose to do about it now they know?

Guess which councillor... (part one)


Guess which Haringey Lib Dem councillor is rumoured to be in debt to Haringey Council with his rent (one figure is £10,000)?

How long have the Lib Dem 'high command' known about this and what do they propose to do about it now they know?

Why it has to be McCain-Palin in '08 - and other thoughts on the US contest


Following on from the last post, Hunter has decided - not that he has a vote or is remotely influential - to support John McCain and Sarah Palin in the US election.

Like the Log Cabin Republicans (the gay group in the GOP), Hunter's decision came after some deliberations. The Republicans are still the party of small government and low taxation (even if George W. Bush often forgot). And John McCain has the necessary EXPERIENCE to lead America in a dangerous and unpredictable world. He's also a maverick and is unafraid to stand up to special interest groups and, even, fellow Republicans.

His choice of Sarah Palin was a masterstroke! Hunter dares sceptical readers to watch Sarah Palin's acceptance speech and not to be impressed by her warmth, intelligence and integrity.

What on earth was Barak Obama thinking of when he chose Joe Biden as his running mate? Their equivalents here, Hunter thinks, are David Lammy - big on rhetoric and small on substance - running with Neil Kinnock as his deputy. Scary thought, isn't it?

All the Left - both in America and in Europe - can do to attack their opponents is to use ageist and sexist language.

Why is the Guardian mocking John McCain's age (he's 72) and Sarah Palin's "lack of experience" but not Obama's record of running 'Jack shit'? And why have lefties, like the fragrant Lynne Featherstone, co-incidentally her party's Equalities 'spokesperson', not welcomed Palin as a breakthrough for American women?

John McCain will win - for all the right reasons. Obama will NOT win, not least because Jonah cursed him…

Butler and Lammy - would they be supporting Obama is he was white?


Iain Dale is reporting how Dawn Butler, the over-promoted Labour MP for Brent South, is endorsing Barak Obama. She is now a government whip. There has been a long-standing traditional that our government of the day remains neutral in foreign elections.

David Lammy, Hunter's own MP, has also shamelessly endorsed Obama.

Would they be doing so if Obama was white?

Hunter believes that the best man - or woman - should win based on their experience. Butler and Lammy, if would seem, disagree because the fact is that Barak Obama has NO experience, so what's left...

Can you imagine - quite rightly - the outcry if a white person appeared to be voting for John McCain because he happens to be white?

Hunter sees double standards here. And it stinks!

Bad news for Hunter's LD trolls: leave your name or troll off!


Hunter has, very reluctantly, decided to ban anonymous comments on this blog. Hunter can take criticism, but is not prepared to enter into discussions with anonymous cowards. Like the headlines says, leave your name or troll off!

Hunter will also be blogging more frequently as of day. Posts, though, will be shorter and to the point.

The three main candidates in Alex


Hunter understands that the following people have been picked for the Alexandra Ward by-election:

Joanna Christophides - Labour - local resident

David Douglas - Conservative - local resident

Nigel Scott - Lib Dem - Woodside resident

Does anyone know if there's going to be other parties contesting this by?

Ding dong, Wayne's finally gone!


Hunter revealed some time back that Cllr. Wayne Hoban (LD, Alexandra Ward) had moved out of Haringey and predicted a by-election, despite assurances in the local press from the Haringey Lib Dems that Wayne was "committed" to Haringey. Had the by-election coincided with the GLA elections on May 1, it would have saved the hard-pressed tax-payer thousands of pounds in savings. What is it with Lib Dems getting the runs? Should Hunter send all the Lib Dem councillors in Haringey a complimentary packet of Loperamide?

Fortismere Vs. Gladesmore schools


Thanks to Matt Davies, Hunter has been looking at the borough's GCSE results with interest.

The one school that stands out is Gladesmore in South Tottenham. Not so long ago, they were not only at the bottom of the borough's league table, but also at the bottom of the London-wide league tables. With a relatively new Head in Tony Hartney CBE and a committed team of staff and governors, it is only a matter of time before Gladesmore equals or even overtakes Fortismere in Muswell Hill.

Fortismere is GBHS (Good By Haringey Standards). It's GCSE A-C results are in the low 70s. Considering the school has an unofficial catchment area (covering some of the most affluent wards in the country) and a very high number of students benefiting form private home tuition, is 72% really that good?

Gladesmore, which boarders Hackney, now has an A-C pass rate of 44% (growing to 46% for A*). Their results are getting better, year by year. Bearing in mind, that the school takes in children from some of Tottenham's most deprived wards, a large number of students have English as a second language and that parents simply can't afford home tuition and music classes, Gladesmore’s doing incredibly well.

Joan Mcvittie, the two year-old Head of Woodside High, was on the Today programme this morning being grilled by John Humphries. Only 28 of her pupils passed at A-C grade. The government, in the form of Lord Adonis, says that a minimum of 30% is required or the school is labelled a failure and eventually closed. Ms. Mcvittie was very franks about her school's challenges and pointed out that since her appointment the results have been getting better. Hunter feels that the school needs more time to improve and that government threats and labelling are futile.

Hunter would like to congratulate ALL Haringey students who did well and commiserate with those that didn't.

The "Humourless Bitch" starts to blog!


Well, well, well! Neil Williams, aka the "Humourless Bitch", now has his own blog.

The Highgate councillor proudly stresses that HE was Lynne Featherstone's Agent in the 1997, 2001& 2005 general elections. Is this a 'bitch slap' to Mark Pack who claims to all and sundry that it was HIS efforts that won Lynne the seat?

Whilst they handbag each other, Hunter reluctantly welcomes the Dour One to the blogsphere...

What would you like the next Conservative government to do?


Regardless of if you're a Conservative or not (many of you are not), what would you like the next Conservative government to do for you, your family and your community?

And, if you're from a deprived area like Tottenham, how could Conservatives -- working in partnership with the public, private and voluntary sectors -- reduce crime, address inequalities, support businesses, create jobs and provide educational opportunities to name just a few?

Here's Hunter's shopping list, sorry, top five suggestions:

1. Support voluntary organisations like the London Boxing Academy, which is based here in Tottenham. It provides for young adults who do not prosper in conventional educational settings. It teaches Maths and English as well allowing people, mainly young black boys, with sporting opportunities in the form of boxing. The LBA receives little, if any, government funding for the excellent work that they do.

2. Stressing the importance of education to children as young as 5 in our infant schools. Teaching respect in the classroom. Engaging with both parents, where they both exist (as Lynne F has suggested!) Supporting integration through proper funding of ESOL (English as a second language). And, most importantly, giving schools independence by allowing them to teach by ability and exclude disruptive pupils.

3. Bridging the health inequality gaps that exist. Hunter doesn't like 'nannying', so it would be good to empower people by setting up food co-operatives where people can buy fresh and healthy foods at affordable prices. David Cameron has already given his support for this idea, and we have our first food co-operative here on Broadwater Farm. Reducing pollution (Tottenham has one of the highest asthma rates anywhere in London) and encourage exercising. We should make healthy living opportunities by making them affordable, even free, such as swimming (one good Labour idea that has now, so it would seem, been binned). This, in the long-term, will save the NHS money. It is a scandal that a person in Muswell Hill will outlast his counterpart in Northumberland Park by up to 8.2 years.

4. Supporting local GPs. Oppose the closure of local surgeries for four new super-sized 'polyclinics'. The patient-doctor relationship is important and allowing patients, especially the elderly and disabled, to be able to easily reach their GP is equally important. Labour's plans to replace Haringey's 64 GPs with four polyclinics in totally unacceptable.

5. Reduce police bureaucracy and allow the police to spend more time out on patrol. Introduce tough sentencing for those caught carry knives and guns and, at the same time, support literacy, numeracy and rehabilitation programmes in the prisons. End the 'gym culture' that exists in so many of our prisons, where officials would rather invest in weights than Windows.

Now, over to you. Hunter politely requests that you leave constructive posts. Is that asking for too much?

Eleven wasted years


Hunter wanted to do a general letter to the locals on Labour's 11 wasted years. In the end, the letter was far too long an non-local for them to even consider publishing it, so here it is - as my latest blog entery. Feel free to say whether or not you agree with my analysis. Here goes:

In 1997, people from across Haringey, indeed the country, were rejoicing in Labour’s historic landslide. People, rightly, had high expectations of their new government.

Their first acts were to loot people’s pension funds and sell off our gold reserves, but people didn’t seem to care. They were new. They would make mistakes. They needed more time. That’s what people said.

Then Blair, aided by Gordon Brown, introduced stealth taxes. The tax burden went up and new policies were introduced to make the economy less flexible. Borrowing, too, went up leading Brown to be dubbed “the credit card chancellor”.

Record amounts of money went into our unreformed public services, especially the NHS, yet waiting lists remained high and clinical outcomes static. There were endless re-organisations of the NHS – leading staff demoralised.

The gap between rich and poor grew. In certain parts of Glasgow, age expectancy is just 54 – below those of the Gaza Strip and Angola. Locally, you can expect to live for an extra seven years if you are lucky enough to reside in Muswell Hill than Northumberland Park.

Educationally, we have slipped back in the world league tables. More and more students are leaving school unable to read or write, without a single GCSE. Meanwhile, Labour’s only two ideas on education were to scrap student grants and swamp teachers with paperwork. Ditto the police, whilst crime got out of control. Gun and violent crimes have doubled.

Now the economy is spiralling out of control. Prices for everyday essentials – bread, butter, and milk – are on the up. And petrol prices are at a record high. A bus journey for a single stop now stands at £2.

House prices are set to crash and mortgage take-ups are the lowest for three decades. If you’re lucky enough to have a home, the council tax has gone through the roof under Labour.

Did I mention that immigration is out of control (althoughless so than the Daily Mail would have you believe)?

People have been let down by Labour. They could have spent the last eleven years improving and reforming our public services, keeping money aside for 'rainy days' and fighting poverty through empowering the voluntary and charity sectors.

People want their government to be honest about the challenges that we all face. To not flinch from making difficult – but necessary – decisions.

People want Gordon Brown to call that General Election and be able to hit them where it hurts most: in the ballot box.

It appears Stephen Tall hates Mark Pack...


In a Q&A with TotalPoltics, Stephen Tall, a Lib Dem blogger and Liberal Democrat Voice contributor, was asked: "Who is your political hate figure?" Tall replied: "Any politician who is cheap, negative and tribal"

Mark Pack, that whiter-than-white bitch, aside, he could be talking about any of his Lib Dem colleagues...

Who speaks for the Lib Dems - Featherstone or Fenwick? And which one is Miss Muddle?


Hunter has just stumbled across another example where two senior Lib Dems appear not to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

Lynne Featherstone, quite rightly, suggests that Haringey's councillors should meet in different parts of the borough. Says Lynne in her blog, "Councillors could meet in Bernie Grant Centre or there's a dilapidated council chamber still at Hornsey Town Hall or any one of a number of meeting places in the borough. It would be great anyway - and symbolic - if the councillors came out of a building and held their Full Council meeting in various parts of the borough".

When poor old Gordon suggests that the Cabinet should meet in different parts of the country, Rob Fenwick, of Lib Dem Voice, says: "It’s easy to dismiss it as mere tokenism. But, then, a surprising amount of tokenism ends up in the mainstream. It’s undoubtedly true that much of what passes these days for the establishment is London-obsessed..."

Apart from asking 'who speaks for the Lib Dems?', Hunter thinks this is a bit of a 'bitch-slap' for dear Lynne.

If you like H&S, vote for it!


Yup, it's that time of the year again!

The deadline for votes is Friday, 15 August Top. Email your Top Ten (ranked from 1 to 10) to toptenblogs@totalpolitics.com.

The rules are much stricter this year, and I guess that will go against me, as well the responses Iain gets:

1. Please only vote once.

2. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents are eligible or based on UK politics are eligible.

3. Votes must be cast before Friday 15 August.

4. Blogs chosen must be listed in the Total Politics Blog Directory.

5. You must send a list of TEN blogs, ranked. Any entry containing fewer than ten blogs will not count.

6. Anonymous votes left in the comments will not count. You must give a name.

Guess who has egg on his face today?


Yes, it's over very own Comical Matt! Matty Boy warned us a few weeks back not to "write off" the Lib Dems in Glasgow East and that "they'll be working hard towards another great result"

Yesterday's result saw the Lib Dems' candidate fall from third to fourth place (behind the Conservatives) with just 915 votes (3.5% of all votes cast) and a lost deposit.

After four by-election disasters, Labour MPs won't be the only people wondering if a change of leader would improve their fortunes...

Moving Leftwards?


Hunter has just been browsing the latest Early Day Motions (EDMs) in Parliament. One motion, EDM1948, heaps praise on the merger of two unions and on Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, the left-wing leaders of the Unite union. Who wrote is? George Galloway? John McDonnell? Diane Abbot? Jeremy Corbyn? No, step forward Bob Spink, the Conservative-to-UKIP member for Castle Point. Hunter wonders if Spink is another Alan Amos in the making...

A few weeks off from politics


Boo! Hunter's back! Took two, almost three, weeks off from politics to visit friends -- David, Fiona, Alice, Ben, Grace and Lydia -- in Sheffield. It's always a pleasure, if a little exhausting, staying with them in a smart part of the city. Apart from Sheffield itself, Hunter visited the Devonshires' pad, Chatsworth House, Bakewell and Sherwood Forest (see picture above - Hunter standing next to an 800 y-o tree!). Returned to London to watch Boris leading the Gay Pride celebrations, where he was given a warm reception, and spent the following day at Legoland in Windsor (the heavens opened from start to finish and Hunter was a little Hung-over). Spent the last two days at garden parties in Fortis Green and Southgate Village (both Tory fund-raising ‘dos’ but I’m not sure if they would count as political as such?).

I'm back now to offer you my thoughts and share juicy gossip - stay tuned!

Lynne came into my bedroom and made me laugh out loud


At around 22:20 last night (Sunday), Lynne's voice came booming into my bedroom (where Hunter was about to catch up on some beauty sleep - no jokes!). Asked by the "Westminster Hour's Carolyn Quinn what should be done about the terrible situation in Zimbabwe, Lynne said something like, 'Well, Nick Clegg is going to make a speech on it (Zimbabwe) tomorrow at Chatham House...'

Bet the evil Mugabe is quaking in his boots! Or maybe Lynne, a big Huhne fan, was taking the piss?

A busy few weeks


Hunter hasn't been able to blog much of late because I've been doing 'constituency business' (are non-MPs allowed to use that term?)

Met, along with the delightful Elizabeth Berridge from the Conservative Christian Fellowship, the leaders of some of Tottenham's black-led churches. Told them about Lammy's support for abortion at 24 weeks etc., etc. As a result, Hunter is now involved in setting up the Conservative African Forum - a body to promote the Party in the African communities here in the UK and to brief the Shadow Cabinet and the Party generally on African affairs.

Took a small delegation from the Ward's Corner Coalition to City Hall to meet Mayor Johnson's deputy, Cllr. Richard Barnes, to discuss Labour's plans to flog the building to Grainger PLC. The meeting went VERY well.

Prepared a leaflet for our stall at the Tottenham Carnival. Thankfully, it didn't rain and young Sam erected our gazebo, despite me having lost the instructions during last year's monsoon. Lots of positive responses - the only negative comments came from white middle-class incomers (overspill from the 'white heartlands' of Crouch End and Muswell Hill) who are far too grand too vote Tory - so they vote Lib Dem insread. At election times, they lord it over us by displaying Lib Dem posters in their period houses (mainly on the Harringay Ladder). This is, basically, telling the world 'Look at us! We're middle-class, read the Guardian and aren't we smug about it!' Pass me the sickbag, Alice!

Attended the 'Summer Sizzler' -- a night of fun, fun, fun -- to celebrate the campaign to save Ward's Corner. Saw lots of old and new friends there. Took David Allen, the new Chairman of Hornsey and Wood Green Conservatives, and Jason, a local mate/supporter from Northumberland Park. Hunter's legs were FUBAR after trying to whine to Buster Poindexter's 'Hot, Hot, Hot'.

Now selling Tory raffle tickets @ £1 per ticket (75p is returned to Tottenham Conservatives!). Any more takers?

For sale: Northern Ireland - £2


Dan Hannan, not somebody Hunter noramally views in a high regard, is reporting in his Telegraph blog that the DUP sold their nine votes (over 42 days) for £200m.

Hunter strongly suggests that the next Conservative government sells Northern Ireland to the Republic for £2. Northern Ireland is a backward and bankrupt province that will never prosper whilst the DUP is in charge - and there's no sign of that changing.

Ding dong, Ali's gone - and Hunter is proved right!


Cllr. Ali Demirci is the latest councillor to cross the floor on Haringey Council from the Dim Lebs to Labour. Why? Because the Lib Dems don't have anything positive to offer the people of Haringey. At the recent elections, they lost two out of the three contests in Hornsey and Wood Green and, worse still, were a poor fourth in Tottenham - behind the Greens. The Conservatives locally and nationally are resurgent under David Cameron's leadership. In Haringey, like everywhere else in the country, people will have a choice between a Labour government under Gordon Brown or a new, progressive and listening one under David Cameron. The Lib Dem are increasingly irrelevant and Ali's defection to one of the bigger parties is evidence of this fact.

And Hunter takes great delight in being proved right!

A big 'thank you' to Anon, who gave me the idea for the above title in the previous thread.

Stop press: More Lib Dem trouble - will update within the next 24 hours.

The question Lynne can't answer


Regular readers know that I have a bit of a soft spot for Hornsey & Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone, despite my general and staunch aversion to the Lib Dems per se. So I trust that Pack, Williams and all the other troglodyte LibDem spinmeisters don't do their dreary usual thing and take this post as a "spiteful personal attack"!

Sometimes difficult questions must be asked!

Hunter has asked Lynne to comment on her Cowley Street HQ ousting popular local councillor Sue Cooper as the Henley Lib Dems' by-election candidate only to replace her with a non-local, middle-aged, white male.

Hunter thought
a) that the Lib Dems wanted more women in Parliament (especially on 'their' benches) and
b) favoured local democracy

So why the stitch up?

It seems that Lynne has not been allowed to publish the question on her blog, let alone answer it. Given that Lynne is the Lib Dems spokeswoman on Equality, who else can Sue Cooper turn to for some justice in her party if not to Lynne?

Sorry, Lynne. But if you can't make a stand on this issue, what is the point of you holding the Equality brief at all?

Congratulations Alan, down with Oakes!


Hunter's good friend Alan Dobbie was elected as Haringey's new Mayor at Monday night's Annual Meeting of the Council. Hunter was pleased to be able to sit in the Council Chamber and watch the vote and ceremony. Normally, Hunter would support demands that the post occasionally goes to a member of the opposition, i.e. a Lib Dem. Not this time: Alan was an excellent choice and will serve the borough well. The Lib Dems put forward the one-legged John Oakes - a truly nasty individual who would prosper in a certain other minority party. This could, perhaps, explain why FOUR of his colleagues failed to support him by not turning up. What a cheek of the Lib Dems to ask Labour councillors to support their nominee when some of their own councillors were not prepared to do the same!

But of course, greedy Lib Dem councillors turned up at Alan's party (held at the Irish Centre in Tottenham) to help themselves to free nosh. Alan's chosen charity is Different Strokes, a charity set up by young stroke survivors for young stroke survivors. To Hunter's knowledge, every councillor from across the political divide bought raffle tickets to support the Mayor's charity - except one. Hobble forward, Cllr. Oakes! Once again, this tight-fisted LD reminded us why he was so comprehensively rejected by Haringey councillors.

More trouble for Haringey Lib Dems


Hunter has just been given two juicy pieces of gossip.

Apparently, Cllr. Susan Oatway has also moved out of the borough. Only one out the three Alexandra ward councillors -- the hapless Cllr. David Beacham -- now lives in the borough. This, if true, is a major blow for them as Cllr. Oatway is widely seen as one of the better LD members on the Council. Hoban sold up and moved out months ago.

And that at least one of the Lib Dems' BME councillors is in talks with Haringey Labour about switching sides. He claims that the LD Front Bench on the Council is "too middle class and white". Too true!

All this come just days after it was revealed that the LDs lost two out of the three votes in Hornsey and Wood Green and slumped into third and fourth place in Tottenham.

It couldn't happen to a nicer party!

Haringey returns to two-party politics as Lib Dem vote slumps


Just as the Fib Dems gather to celebrate 10 years of 'success' here in Haringey, new figures published in the last twenty-four hours have revealed the Lib Dems slumped into THIRD and FOURTH place in Tottenham (Hunter's home turf) in the May 1 London elections.

Electoral bigwigs have released the votes for London Mayor, GLA Constituency Member and London Top-Up List broken out by local authority ward. They make interesting reading.

Conservatives and Labour also beat them in *two out of three elections in Lynne's Hornsey and Wood Green Constituency. Yes, that's right THIRD. Labour actually topped the poll for the London List contest - staggering given Labour's poor organisation locally and unpopularity nationally. If the council elections been on the same day as the London elections, Conservatives would have taken all three seats in Highgate, whilst Labour would have gained Bounds Green, Crouch End, Harringay, Hornsey, Noel Park and Stroud Green from the Yellow Peril!

*when you take into account of postal votes.

Sisterly love – or maybe not!


A reader has contacted me to request that I play a little song for the Twisted Sisters of Hornsey & Wood Green Constituency Labour Party: 'Burn in Hell'

Thanks to our Deep Labour Throat of Wood Green for the inside gen on Karen Jennings' shoddy treatment at the hands of the uncomradely sisters of the local CLP. Was it really all down to political rivalry as 'anonymous' claims? Or were there profound disagreements of principle? Perhaps Karen wasn't sound enough on the Iraq war/ ID cards/ SATS/ MMR/ Abortion limits/ Public breast-feeding/ Greenham Common? Whatever, it has never taken much to set middle-class, dangly-earringed Labour wimmin off on an orgy of holier-than-thou backstabbing......Karen is better off out of it.

Gossip round-up


* A well-known Brother from the Haringey Soviet Council emailed Hunter to suggest that it was no accident that Ken launched his mayoral bid in Hornsey and Wood Green and that the CLP there have invited Ken's close pal Brother Skinner to woo back anti-war folk who deserted them for Lynne Featherstone.

* LD Matt Davies, for it is him again, has been ousted from the O&S committee by Ron Aitken (of all people!!!) That'll teach him for - well, you know what...

* LD Wayne Hoban, their man in Alex, has now officially abandoned his constituents for a life and job outside of London. Just when will he do the decent thing and resign his seat?

More soon...

Exclusive: Sensational news from the Haringey Soviet!


Red Ken, turfed out by Boris last week, may be seeking greener pastures in Hornsey & Wood Green according to local Labour sources!

How come?

Well, it's no surprise that Haringey Labour activists are furious with their selected candidate, Karen Jennings, who has completely failed to make any impact on the electorate. Perhaps she's too busy with her union work, but it's still pretty shameful that she hasn't updated her website since July 2007!

Apparently, Karen is to be quietly invited to step aside to allow Ken to make a comeback--representing at least a part of London back in parliament.

If anyone could unseat Lynne Featherstone and win H&WG back for Labour, it's Ken Livingstone. No matter how many of her millions poor Lynne chucks at the seat, Ken would be a shoe-in for them.

I can see this working well: Ken gets 12-18 months off to write his memoirs, launches them in a blaze of media activity, then 3-6 months' later he is standing at the General Election.

At the age of 62, Ken still has a lot of life in him. True, he couldn't be handed a safe Labour seat in the face of competition from a bunch of young Labour hopefuls. But the rationale of him standing against Lynne, with her 'comfortable' majority and winning it back for Labour would be quite a coup for him, and a great 'final race' of his career.

He could then retire at 68/ 69, having spent 4 or 5 years as a grand old Labour statesman in the Commons, harrying the new Conservative government of Cameron--and having seen off nearly all the hateful New Labour types, who will of course have lost their parliamentary seats in 2009/ 2010, just as ken was making his comeback!

Go for it, Ken! Go for it H&WG CLP!

'We have smashed them!', yeah right, Matty boy


Sorry, dear readers! I have been neglecting you, I know. I have not blogged for ages, although at times it has been very tempting. But all my energy has been invested in fighting the good fight for the Conservatives in London, culminating in the elections last week. Most of the other bloggers have got in well before me with their comments on the outcome of the elections--and what a bizarre take some of them have on the results!

I had to laugh at Matt Davies' efforts. This guy would have been snapped up as a Baath party press officer by Saddam, if he was still with us. But Iraq's loss is Fortis Green's gain. What fibs! What shameless spinning! According to him, it was a "bad night for the Conservatives across the country". OK, let's look at the facts:

How did the Conservatives do?

* Conservatives win London Mayoralty - the biggest prize of all!
* 300 new councillors - we weren't just piling them up in our heartlands, many were elected in northern town and cities like Bury and Sunderland
* Welsh Conservatives control the same number of councillors as Labour (for the first time in history)
* Two additional members of the London Assembly
* By-election wins across the country, especially in London
* Out-polling Labour and the Lib Dems in Crewe and Nantwich, ahead of the May 22 by-election

How did the Fib Dums do?

* Lib Dems Mayoral candidate sees his vote halve
* Lib Dems only just make a net gain of councillors, despite Labour's record-low results
* Conservatives now have more councillors than the Lib Dems in the north, middle and south of England
* No progress in Wales
* Two members down on the London Assembly, including incumbent Geoff Pope
* Losing council by-elections, e.g. in Bow, Tower Hamlets, a seat held by them for yonks
* Only polling a miserable 19% in Crewe and Nantwich, boding very badly for the May 22 by-election

The usual suspects in the broadcast media have tried to pretend this is solely an anti-Labour phenomenon, and doesn't mean people like the Conservatives any more than they did. But, in that case, why is it that Labour's losses were not more evenly distributed between Conservatives and LibDems? In fact, we Cs were picking up more than 10 of those Labour seats for every one picked up by 'Nick Clegg's Fib Dums'.

And what a damp squib Clegg has turned out to be for the Fibs!? He made absolutely no impression at all during the campaign, did he? If I were Lynne Featherstone, I'd be pleading with Chris Huhne to give it another shot.

Meanwhile, Matt's chum, a pocket-Mandelson Mark Pack,tries to make capital out of the fact that Edward Timpson, the Conservatives' local choice for Crewe and Nantwich, isn't local because... err... he ran the New York marathon and went to university in another place.

All in all, absolutely pathetic and sour stuff from the dustbin party that's heading for the scrapheap!

Homo-erotic, or what?


Boxers Joe Calzaghe and Bernard Hopkins. Cute!

UPDATE: The ever-alert blogger Croydonian has just sent me this amusing film on the subject, Wrestling with Manhood. Well worth a look - just get the tissues ready...

Another set of elections, another set of Lib Dem lies


Passing through Hornsey the other day on the top of a number 144 bus, Hunter noticed a poster in Lynne Featherstone's office window. It read something like, 'Brian Paddick: a Policeman, not a Politician'. Having been, admittedly on and off, a paid up Lib Dem member for over a decade and is now their mayoral candidate, Paddick is most definitely a politician.

He is not, though, a Policeman. He retired from the Met over two years ago. Unlike a doctor, he cannot claim to still be copper once he's out.

But when was the truth ever allowed to get in the way of Lib Dem campaigning?

Another apt song for Leavingsoon: Show me the to go home (I'm tired and I want to go to bed)


Show me the way to go home

Show me the way to go home
I'm tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head
Where ever I may roam
On land or sea or foam
You will always hear me singing this song
Show me the way to go home

Indicate the way to my abode
I'm fatigued and I want to retire
I had a spot of beverage sixty minutes ago
And it went right to my cerebellum
Where ever I may perambulate
On land, or sea or atmospheric vapor
You can always hear me crooning the melody
Indicate the way to my abode

Apt songs for London's main Mayoral candidates


Courtesy of Queen:

Don't stop me now - Boris.

Killer Queen - Paddick.

Under Pressure - Leavingsoon.

Now there are two


Hunter has not seen any Labour posters up here in Tottenham - until today. One "Vote Labour" post has appeared in a shabby-looking house and the other is in the front of a chaotic-looking Somali shop, which also has a poster up to advertise a book on how to 'get the right marks' for British Citizenship. Looks like Leavingsoon's promise to give illegal immigrants free travel on London transport is paying off in some quarters.

China, China, China - Out! Out! Out! Free Tibet!


Hunter braved the snow and headed into central London yesterday, along with a Tory chum from Hornsey & Wood Green, to register my protest at recent events in Tibet and the human rights situation generally in China.

I appreciate that China won the right to hold the Olympics fair and square, but weren't we all told back then that this would lead to an improvement in Chinese human rights and China evolving to adopt the sort of standards that prevail in western, liberal democratic countries? I can't see much evidence of that having happened! In fact, the reverse seems to be true: if their recent behaviours in Tibet, over Darfur etc. are anything to go by, they just seem to have become even more arrogant and set in their repressive ways.

I sympathise with the argument of the athletes: if every British business is bending over backwards to trade with China (and we're all now wearing socks 'Made in China'), then why should sport be the only area to make a sacrifice? I'm not arguing for non-participation in the Olympics, but it was a step too far to allow a triumphalist parade through the streets of London. (I understand that this particular Olympic tradition was actually the brainchild of one A. Hitler, devised to promote his Nazi regime at the time of the 1936 Berlin Olympics).

What made matters even worse, and what clinched it for me to head into central London for this protest, was the sight of British sporting heroes being 'guarded' by a bunch of Chinese State security goons! If the torch parade had to proceed, couldn't the torch-bearer have been flanked by British sportsclub members or British bobbies? To allow the frontline security for this event on London's streets to be handed over to these sinister-looking 'heavies' supplied by a repressive foreign power was a grotesque decision! Were they flown in specially for the occasion? I wonder what their last 'assignment' was? Beating people up on the streets of Lhasa in Tibet perhaps?

Who allowed this to happen? Was it the ever-useless Commissioner Blair? Or our low-rent 'Home Secretary' Jaqui Smith? They should both be fired immediately for having brought this country and British policing into disrepute.

The icing on the cake, when I got home, was to see that Gordon's Gang were just too gormless to have seen this PR disaster unfolding all day, and actually allowed these Chinese security 'guards' to enter Downing Street, push people around in front of the TV cameras and organise the photo shoot! How weak! How pathetic! Gordon isn't even master of his own doorstep, let alone the country! That's one video clip I hope gets repeated endlessly......

What Gordon really meant...


Our Supreme Leader has told Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who is attempting to steal the latest presidential election, that "The Eyes of the world are watching you".

Mugabe, who has been Zimbabwe's President for 28 years, can at least claim that some people have voted for him to occupy his current position. Gordon Brown, in contrast, was not elected Supreme Leader by a single British voter.

Given that Labour is looking to rig, sorry 'modernise', the UK voting system, Hunter suspects Gordon actually meant, "The demon eyes of the Nu-Labour machine is watching Zanu-PF..."

So, what has Europe ever done for us? Apart from...


1. The end of war between European nations

While rows between England, France and Germany have been a feature of EU summits, war between Europe's major powers is now unthinkable. The fact that the two world wars that shaped the last century now seem so remote is, in itself, tribute to a visionary project that has permanently changed the landscape. As the EU celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome it is clear that while the detailed topography will always be difficult to agree, it is an extraordinary achievement that we are standing on common ground.

2. Democracy is flourishing in 27 countries

Spain, Portugal, Greece, and the EU's 10 ex-Communist countries are parliamentary democracies. None of these nations were truly free in the decades following the Second World War. Each is now a democracy anchored within the EU and is unlikely to change course.

3. Once poor countries like Ireland, Greece and Portugal prospering

EU subsidies well spent have been crucial to the lift-off of the Irish economy. Once firmly in Britain's economic shadow, the Celtic tiger has emerged. Gross domestic product per capita in Ireland in 2005 was 137.1 per cent of the EU average, compared to 116.8 per cent in the UK.

4. The creation of the world's largest internal trading market

The 27-nation EU now around 500m people making it the world's largest economic trading bloc. By comparison the US has a population of around 300m. The old EU 25 had 19.2 per cent of the World's exports as compared with 14.4 per cent from the US. This gap is set to grow following the last enlargement in January to 27 member states.

5. Shopping without frontiers has given consumers more power

European consumers can buy goods for their own use in whichever EU country they choose - in person, on the internet, over the telephone, or by mail order - without paying additional taxes. This competition is driving down prices and increasing quality

6. Co-operation on continent-wide immigration policy

Though EU countries set immigration levels the EU is increasingly active in the fight against illegal migration and in trying to match the labour needs of European countries to the supply of migrants. On the downside, the EU is increasingly an impregnable fortress and many lose their lives trying to get here by boat from Africa

7. Crime-busting co-operation, through Europol

This provides a clearing house for EU police forces. The police in EU member states can now use an EU arrest warrant to get suspects moved from one country to another where they will face serious charges without lengthy extradition procedures.

8. Laws which make it easier for British people to buy property in Europe

It may not be good for the environment but access to second homes a short-haul flight away has fulfilled the dreams of millions of Britons. Retirement or regular holidays from the south of Spain to the east of Bulgaria has become a reality for many and a legally safeguarded one at that.

9. Cleaner beaches and rivers throughout Europe

EU law and peer pressure - including annual reports - have forced the UK to clean up its act, for example bringing the once-dirty waters off Blackpool beach up to standard. The first EU legislation was passed in 1976 with two more pieces in 2002 and 2006. Now you can monitor the quality of bathing water by checking on a website.

10. Four weeks statutory paid holiday a year for workers in Europe

The EU Working Time Directive ensures that all Europeans get at least four weeks of paid holiday per year. In the US many workers get a fortnight. The same directive provides for 11 hours rest in every 24 and one day of rest per week plus a rest break if the working day is longer than six hours. Minimum standards are set for paid maternity and paternity leave.

11. No death penalty (incompatible with EU membership)

No EU member state has the death penalty and reintroduction of capital punishment would not be compatible with EU membership. Even countries outside the EU are having to review their policies if they want to be considered for membership of the club, most notably Turkey.

12. Competition means cheaper phone calls

Since the liberalisation of telecommunications in the 1980s loosened the grip of the monopolies, prices have plummeted. The European Commission says the cost of international calls in the EU has fallen by 80 per cent since 1984.

13. Small EU bureaucracy (24,000 employees, fewer than the BBC)

Despite the eurosceptic claims, the number of EU officials is surprisingly small. After the scandal of 1999 when the Brussels based European Commission resigned, strict new rules were imposed on spending.

14. Making the French eat British beef again

When the BSE crisis subsided and British meat was judged safe, the European Court of Justice ordered France to resume imports. France contested the ruling but had no alternative in the end. By contrast, the US retains an embargo.

15. Minority languages, like Irish, Welsh and Catalan recognised and protected

Minority languages are gaining recognition. Be it Irish, Welsh or Catalan, minority languages are getting a greater role thanks to the EU which even has a Commissioner for Multilingualism. Irish became an official language of the EU this year. Catalans have lesser language rights because their tongue is official only in one part of Spain, their member states. The EU - with 23 official languages - is doing more to keep lesser tongues alive than some individual member states.

16. Europe is helping to save the planet with regulatory cuts in CO2

The EU has announced the most ambitious targets for curbing carbon emissions, promising a cut of at least one-fifth on 1990 levels by 2020. Other parts of the world are being challenged to follow suit. The EU also has blazed a trail with its carbon emissions trading system which, despite teething troubles, is still a model for other parts of the world.

17. One currency from Bantry to Berlin (but not Britain)

The Euro is now the only real alternative to the dollar on the international stage. You can travel throughout 13 countries and use one currency. Slovenia became the 13th and latest nation to join the single currency this year. Several more nations have yet to meet the necessary criteria.

18. Europe wide bans on tyrants like Robert Mugabe

Smart sanctions on the Zimbabwean President and his cronies have been negotiated through the EU and prevent those on a list from visiting all 27 nations. Though countries differ in the way they believe the EU should treat the government in Harare, they all agreed to renew the sanctions for another year.

19. The EU gives twice as much aid to developing countries as the US

The European Union and its member states paid out more than €43bn in 2005 in public aid to developing countries. This is the equivalent of 0.34 per cent of GNP of the 25member states, and is higher than the per capita aid levels of the United States at around 0.2 per cent. More than €7bn is channelled through the EU.

20. Strict safety standards for aircraft

Airlines deemed to be unsafe are now banned from travelling into any EU country. Recently some of Pakistan's national carrier were barred because of safety fears.

21. Free medical help for tourists

Any citizen of a European country is entitled to free medical treatment if he or she is taken ill or suffers an accident in another member state. So long as you carry the correct form from your national health service, no questions will be asked.

22. EU peace-keepers operate throughout the world

The EU is building its crisis intervention force and has taken over operations in Bosnia from Nato. EU forces have also been in action in Africa helping avert humanitarian crises. In addition the EU has a big policing project.

23. easyJet and Ryanair can fly anywhere without national rules protecting high cost flag carriers due to liberalisation of air travel

EasyJet and Ryanair can fly anywhere without the national rules protecting high-cost flag carriers due to liberalisation of air travel. Any airlines granted a licence in an EU country - meeting safety standards and other conditions - can operate services anywhere within the EU. Between 1992 and 2000 prices at the cheaper end of the market fell by 40 per cent.

24. Introduction of pet passports

Since 2004 travelling across borders with pets has been easier. In addition to pet passports with a vaccination certificate pets require permanent identification which can be either a tattooed code on the skin or a microchip which can be read by a special machine. In the future the microchip is likely to be obligatory.

25. It will soon take only two hours from London to Paris by Eurostar

The Channel Tunnel, and high-speed lines in France and now Britain are not, properly speaking, EU projects. However, the tunnel was built partly as a means of reducing the mental barriers between Britain and the Continent. With the opening of the final section of Britain's fast line to St Pancras this year, trains will travel to Paris in two hours.

26. Prospect of EU membership has forced modernisation on Turkey

The presence of an affluent and stable bloc to its west has given the modernisers in Turkey the ally they needed to create a democratic constituency for change. That change has been pushed through with the promise of a European future.

27. Unparalleled rights for European consumers

Any consumer can send back a product if it breaks down within two years of purchase. Manufacturers often claim that they offer only a 12 month guarantee, but EU law states otherwise and consumers are demanding their rights.

28. Study programmes and cheap travel means greater mobility for Europe's youth

Through the Erasmus programme, in the 2003-4 academic year, 7,500 UK students spent between three and 12 months at a university in one of the other member states.

29. Food labelling is much clearer

All ingredients used in food products must be listed. Any GM ingredients must be mentioned as must colouring, preservatives and other chemical additives.

30. End of the road for border crossings (apart from in the UK)

Frontier posts have been abandoned between the 15 countries that have implemented the Schengen accords. This agreement means that EU nationals crossing most borders in continental western Europe do not need to show passports. The newer nations plan to join in soon.

31. Compensation for air delays

Passengers must get immediate help if their flight is delayed by more than a few hours, cancelled without notice or if they are denied boarding because the plane is overbooked. The carrier must make alternative travel arrangements unless the passenger asks for their money back instead. Depending on the length of the delay they must provide food and refreshments and accommodation if necessary.

32. Strict ban on animal testing for the cosmetic industry

Since November 2004 the EU has banned animal testing on finished cosmetic products entirely. Remaining safety testing on animals of ingredients for cosmetics will be ended.

33. Greater protection for Europe's wildlife

Tough European laws protect birds, flora and fauna, although the EU bird directive is widely flouted in southern Europe, particularly in Malta where 2m migratory birds are shot each year, including 80 protected species which are shot or trapped by hunters.

34. Regional development fund has aided the deprived parts of Britain

Some of the UK's poorest regions have benefited from massive handouts from the EU which has been used to regenerate some of the country's most run-down areas. Scotland's Highland and Islands have benefited enormously as have the Welsh mining valleys, Cornwall and deprived inner cities like Liverpool.

35. European driving licences recognised

Driving licences issued in one EU country are valid in any other, providing they are modern, EU-standard, ones with a photo identity. This means that the old days of having to gain translations for a UK permit to drive in Italy are over.

36. Britons now feel a lot less insular

A famous newspaper headline (perhaps apocryphal) once read "Fog in Channel; Continent Cut Off". Remember the 1960s, when Ostend seemed like an exotic destination? EU membership has not dried up the English Channel but is has helped to remove the psychological barriers between Britain and the continent.

37. Europe's bananas remain bent, despite sceptics' fears

The suggestion that the EU wanted to impose straight bananas, or blue bananas, or ban all but Caribbean bananas, is one of the oldest of Euro-myths. Obsessive euro-harmonisation of rules is a thing of the past.

38. Strong economic growth - greater than the US last year

The EU's ambition to overtake America economically by 2010 has been ridiculed. The German economy has picked up with the UK and Nordic nations are performing strongly. Even Italy, thought to be in dire straits last year, is clocking up reasonable growth. The European Commission said it expects the economy of the 27-nation European Union to grow 2.7 per cent this year, ahead of the US's estimated 2.5 per cent

39. Single market has brought the best continental footballers to Britain

The Bosman ruling, based on European law, and other decisions, have freed up football transfers. From Eric Cantona to Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo, British fans have been enjoying watching Europe's finest talent for the past 15 years.

40. Human rights legislation has protected the rights of the individual

The introduction of the Human Rights Acts has provided a legal framework to prevent abuses of power.

41. European parliament provides democratic checks on all EU laws

The European Parliament, directly elected since 1979, has been given increased powers over the years. The parliament has made a significant impact in areas ranging from the environment to animal rights.

42. EU gives more, not less, sovereignty to nation states

Switzerland and Norway, two independent countries have little or no negotiating leverage when they deal with the EU. In fact they have less sovereignty than member states who decide the policy. Britons are more able to control their own destiny - in areas from international trade, to environmental protection, to consumer rights - because they are part of a 27 nation, democratic bloc. Real sovereignty, rather than theoretical sovereignty, is enhanced by EU membership.

43. Maturing EU is a proper counterweight to the power of US and China

As it develops common foreign and defence policies, the EU is finding its voice. Europe's interests and those of America and the emerging powers, such as China and India, will sometimes coincide, sometimes conflict. Could Britain's interests be protected if we stood alone or if we became a junior partner of the US?

44. European immigration has boosted the British economy

Hundreds of thousands of Poles commute between Poland and Britain. More surprisingly the economies of both countries are booming. The UK economy has benefited from a surge of well-qualified, highly motivated workers.

45. EU common research programme

Job opportunities and Europe-wide access to education mean there really are Europeans now who see the need to speak at least three modern languages.

46. Europe has set Britain an example how properly to fund a national health service

Some continental countries have health funding problems but several, the Dutch in particular, provide quality care while keeping down costs. It took the EU to rule that British patients had a right to seek care abroad.

47. British restaurants now much more cosmopolitan because of European influences

Britain has become - let us admit it - a more continental country in the last 34 years. We now care about what we eat. Nowhere has this been more marked than in the quality and variety of food being offered in our restaurants.

48. Mobility for career professionals throughout Europe

Professionals from doctors to architects now have a right to have their national qualifications recognised across the EU. Language and cultural barriers will always remain a problem for professionals but there are can no longer be purely protectionist obstacles to a career in another EU country.

49. Europe has revolutionised British attitudes to food and cooking

Despite major drawbacks, the bloated Common Agricultural Policy has enabled small family farmers to flourish in Europe. Its support has led to the birth of the Slow Food movement and arrival in British towns of farmers markets, growing with quality organics produce. Bon appetit!

50. Lists like this drive Eurosceptics mad

In the Daily Mail-Sun universe, the EU can never do any good. Brussels is an insane bureaucracy, which secretly plots to have all donkeys painted blue (with yellow stars). The 50th birthday of the European project is a time to celebrate the many positive things which the EU has brought us.

Brought to you courtesy of the Independent ( Wednesday, 21 March 2007)

Congratulations, Richard


David Cameron has made our -- Tottenham Conservatives' - President Richard Balfe his personal envoy to the trades unions and co-operative movements. Apparently, and music of Hunter's ears, 30% of trades unionists vote Conservative. People of all classes and professions have been let down by Labour. The Conservative tent is getting bigger and better. Unlike the NuLabour tent circa 1997, this one isn't going to fall apart after we win the election. We're committed to building a Britain which is economically prosperous, has world-class public services, where people are happy and healthy and where we can stand tall and proud on the world stage. Richard has a platform here on ConservativeHome Good luck, Richard!

Stop press: Conservatives have just released these figures…

Since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister the cost of...

... Butter is up by 37%

... Dozen eggs is up by 34%

... Loaf of bread is up by 28%

... Flour is up by 22%

... Pint of milk up by 17%

... Cheese up ny 17%

... Sack of potatoes up by 11%

... Gas and fuel up by 10%

... Petrol up by 8%

Hunter thinks a majority of trades unionists could well vote Conservative at the next general election - hardworking families and individuals can no-longer afford this Labour government.

Bizarre titles and positions in Labour Newham


Hunter is having a 'Newham Day' - both of today's stories are in relation to the east London borough (Lyn "Give 'Em Minimum Wage" Brown is one of Newham's MPs, see story below).

Hunter has just viewed the Newham Council website and came across some comical titles for the Council's Executive/Lead members.

Here are some examples:

Cllr. Christine Bowden - Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Human Resources and Industrial Relations (WTF?)

Cllr. James Butler - Deputy Community Executive Adviser, Community Forums (Knowledge) (WTF?)

Cllr. Ian Corbett - Executive Member *for* Anti-Social Behaviour (shurely shome mishtake?)
?)

Cllr. Unmesh Desai - Executive Member for Community Intelligence (WTF?)

Cllr. David Griffin - Executive Member for Electoral Engagement (why?)

Cllr. June Leitch - Executive Member for Public Realm (WTF?)

Cllr. Amarjit Singh - Executive Member for Trade Unions and Schools (WTF?)

Anyone or any Council able to beat that?

Labour's Lyn "Give 'Em Minimum Wage" Brown


Ken Leaving-soon raised the minimum wage for London to £7.20 - to reflect the fact that, under his Mayoralty, London is the most expensive city in the world. It would appear the West Ham's Labour MP Lyn Brown appears to have taken things a bit too literally: she's looking for a minion to staff her office and is offering the paltry sum of, er, £7.20 an hour. What a meanie!

Haringey Labour and Lib Dems in bed with each other - literally!


News reaches Hunter that a staffer in the Haringey Labour Group Office at Haringey Council is shagging a senior Haringey Lib Dem councillor! Now, I wonder what they discuss in bed? The size of their majorities or Gordon Brown's ever-deeper black hole?

Some great news

"Hurrah!" is how local MP Lynne Featherstone greeted the opening of the Big Green Bookshop, Wood Green's newest and only bookshop. Congratulations to both Simon and Tim, the owners. As Lynne also said, they are local heroes - having opened the shop after Waterstone's shamefully left us high and dry by shutting their doors late last year.

We should all use the Big Green Bookshop at every opportunity. Haringey Council can help, too, by buying books for our schools and libraries from this little independent gem, rather than the big stores.

If they don't have the book you want, they can order it in within 24 hours. That's what I call service!

Lib Dems hold Highgate


The result of the Highgate by-election is in - and it's a Lib Dem hold. Although the Conservative vote actually fell, it was only by 1.5% - not bad considering how many forests (excuse the pun!) the Lib Dems cut down to paper the ward. It was a truly dreadful night for Labour; they scored their worst by-election result anywhere in Haringey in the history of Haringey (9%). Good! Mr. Crisp, the formidable Independent, must have been gutted to see his vote halve. It's high time he joined either us Conservatives or the Lib Dems. The Green vote was down, a trend seen in by-elections across London.

It would be churlish of Hunter not to offer my sincere congratulations to the winner, Rachael Allison - even if she does sell dodgy cold sore remedies.

RESULT IN FULL:

LD - 1,339
Con (Peter Forrest) - 725
Lab - 241
Ind - 190
Green - 138

Emma goes for Europe


Hunter's favourite little eco-warrior is in the process of wooing Labour members to become a London Euro-MP. Cllr. Emma Jones, the 25 year-old Member for Bruce Grove, may well succeed according to Make My Votes Count, a cross-party pressure group which campaigns for "electoral reform". As all three London Labour MEPs are seeking re-election, little Emma is expecting to come fourth - meaning if, in the unlikely event, Labour gains another member, she will be in. Equally, if one retires, enters the House or Commons or dies, Emma will 'move up' one. She won't, of course, be eating any Belgium chocolate if she lands a job in Brussels: she's a vegan!

Hunter wishes her well.