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.