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