Still here, but getting Conservatives elected to H'gey Council comes before blogging!

Hunter hasn't been blogging for a while - energies have, instead, been put into May's local (and national?) elections. Tottenham Conservatives have found some really excellent candidates to fight Labour hard in every ward (see some of our newly-selected candidates, above).

Money is pouring in the form of small donations from local residents.

Blogging costs time. From now until May, blogging will be lite.

Labour in Haringey, though, is still in chaos. Further defections from Lab-to-Cons are likely before May.

Hunter has never been so upbeat about Tory chances in Haringey....

Labour rebels challenge Goldberg and Kober's authority

As Hunter has previously reported, two Labour councillors - one senior and another who has just been re-adopted - are in talks with the Lib Dems about defecting. This is a serious challenge to the authority of the Labour Chief Whip and Council Leader.

If Hunter were Labour's Chief Whip, I'd be demanding to know from all my Labour colleagues answers to the following questions:

1. Are you talking to other parties about defecting?

2. Are you committed to the Labour Party and its values?

3. Will you remain a Labour Member until May 2010?

4. Why, in your words, would the Lib Dems be bad for Haringey?

And, preferably, get these answers in writing. Failure to adequately reply to all four should mean the Whip being removed.

Hunter, when thinking of Kober and Goldberg, is reminded of Blair's verdict of John Major in the dying days: "I lead my Party. You follow yours!"

Do they have the courage to take action and reassert their authority?

Excitement last night, after all?

Hunter has just learnt that Reg Rice ( he who has been selected for Tottenham Hale, and 'chair' of the CLP) and George Meehan (of Baby P fame) tried to get the selection list for White Hart Lane re-opened to throw controversial and unpopular councillor Ray Dodds another political lifeline.

Meanwhile, the Hornsey BLP, on the other side of the railway tracks, have suspended their selection process. Not sure what the reasons are -- yet.

Last night

Hunter's phone went off at 21:17 with news of the White Hart Lane BLP's selection outcome. Unfortunately, wasn't able to blog it then and there as I was at a meeting, which went on very late (followed by dinner and bed!).

Nothing terribly exciting happened in this ward. Charles and Gideon, aka 'Bert and Ernie', got back in. The 'new girl' is from Newham (ex councillor?) and her partner/husband is the Labour candidate for Bruce Grove. Should they both be elected, their household’s income will go up by £20k - excluding SRBs. Nice work if you can get it!

Breaking news...

Cllrs. Hayley AND Harris have been de-selected in St. Ann's Ward.

The winners of this dirty selection battle? Zena Brabazon and Chris Brown, a new arrival to Haringey.

Hunter predicted Brian's de-selection, but didn't see it happening to Bob...

Racism in St. Ann's BLP?

The dirtiest selection battle taking place in Tottenham is in St. Ann's Ward, where the brothers and sisters have shortlisted FOURTEEN comrades.

Hunter is reliably informed that the white-dominated Branch Labour Party (BLP) has removed the names of up to TWENTY black members from the membership list. Why? Not because they have done anything wrong or that they have allowed their membership to lapse, but their crime was to have been signed up by somebody who later defected to the local Conservatives.

Membership stands at just over 40 people now in a ward that has been, previously, rock-solid Labour and the sole black Labour councillor there is expected to be replaced by a white woman who shall remain nameless given that, she claims, she isn’t a "public figure".

Hunter, always pleased to give good advice, has urged the victims to ask Labour's Regional Committee to investigate their claims which, if proved, could spell the end of Labour's misrule here in Haringey.

It could not have happened to a nicer person

Fitness coach (stop the sniggers, please!) and Bruce Grove councillor Ray Dodds said the following on Ward's Corner at THE planning meeting (where dopey Labour councillors voted to wreck a thriving community):

"Ward's Corner was a dump, is a dump and will always be a dump".

Hunter is pleased to announce that Doddsie has himself now been DUMPED. Ironically, his replacement is thought to be very sympathetic to the WCC's restoration plans (see previous post).

Hunter still hasn't forgiven the brute for shopping him for 'dumping rubbish' on his, private, estate.

In and Out (so far)

Out go Cllrs. Thompson and Patel (another councillor, too, whom will feature in Hunter's next post), both hard-working and popular.

In come recycled reject Reg Rice (T'nam Hale), Stuart McNamara (Bruce Grove) and Richard Watson (T'nam Green). Hunter understands that Stuart and Richard are both very sympathetic to the Ward's Corner Coalition and their restoration plans. Sheila won't be a happy woman.

Those at serious risk of being dropped are Cllrs. Hayley and Griffith. Their selections will take place next week. Brian, arguably, is the only articulate member of the Labour Group.

Hunter could understand if 'new blood' was being brought in –smart, educated people who are local and committed to Tottenham. Instead, many of the de-selected members have been replaced by tired old faces that have had their day.

Ellie Levenson sums it up

Ellie is a member of the Tottenham Green Branch of the Tottenham Labour Party. Here are her 'Tweets' from the past 24 hours on last night's meeting to shortlist candidates for Tottenham Green Ward - makes interesting reading!

Re Labour party ward selection. Now I know why guns not legal in this country. Not sure whether I would shoot Chair or shoot self. from Tweetie

I think we should ask central committee to impose candidates. The Great Tottenham Green Putsch of 2009.

Am in hell, also known as the Tottenham Green Ward Labour Party shortlisting meeting. from Tweetie

Chaos, mayhem and back-stabbings at last night's shortlistings

FOURTEEN comrades have been shortlisted for St. Ann's Ward, including the Brabazon woman.

Recycled councillor Reg Rice was shortlisted for Tottenham Hale (Brabazon didn't apply - maybe she had done a deal with Cllr. Reith?). Rice now the biggest threat to hard-working and popular (but very eccentric) Cllr. Sheik Thompson.

Lazy councillor Ray Dodds (a Peacock apologist) is in serious trouble in Bruce Grove. Front runners there include, Stuart McNamara (having previously stood - and lost - in Alexandra Ward) and Richard Watson, a former 'adviser' to Cllr. Santry (she of Baby P fame)

Cllr. Kaushika Amin is trying to escape Northumberland Park (or could that be a certain other councillor with initials SP?) and applied for White Hart Lane. Not sure if she was successful or not.

Anne, mother of Tim, Waters shortlisted for WHL. A mole tells Hunter that she's even 'posher' than Santry and also hails from the west of the borough. Will White Hart Lane Labour ever learn? Brabazon's and Dodds' applications were soundly rejected here, despite the Dodds' household being signed up to Labour to cast votes at last night's meeting (there is a three-month rule, apparently, which stuffed them!)

A former Newham councillor and wife (or vice-versa?) are hawking around, as is a woman from Tottenham Green whose name I can't pronounce .

More soon!

Update on Labour's local woes

Cllr. Jayanti Patel, a hard-working councillor for Woodside since 2002, has been ditched by Labour. Four more face the boot.

Nasty personal and homophobic website created by Labour to attack local Conservatives set up, but now closed following police investigation. Current and former Labour councillors allegedly involved with it.

Two FoI requests been put into the Council by a Labour councillor in an attempt to embarrass and smear a fellow Labour councillor.

A certain Seven Sisters councillor has been humiliated in his attempt to introduce an Eruv in the Ward by secular and Muslim colleagues.

Noel Park Labour members furious to discover that of the three of their 'local' council candidates, one works in Clacton-on-Sea and another is trying to become the MP for England's most northern constituency, Berwick.

The lifting of the ban of animals performing in Haringey circuses has been condemned by residents across Haringey. Several Labour members are reported to be willing to quit the Party if the Labour-run Council endorses the Cabinet’s plans at Full Council.

Cllr. Denise Headley (Edmonton Green Ward in next-door Enfield) has joined the Conservatives after being de-selected by outsiders, led by Cllr. George Meehan of Baby P fame.

Haringey Labour been condemned for de-selecting BME councillors by OBV.

Universal outrage as Lammy calls for more money... for, er, himself!

Labour Time Table - when the fun and games begin and end

All Tottenham wards except Harringay, which has already selected, (and also Horney & Stroud Green wards on the other side of the railway) will meet to shortlist on the evening at which they would usually hold their standard September Branch meeting - that is, on Wednesday 2 September, in the evening. The quorum, by decision of the Local Government Committee, shall be eight.

Following shortlisting, branch secretaries shall notify those persons shortlisted, who shall be able, on delivery to the CLP Secretary of a cheque for £5 per ward made payable to "Tottenham Constituency Labour Party", to have a copy of the membership list for any wards they have been shortlisted in.

Selection meetings will then be held in evenings according to the following timetable:

Wednesday 2 September
Shortlisting meetings in the following Branches:
Bruce Grove, Hornsey, Northumberland Park, Seven Sisters, St Ann's, Stroud Green, Tottenham Green, Tottenham Hale, West Green, White Hart Lane.

Thursday 10 September
Selection meeting for Northumberland Park Branch

Monday 14 September
Selection meeting for Bruce Grove Branch

Tuesday 15 September
Selection meeting for Tottenham Hale Branch

Wednesday 16 September
Selection meeting for Tottenham Green Branch

Thursday 17 September
Selection meeting for West Green Branch

Monday 21 September
Selection meeting for St Ann's and Seven Sisters Branches (shared venue, St Ann's first)

Tuesday 22 September
Selection meeting for White Hart Lane Branch

Tottenham Labour In Meltdown

Hunter has been told that several Tottenham councillors WILL be de-selected as tonnes of 'NuLab' types are coming down from the N10 Hill to stand here. Why? Because they have almost zero chance of ejecting the Lib Dems in their home turf and see Tottenham as a 'stepping stone' to bigger and better things.

Those on the Approved Labour List include Cllr. Goldberg's wife, Julie Davies' son, Tim Waters' mother and Zena Brabazon, common-law wife of Cllr. Stanton!

Councillors who face de-selection (timetable in following post) are ready to defect to other parties (of all colours) or stand as Independents and, in the process, bring this discredited Labour-run Council down.

Hunter is also reliably told that a row has broken out in the St. Ann's Ward branch of the Tottenham Labour Party. Critics claim that whilst they welcome BME members, they will only do so if they 'know their place'. Anyone who dares to challenge the white ruling elite there is cast into outer darkness and smeared.

Meanwhile, in Northumberland Park relations between Cllrs. Bevan and Peacock have deteriorated so much that they are no-longer on speaking terms. Cllr. Bevan accuses Cllr. Peacock of not being a 'team player' (she is refusing to mention him, allegedly, in all official publications) and they are trying to get one another de-seleceted.

More on these shenanigans to come!

As Hunter has previously said, Jonah Goldberg’s arrival has cursed the Tottenham Labour Party.

Jonah Goldberg curses Labour and everything he touches

Guido Fawkes calls Gordon Brown 'Jonah Brown'. Why? Because, according to Guido, Brown jinxes everything that he lends support to. For example, Brown sends Andy Murray his "best wishes" then Murray is humiliated on the court; Gordon visits a car maker, then it goes bankrupt the following week. You get the picture.

Hunter thinks Jonah Goldberg's arrival on the scene in Haringey has cursed the local Labour Party, and everything he touches. Here's four examples:

1. Jonah Goldberg turns one of Labour's safest wards in Haringey into their most marginal (over the Conservatives)

2. Jonah Goldberg becomes Chief Whip of the Labour Group and, for the first time in Haringey Labour's history, loses a councillor to the Conservatives.

3. Jonah Goldberg states during Seven Sisters by-election that, unlike the majority of his Labour colleagues, he supports the Ward's Corner Coalition over developer Grainger. Not only did the WCC lose at Planning, they also lost their first attempt in the Royal Courts of Justice to overturn that decision.

4. Jonah Goldberg (pictured) visits West Witney Community Hospital, in Oxfordshire, as David Cameron's Labour opponent. That hospital is now under threat of cuts in vital services.

Dare I now hope that David Lammy will now appoint Cllr. Goldberg to be his Campaign Manager for the General Election? He is a curse on everything he touches.

Eight questions Labour (and their LD chums) can't answer

Hunter has been really shocked by some of the nasty and personal postings that bitter Labour and jealous Lib Dems have been leaving on various sites (never, of course, using their real names - although one suspect is former Labour councillor Ian Willmore).

If Alan was 'after money' when his Mayoralty ended, why did he turn down a position on O&S (£15,000pa)?

If Alan really is thick, why did they want him to serve on O&S? Do they only allow 'thick' people to scrutinise the Council?

If Alan really is 'thick', why have they allowed him to be a councillor for 18 years? Do they only allow 'thick' people to sit on the Council?

If Alan really is 'thick', why did allow him to become Mayor not only once, but twice? Do they only allow 'thick' people to become the Borough's First Citizen?

If Alan really is 'thick', why did they put into the Cabinet and make him Chief Whip? Do they only put 'thick' people into the Cabinet and make them Chief Whip?

The Fib Dems say that they would not have welcomed Alan, yet their Leader heaped praise on Alan's Mayoralty. Will he remind us what he said only a fe month ago?

The Fib Dems claimed they would not have welcomed Alan (staggering when you consider they took Aitken, Floyd and Oakes in) - so why Did Cllr. Oakes (aka Old Tin Leg) email Alan today to ask why he did not join them?

Why did a senior Labour councillor today email Alan to beg him to return to the Labour benches?

Haringey voters can rightly conclude two things from all of this:

1. Alan has balls and is a man of integrity

2. There are two nasty parties in Haringey - Labour and their LD allies!

*That* resignation in full. Ouch!

Dear Claire,

Further to our recent meeting, I am now writing today to inform you that with immediate effect that I have resigned from the Labour Party and therefore the Labour whip on Haringey Council.

I will sit as a Conservative Councillor until the Council elections next May.

For you and many others, this will come as a shock and no doubt many will be upset and angry at my decision.

This has been no easy decision, but I believe that urgent change and a fresh start is needed, both for Haringey and Britain. We need at national level a Government that has a sense of purpose and will speak up for the ordinary person, something which Labour seems to have forgotten in recent years.

As a I mentioned to you, I am proud of a lot of what Labour has achieved both locally and nationally, but the recent months has shown how out of touch Labour is – to busy worrying about what positions people will hold and how much to get for it.

I also feel that now in local government that there is no real accountability. “Cabinet local governance” is a sham of 9-10 councillors deciding on what will happen and the majority group follow like sheep. Councillors have lost the chance to properly hold officers and lead members to account but expected to be there mainly as voting fodder, even at the expense of being able to represent one’s own ward.

For many months now I have felt uncomfortable and not at ease in being a Labour Councillor, but let me be clear, although the Liberal Democrats are currently the main opposition on the council to Labour, they do not offer a real alternative to Labour. Their councillors are mainly a coalition of anti-Labour at any cost. Let me assure you, as a Conservative Councillor I will vote against Labour in the Council Chamber when it is right, not because I am no longer Labour.

You must believe me when I tell you that this is the hardest political decision of my life. I have been proud to be a Labour activist with 27 years unbroken membership, but like almost everyone else seeing Labour MPs trying to make stupid expense claims has left me ashamed as power and corruption seems to have gone to the heads of too many Labour MPs who ought to know better.

I want to make clear, on a personal level I have no dispute with the vast majority of my former Labour colleagues and under your leadership wish them well. However, the run-up to the recent group annual meeting and being asked by some to go for different positions to ensure that I would get extra money left me disgusted. I sincerely hope that people do not think that I am a Councillor for the money, because this is an insult to my integrity and all that I stand for.

As I have said in a letter to local party members, to those who have campaigned for me and voted for me over the years as a Labour candidate and Councillor, I am truly sorry if you feel that I have betrayed your trust. As I have said, this has not been an easy decision, but I want a better way for Haringey and Britain and the Conservatives, under David Cameron’s leadership has changed and recognised its past mistakes and I want to be part of that progressive Conservative alliance that will help the residents of Noel Park and the country that I am not ashamed to say that I love.

Finally, I will continue to serve as a Councillor for Noel Park until next May and put the needs of Noel Park first, be that local residents, residents associations, community and voluntary groups and local businesses, whilst ensuring that the thousands of Conservative voters in Haringey now have a voice on the council.

I hope wherever possible to work with the other two Noel Park Councillors and I will not attempt to put party politics ahead of getting what is best for Noel Park. I may no longer be Labour, but my passion for Noel Park remains as strong today as it ever was.

From the bottom of my heart, thank-you for giving me the chance to serve as a Councillor, as a Labour Councillor, for the friendship and support which has meant so much to me over the years and hopefully when the dust has settled you will come to understand why I have left Labour for the Conservatives today.

With all good wishes,

Councillor Alan Dobbie,
Councillor for Noel Park ward.

Negative comments are welcome, but people have to use their real names with a tracable IP address. If you're not willing to 'play ball', don't waste your time. Hunter.

Facebook is two-faced, hypocritical, inconsistent and anti-Anglican, according to His Grace

These exchanges of emails are priceless. Even Dr. James, a devout atheist and secularist, thinks His Grace got the 'upper hand' of Facebook.

What do they have to hide?

The Liberal Democrats would like us to believe that they are the party of "open government" and "freedom of information". Strange, then, that the only Members of Haringey Council not to publish their declarations on-line in the Register of Members' Interests are all, er, Lib Dem (Aitken, for it is Him, again, Mughal and Reid)!

Makes you wonder what they have to hide? If, as Hunter suspects, Lib Dem spinners say the answer is "nothing", then why not publish the information on-line so we can all judge for ourselves?

Rat *joins* sinking ship

More here.

Cllr. Goldberg has no shame

Seven Sisters' Cllr. 'Joe' Goldberg knows no bounds. This is a man who shamelessly uses his religion to gain kudos with the Jewish community in his ward (majority 63 over Isaac Revah's Conservatives!)

Goldberg shamelessly wears his Yarmulke when he's in the area and at Full Council (where two Jews can see him from the public gallery) and then promptly takes it off when he's safely out of sight. Can you imagine a Christian removing his Crucifix when leaving a Church? Rumour now has it that Goldberg is shamelessly going to grow a beard to look more Heimisher.

Cllr. Goldberg, if you took your religion seriously you would keep Kosher,and would wear your Yarmulke all year round - not just at election and civic times! It's all fercockt!

The Heimisher community are not fools.

Is Neil "The Humourless Bitch" Williams having a dig at Ron?

An extraordinary post has appeared on Cllr. Williams' website, called "Defectors: I'm not an enthusiast".

He thunders on: "Based on my own experience, I'm not keen. Genuine political conversions do of course happen, but they’re not common" Meow!

Hunter suspects this was a dig at fellow 'Lib Dem' councillor, Ron Aitken. Ron, as you will recall from a previous post, started life as a Conservative. Then he joined the Scottish National Party, went back to being a Conservative, left again and stood as an Independent (for Archway ward, which now, ironically, makes up most of Cllr. Williams' own Highgate ward!), acted as the Agent for the Pro-Life Alliance in the Croydon North West by-election, rejoined the Conservatives, got a job at the House working for an Ulster MP, joined the Orange Order and the UUP (it could have been the DUP, I forget) and then, in 2001 opportunistically joined the Lib Dems. It can't be long, statically, before Ron starts applying to join the Green or, even, New Labour.

Cllr. Williams is, though, right. Defections are rarely based on policy.

Labour people - then and now

Hunter has been poorly (a nasty chest infection, coupled with an asthma attack) and so spent most of the Bank Holiday Weekend laid up in front of the telly watching coverage of the '79 General Election. Saturday, May 4th being the 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher entering Downing Street as PM.

I was particularly struck (and, it would seem, many other bloggers were too!) by how decent a man Jim Callaghan was. He stepped into Harold Wilson's shoes (1976) when everything was already going down the pan and was doing a fair job of stabilising things until his old mates in the trade union movement (especially Moss Evans of of the transport workers) stabbed him in the back by inflicting the Winter of Discontent upon the country and thus making Labour unelectable for a generation.

It's a shame that Callaghan's name is forever associated with that, rather than the blame being laid 4-square at the door of the union dinosaurs. Still, Mrs T understood who was to blame, didn't she? And so had the nation's support when she went on a slash-and-burn rampage over the nasty Spanish practices and privileges of the unions over the years that followed. But, much as I love and admire her, Margaret didn't have the personal warmth or charm of Callaghan, did she? If it hadn't been for the 'Winter of Discontent', Callaghan, affectionately known as "Sunny Jim" would almost certainly have won the '79 election.

Hunter has always thought that there are decent people in the Labour Party. But they're a dieing breed. Locally, Hunter can think of Alan Dobbie (the Mayor), former MP Barbra Roche and the late Fred Knight as good guys. Joanne McCartney, our 'LAM', is pretty decent too. David Lammy, in contrast, is ghastly, truly terrible: an arrogant, often ignorant, lazy, ill-mannered lobby-whore. (Hey! No-one ever accused me of pulling my punches!) He is the worst politician, of any party, Hunter has ever had the misfortune to meet. For me, opposition to Lammy is personal--and this is a feeling that is fast-becoming the norm in Tottenham amongst his constituents.

Callaghan and his old general secretary of the Labour Party (whom we also saw interviewed in the 79 election coverage) would both have been truly shocked, saddened and disgusted with those McBride emails. And people, I suspect, would have believed him. But nobody believes that bitter buffoon squatting in Downing Street and calling himself 'Prime Minister' thirty years on.

Big brother is watching you

For a party that purports to believe in democracy and liberalism and, as such, be against New Labour's 'surveillance state', Hunter brings you news of some strange antics of Haringey Lib Dems.

Richard Merrin, the energetic Conservative candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green, set up a street stall in Muswell Hill to meet the voters. Nothing odd about that, I hear you say. Quite! But along came 3 Lib Dem councillors taking pictures of the stall, of Richard and his supporters.

Do the Lib Dems really think they own Muswell Hill and that no other party should dare to campaign there? Where they acting on behalf of the state? All very strange and a little creepy (not to mention Stalinist), dontcha think?

Has Aitken been dropped from Crouch End?

That's the rumour doing the rounds on Hunter's return from Oman. Apparently, he has been deselected and moved to Bounds Green, a ward the Lib Dems are set to lose. Can anyone confirm this rumour?

According to my little yellow bird, the Lib Dems can't get anymore "millage" from his Conservative-Lib Dem defection and that they are embarrassed by his bizarre contributions at Full Council.

If true, fellow Lib Dem Dave Winskill, also Crouch End, must be over the moon!

By God, they've done something sensible for a change...

The Lib Dems now support faith schools, according to Aunty. Hunter needs to lie down.

It's Sean - real tough barrister chosen to take on Lammy in Tottenham

Tottenham Conservatives have selected Sean Sullivan as their candidate to stand against David Lammy at the next general election. Forty people applied, but Sean was chosen by an overwhelming majority of members who attended the selection meeting.

Sean is a barrister specialising in criminal law, and sees every day in London's courts the devastating impact of rising crime in our city. Sean also has extensive experience of local government having served as a councillor in his hometown.

Following his selection, held in Tottenham High Road last Sunday, Sean said:

"Everyone knows that this Labour government is on its last legs. Tottenham, like the rest of the country, is just waiting for the chance to kick them out of power for all our sakes. The swing against Labour here in Tottenham will be greater than in most places because local voters know that David Lammy is a particularly useless MP. And with the Liberal Democrats increasingly irrelevant locally, as was seen by their disastrous showing in Seven Sisters recently, it is clear that Conservatives are the only credible choice to form the next Government".

"Crime, education and the lack of employment opportunities are all issues that residents have raised with me. And with the economic crisis getting worse every day, Tottenham needs a representative who will put these issues at the forefront of the next Government".

Local constituency Chairman, Justin Hinchcliffe added:

"We had a strong field of applicants, but Sean stood out as the strongest. We believe that he will be an outstanding candidate and future MP in this area, something Tottenham needs".

Sean is 28 and was educated St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, and graduated with a degree in Law. He has a track record of campaigning in Tottenham – he was Campaign Manager in the recent Seven Sisters by-election (where Conservatives came within 64 votes of winning) and has given free legal advice to the local community group, the Ward’s Corner Coalition. He now plans to join other campaigning groups, such as the Tottenham Civic Society, and become a local school governor. He has worked also worked closely with a number of senior MPs, including Chris Grayling, the Shadow Home Secretary, on crime-reduction issues. Outside of politics, his interests include sport (cricket and rugby), cooking and travelling.



Here's one story from the Independent that Mark Pack did NOT, strangely, post on Lib Dem Voice:

Lib Dems suspend Nazi fancy dress councillor

By Antony Stone, Press Association

Friday, 27 February 2009

A Liberal Democrat councillor who dressed as a Nazi storm-trooper for a fancy dress bash has been suspended by red faced party chiefs.

Labour boost but gains for all in by-elections Sean Aspey posed for pictures dressed as a storm-trooper and later posted them on his Facebook site.

His antics stirred up controversy on the small Conservative-controlled Porthcawl Town Council in south Wales, of which he is a member.

Now he is facing calls to resign and is accused of bringing the 19 member council into disrepute.

Local Lib Dem party chiefs suspended him temporarily while an internal inquiry into the affair is carried out.

Mr Aspey was at work and unavailable for comment today and all images of him appeared to have been removed from the website.

But the photographs, showing a grinning Nazi-uniformed Mr Aspey wearing a monocle, had already appeared in a number of newspapers.

The images were taken at a Porthcawl pub in March last year where Mr Aspey celebrated his 40th birthday with an 'Allo 'Allo-themed party.

The event took place two months before he was elected as a Liberal Democratic councillor.

Conservative council member David Deere said today: "I just feel that he needs to consider his position on Porthcawl Town Council.

"This is totally inappropriate behaviour and very offensive."

He said council members in general were "all quite appalled".

He added: "This is not the standard you expect of someone who holds public office. I think that the general feeling is that he has brought the council into disrepute."

Mike Clarke, chairman of the Bridgend branch of the Liberal Democrats, said: "We have taken the action of temporarily suspending Mr Aspey from the party pending an internal inquiry.

"We take any allegations of impropriety very seriously and the local party will be looking in greater detail at the situation and coming to a decision on Mr Aspey's future within the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

"Of course, we have to act in as fair a manner as possible and within the terms of our own constitution."

For David Cameron on the loss of Ivan

This song is for David Cameron. May God pay special attention to the Camerons at this sad time and take good care of the little one. RIP, Ivan.

For the Haringey Featherweight Boxing title: Little Miss Elocution battles it out with Mini-Ming

Hunter has finally made time to view the 'State of the Borough' debate at Haringey Full Council (held Feb 10). Not much of a debate at all: standard-issue yah-boo politics, so disliked by smug do-good lefties, was the order of the day.

Disgraced former Council Leader George Meehan had a very strong Irish accent, which, coupled with his nasal, mumbling delivery made him almost impossible to understand. New leader Claire Kober is a veritable 'Little Miss Elocution' in comparison. But did she say anything to raise our spirits? Bah! In classic New Labour style, she read off a list of Labour 'achievements', repeated previous announcements, and promised lots of jam tomorrow.

Cllr. Robert Gorrie, for the so-called Opposition, trotted out all the negatives: Baby P, Icelandic banks etc. It is all very well for an Opposition to oppose, but if they want to be taken seriously the public expect them to come up with credible alternative policies. Cllr. Gorrie--fondly dubbed 'Mini Ming' by many--failed in this respect. The Lib Dems offer Haringey people no solutions to the havoc caused by forty years of Labour misrule.

From the mediocre to the peculiar: Lib Dem Cllr. Aitken responded by talking about a book written by LibDem colleague Cllr. Bloch about spies and lies (could it be based on the LD manifesto?). What that had to do with the price of eggs is anyone's guess. Seems like Ron is in a bad way again.

From the peculiar back to the mediocre: Cllr. Lyn Weber rose to give such a dreary and long-winded Lib Dem party political broadcast that the whole chamber seemed to fall asleep. Hunter has already forgotten what is was about--and expects Weber has too.

We were all woken up again when newly-elected Cllr Goldberg made his maiden speech. Goldberg is a one-gear public speaker--he is always in rant mode. But Cllr Goldberg is a hypocrite: he attacked Cllr. Aitken for holding an advice surgery in a pub and attacked the decision to place one of the Seven Sisters ward polling stations in a church--on the grounds that this would tend to exclude people whose religious beliefs would prevent them from entering a place where alcohol is served or religious services (of another faith) are held. Yet Goldberg is now proposing to hold his own advice surgery in the local Shul (synagogue)! He then had the chutzpah to end his speech with a cheesy bit of Old Labour class war: telling Lib Dem members to 'go back to Highgate' for high tea! But where does Goldberg himself live? Not amongst his Seven Sisters constituents in Tottenham, that's for sure! No, Goldberg lives in leafy Muswell Hill, (next to Highgate ward) a neighbour to all those Lib Dem councillors he professes to despise!

Note: In the wake of the Baby P scandal, the Great British Public were under the impression that both George Meehan and Liz Santry had retired from public life. Why did none of the useless journalists at that infamous press conference in the Haringey Council chamber actually follow up or clarify the issue? They let Meehan and Santry off the hook--they remain as Haringey councillors, collecting their generous allowances, and Haringey Labour were left in peace to reshuffle the same bunch of discredited nonentities. Talk about rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic!

Never a dull moment in Haringey politics

News reaches Hunter that the embattled Lib Dems are desperately trying to persuade two off their councillors to 'hang on' until the May 2010 elections. Cllr. Rainger (Muswell Hill) is, apparently, never seen at the Civic Centre these days whilst Cllr. Reid (Hornsey) is, allegedly, off work from Hackney Council suffering from 'stress'.

Meanwhile, Labour's Cllr. Khan (West Green) is touting for votes to become the borough's Mayor after, and if, Cllr. Vanier (Tottenham Green) ends her term.

And some disturbing news reaches Hunter from a Lib Dem councillor (whom Hunter met for drinks in a Crouch End bar the other day and, no, it wasn't Aitken!), that control freakery in Haringey Lib Dems has reached new heights. Rumour has it that Lynne Featherstone *has* to submit all of her blogs post to the Pack man and he even insists on viewing her Facebook and Twitter messages. Can this be true? If so, Lynne should jolly well stand up to these bully boys in her own party! After all, she has more balls than most men...

Selecting a candidate for Tottenham

Tottenham Conservatives are in the process of selecting a parliamentary candidate. We had forty applicants, of all backgrounds and nationalities. Six have been chosen for interviews and, on Saturday, that number will drop to three. The final meeting, which will be held soon afterwards, will be open to all paid-up members.

Contrast this to the local Lib Dems - they advertised Tottenham in Liberal Democrat News, their members' newspaper, and only got one applicant! News reaches Hunter that their PPC, David Schmitz, is on the verge on quitting. Who could blame him, approaching his sixtieth birthday and being a father to a two year-old? In addition, he is, according to one Lib Dem-supporting poster, also kept busy feeding David Lammy's cat (I'm not making this up!)

Why 'Doing Nothing' is better than...

... selling our gold reserves at Primark prices

... stealing other people's money and, in so doing, destroying our pension funds and the culture of investing for old age

... introducing hundreds of new stealth taxes

... smuggling the professionals in the public sector with endless paperwork

... clobbering small businesses with ‘ealth and safety laws

... treating Parliament with contempt

... misleading the country over the Iraq war

... politicising the Civil Service

... employing three mangers per bed in the NHS

... allowing asylum numbers to spiral out of control

... presiding over a gap increase between rich and poor

... starving councils, mainly in the south, of cash, leading to nasty cuts in frontline services AND massive Council Tax increases

Can you think of any more?

What is the point of Haringey Lib Dems?

Haringey's Lib Dem councillors claim to add value to the various committees that run Haringey Council. But their latest intervention on the Planning Committee, by Cllr Richard Wilson, is simply laughable. He opposed the erection of new homes behind Tottenham Town Hall. Not for one of the many good reasons that he could have cited, like the fact that Haringey Council have shown themselves determined in recent years to build on every postage stamp of open space in our part of the borough; nor because, as usual, Haringey was making no allowance for the extra burden this would place upon the local infrastructure (GP and dental practices, local schools etc). No. His objection was that the Victoria tube Line could not "cope" with an extra 100 people and that it would make it harder for Crouch Enders and Muswell Hillites to get a seat boarding a tube at Finsbury Park.

Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? Firstly, an extra 100 people (Cllr. Wilson's stated figure, not mine) would make no impact on the Victoria Line which provides for 174m journeys yearly. Are they all likely to be travelling by the same route at the same time anyway? Apart from the absurdity of the objection it also highlights, yet again, that the Lib Dems care nothing for the people of Tottenham: we suffer the worst abuses of Haringey Council and see our area despoiled by hideous over-development year after year because a far greater proportion of our residents are poor, have English as a second language and do not have the media clout of the wealthy articulate Nimbies in the west of the borough.

The Lib Dems in Haringey have built themselves a reputation as an effective election fighting machine (although they seem to be losing their 'magic touch' given their drubbing by both Labour and the Conservatives in the most recent Haringey by-election). But, as councillors they are a laughing stock. Labour members run rings around them and they shoot themselves in the foot when they make these bizarre comments. Haringey needs a strong opposition, but the Lib Dems repeatedly show themselves to be unfit for that purpose.

An open letter to local Lib Dem David Schmitz

Dear David,

During the recent Seven Sisters Ward by-election, you circulated an enormous amount of literature, some of which actually concerned Haringey Council. However, you did not cover Foreign Affairs.

I am enclosing a copy of a leaflet which your political colleagues in Redbridge are circulating. Interestingly it does cover foreign affairs, although Redbridge Council, like that in Haringey, does not have a foreign policy. It refers to Gaza, speaks of worldwide protest and then later refers to the Conservative leader of Redbridge by name (Cllr Alan Weinberg).

All 3 main parties in the Seven Sisters by-election were represented by members of the Jewish community. As one of those candidates and as a Liberal Democrat, do you support such literature being distributed by your Lib Dem colleagues? Do you believe that such literature promotes community cohesion in a neighbourhood where Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh and Christian live side by side? Can you give a reason for naming Cllr Weinberg, when no other councillor of any other party is mentioned by name - other than that your party is a) courting the Muslim vote and b)Cllr Weinberg has a surname which many will recognise as Jewish? Why does your party introduce foreign affairs into a local election in Redbridge but not in Haringey, Enfield or Bexley - where there have also been local by-elections in the past few weeks? Do you believe that foreign affairs is a relevant issue for a local authority by election?

I have circulated this request to the press and look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,


Back.... kind of

Hunter's back (sort of) after a very long and sometimes depressing 2008 (course there was the odd moment of joy and excitement!)

Hunter's been in Canada (had a fab time - pic of me in the restaurant at the top of the CN Tower), mourning the loss of his grandfather (86 - not a bad age, eh?, working in a bar (what hard work!), running the Tottenham Association (now ticking over just nicely, thank you very much) and fighting a by-election in Seven Sisters Ward, following the sad death of Cllr. Fred Knight.

Those of you who are close to me will know of the 'other' problem that I've had to try and face up to. It's not been easy, and it continues to depress me... thank goodness for the by-election, which takes my mind of things (for a bit, at least)

Baby P's avoidable and horrific death shocked Hunter. Baby P lived less than half a mile away. Tragic. Awful. It's not often Hunter is lost for words. Haringey Council: what a bunch of useless, incompetent and evil wankers!