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!