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.
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!
Posted by Justin Hinchcliffe at Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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...
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!)
... 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?
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.