Monday, April 30, 2007

Workers Memorial Day March London 28th April 2007

On Saturday I went on the Workers Memorial March with my Chelsea Supporting friends and TGWU Members Kevin and Paul (pictured holding the banner below!)

It was a beautiful day and a moving event with testimonies from the families destroyed by the death of a father, brother or son on a London building site.
Another old friend, Tony O'Brien from UCATT leads the ceremonies as the leading light of the Construction safety movement in the UK (below pictured speaking in front of the memorial statue to the Building Worker at Tower Hill)
There was a very good Southwark Labour Party and Labour Movement turnout and we went discussed the past and future of the Labour Party and Labour Movement in the Pommelers Rest Pub at Tower Bridge all afternoon. Wetherspoons helpfully had a Beer Festival on so it was an enjoyable day!!

Planning Permission for the Camberwell Green War Memorial has at last been given and below is a mock up of how it will finally look. We plan an unveiling ceremony and of course commemorative events in September on the Anniversary of the Air Raid and of course on Rememberance Sunday in November.

The inscription that will be on the memorial is reproduced below:
In memory of the people of Camberwellwho died or suffered in War
This memorial stands above the Air Raid Shelterwhere a wedding party lost their lives on the afternoon of 17 September 1940.
Sidney and Patricia Wright had just married and were celebrating in the nearby 'Father Redcap' Public House with family and friends.
During an air raid, they sought refuge in the shelterwhich was directly hit by a bomb.
All members of theWright family and four other people were killed.May they, and all victims of War,rest in peace
Bodies recovered on 18 September1940 from the Air Raid Shelter:
Wright family: bride and groom - Patricia(21) and Sidney (21); mother and father -Elizabeth (48) and Sidney (48) and sisters Dorothy (19), Mary (18), Elsie (13),Joyce (10) and June (8).Nora Flaherty (19), Lear Nadel (58), Emma(48) and Stanley Ross (14).

On the Hibs front Hibs fought out a commendable 3-3 draw against Rangers with many of the youth players in the strating line up. Steven Fletcher again in form scoring two of the three goals! dad was at the game but frustrated again by our goalkeeping who allowed two long range free kicks from the same player to get past him! A new Goalkeeper is a priority for Collins in the Close season!!
John Collins may have a lot of cash to spend rebuilding his team with £2M in the bank from Kevin Thompson(Rangers), anything upto £10M for Scott Brown(Everton?) and rumours that David Murphy(Middlesborough?) and Steven Whittaker(Blackburn Rovers?) may go for £2M each!!! Bolton Wanderers seem obsessed by our players but dont know if that will calm down with Sam Allerdyce's departure?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lib Dem snouts sniffing out trough again!! and Hibs blow it again!!!!

Sadly but somewhat inevitably rumour abound that the Lib Dems plan to up Members Allowances by upto 20% adding another £200,000 onto the £1M + budget already being spent!!!
They are the highest paid group in London and one of the highest paid in the Country and in fact have used allowances to keep their side in check, in the last Administration all but 2 Lib Dems had Special Responsibility Allowance(SRA)!!! and of coure they haave had problems since the elections last May as they have had to giove more Community Council Chairs to the Labour Group so they how have a problem with a number of their side clamouring for more tax payers cash and no positions to give them!! Whatever can they do??? Well they can create new positions with SRA like the new Audit Committee, and of course they can replace Labour members with their own, a threat that they have made to us a number of times over the year and clearly something that is in their mind for the future!!!

Helpfully even Lib Dem blogger Andy Mayer has found some new Lib Dems in need of an SRA!!

The Labour Group has consistently called for Members Allowances to be reduced , my own view is that they are probably around 20% above the average but if another 20% hike goes through it will put us in the proud position of having the highest paid Councillors in the Country!! what a proud boast that will be? I wonder of it will earn us any CPA points???

Andy also had this picture of the Blessed Simon Hughes MP (for it is he!!!) at a local school. Rumours are that when asked what would need to happen for the Lib Dems to run he Country he replied that pink elephants would need to be visible with the naked eye from the school playground!!! How helpful and educational at the same time!

Not very surprisingly Hibs blew their chance of another Cup Final and a UEFA Cup place!! I predicted a 0-0 game a for us to lose on the penalty shoot out and I was close! We dominated large parts of the game, missed lots more chances, on top of those missed in the first game and then gave away a stupid penalty 3 minutes from the end ! Game Over!!! The picture is of Hogg who gave the penalty away but the blame does not all lie with him!
So what is the most annoying part, the fact that we have now lost our 3rd Cup Semi Final in succesion, none against the Old Firm (the only real excuse for not making it!!), the fact that after being second top scoring team all season, we have only scored four in 5 games, the fact that we have been beaten twice and failed to score in 3 games against a team who are likely to be relegated this season, or that for the fifth game in a row we have lost critical goals in the last 10 minutes of each game!!
The Players revolt has to have had an effect to change the team so much over the period of a month and I am sure that some of those players will have played their last game for Hibs!! it was clear how furious john collins was lst night and some players I am sure will pay for it!! Rumours suggest as many as 15 players being shown the door!! A real Night of the Long Knives but really i dont have much sympathy for any of them involved in the revolt as they have cost Hibs dear this season !!! Next seasons team will hardly be recognisable from what was on the field last night!!

The one bright performance was once again Scott Brown the best player on the field by a long way and apprently Everton, Newcastle and Middlesborough have joined Bolton and Rangers for him and the price may go upto £10M which will see off Rangers anyway which is a good thing! Rumours are about that Bolton are looking at Murphy who I believe would be a very good Premiership player, they must have a full time scout at Easter Road as they seem to want most of the team!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tories and Lib Dems struggle to find Mayoral Candidate!

I am amused to hear that Greg Dyke will only stand as Mayoral Candidate if the Lib Dems and Tories back him!! He really has to let his vindictiveness towards the Labour Party go! He really cant be short of things to do can he?
The Tories are getting desperate after being knocked back by, would you believe, Nick Ferrari!!
It really does show the shortage of any real talent within the Lib Dems or Tories as they try to get on the coat tails of minor celebs with an axe to grind! Quite pathetic really!!!

On a personal front I am now back from the Conference at Newcastle and back in harness t work and the Council. It is the start of the new Municipal Year so Group AGM's, Mayor Making and Constitutional Council Assembly awaits over the next month! The Mayor Making will be at St Giles and will double up with the Alderman Making Ceremony with my old friend ex-Councillor Ian Driver so we should have a good evening!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dangers of PR and Hibs have to replay Cup Semi Final on April 24th!

I am still following the Scottish Parliamentary Elections and the Edinburgh District Council Elections with interest and not a little concern!! For the first time the City Council Elections will be using a system of Proportional Representation in line with the Parliamentary Elections.
There are a lot of smaller parties in the frey including somewhat bizarrely a Senior Citizens Party! Overall I support the development of new parties but think that many are actually essentially lobby groups who have become political groupings due to the possible electoral opportunities open to them under a PR system, ie they could never win a straight "first past the post" constituency contest but can gather lots of small levels of support to cross the line and have someone from the Party list shoe-horned into the Scottish Parliament. on a negative note I witness the Party Election Broadcast from the Scottish BNP which was very disturbing and fronted by someone who looked like a serial killer (or at the very least a Rangers supporter)!! They specifically request a vote from the Party List and say that even one BNP MSP wopuld make a difference! Rumpours are that all the Scottish Socialists will be wiped out but good old Tommy Sheridan might hang on in in his one man band with him obviously at the top of the list! He is a survivor and a shrewd politician even if some of his other personal traits are somewhat less desirable!
As someone once said the first past the post system allows the largest minority party to rule and PR allows the smallest minority party to rule!
The Edinburgh City Council elections are also be be run under PR for the first time so already the horse trading has begun with the ever reliable Lib Dems seeking deals with whatever is on offer!! They promised that they would not deal with the SNP on the basis of a Referendum on Independance in the first year buit apparently the offer is for a wider referendum which looks like a deal has been struck between the SNP and Lib Dems or at least an understanding, the Lib Dems really will jump into bed with anyone wont they??? Good to see Sir Alex Ferguson urging voters to Vote Labour and Save the Union!!

On the Hibs front they are in Glasgow a few hours away from the Cup Semi Final against Dunfermline. More on that later!! More info in press today on fallout with the Players list of grievances with John Collins running to some 6 pages!!!!
After a week of turmoil there are rumours of an end of season clearout with some new players already pre-signed for next season:
Clayton Donaldson from York City is known to have already signed but rumours suggest that Brian Kerr from Motherwell and even Julian Brellier from Hearts(!!) have signed up for next season as well so interesting times ahead!

The match has just finished at 0-0 with a replay on Tuesday April 34th at Hampden again. Dad and I listened opn the radio and it sounds like Hibs had most of the play with Dunfermline defending for most of the game. the truth is, that after the week on unrest within the dresing room, having another go is not that bad a result as I really felt that we would go down today! Roll on the 24th!!! (Below are images from the Scottish Cup Semi final match between Hibs and Dunfermline today at the National Stadium, Hampden Park)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Paraskevidekatriaphobia and Hibs Dressing Room Unrest - Micheal Stewart First out???

The superstitious will welcome the sighting of a black cat on Friday the 13th.
DO YOU suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia? This long-winded word is not a wind-up, but the psychological term for the morbid and irrational fear of Friday the 13th. There is a good article in the Scotsman on the origins of fear of Friday 13th!

Today an entirely football blog as my team are currently involved in more intrigue than any politicians could be!!!

John Collins spent yesterday talking to players and the press and was pretty strong in defence of his managment style but accepted that a few players were unhappy and stirring things up. An Evening News piece from Captain Rob Jones seemed to confirm trouble in the Camp and that the players meeting Rod Petrie, the Chief Executive, had not been a good idea and may have backfired on the players.
The Hibees-Mad website today carries the following story:
"Rumours have been spreading like wild fire since late last night, that Stewart's time at Hibs had come to an abrupt end, as part of the fall out of the Collins v dressing room fiasco that has engulfed the club this week.According to reports in the Glasgow media this week, the Hibs first team squad demanded a meeting with chairman Rod Petrie with a view to getting the Hibs manager John Collins the sack. Apparently the squad don't like both his training and dietary schedule.The papers claim the manager has lost his dressing room.Now it seems that Michael Stewart is the first casualty of the fall out. The rumour was first aired on a Glasgow based radio station's phone in and it now seems that it's been confirmed here in Edinburgh.A local Edinburgh radio station is running the story in its news reports and it now seems the Hibernian career of Michael Stewart is over.Stewart's contract was up at the end of the season, so Hibs won't cop too much of a compensation fee.Controversy has followed the player throughout his career, He was part of bust up at Nottingham Forest when he was punched by one of his own team mates, David Johnson, on the training ground.It is also alleged that Michael Stewart is the ring leader of the whole problem down at Easter Road."

If true it is a real shame as I liked Stewart and he was not far from a full Scotland Call-up but he has been left out since before the Cup Final and no it is no real surprise that he is one of the disaffected!
It seems like the blood letting has began??? All this 2 days before a Cup Semi-Final!!!! Things are not looking good for Sunday although Collins has been clever by suggesting that he will put out the 11 players that won the CIS Insurance Cup 4 weeks ago!! Clever move!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lib Dems still dont understand their own policies and Hibs in Crisis??

Scottish Lib Dem Leader Nicol Steven launched the Lib Dem Manifesto yesterday and ran straight into a hostile response from the assembled Journalists over the Lib Dem policy of replacing Council Tax with a Local Income Tax! In the last General Election Charles Kennedy blew a gaskett as he could not explain how it was going to work or the fact that many of the Lib Dem target voters would be worse off, now Steven could not explain how people with inherited property and wealth would be exempt from paying any tax!! They clearly still dont understand one of their own key policies!!! Quite incredible!!!!!!
Interestingly he saved all his criticism for the SNP, obviously not wanting to offend the Labour Party whom he hoped to be working with and no doubt hoping for a top job on the Executive!!!!!
Alex Salmon launched the SNP Manifesto today with, guess what?... replacing the Council Tax with a Local Income Tax, 3p in the pound (at least he has worked out a figure which is more than the Lib Dems have ever been able to do!). This policy will be a biig problem for bopth parties as they dont understand wh\at it means and it does not make any sense!!!
I sent this electronic postcard to Andy Mayer telling him that I have the adoption form so I hope to adopt a Kune Kune very soon!!! It also plays "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

Meanwhile at Easter Road a crisis has emerged out of nowhere with apparently 18 players asking the Cheif Executive to sack the Manager, John Collins, less than a month after winning the CIS Insurance Cup!! The fans are very much behind the Manager but their is clearly a problem which Collins needs to sort ouit today when he speaks to all of the palyers collectively and individually. If it is not sorted out we will go straight into a Semi Final defeat on Sunday and a promising season will be ruined!! Sort it out John !!!!! ...please!!!!!
To lighten the mood the following link takes you through to some great You Tube moments of the Cup Final!!! Enjoy!!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Circle of Life??.....and Meercat Manners????

I have been mentioned again in Lib Dem Blogger Andy Mayer's site with reference to his visit to Battersea Zoo and his decision to adopt a Meercat. Andy always refers to me as excitable but it always looks to me that the Meercats are the excitable, and nervous, ones? I could mention sheep or lap dogs as a more appropriate animal to adopt but that would spoil the mood!!
He has helpfully suggested that I adopt something called a Kune Kune which looks a bit like a Wart Hog and I have to say that I am very tempted so will be contacting Battersea Zoo upon my return!!
If you examine my profile you will see that I was born in the Chinese Year of the Boar or Pig (2007 is the Year of the Golden Boar/Pig!)
As a devotee of all things Lion King, film, Stage Show, DisneyLand Show etc. I can help but be drawn to the close relationship of a Meercat and Wart Hog in that film and can see the start of a beautiful frienship developing!!!

I have responded to his Blog below:

Many thanks for your recommendation for adoption, I seriously might take it up!
I did adopt a penguin at Edinburgh Zoo during my student days and I do like the look of the Kune Kune (have never heard of it before!) thanks for the recommendation. Might call it Andy!!
As you can see working in the Scottish Elections I am in a more fraternal mood with Lib Dems as it looks like we will be forming an Administration together after May 3rd. Good luck with the Meercat!
I could be the Pumba to your Timon! What do you think?
Best Wishes

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Scottish Parliamentary Elections launch of the manifestos and Hibs prepare for Cup Semi Final with defeat!!!

The Easter break is over and Election Manifestos are coming thick and fast with the Scottish Labour Party and the Scottish Socialists launching theirs' today. The Scottish Labour Party Manifesto is called Building Scotland and gives it's top priority to Education which has to be right! I am hoping that the scottish people get the message over the next few weeks and certainly reject out of hand any talk of independance!
I am somewhat surprised to hear that the SSP are committed to a referendum on Independance within a year a la SNP and I cant believe that this will help their cause? I saw Tommy Sheridan , the one man band, discribe the SSP as a "small rump" which seems a bit rich!! and it is good to see the Left resort to type, realising that they hate each other more than their enemies, a case of the Judean Popular Front against the Popular Front of Judea if ever I saw it!!!

Hibs have only taken one point from nine since their CIS Cup victory and prepared for the Scottish Cup Semi Final against Dunfermline with a 1-0 defeat on Sunday against, er..... Dunfermline!!!!
The general view is that the players are pre-occupied with the Semi Final and all will be well on Sunday! I hope they are right? I actually think that we will win with some of our rested players back in and a UEFA place at stake.
We also appear to have discovered another excellent youngster with Ross Chisholm playing well in midfield and alreaady been offered an extended deal.
With players like Lewis Robinson, Ross Campbell and Kevin McCann discovered over the past few months the future still looks bright, ever with the inevitable departure on Scott Brown to Rangers or, preferrably, Bolton Wanderers or Tottenham! !
Ross Chisholm Lewis Robinson
The Northern Ireland Hibs Supporters Club are having a special event in June with Pat Stanton as Guest of Honour, especially relevant with at least 3 Northern Ireland Players in the squad! It was reported at the London Hibs Supporters Club and it seems that both Groups are thriving!!