Monday, May 14, 2007

Civic Awards, a new Mayor, Gordon Brown on the Campaign trail, Wembley Stadium and Scott Brown ready to leave Hibs!

On Saturday I attended a celebration of 10 years of the Southwark Civic Awards at the Globe Theatre. I was a bit concerned that there was no Awards Ceremony this year but it was explained that they they are reviewing the current criteria and will be kicking it off again for next year which I suppose makes sense?
I am a supporter of recognising Officers, Residents and Councillors exceptional service to the borough and speaking of which I will attending the Mayor Making and Alderman Meeting at St. Giles Church on Wednesday. I am not sure about the idea of parading along Camberwell Church Street to the Town Hall for the Reception though and the current weather conditions dont bode well?
It may be a difficult meeting as the Lib Dems and Tories are putting forward a controversial candidate and we will be supporting Tayo Situ as Mayor.
My colleague Mary Foukes has said all that needs to be said in her Blog which you can see at the link below:
The question is "will all of the Lib Dems and Tories support their candidate?" It will be an interesting evening!! There are clearly a growing number of Lib Dems who are very unhappy so hopeully at least a few of them will choose this Wednesday so show how they feel and make a real change! I hope that at least some of them will decide to take it!!

Gordon Brown hit the Campaign trail this weekend and I was actually very impressed with his interview on Andrew Marr's show "Sunday AM" where he seemed more relaxed and confident that I have seen him for some time. It is interesting to see that the opinion polls are picking up as people see him at work and laying out his distinctive agenda which I think is very positive and inclusive which has to be a good thing.
More on the website link below:

In terms of the Deputy Leadership fight it looks like Harriet, Peter Hain, Hazel Blears and Alan Johnston have the 45 backers required with Hilary Benn and John Cruddas "confident" of getting the numbers so it looks like they will all be in for the first round!
According to a new Yougov poll of over 2000 voters, a leadership team of Harriet Harman and Gordon Brown are best placed to win the next election for Labour. Fourteen per cent of all voters said that electing Harriet as Deputy to Gordon Brown would make them more likely to vote Labour at the next General Election, beating Hilary Benn and Peter Hain into second place (both on 10%). None of the other candidates got out of single figures.
Harrriet's website is below:
I do think that this election process will be a positive thing for the Labour Party and hope that both Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman emerge victorious on more open and engaging slate with less spin doctors and special advisors and more discussion with the Party and with the public !!
Yesterday I went to Wembley to see the FA Vase Final between AFC Totten and Truro City. I really liked the Bobby Moore statue and one of the London Met Academics was actuallyinvolved in it's design!
The Stadium is very impressive and we had a good vantage point high up in the stands. In fact our tickets even had a health warning about the steep incline which seemed a bit ott but probably an insurance cover?
In was in fact a very enjoyable match in front of over 27,000 with Truro City running out comfortable and well deserved winners in the end! Stadium design seems to have learned from previous mistakes and the more enclosed shape does concentrate the noise. those 27,000 made a lot of noise! There were problems with toilets flooding and coffee machines not working but I suppose better to find out problems then than next Saturday. It will be impressive with a capacity crowd!!!
Whilst I could not bring myself to watch the Eurovision Song Contest I did catch the last part of the voting with Cyprus voting for Greece, Norway voting for Sweden,Ukraine voting for Russia and Bosnia voting for Serbia(the eventual winners and certainly no ABBA!!!).
It all tells us nothing about the state of songwriting in Europe and lots about tribalism with no Western European Country finishing in the Top Ten!!! Maybe dreams of true European Integration are as far away as ever???? British entry Scootch (above) tried very hard to get the "null point!" badge of honour but were scuppered by Ireland and Malta who dragged them up to second from bottom!! I fear that a succesful recording career does not beckon for them or for the winners (outside of the no doubt strong Serbian record buying market?) for that matter!!
On the Hibs front it looks like Middlesborough are closing in on Scott Brown so I imagine that will go through pretty soon, the only question is for how much, more that £5M will be ok but probably not the £10M that Everton were talking about? With the seaon ending next week John Collins can get on with the dismantling of the current team and the building of an entirely new team. Rumours still abound that Murphy and Whittaker(apparently a £2M bid is already on the table from Blackburn Rovers with Birmingham City also in the running?) will be joining him in the Premiership next season with the possibility of Michael Stewart and Chris Killen also playing in that League come August!
Apparently John is putting in bids for Hull City's Under -21 Scottish International Striker Darryl Duffy as well as 21 year old Austrian defender Patrick Osoinik from Admira Modling Wacker, the same team that Collins bought "wonder kid" Elias Wagner on a pre-contract agreement!
The new Hibs team seems to be shaping up well but of course non of us have the foggiest idea how these new players will gel together and how they will settle to the Scottish Premier League?
The real "Holy Grail" for Collins must be new Keeper and I hope he plans to spend some of the cash coming in to buy a decent one rather that the "journeymen" who have been broiught in over the past few seasons!