Monday, July 30, 2007

Camberwell Branch Labour Party Barbeque, Campaigning in Cathedral Ward, Hibs beat second premiership team in a week and Whittaker on his way to Prem!!

Last Thursday the Camberwell Branch Labour Party had it's Summer Barbeque and thanks to Cleo for being such an excellent host and for dishing up the strongest punch that I have ever tasted!! A lovely hint of pinneaple followed up by a very big hit of rum!! Fantastic!!!
Some of the people in the pics above have already been at the punch for a bit too long!! We have a really active vibrant party in Camberwell and it is a real honour and pleasure to be part of the team with them!!!
On Saturday I, along with around 40 others, leafletted Cathedral Ward for our friend and comrade Danny McCarthy. I went out with Sandra Rhule and my past fellow councillor Anne Worsley.
On route we bumped in to the Mayor and Mace Bearer Chris at a Country fair at South Bank University. Chris rang the bell when testing his own strength and was not attempting to knock the Mayor into the ground as the picture might suggest!!

Sandra, Anne and I leafletted the Nelson's Square Estates and here we are outside Rowland Hill House.

Hibs beat Middlesborough 1-0 in the last few minutes of a close game at Easter Road on Saturday, making an impressive Premiership double in 4 days after a 3-0 midweek victory over Bolton Wanderers! Ross Campbell scored almost in added time but Fillippe Morais was apparently the star performer so he looks like a very good buy! Also another clean sheet for Ms-Kalamby bu the real test a week on Monday with the opening league game against Hearts at Tynecastle. Apparently they played well in their 3-1 defeat to Barcelona so it is a tough start!!
The other big story today is that Blackburn, Middelsborough and Rangers are after Steven Whittaker for £1.5 to £1.8M, not surprising after his brilliant season!! Hope he goes to the Premiership and does not become another Old Firm has been!! Rumours are that, despite scoring in almost every game that he played for Celtic last season, Riordan is to be off-loaded to an English Championship side, surprise surprise!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Southwark Labour Party Youth Summit, CLP Party for Harriet and Camberwell Branch Party, Hibs beat Bolton 3-0 and ar after Naismith!!

Last night I attended the Youth Summit in the Town Hall organised by Harriet, Val and the Southwark Labour Group as a way of starting a converstation with young people on what they need and want in their area to better inform us as a local party and of course to inform the Governmnet.
The meeting was well attended but not enough young people really had their say and a key lesson as the conversation continues is that we need to get out of the Town Hall to where young people are and we plan to do that over the next few months It actually mirrors in many ways the Scrutiny review of Youth Services which I Chair as again we will be getting out and finding out what young people think of what is provided and what they want so it will be an interesting few months and I should have plenty opportunity to talk to young people directly and hopefully move the debate on in the Town Hall, labour party and government?
The Camberwell & Peckham Labour Party had a celebration event at the Dark House in Camberwell to celebrate Harriet's brilliant victory in the Deputy leadership contest and below are a few dark pics taken very late as only the hardened drinkers remained!!
Tonight is the Camberwell Branch Labour Party Summer Party at Cleo's so I am looking forward to that! Hope tha rain holds off for the Barbeque!!
Hibs appear to have had a very good victory over Bolton Wanderers last night with Fletcher, Murphy (pictured) and Benji scoring ina 3-0 win!!
Obviously you cant read too much into pre season freindlies but it is a good win against Premiership opposition and we need the same again against Middelesborough on Saturday to build up confidence for the frist game against Hearts in a few weeks!
Hibs are still wisely looking for an additional Striker and two names appear to be in their sights:
Norwegian Daniel Bratten of Rosenborg is out of contract in Janaury and John Collins has watched him but in truth he may be out of our league as bigger clubs also appear to be interested.
Kilmarnock's Steven Naismith is the other name being mentioned. It looked like Rangers had him sewn up but they refused to pay the £1.7M requested, stopping at £1.5M. He would be a terrrific signing for us as I think that he is the best striker in Scotland at the moment and would really be an asset to the club but it appears that he may opt for Hearts instead as Romanov has more cash to spend but if I was John Collins I would spend some of the money raised by selling Thompson and Brown and get Naismith. We definatley need another striker and he is one of the best out there!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

UK Flooding continues, Calls for Cameron to go, Highland Clearances remembered and Hibs sign Gatheussi at last!

The UK was again hit by the most incredible floods over the weekend after a month of prolonged rainfall! Apparently not unparalleled as more actually fell in one year during the 1950's but pretty bad in recent memory!! There is of course the usual press scramble to blame someone, usually the Government of course but I am really not clear what can be done when there is this overwhelming desie to build housing by rivers or in flood plains though this may slow down as I imagine Home Insurance may get very difficult from now on?

There have been inevitable calls for Tory leader Cameron to go from 2-6 Tory back benchers after the disasterous Ealing Campaign and his honeymoon period is now well and truly over!!

The sculpture here is in memory of the Highland Clearances in Helmsdale, on the Sutherland Coast and will be officially unveiled by the First Minister. "The Exiles" stature commemorates the people who were cleared from Sutherland by landowners (who were of course Scottish Clan Chiefs and not the horrible English!!!) and their agents and left to begin new lives overseas.

Hibs have at last signed Cameroon defender Thierry Gatheussi after a few hitches that might have killed the deal. He looked very good in pre season matches, is 25 and has signed for 2 years. I think he will be a real find this season.

Hibs take on Bolton Wandererrs this Wednesday and Middlesborough on Saturday so they will be a couple of good tests ahead of the opening league match against Hearts ! I think we will one of the new players an impact as will Kerr, O'Brien, Ma-Kalamby and of course Donaldson. Joneliet may be the surprise package and I still reckon they need another forward and am surprised that they did not sign Jason Scotland when he seemed interested? The squad is a small one and looks a bit light but Collins is confident that the young players can get thrown in as they did last season and they are all a year older and wiser so I do expect them to get their chances.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Back from Loughborough and two Bye election Results to digest!

I have just retruned from Loughborough University where I spent 3 days learning about Health and Safety Auditing in the University Sector!! It was very long days but good to met with people doing the same job from around the UK and we always had a nice drink in the evening so all in all a usefful experience! AgainI became the official photographer but our Tutor took the group photo above

Woke up to the 2 by-election results which for me are surprisingly good for us! I was a bit concerrned about Ealing with a Tory local Celebrity and the Lib Dem By-Election bandwagon in town it could have been difficult but a 5% swing to the Lib Dems and the Tories (sorry!... David Cameron's Conservatives!)in 3rd place it really was a very good result for us and a very poor one for the opther 2 parties!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Camberwell Green Fun days, Anyone for Mayor? and back to Basics for the Tories?

Over the past few weekends I have been going to the usual round of Estate and School Fun Days. Chris, Dora and I were at the Comber School fun day where we had a chance to throw wet sponges at each other which was very theraputic! Dora asked me to avoid her face but I just could not acceed to that request!! On Saturday we went to the Camberwell After School Project and met up with Carmen and some of the Trustees and parents.

The Tories look like they have finally decided upon their London Mayoral candidate who will be, surprise surprise Boris Johnson. With the lib Dems apparently trying to pursuade fromer top Policeman Brian Paddick to be their candidate (probably not even a Lib Dem member yet!) it really shows how desperate the other parties have been to find a suitable candidate and they have of course found out that they are so short of talent that they have struggled to find anyone. Whilst a Ken Vs Boris contest may provide a lot of entertainment none surely in their right mind would elect that buffoon to such an important job would they?? Boris will need to employ someone to follow him around to say "What the Mayor meant to say was...."!
I borrowed a picture from Andy Meyer showing the high calibre Lib Dem politician who should perhaps be throwing his hat into the ring alongside Boris, very much a case of Dumb and Dumber!!! I think his name is Lemsip Optic and I think that his family is from Transylvania?

Meanwhile the Tories have released a Report of a Group chaired by IDS about "Broken Brtiain", something that IDS obviously is fully conversant with after meeting a woman on a Glasgow Estate for about half an hour!
And what is the conclusion? Surprise surprise it is all the fault of single parents and the answer is to give everyone money to get married!!!!
I can see the son of "back to basics" rising from the ashes and wonder how long it will take for it to crash and burn on the back of a News of the Screws story about a senior married Tory policitian caught having an affair with a 19 year old pole dancer?
No wonder Labour is riding high in the opinion polls with a 40% rating and a 7% lead over the tories, the highest for 2 years!! It's all good!!!!!

It is also interesting to see that the Tory Candidate in Ealing Tony Lit has only just joined their party weeks after being at a Labour Party Fund Raiser, a man of obvious principle and just the type of person that David Cameron is looking for !! It is usually the Lib Dems who pick people who know nothing about politics but obviously the habit is catching!!

I am off to Loughborough University for a few days on a Health and Safety Auditing Course, 3 days from early morning to late evening so not much fun to be had really but I did find a picture of the bar which looks quite appealling and which may require my attention during the course purely in a professional capacity you understand!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Southwark goes Fair Trade, Camberwell Transport Summit and Kirsty picked again for Old Southwark and Bermondsey!!

Southwark became a Fair Trade Borough on Wednesday, largely due to the persistence if Dora in getting it through. On the day Lib Dem and Tory Executive members were falling over themselves to be involved and it may be a bit churlish of me to remind everyone that first time round they all voted against Dora'a motion!!!!!
The Camberwell Community Council funded Camberwell Transport Summit was very successful last night with GLA
Member Val Shawcross taking an active involvement in the event and I think that everyone left feeling more positive than when they went in!!!

My colleague Kirsty McNeill was reselected as the Labour Candidate for Old Southwark and Bermondsey to build upon her growing reputation in the constituency and she will provide a real challenge to Simon Hughes at the next General Election.
Finally I spent yesterday at work (London Met) in a workshop about dealing with conflict and I identified my Motivational Value System as being Assertive-Nurturing ie actively seeking opportunities to help others... Persuading others to ensure maximum growth and development of others... Being open to proposals for creating welfare and security for others... Creating enthusiasm and support in tackling obstacles to success???? - sounds like me!!!

I took a couple of pictures outside of the Arsenal Emirates Stadium as I was passing. My old office at North Campus was directly next door so I saw the building construction from start to finish. I have renewed my Red card for next season so plan to see the Gunners a couple of times next season!