Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Party donations and McLeish goes Brummie!

So the Party is again under scrutiny over donations but I cant really see how you can know exactly where money comes from? If I donated £100,000 to the Party next week would they assume that I had just won the Lottery or that I was a front for a mystery donor? The problem appears to be the Party communication with some individuals knowing more than others and not making that known which has really put us in this situaltion but it is clealry yet another distraction for the opposition parties and the media to beat us about the head with. In Harriet's case I really dont know what more she could have done as she accepted money from a regular known Party donor and assumed that all the checks were made centraly which is exactly what I would assume!
This is undeniably all very sloppy by the Party and the General Secretary has gone as a result. I really dont know what the answer is as I dont agree with state funding of political parties but do think that strick caps need to be put on election expenses. If anyone believes that the Lib Dems are sticking to any expenditure caps in Riverside they must believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy!! All Political parties arev at fault and they all need to sort it out although the system is much more transparent than it ever was under Thatch!

And so Alex McLeish has gone to Birmingham. I am not really surprised as he has always preferred club management and with the trebling of his salary and a club which he should easily take to mid table and build on next season it is a good job. Added to that Scotland are hardly left in the lurch with no qualifying games for the best part of a year and it really was a bit of a no brainer for him!
Gary McAllister appears to be an early favorite at 2/1 an would be a popular choice I think amongst fans but I note that John Collins is in the betting at 16/1 fairly well down the order but this may not be a rushed decision and the odds may well change over the next few weeks and months.

Hibs are rumoured to be interested in bringing ex-Hearts man Alan Maybury back to Edinburgh from Leicester City in January so it looks like plugging up the defence is a priority for John Collins thank goodness!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ideas factory, World Cup 2010 Draw and Hibs scrape draw at home!

I notice the latest Lib Dem/Torty gimmick the "Ideas Factory"

Described as the following:
Ideas about improving services and places
Ideas which would make better use of existing resources or which bring in outside resources
Ideas which we can support with our influence and networks rather than our own resources
Key to all of this is of course ideas that dont cost thje Administration any money but that they can blame other people for nort resourcing!

They are entirely driven by spin "100 days of change" being the last big idea which has had not lasting impact apart fromthe continual turmoil of yet another Housing Department reorganisation which even staff forced into silence on the issue make it clear by body language what they thing of it!

I was annoyed at Stanton whining on about the poor Government settlement despite having the 6th most deprived constituentcy in England, Camberwell and Peckham when he has spent the last 6 years entirely ignoring Camberwell as some petty retribution on the Lib Dem failure to win seats there!
I note that a Lib Dem MEP has defected to the Tories and I feel that a number of elected Lib Dems will be parting company to go either right or left after their devisive Leadership contest?

The 2010 World Cup Qualification draw took place in Durban South Africa yesterday and Scotland's Group looks like this:

Group 9 Holland, SCOTLAND, Norway, FYR Macedonia, Iceland

Actually we have a good record against Scandanavian opposition so Norway and Iceland, although not easy are not bad draws and if fact we have a pretty good record against Holland, 6-0 defeat not withstanding!, and beat then 1-0 in last home visit with McFadden scoring late winner so really a group where we are second seed and we should qualify from as no 14 in the FIFA World rankings, our highest for years. Rumours are that McLeish may accept Birmingham City job so we may again be looking for a National Coach?

Hibs made heavy weather of the home game against Dundee United scraping a 2-2 draw after going 2-0 down after 75 minutes! Good that we are able to fight back but our defending was woeful as we lost 2 identical goals to Robertson with unchallenged headers from crosses! Worrying and I hope that some central defenders are on John Collins January shopping list?
Hibs do stay in 3rd place above Dundee United, who like Motherwell, are having a very good season and with Aberdeen and Hearts still good sides it is a tough league this year.
As well as Colin Nish from Killie it is rumoured that our old Captain, Ian Murray, may be on the way back after his spells at Rangers and Norwich? Another great player ruined by Rangers, doubt he will be the same player he was?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bad Tempered Council Assembly, Fletcher and Murphy likely to leave Hibs in January and England go out!

It has been a really busy week with Camberwell Community Council, Children's Services and edcucation Scrutiny, Grosvenor T&RA AGM and of course Council Assembly all in the week as well as work interviews for my Assistant and running and organising 2 days training, I am glad it is Friday today!

Council Assembly was a pretty bad tempered affair which surprised me as we actually agreed on most of the itmes and motions but there was certainly something unpleasant in the air? Not helped by a really stupid and disreptutable performance from Jeff Hook who had clearly been instructed to use his answers to questions to fillibuster and so protect his less competent colleagues from being put on the spot, ie Columbo Blango who is surely on borrowed time now that the Lib Dems know that we wont have him his threat to cross the floor may now be sounding a bit hollow? It once again shows how much they care about the democratic process and how undemocratic this shambolic Lib Dem and Tory bunch really are!! They actually make me feel embarrassed to be a Southwark Councillor and of course the Lib Dems made another timely entrance into Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs page, currently getting in about once every two issues! It was a run over the Paul Baichoo, Karl Linden etc. etc. etc. stories and actually makes your skin crawl!
Best moment for me was barrie Hargrove repeating a joke told to him I think by Lambeth Leader Steve Reed:
"If you are at the edge of a cliff with a Tory and a Lib Dem which one do you throw off first?
The Tory of course as it is always business before pleasure!"

Hibs take on Dundee United at home tomorrow with news that Steven Fletcher may well go in January proabably along with David Murphy. I am sure they will join the Celtic and Rangers ranks and spend the rest of the season on the subs bench? They both will be a severe loss mid season and you do have to wonder how long Hibs can carry on doing this and how soon John Collins will get fed up of working for an Old Firm Feeder Club?
Good to see that frenchman Patrick Noubissie is back from his Livingston loan spell and should really be given a chance in the first team.

As a Scot I was genuinely disappointed to see England not qualify and inevitably McClaren paid the price for failure.
I did love this picture which was captioned in the tabloids as "The Wally with the Brolly" harsh, very harsh!
We now await the World Cup draw in South Africa over the weekend and hopefully Scotland will get a decent seeding and a reasonable draw?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Excellent Labour Group Fundraiser, Scotland Lose!! and Lib Dem Leadership campaign a farce!!!

On Saturday I attended the Labour Group Fundraising Dinner to Commemorate the Bicentennial Aniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to raise funds for the Damilola Taylor Trust with Mr and Mrs Taylor as the guests of honour.

I worked behind the bar with my colleagues Sandra Rhule and Richard Livingstone and it was a very succesful evening.
On Saturday I certainly needed something to lift the gloom after seeing Scotland go down to a very good Italy side 2-1 in the 92nd minute. I know that many commentators went with the "Glorious failure" routine but that is really not fair as Scotland have gone from a world ranking of 88 (their lowest ever!) to number 14 in just 2 years and that is a considerable achievement in anyones books!!

In reality a weak defence was our undoing and we need to look for some good central defenders in time for the World cup Qualifiers and with our higher ranking hopefully we wont end up in the same group as both World Cup Finalists!!! Well done Scotland!!!!

I watched the Andrew Marr show yesterday and saw a farcical debate between Tweedledum and Tweedledee (pictured) in which Huhne(looks like a real nasty piece of work!!!) sent out a smear dossier to the BBC calling Clegg "Calamity"!! They then ended up in a very unsavoury scrap on live TV which could not have gone any worse. their spin doctors must have screwed themselves into the ground on hearing it!!!!
How I laughed!!!! Nothing finer that watching opposition parties commit Hari Kari live on TV!! I loved it!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Great Camberwell Quiz Night and Cormac stands in Riverside Ward. Come on Scotland!!!!!!!!

The Camberwell Labour Party held a very successful Quiz Night on Wednesday in the St. Giles Crypt (with me as Quiz Master!) and we raised over £300 pounds which was a terrific result. We were grateful to Harriet for dropping in and donating a prize along with her news about appearing in Strictly Come Dancing, although we were assurred not as a contestant!!! We will certainly be doing this again!!!!

On the Council front it is as hectic as ever in the run up to Christmas and as if that is not enough we have a By-Election to fight in Riverside Ward due to Paul Baichoo standing down!! Cormac Hollingsworth ( fellow Blogger with link on the right!)is our excellent candidate with a strong local record as opposed to the Simon Hughes Bag Carrier ( how many does he need to carry his bag???)standing for the Lib Dems who has been travelling around trying to pick up a seat! We all recall her standing for Brunswick Park Ward promising the full redevelopment of Camberwell Leisure Centre dont we?????

It is make or break for Scotland as they need to beat World Champions Italy on Saturday at Hampden Park to qualify for Euro 2008 and a defeat would put Italy out! Other options are possible if we draw but in reality a win is a must for us!!!
Another nervous afternoon beckons for yours truly and hoping for more images like the former picture below than the latter????

It would be a real achievement to qualify from a group with both World Cup Finalists so COME ON SCOTLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the Hibs front Hibs Boss John Collins is using the domestic break to eye up possible new players to sign in the January window. Francophile John is in France again looking but one home player strongly and consistently tipped to join is Kilmarnock Defender and self proclaimed Hibs Supporter Colin Nish!! sounds like good news to me!!! I hope that John is luckier than last time when he took a mid season trip to france tio look for players and returned to a full scale players revolt!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A great day at Chris and Jason's Civil Ceremony, Remembrance Sunday and Hibs get a win!!!

These are a few pics (more on Facebook) of the really great day at Chris and Jason's Civil Ceremony. The Service was held in St. Peter's Church Liverpool Grove with the Reception in a beautiful venue, the Museum of Gardening at Lambeth Palace. A really great time was had by all!!

On Sunday it was Rememberance Day and Dora an I laid a wreath at the new camberwell memorial before going on to the Service at Walworth Town Hall. it was great to meet up with my good freind and new Alderman Ian Driver who brought Annie and Suzie along!!
Hibs picked up all three points at Gretna with a Fletcher goal so another good away win to keep us up there in that top three area!!
Scotland take on Italy next week in the make or break game so a nervous few days ahead!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Harriet's 25th and Lib Dems trying to join Labour!!!

These are a selection of photos from last night's Celebratory gathering for Harriet Harman as she reaches 25 years as an MP. the Prime Minister Gordon Brown was the guest of honour, with Jaqui Smith, The Home Secretary and other MP's attending as well as familiar faces from the last 25 years of the Camberwell and Peckham Labour party. It was a really good evening and a great way to celebrate Harriet's 25 years and in particlar her, and Gordon's good year in 2007!!

Southwark news had an interesting piece on Columbo Blango's repeated attempts since 2006 to join the Labour Party, but of course only at a price!! The price being a guaranteed £40,000 a year Executive position and proposterously enough a safe Labour Seat at the General Election!!! Talk about delusions of grandeur!!!!
Anyway the Lib Dems can rest easy in their beds as we dont want him in the same way that we did not want Dr Ola when he tried to come back!!! Columba's heady mix of ignorance and arrogance continues to embarrass and anger us so he wont find any support on our side and if any of his colleagues wish to join us they have to know that there wil be no deals or promises which is all they seem to want so again we say forget it!!!! Columbo says that Tayo was overhead saying that Columbo was the Labour Party's strongest asset and if he stays on the ruling Lib Dem/Tory Exec he just might have a point????
On a happier note my best wishes go out to my good friends Chris and Jason as they have their Civil Ceremony tomorrow and I will be ther wishing them well for a great day tomorow and a long and happy future together!!!

It is a football free weekend as Scotland prepare for the match against Italy so I hope that Scott Brown and his team mates prepare well and stay injury free for next Wednesday's crunch match!!!! Only a win against the WORLD CHAMPIONS will do!!!! No pressure!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tories focus on low tax and immigration shock!! and Hibs drop points to Hearts!!

In a real shocking turn, the Tories focussed on immigration and low taxes over the past week!!! Whatever next?? It is interesting to see that whatever they proport to represent in the new Cameron spun Tory party the default position is always immigration and taxes and of course it can get them into trouble!! Another Tory Candidate being forced to stand down after commenting that "Enoch Powell was right!". this is the danger that cameron will always have, turn a bit reactionary and all the old skeletons come out of the closet !!!
Harriet celebrates 25 years as an MP this week and we will be at Portcullis House to celebrate with her in what has been a very good year!! With 5 jobs and the highest labour majority in London there will be much to celebrate!!!

I have another hectic week in and out of the Town Hall with OSC tonight and Housing forums and T&RA meetings all week!!
It is pretty much like this all the way through to Mid December!!!

Dad was at Easter Road yesterday and I watched the derby match at home. It was a classic brains against brawn encounter with Hibs on top with the brains in the first half but muscled out by brute strength in the second, not helped by a referee who allowed blatant shirt pulling all match without once blowing up, including Fletcher being hauled down in the box and Lewis Stevenson bodychecked in the box in quite a ridiculously blatant manner !!! In reality Hibs were less that sharp in the final third and should have tied the game up after some comedy Hearts defending but overall probably not an unfair result!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Chairing Camberwell Community Council and Cllr. Baichoo resigns!!

I was unexpectedly Chairing the Camberwell Community Council on Tuesday due to Sandra feeling unwell and after getting over the shock of doing it at short notice actually enjoyed it! I have Chaired a number of the Planning Meetings but that wa only the second full CCC that I Chaired. The key item was agreeing the CGS Funding for the year which i think was done with our usual thoughtfulness and thoroughness so thre was little dispute from the attendees (actually a better turnout than of late probably due to the CGS bids?).

On Wednesday I Chaired the Education and Children's Scrutiny Committee where we signed off the Extended Schools report and agreed the scope of the Youth Scrutiny as well as Interview Caroline Pidgeon (she is always well briefed and well supported so a positive experience unlike with some of her colleagues!!)
November is a really busy time both at the University and Town Hall so I just have to count down the days to Christmas!!!
Following on from last week's report Southwark News announced today that Paul Baichoo is resigning for "health reasons" but do rather dwell on a web site with pictures of Paul raving in Ibiza with comments like "But take drugs anyway...go on!". Paul's health of course is his priority and frankly his private life is his own affair but I do get angry at the perception that the Lib Dems are forcing him out due to his increasing dissatisfaction at their policies and behaviour all under a health smokescreen? Something below most politicians but we are talking Liberal Democrats here!!! As well as the fact that they cant run a sweet shop they also appear to be a particularly nasty organisation to be involed with as more and more of their current members are steadily finding out (as well as their past 2 National Party Leaders!!)
A Riverside By-Election beckons and I hope that constituents really take a good look at the Lib Dems and not just the myth of the Blessed Simon. The Tories also fancy doing well in that ward so we may see trouble in paradise in the Lib Dem/Tory coalition over the next month or so!!!