Thursday, January 31, 2008

Council Assembly as bad as ever and Hibs face Rangers in the Scottish Cup!

Last night's Council Assembly was a really miserable affiar with the Lib Dem/Tory doing a really crass "softening up" process blaming Government for a harsh settlement ahead of no doubt swinging cuts in leisure centres (including I reckon the closure of Camberwell Leisure Centre!) , ending the wardens scheme and more worrying huge cuts in Youth Service and Social Services care ! They will nowever spend over £2M on Consultants to tell staff where to sit in the new enormously expensive Tooley Street building!

They used Leader's diatribe, questions and motions to build up their "case" for the "slash and burn" that they are going to inflict on the residents of Southwark in a few months.
Of course non of it is their fault, even the huge hole in the decent homes budget, but is of course the Labour government and Labour Mayor's fault for everything! There wer 5 Motions last night on really serious issues which wcould easily have had cross party backing but they conspired to ensure that non of them did and the meeting was a total farce.
What upset me what Stanton's childish approach to politics which after 6 years as Leader shows that he has learned nothing and in fact is getting worse. His incomprehensible ranting is absolutley ludicrous in the extreme and never gets beyond everything good is Lib Dem everything bad is Labour and it really is impossible to deal with him on any rational basis.
In the Decent Homes debate we offered cross party working to come up with a solution and after much waffle finally got the truth out of Kim, he does not trust us to "keep our mouths shut"!!
Well what can you say or do after "leadership" shown by the gruesome twosome like that?
They really are fiddling whilst Southwark burns and god only knows what wreckage we will have to clear up in 2010 when we finally get rid of this pathetic bunch!!

It looks like Hibs have got Colin Nish but perhaps only for next season when we need him now so hopefully a deal can be done to get him now?
We also tried to get Riordan back on loan but were turned down as Celtic want shot of him so we will have to buy! he really should have stayed another year or taken up the offer of going to Spurs as Celtic have once again ruined an exceptional player!
Where is Chris Killen now! He and Riordan top scorers in the SPL with Hibs where are they now?
It is Scottish Cup weekend with us facing Rangers at Easter Road on Sunday. On the face of it and on current form we dont really have much of a chance but I do recall the Cup match 2 yeasr ago when we played them at Ibrox and beat them 3-0 so I suppose it is possible and with some of our injured players back we should at least give them a game?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

SE5 Forum AGM, Brian Paddick responds , Dispatches and Scotland get Burley!

I attended the 2nd AGM of the SE5 Forum and my picture shows Mark Dodds present the Chairs report to a packed meeting.
The organisation has clearly progresd well in it's 18 month life and we heard o the next steps last night to really solidify the position of SE5 Forum in Camberwell. Congratulations again to all those involved and i look forward to working closely with it in the future on the key isssues affecting camberwell over the next few years.

To his credit Lib Dem Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick responded to my Blog and just to clarify I have nothing but respect for Brain's police career and in fact signed 2 on-line petitions in support of him when he was under attack by the Evening Standard and other right wing press!. But Brian has chosen to be the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor, dont know when he joined the Lib Dems, probably joined yesterday candidate today like so many of the Southwark Lib Dem Councillors? Anyway I respect him responding to me and I look forward to the campaign focussed on issues and not personalities, perhaps a forelorne hope?
There is interesting feedback form the early stages of the US Campaign suggesting that Hillary actually lost votes when she criticised Obama and there is a feeling that the dominance of neagtive campaigning over the past 20 years may be coming to an end thank god!

I did watch the "hatchet job" Dispatches programme on Channel 4 and have to say that amongst the periforal stuff there were a numnber of very serious and apparently well researched allegations made against Ken and his administration that he really needs to respond seriously to. I was especially concerned by the allegation that Lee Jasper commissioned a consultant for over £14,000 to develop and run a smear camapaign against Trevor Phillips. I hope that it is not true as it would be a serious breach of his role and if true heads will have to roll!!
I also agreed with issues raised over the process, in particular the weakness of Scrutiny at City Hall and I cant really argue for more at the Town Hall and not do the same at City Hall can !?
I really do loath highly paid special advisers, unelected and unaccountable and who seem to take Executive action and appear to treat elected members with contempt and the sooner that situation is controlled, whether in No 10, City Hall or Southwark Town Hall the better!
Bottom line for me however is that London needs a Labour Mayor and Ken Livingstone has been an excellent Mayor and deserves his third term.

News breaking today that George Burley will be the new Manager which I thing is a good choice and he has enough time to get into the role ahead of the first World cup Qualifiers so good luck to him!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lib Dem/Tory Exec Scaremongering about Budget, Lib Dem Mayoral candidate Paddick is Embarrassing and Hibs Lose again!

Lib Dem Leader Nick Stanton has used and misused the Press and the Council Web Site to spout out his propoganda whining on about the Government settlement and predicting cuts like closing leisure Centres and massive cuts in social services hitting the elderly and youth projects, always the soft targets for cynical politicians!

His Pravda like rantings on the Council's Web site proporting to be "news" realing show how little respect they have for the democratic process and we can already see in the Council Assembly Agenda stupid motions asking Executive members, especially GLA Candidates, to write letters to themselves criticising the Mayor! It really is quite pathetic!!
The Council is in a real mess with it's finances but of course it is everyone elses fault though I notice toby has had enough and will not be managing the finances after May! The Housing department is is complete meltdown and Senior managers throughout the Council are heading for the Exit faster than the audience at a Ming Campbell speech!

Talking of the Mayoral elections BBC London interviewed all of the main candidates last week and Brian Paddick was an absolute embarrassment! He kept on saying that he was not a politician but I think that we all got that particular message some time ago!

He could not identify a Lib Dem policy if it was tatoooed on his arm and is really just making it up as he goes along including keeping old people off the buses and tubes as they get in the way!!
He kept on getting into a panic when he made some sweeping statment and then was pressed by the interviewer as to whether that was a Policy commitment at which point he went pale and tried to change the subject!!

I had the misfortune to watch Hibs play Hearts on Setanta and saw too really poor sides play out a pretty poor match with us losing by a goal helped by yet another goalkeeping error!

Interesting to see Ian Murray back although David Murphy has gone I am glad he went to Birmingham rather than Celtic!

Hopefully we can get Colin Nish from Killie before the transfer window closes and another central defender would be good. We are now 8th out of 12 after topping the league in October so we really are in relegation form so Mixu needs to trun it around fast or we will not make the top 6 which really would be a disaster for us!
Looks like the Scotland Manager will be named soon and rumours are that Souness in in the pole position?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back to the Grind with Mayorla and GLA Elections, a huge Council budget hole and Mixu is new Manager!

I have now returned from a restful break in Edinburgh apart from the Flu which i am now just about over!
We had our first Camberwell branch meeting of the year last night and talked about the GLA and Mayoral Elections in May and we will be working hard in Camberwell to get ourt vote out and to build up our voter id in the 2 Wards so it can be a really positive time for us and alwasy a good time to get new members and to make more existing memebrs active in what is already a thriving and very active Branch.

The Southwark news was full of the budget constraints and the need to find £30M of saving s over the next 2 years. Stanton of course whining on about the fact that it is all this Governments fault or the mayors fault or anyone who is not a Liberal democrat but we will put that all to the test in the Chamber over the next few months. Interestingly Thomas and eckersley dont want to do an executive job anymore so there will be a scramble no doubt amongst the Lib Dem flottsom to secure a nice £45K salary for a couple of years anyway!! The Decent Homes programme is also in a mess as is of course the entire Housing Department after another catastrophic reorganisation so it really is all falling apart for the Coalition but unfortunately Southwark residents will pay the price!

Hibs appointed ex player Mixu Patteleinen as manager after a good spell in Finland and I think that the fans will be happy. Just hope he has time to strengthen the squad in January and stop the rot where they have not won in 11 matches which is real relegation form. Only good things is that hearts form is even worse and they could well find themselves going down which would be a real discrace!! .... but quite funny!