Monday, April 28, 2008

The Final Push for Ken and Val, Workers Memorial Day and Hibs lose third spot I think!

The Mayoral/GLA Campaign enters it's final week and we had another very successful Street Stall in the sunshine this time in Camberwell Green!
Lots of members supported the stall and like last week we had a good response!
It has been a busy week of doorknocking and leafletting and I have a few days of at a University Conference but back on Wednesday for the eve of Poll and of course I am running a Committee Room from my flat! Looking forward to me weekend in Broadstairs with Southwark Alderman Ian Driver!

It is Workers Memorial Day today and I stopped off at the Memorial at Tower Hill to meet a few friends and support the day.
It is a really important event to highlight construction site deaths in the UK and across the world and I will always show my support for the day including wearing my purple ribbon!

I think that Hibs may have blown the 3rd place spot as they went down 2-1 to Aberdeen after giving a way a stupid penalty, Gattheussi then got himself sent off and Nish followed him leaving us chasing the game away against a very good team with 9 men on the field! Ridiculous!! We have ended to many games over the last few seasons with 10 men on the field so Mixu needs to work on that in the summer!
To get the 3rd spot we will need to beat either Celtic or Rangers and I just cant see that at the moment!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

We enter the last week of the Mayoral/GLA Election with Ken leading in the Polls for the first time and Paddick floundering on single figures, the Lib Dems facing the inevitable squeeze between the 2 major parties!
We are still campaigning full on in Camberwell Green Ward out most evenings leafleting and canvasing to a very good response. We have a really good Street stall on Saturday, so positive that we are doing it again this Saturday (after my Surgery and getting home in time for the Man Utd. Vs Chelsea match at 1pm!)
I am really enjoying it but cant wait til it's over!!

Southwark News gave us some good coverage today especially on the OSC item on Consultants and the
Exec plan to spend £2.5M on Consultants to tell us where to rearrange the deckchairs on the Tooley Street Titanic!
Their editorial and accompanying cartoon was also critical in a year when a Children's Museum was closed by this disgraceful Lib Dem/Tory Administration!
Talking about moving deckchairs on the Titanic they also report a lot of movement on the Executive with people in, out and a fair bit of shaking it all about ! best quote was from my Glorious Leader, Peter John, who said that Nick Stanton was was "trying to find people who can walk and talk at the same time" to fill the £50K positions! I dont think he is quite going to manage it?
Hibs go into the last 4 games of the season against Aberdeen and Celtic away and Rangers and Motherwell at home and I think really need 9 points to get the 3rd spot over Motherwell (even although their meeting is a "6 pointer"!. Bad news is that Zemmama, finding real form at the moment, broke his foot on a training match and is out for the rest of the season!
We have expressed an interest in the Intertoto Cup so there may be another more tortuous route but the 3rd place is the key for a UEFA Cup place so we need to get it!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Camberwell Street Stall, Bumbling Boris strikes again!, Hibs draw at Tannadice and Real Madrid move in for Fletcher?

We had a really brilliant Street stall at Camberwell Green on Saturday with Harriet and will be repeating it next Saturday!
there was a really positive response from the public towards the Labour Party and Ken so we were all buoyed up by the experience!
This morning Dora, Chris and I met Harriet and her team again outside Brunswick Park Primary School to catch parents bringing their kids to school!

On Saturday afternoon I went to a presentation from Film Lab, a project working with kid from St. Michael and All Angels and residents from the Wyndham and Comber and Brandon 3 Estates. They were taught how to write , act, film, edit and produce the films and they presented the completed films at the BFI and this was a showing for the Estate.
Antonio Ribero was also enrolling people for the next courses and I am tempted to sign up myself! It is a really brilliant initiative funded by the Joint Security Initiative and the Camberwell Community Council and I am keen for it to be expanded to other Estates in the Ward! in the picture Antonio and Roger Prince, Wyndham and Comber T&RA Chair introduce the films.
Boris is yet again having to make an embarrassing climbdown after suggesting that local Authorities determine whether to have a smoking ban in public places. The story is well covered by the BBC.
He forgot to mention that he was paid around £10,000 for a speech to the Tobacco Association last June!

I watched Hibs play Dundee United at Tannedice on Setanta on Sunday and actually it was a very skillful and entertaining game, from two clubs playing and wanting to play good football! Dean Shields scored a great goal running onto a through pass and rounding the goalkeeper before scoring only for us to concede a penalty 4 minutes later for a slight tug outside of the box! McNeil was excellent in goal again and although we had most of the play a 1-1 draw was probably quite a fair result.
Hibs are on 51 points after 34 games, the same as Dundee United who have better goal difference, with Motherwell on 52 points but crucially 2 games in hand! We obviously need Motherwell to drop points which I am sure they will and we obviously need to beat them but I still think that we can nick the 3rd spot which would actually make it not too bad a season for us! Good to see Hibs Ladies make the Scottish Cup Final and consultation is now underway on the new East Stand which will complete the Stadium and take the capacity up to around 20,000 so all in all quite positive things happening at Easter Road!
The Scottish sports pages are full again of rumours that Real Madrid will make a £4-5 Million offer for Steven Fletcher in the summer and I somehow suspect he will want to go! What a great opportunity it would be for him and of course great for scottish football!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bonkers Boris and Calamity Clegg is a Tory!!

On the Mayoral campaign trail poor old Boris is completely paranoid about being caught out saying stupid things and guess what he is right! Just look at this You Tube Site!:

Boris in action!

The Lib Dems are of course in complete disarray as Clegg moves them further towards the "right wing" Orange Book dictates and it now is clear that he was in fact a young tory, and we all know what young tories are like!!
No wonder Paddick has decided that it is best to make up policy on the hoof even when in complete opposition to "official" Lib Dem policy! His interview on the Politics Show on Sunday really did show him up as the interviewer had to repeatedly remind him that his "policies" were not in line with official Lib Dem ones but he did not seem to be that bothered and his poll rating continues to bump along the bottom at 10%!
The Tory/Lib Dem Alliance in Southwark may really be a sign of things to come as it really is becoming harder to pick out where the Lib Dems start and the Tories begin?

Campaigning in Camberwell Green goes on a pace and we have had a really positive response from members comintg out to help and when we are on the knocker, in fact our level of support appeasr to be very similar now to what it was in 2006, dopwn to good organisation and hard work so it really is a positive experience and really enjoyable for all of us doing the work on the ground!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Election campaign hots up and the Camberwell Bible is on it's way! Hibs sign Yantorno!

Life is pretty hectic with the University still in full swing, the Council still operating as usual and a full of election campaign to get on with! I think I spent 5 hours yesterday working in the ward to go along with the 3 hours on Saturday! We are getting a very very good response so actually it is a very positive experience. The polls are looking much better for Ken and bottoming out for Paddick who I saw on the Politics Show yesterday again floundering under some very basic questioning, arguing against Lib Dem policy on at least 2 occasions!!! I am feeling ever more confident that Ken and Val will win but have no clear idea about the bigger picture in terms of how many GLA Seats we will get! Lots more to do as we are about maximising the vote in Camberwell and so it really is foot to the pedal until May 2nd!! Peter John's Blog mentions that Boris was in East Dulwich walking around the Estate with local people and was heard to say to one of his flunkies "who would want to live here?" Is he real or what??

My colleague Sandra Rhule has coined the expression " The Camberwell Bible" after a meeting with the Council Leader who has agreed to resource a project to put all of the miriad of Camberwell Strategy documents into one integrated document. It is a great idea and a great name and follows on from Veronica Ward and I's questioning of the Leader at OSC when we asked about regenerating Camberwell. Stanton said that he had no idea about a Vision for camberwell and asked me to sum it up in one line, an offer I did not take up but we then had a quite positive discussion about Town Centre Management within Camberwell.
It is clear that this Tory/Lib Dem Administration have absolutely no interest in Camberwell as "there are no votes in it!" but can be pushed and prodded over time to take some action and even on the Camberwell Baths front there are expressions of interest from a few developers so we have to continue to work in this vein, almost always against the grain, to get things done until we kick them out of the Town Hall (or anonymous Office block in Tooley Street!) in 2010!

Hibs have offered a contract to Gretna player Fabian Yantorno for next season as most of the Gretna first team have been sacked! He is injured but looked one of their best players and scored from a great free kick in the opeing game of the season which i was at where we eventua;lly won 4-2!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Canvassing as the Election Kicks off, the Olympic Torch and Hibs win at home!

After a very busy week in the Town Hall with OSC's and Council Assemblyand a couple of DA Interviews, the London Mayoral/GLA Election Campaign kicked of in earnest with the Camberwell Green Team out and about in the Ward. On Saturday Val Shawcross joined us for another really positive session on our big Estates. We are getting a great response on the Elmington, Crawford and Wyndham and Comber Estates, to be honest rather better than I expected.

At Council Assembly Paul Bates launched into a really scathing attack on Kim Humphries stewardship of the Housing Department and in particular the 100 Days of Change!
I spotted this unbelievable example of mismanagement in Weyhill House on Saturday when apparently putting the correct signs up on the right floor was just too much for Housing to do properly! What an embarassment!! What a shambles!!

The Olympic Torch procession through London yesterday was a bit scambolic with protestors successfully disrupting the event. I actually dont have a problem with the protestors and even thought that trying to put the flame out with fire extinguishers was quite clever but my support ends with violence especailly aimed at people who have nothing to do with the politics so I dont have any time for the idiot who tried to grab the torch from Connie Haq's hand !
I see that Calamity Clegg is calling for a a boycott of the opening ceremony but I woinder if he has Nike trainers or is he now boycotting all chinese goods personally!! I suspect not! what a hypocrite! Typical Lib Dem headline chasing with no firm policy and only vacuous pontifications, talk about "Cameron Lite"!

Hibs won again at home beating St Mirren 2-0 and I suppose the best part of it was the excellent goalkeeping performance of reserve keeper Andy McNeil who pulled off some great saves in the second half!
Picture is off Zemmama's fantastic strike to put us 2-0 after 5 minutes and after Nish's equally brilliant 4th minute 25 yard lob of the St Mirren Keeper!
At the moment it is all going well and of course really good news is that Hearts will fail to be in the top six for the firsat time since the split came in!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Lots of OSC, Homeworking Club, Election Campaign begins and a bit of rugby and football!

I attended two OSC Committees yesterday one in the morning on the future of the Potters Field site which took almost 4 hours but I think that we overall agreed with the Council's position and an agreement was signed yesterday with the developers to move the whole thing along. A key element I think is what they describe as a "cultural offer" as I think that something really special could be placed on the site as well as the over expensive penthouse flats which would really complete the South Bank walk from Westminster to Tower Bridge.
At the evening OSC we had an update on Camberwell Baths with expressions of interest from the Development Brief due today. There was over 100 initial enquiries so I hope that we will have a few who will want to progress it to the next stage. we also asked for a re-affirmation from the Executive at the June Meeting for a fully redeveloped Camberwell Leisure Centre including the retention of the Pool so all in all a good days work I think!

I just received some pictures of the Poets Corner Homeworking Club Awards Ceremony which I attended and which is organised by the Educational Alliance Africa and which was a very positive event. I plan to work closely with them in the future to support and develop their work in the area.
Of course the London Mayoral and GLA Elections kick off this week with daily (and nightly!) leafleting and door knocking for the next month! I dread it in the anticipation but enjoy it once we get going so we are geared up to running a full Campaign in Camberwell to return both Ken and Val to office. The alternatives are really all too distressing to contemplate and whenever I feel tired of it all I just have to visualise Boris Johnston as Mayor of London and I am sure that I will be reinvigorated!

I was in Leicester over the weekend and went to the rugby match against London wasps. I was pleased to see the wasps win over the "far too smug for their own good" Tigers with Cipriani, the man of the hour, scoring the decisive try!

Hibs surprisingly lost 1-0 at Motherwell which is a bad result for us as we lose momentum but is not too bad if we get straight back on the horse and beat St. Mirren!
Glad to see Ian Murray sign a 2 year deal for us from Norwich. Has really bucked the trend of players returning to the scene of their former glory and failing (s Kevin Keegan as current example!). He looks back to his best and a Scotland call up may not be that far away again?