Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tragic news about Ivan Cameron, the Do-Nothing Budget, Violent Crime Summit, Museums are packed, Hibs are shocking and Scotland getting better!

First thing to say is how tragic the news is today at the reported death of David Cameron's disabled 6 year old son Ivan. The loss of a child is really unimaginable and David Cameron has been very positive in his media image of a parent with a disabled child and to be in the public glare must make it all the harder so my thoughts are with the Cameron family at this time! Terrible news!!
Back to normal business and Monday's Council Tax Setting Council Assembly and the passing of what we are calling a "Do-Nothing budget".
Whilst we all agreed a freeze on Council Tax we did not agree on how the budget was allocated with huge cuts in childrens', adult care and elderly services , the Tory Lib /Dem Coalition declaring that it made clear what their priorities were!! Exactly!
Furthermore many services are suffering "death by a thousand cuts" as charges are raised , in some cases by 70%!! Also some bizarre things like £500K for the new Canada Water Library running costs when it wont open until mid 2010!, £50K for Community Warden bikes (gold plated?) and the "burying " of millions of pounds of additional Government money aimed at economic regeneration and employment in reserves no doubt to build up a "war chest" for next year's pre-election giveaway budget!! Shameful and shocking and all done with Lib Dem,s cackling and guffawing their way through the meeting ably led Linda Manchester who acted like a cross between Cruella de Ville and Widow Twanky!! All chat and clear party political bias from the Mayor who interrupted every Labour Member speaker all evening and played footloose and fancy free with Standing Orders all night!!! We all were very angry and I did have a bit of a rant at the end but even for the Lib Dems they were too much !!!
I attended the Violent Crime Summit in Glaziers Hall on Monday and was abit disappointed not to see more community involvment but in the most part a re-hash of the ground already covered in the pre-summit last December. I am happy to support the intiative as long as it brings about real and measurable results and a couple of things became clear to me during the day. Firstly that there is a lot of good practice but it is not been shared or replicated adequately and developed as key elements of any strategy within Southwark. Secondly not enough clear performance or outcome indicators which are importnat in understanding what works and what does not!! Anyway I will continue to support it as long as things progress but will be quick to criticize any stagnation, this in the week of course of a a fatal shooting in Dulwich!!

On a more positive note I spent a few days with my Finnish Cousin Merja visiting every Museum virtually in London and was gratified to see them absolutely packed, just look at the picture I took! Highlights were the Darwin Exhibition at the Natural History Museum, The Tzars Exhibition at the V&A and the Ian Fleming/James Bond Exhibition at the Imperial war Museum (more pics on my Facebook page). It really does show that the Labour Government policy to make Museum entry free was the right one and that the great British public have a great appetite for Museums and our history and heritage!!
Another highlight was going to see Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace, a fantastic show with great songs from Sir Elton with brilliant lyrics from Ben Elton including a great one called "Happy Christmas Maggie Thatcher!" . Merja was a bit surprised by the kids swearing on stage but a really great show and thoroughly recommended and it brings back all the pain of the Miners Strike and reminds me (if ever I needed reminding!) why I hate Margaret Thatcher and all her evil deeds so much!
Hibs were absolutely shocking against Inverness last week going down 2-0 with comedy defending and players who really looked like they did not give a toss!!! shockingly bad and at this rate we wont make the top six never mind third spot!!! Atrocious!!!
Scotland take on Italy in the Six Nations at the weekend with a much better performance against France so hopeful of a first win of the Campaign.

8 comments:

JJF said...

Lee Hall wrote the book and Lyrics for Billy Elliot the Musical, not Elton John. The song is Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher and yes it is an absolute classic.

Cllr. John J. Friary Blog said...

Many thanks for the clarification, dont know where I got the idea that Sir Elton was involved??

It was really excellent!!!

Thanks again.

John

Cllr. John J. Friary Blog said...

Many thanks for the clarification, dont know where I got the idea that Sir Elton was involved??

It was really excellent!!!

Thanks again.

John

Cllr. John J. Friary Blog said...

Many thanks for the clarification, dont know where I got the idea that Sir Elton was involved??

It was really excellent!!!

Thanks again.

John

Cllr. John J. Friary Blog said...

Many thanks for the clarification, dont know where I got the idea that Sir Elton was involved??

It was really excellent!!!

Thanks again.

John

Cllr. John J. Friary Blog said...

Many thanks for the clarification, dont know where I got the idea that Sir Elton was involved??

It was really excellent!!!

Tahnsk again.

John

JJF said...

To clarify, Elton John wrote the music. Lee Hall wrote the lyrics and the book of the show. It was Ben Elton that wasn't involved. My response wasn't clear either

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