Thursday, May 14, 2009

Expenses!, Civic Awards, H&S at the NEC, "Live Long and Prosper" and Hibs draw 1-1 with Rangers!


It has been a really horrible week for politics in Britain as the true extent of the expenses "gravy train" became clear!! No one abuses the system like the Tories can with claims for the cleaning of Chandeliers and Moats but all parties are sullied by this and the whole system needs urgent reform now!! But not apparently if you are Speaker Michael Martin who seems so completely out of touch with the public feelings on this and is now finding himself under severe pressure for his job!! This has to be dealt with once and for all as the Genie really is out of the bottle with expenses now open to public scrutiny and the public will make their choices cleasr at Election time I just hope that it does not discredit the entire system and even further reduce voter confidence and importantly turn-out at the Ballot!
I attended the Southwark Civic Awards on Saturday at St. Giles Church in Camberwell and saw my two Nominees, Kwende and Len (posthumously collected by his widow) pick up their Awards. Congratulations also to my good friends Declan, Stephen, Pat and John and again it was a really lovely Ceremony and a fitting tribute to the recipients.

The Southwark Labour Group AGM Part 1 was on Monday and I am now Assistant Secretary of the Labour Group!
Part 2 next Monday with me standing for the Shadow Executive (interview Saturday am) and as a Scrutiny Chair. Constitutional Council follows next Wednesday!
I spent yesterday at the NEC in Birmingham for the Health & Safety EXPO which was a useful day and picked up a lot of good stuff and made some good contacts for follow up!

As a completely unreconstructed "Trekkie!" I cant wait to go to the IMAX on Sunday evening to see the new STAR TREK prequel, looks great from the clips an should be the start of a new series of films
Hibs are strangely playing some of their best football of the season and after a good away win at Hearts, went very close to beating Rangers losing an equalising goal in the final 10 minutes following a great strike by Riordan! We may have just handed the title to Celtic?
Celtic at home on Sunday so we may still have an impact on the destination of the SPL Title but still a very disappointing season for us with no better than 5th place likely!!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

John, you under-estimate the public's anger. Not so long ago Labour politicians were going on about the greed of bankers; now the public are learning that many politicians (many of whom are Labour) are pocketing the people's monies in various get-rich-quick schemes. I hear that Gordon is putting another expenses claim in for the renovation of his moral compass! It is clear the Labour Party has not got a single socialist principle and is only interested in trying to run the capitalist system better than the Tories!

Cllr. John J. Friary Blog said...

Thanks for your comments!
I dont think that I do under estimate the public anger but this is not a party political issue as all parties have been absing the system.
The mistake I think was probably not to increase the MP's salaries after 1997 but allow an apparently "lenient" expenses system to take up the subsidise them. Clearly this was a mistake and the sytem of course will not be transparent and accountable.
The Telegraph were playing politics by releasing labour transgressors first but I dont think that a "what have the romans ever done for us" attack is appropriate!! I assumne you dont want a large Tory majority next year?

Anonymous said...

John,
I know it must be important for you to work at the university, I know the health & safety element is important, I know you help the union, and get time off 'work' to do your union stuff, when you're not getting facility time to go & do your local cllr stuff, but, and here is my question, were you paid while you were at the NEC at the Health and Safety Expo and did you get a lunch allowance?

Cllr. John J. Friary Blog said...

DEAR ANON,
THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF MY WORK AND COUNCIL DEMANDS!
IN RESPONSE TO YOUR QUESTION I WAAS PAID BY THE UNIVERSITY WHEN I ATTENDED THE H&S EXPO AT THE NEC AND THEY ALSO PAID FOR THE RAIL TICKETS!
THE UNIVERSITY DOES NOT DO LUNCH EXPENSES SO MYSELF AND MY COLLEAGUE HAD A SANDWICH AND A COFFEE AND BOUGHT EACH OTHER A DRINK WHEN WE GOT BACK TO EUSTON SO NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSES!
DONT KNOW IF YOU KNOW BUT ALL SOUTHWARK COUNCILLOR ALLOWANCES ANDEXPENSES ARE PUBLISHED ANNUALLY IN SOUTHWARK NEWS AND HAVE BEEN FOR SOME YEARS, A GOOD MODEL DONT YOU THINK?
THANKS AGAIN!
JOHN

Cllr. John J. Friary Blog said...

DEAR ANON,

JUST TO CLARIFY MY TIME OFF FROM WORK WHICH YOU APPEAR TO BE INTERESTED IN MY EMPLOYERS ALOOW ME 14 DAYS PER YEAR FOR COUNCIL DUTIES WHICH IN TRUTH I USUALLY TAKE AS HALF DAYS AND HAVE NOT EXCEEDED 10 DAYS FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS(SINCE WE HAVE BEEN IN OPPOSITION).
IN TERMS OF MY TRADE UNION ACTIVITIES WITH GMB I AM THE ONLY REP AND THE MEMBERSHIP IS QUITE SAMLL AND MAINLY FROM MANAGEMENT. I HAVE A VERY SMALL ALLOCATION OF A COUPLE OF HOURS A WEEK FOR TU WORK WHICH USUALLY I DONT REQUIRE BUT AT THE MOMENT AND TRYING TO HELP MEMBERS FACING 500+ REDUNDANCIES SO I AM TAKING THAT TIME PLUS USING MY OWN TIME TO FOLLOW UP CASES SO I AM AFRAID YOU ARE STRUGGLING IF YOU WISH TO IMPLY ME SHIRKING MY WORK RESPONSIBILITIES!
HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY OTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT MY COUNCIL AND WORK AND EVEN PERSONAL LIFE IF YOU ARE INTERESTED?
THANKS
JOHN

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