Art of self-serving Politics

Evolution of a PoliticianWith a matter of days to Christmas our team have pondered on our reflective, appreciative – and hopefully wise and experienced – outlook on life as well as our evaluation of family and community. It is the community about which we are concerned. Waltham Forest is in trouble.

Therefore, in the interests of balance we felt obliged to report that the Liberal Democrats and Labour Parties in Waltham Forest are not alone in having amongst their ranks people for whom politics is self-serving rather than serving the community.

Uncommonly, it appears the Chingford Conservatives have 4 vacancies for candidates at next years local elections!

Following the recent announcement that deputy leader of the Conservatives and ward Councillor for Chingford Green, Cllr Michael Lewis, is not to stand at the local elections in 5 months time we have heard rumblings that a number of his ‘colleagues’ are already plotting to replace him.

We understand these so called colleagues include, the Conservative Councillors’ Whip and the Chingford Conservative Association Deputy Chairman – Political, who are actively ‘throwing their weight around’ in an attempt to ensure their self-serving ambitions are fulfilled.

Unwittingly, the current leader of the Conservative Councillors may have played into their hands by announcing he will not stand in the ward he currently represents but will contest one of the two vacancies in Chingford Green. Particularly, as we understand it, as the Deputy Chairman – Political has a vote!

With only 5 months before the next local elections we must remind our elected political trough feeders what is most needed is a policy of community revitalization – NOT Party nepotism.

So on 22nd May 2014 –  Let them know party-first, self-serving tactics will no longer be tolerated.

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Go Compare

The recent Larkswood by-election showed how disenfranchised the electorate are from our politicians – 76% did not vote!!!

After seven attempts to become a Councillor John Moss managed to reduce the Conservatives share of the vote by 6.6%!

It is rumoured that the Lib Dems indulged themselves simply to wreck the Liberal campaign – yet only got 15 more votes and halved their share of the vote from 2009!

You will see from the tables below that only two Parties actually increased their vote – Labour and the Liberals.


Democrat becomes Liberal

A former Waltham Forest Councillor exiled from the Liberal Democrats for speaking out against alleged corruption and racism is standing in the forthcoming by-election in Larkswood ward.

James O’Rourke has thrown his hat into the ring as an old-fashioned Liberal. Whilst we, and others, are encouraged to hear of his return, we thought the negative impact of The Scarlet Pimpernel would have discouraged Mr O’Rourke from returning to politics for life!

However, we wholeheartedly agree with Archipelago of Truth that Mr O’Rourke was a “…hard-working, case-working councillor when he was the representative for the High Street ward” and that by standing as a Liberal Party candidate it “…is the closest thing … to standing as an Independent without actually taking the plunge.”

Realistically, Mr O’Rourke is not going to beat the Conservatives on their ‘home turf’ but we wish him all the very best in dramatically reducing their majority and seeing off the other pretenders.

L & Q Wins Race

Walthamstow Assembly Hall played host to a special Planning Committee tonight with celebrity racing pundit, John McCririck, joining hundreds of local residents and Save Our Stow campaigners to oppose London & Quadrant’s proposals.

After a tortuous four hours the four Labour Councillors (Cllr Pete Barnett, Cllr Jenny Gray, Cllr Ebony Vincent & Cllr Asim Mahmood) outvoted the two Conservatives (Cllr Alan Siggers & Cllr Ed Northover) and the solitary Lib Dem (Cllr Liz Phillips) giving L & Q the go ahead for their ludicrous scheme which does not meet any of the Councils own targets. Interestingly, it was noted that Cllrs Gray, Vincent and Mahmood needed to take their cue when voting from Chair Cllr Pete Barnett who in turn kept looking towards the Councillor formerly responsible for housing and planning, Cllr Marie Pye, who was in the audience.

The standard of the debate from those opposing L & Q’s plans was extremely high. Not so from the highly paid L & Q staff (who described their organisation as a charity) nor, bar one, Waltham Forest’s elected Councillors!

The merits for and against this development can be easily found elsewhere.

We are more interested in the fact that democracy had been given short shrift tonight by an ‘accountable’ charitable and our Labour run Council whose political interests are more important than that of the community it supposedly serves.

We understand that an irate Labour supporter challenged Cllr Pete Barnett to resign so as they could both contest the seat in a by-election. Cllr Pete Barnett is reported to have replied “You can challenge me in 2014”. (Privately, it is rumoured that Cllr Barnett and his partner Cllr Angie Bean will not be standing for election in 2014).

Sadly, Waltham Forest is now being run by a Labour Party clique who lacks vision and has lost contact with its own supporters and residents. The opposition….what opposition!!!

Waltham Forest’s residents need to challenge the political incestuous allegiances by either putting up or supporting candidates in the 2014 local elections who will put community first.

Liberals find their voice

Four months after the relaunch of the Waltham Forest Liberal Party they have finally had something to say.

Former Waltham Forest Councillor, James O’Rourke, suggests he was responsible for getting the council to collect rubbish left “festering for the last three weeks” and is quoted as saying “Cllr Loakes has presided over the introduction of a contractor worse than the previous contractor – Verdant. Something I thought would not have been possible.”

He may well be correct?

Do we remember some years ago when the refuse collection contract was transferred from in-house to Verdant? Remember the uproar on blogs and local newspapers?

We do. The then politician responsible for bin collection was former councillor, Bob Belam. Bloggers and commentators filled Waltham Forest Guardian’s website with hundreds of criticisms – much of it threatening and personal – in what looked decidedly like a ‘politically’ [sic] organised campaign and also included many of Mr Belam’s former political colleagues!

What intrigues us is the ‘uproar’ to ‘Loakes the Jokes’ latest wheeze of engaging Kier to collect the boroughs refuse. Over three Guardian web articles a mere 31 comments have been recorded.

The lack of ‘official opposition’ in Waltham Forest from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats leads us to conclude, sadly, that we will have to watch the Labour Party destroy our borough until our next opportunity to remove them at the May 2014 local elections.

Waltham Forest deserves, and needs, to have elected people who put the boroughs interests above that of Party or personal interests.

Free radicals prescriptive laws

Later this month Waltham Forest will witness the juxtaposition of different cultures according to a national newspaper.

Protected by national and international laws ‘hardcore Islamists’ are to set up Sharia law enforcement zones within which gambling, smoking, alcohol and free mixing between the sexes (“…the fruits of Western civilisation”) would be strictly prohibited. These areas would then be policed by “Sharia cops”.

According to The Daily Star, the move will see specific areas, including Walthamstow and Leyton, flooded with thousands of posters & stickers saying, “no gambling”, “no music or concerts”, “no porn or prostitution” and “no drugs or smoking” as an alternative to government attempts to combat violent extremism under the Prevent strategy.

We await to hear what plans Cllr Liaquat Ali, Labour Cabinet member whose responsibilities include implementation of the Councils Prevent Strategy, has to ensure members of the public rights are not infringed by this proposed action.

Lib Dem Farid Ahmed, well known for having a sneaky fag and pint in the Nags Head in Walthamstow village, may wish to stay in his home borough of Redbridge to avoid falling foul of having his collar felt by the “Sharia cops”.

Another Lib Dem defects to Labour?

Cllr Mahmood Hussain

The Councils ‘Pravda’, Waltham Forest News, seems to have confirmed the rumours we recently published that two Liberal Democrat Councillors are in defection talks with the Labour Party.

On page 10 of the latest Waltham Forest News are pictures of all of Waltham Forest’s Councillors by ward and political party. The red line around High Street Councillor, Mahmood Hussain, seems to suggest he has defected from the Liberal Democrats to the Labour Party.