Discussion in 'Brixton' started by teuchter, Feb 25, 2018.
No-one seems to like them but they keep getting voted back in.
At the risk of being circular, isn’t it just that the electorate believes all the other choices are worse?
Maybe, but I wonder to what extent people vote based on knowledge of what the council actually does, rather than how the Labour Party presents itself nationally.
All the things we discuss endlessly on here - Cressingham, The arches, Pop Brixton - how much do these kinds of things have any effect on voting at local elections.
It's a harder choice for me since Corbyn became leader becuse I want to support what he stands for (and before someone pounces on that, he may not be perfect but better than other options), but at the same time I don't want to give my vote to lambeth labour. And any decrease in local support is seen as a reflection on the party and it's leadership as a whole. Still not sure what way I will vote.
Of course they will. They exist as an election winning machine, and little else. This is perhaps the one thing that Lambeth Labour is outstanding at.
The best that can be hoped for is a decreased majority, which would at least make for a larger opposition block.
What would really help our borough is a referendum on cabinet governance, with the inherent minimalisation of scrutiny it entails. A return to committee governance might be slower, but it would allow alternative opinions, as well as dissent from party lines.
It's like blind loyalty akin to supporting a football team. Dyed in red or blue but no matter how bad they are, how much they fuck you over, you will still support them for ever more. Imo it's why politics will never change.
The local party machine is arrogant about winning elections in Lambeth. It likes to pimp itself out to help other Comrades.
Edit to add: the complacency of Lambeth Labour is only possible because the opposition is so shit. There has been no alternative in the past eight years or so. The Greens are finally getting their arse in gear, but the gains will be small.
The true opposition comes from the likes of Save Cressingham, the People's Audit and Defend the Ten.
Whatever happened to Reclaim Brixton? I felt that this was a mass of opinion that was worth developing further. After the initial event there was a rather limp discussion gathering on Windrush Square. The enthusiasm had gone.
I'm surprised that Momentum is way behind in the borough when compared to Haringey. I thought that the group would be a lot stronger in Lambeth. They either left it too late to put forward candidates for 2018, or had obstacles put in their way by the Progress wing. Which leaves us with four more years of a Progress Cabinet. Thinking about how much destruction they can create in the next four years is very worrying.
One issue in Lambeth is that there is no clear opposition, there are three alternatives but none of them are in a very strong position.
The Tories are the 'official' opposition, but they only have three seats, and are weak in London generally at the moment and many Lambeth residents wouldn't dream of voting for them.
The Greens came second in terms of vote share last time, but they've suffered since Corbyn took over as Labour leader and did very poorly in recent opinion polls and last year's general election.
Which just leaves the Lib Dems, who were top of the poll the last time someone other than Labour won in Lambeth. They came second in Vauxhall at the last general election but there is the small matter that they have no council seats at all at the moment. And they may still be in the dog house with some people for propping up the Tories between 2010 and 2015.
Combine the divided opposition with first past the post and it's hard to see anything other than a very easy Labour hold in Lambeth.
Agree with this.
The current seat distribution and the cabinet system is very unhealthy.
The opposition is disappointing. The green candidates in past years have seemed too flakey. Reclaim Brixton is just a facebook group for shouty people to posture on now, as far as I can see. I'm impressed with what the peoples audit people are doing but they want to be apolitical. Save Cressigham seem well organised but by nature are focussed on a single issue.
It's a shame more people don't stand as independents. In fact there are a couple of posters on here who, although I don't always agree with them, I reckon I'd vote for them if they stood.
yeh you'd never be shouty or posture online.
I think you are not allowing for the incumbency effect.
Many Labour candidates are also flaky - but being able to put Councillor in front of their name adds enormous credibility.
You are right about independent views being put before the electorate - and of course the present Cabinet system introduced by the Blair government concentrates power in the hands of a possibly unrepresentative élite clique (definitely so in Lambeth I would contend) and squashes the ability of individual councillors to raise constituents concerns.
As it happens Momentum are petitioning about returning to committees in stead of the cabinet model, but personally I would not be particularly happy about returning to committees with Momentum in charge. Wouldn't that be back to the future? - rule by an official Labour group supported by an unofficial Labour group as in 1990-1994.
I think the council is correct to say that most of Lambeth's problems originate with government policy (particularly extreme funding cuts to councils). Changing the councillors will not change the problem, although it is certainly true that Progress Labour's current solution to everything - outsource and destroy - is immoral, unwanted by the electorate and damaging to those council estate leaseholders who will be dispossessed.
Whoever people vote for, it would make sense for Lambeth to have a bigger better opposition to the Lambeth Labour behemoth.
I'm sure you're right - however, a flakiness of a councillor acting as part of a Labour group doesn't have the same significance as that of a small number making up an "opposition". You don't want your opposition eggs in a flakey basket, as it were, because it makes it very easy for the credibility of any opposition to be written off. There might be very valid criticisms of actions the council are taking but if the only person there to take issue with them is mixing it up with other, more dubious accusations then the whole lot gets disregarded. Same reason I get worked up about online articles that aren't properly fact-checked or objective.
The Lib Dems need to front a proper candidate or two with back-bone and the Greens need to stop talking utter balls. Labour in Lambeth really are there for the taking if any opposition could muster a decent campaign. The Tories should fund a side campaign to get the LDs under the radar.
"I think the council is correct to say that most of Lambeth's problems originate with government policy" - nope.
The LibDems in Lambeth problem is that the electorate punished them for national issues. LibDems supporting Tories and the student fee issue.
I'm no LibDem supporter. However the small number of LD Cllrs like Palmer for example were very good Cllrs. They would bring up issues that the average backbench Labour Cllr would , understandably, be afraid to take up. They were wiped out not because they were bad Cllrs but because the electorate punished them for the crimes of that tosser Clegg. ( Do we hear anything of him now?) Imo the LDs were a good opposition. Now there is just one Green Cllr. The Labour group treat him with no respect at all. I consider the Labour group treatment of the one Green Cllr as childish and bullying. From what I've seen the one Green Cllr has been doing a good job despite the abuse from the all powerful Progress Labour group. I don't think I could put up with what he has had to
I also think, as someone who loathes Blairites , that a bit of perspective needs to be reinstated. This government is hammering local Councils Why? It's easy way to pursue " austerity" economics whilst the anger gets deflected onto local Cllrs.
Whilst of course central government imposed austerity is of course a key factor, and the mess ends up at local council (and NHS, CCG, etc) level to try and sort, its undeniable that a lot of councillors are often very much part of the same networks and have shared interests as developers and that regularly plays out. We see it with Lambeth, Haringay, and Newham Labour.
When I started getting involved in defend social housing actions, you start to uncover all manner of what ought to be conflicting interests that shouldn't be allowed - so whilst councillors conveniently 'blame it on government cuts', they are also directors and business associates of developers and elaborate regeneration partnerships both utilising public and private money and investment streams (and which seems to pay pretty decent salaries to their self-appointed directors, lots of glossy material, etc) but ultimately don't appear to deliver an awful lot for public benefit. Those councillors are just as much the problem.
Surprised you didn't mention Southwark, which seems to be notorious.
Your analysis of conflicting interests is on point. It is a bit of a travesty when Councillors use their political connections as promotional advertising in other work. One thinks of Cllr Hopkins: "Cllr Jack Hopkins oversees some huge regeneration projects in Waterloo and Vauxhall as well as London's best planning department for both small and large development.Jack worked in local government partnerships for a number of years prior to this and brings together a number of different sectors for greater impact for business and communities."
(see Team | Newable) - this organisation was formerly Greater London Enterprise, apparently some sort of Quango now moving towards a more independent and commercial identity.
Anyone know if Cllr Hopkins is actually working for them - or just an "adviser". The fact he is listed on their website as "Cllr" Jack Hopkins suggests possible legacy issues as a borough representative.
Mr Hopkins has loads of interests he has declared.
This ancient Buzz article suggests he is leaving politics, so may being a Labour councillor was simply a phase, or indeed a transition, in a career of planning and business consultancy (as is very common in Southwark)
Jacko is also a Director of Good Plannets Ltd - a "specialist planning consultancy that will give you an expert opinion on what will be acceptable to the local Planning Department."
His wife, Cllr Joanne Simpson, was also listed as being part of the team. She is the current Vice Chair of Lambeth Planning.
The company website has now gone behind closed doors. I'm not sure if the VC of Lambeth Planning is still able to give expert opinions on what is acceptable to the Planning Department.
you've seen this of course http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/Documents/Declaration_of_Jack_Hopkins.pdf
Are they talking about Lambeth planning dept and did they have a straight face whilst writing this?
This is an odd interest for Councillor Hopkins
Training Labour Ltd is this "Labour" as in Blairite Labour Party and why would he register it at a substantial detached house in Wrexham in August last year?
Correction - not Wrexham - Fakenham
Because a lot of people can remember how foul the Truesdale/Whelan LibDem-Tory combo was from 2002-2006.
Has anyone put this up yet for Captain Jack?
Company Name: Night Time Industries Association
Dates Employed Feb 2017 – Feb 2018
Employment Duration 1 yr 1 mo
The NTIA is the main trade body which supports, protects and enhances clubs, festivals, street food outlets and late night entertainment. We believe deeply that the Night time economy is crucial to the economic wellbeing of Britains towns and cities, as well as providing spaces for cultural and personal exploration and expression. We are changing how the Night time is seen by decision makers, changing licensing, plannng and regulatory policy at a local level and fighting for stronger and more cooperative relationships.
Strange that Councillor Simpson doesn't appear register to any declarations of interest to the Planning Committee
Just as an aside, that is Holt in Norfolk and not the Holt on the civilized side of the border.
Near FAKEnham ... I stand corrected!
Maybe she is no longer involved in her husband's business?
She also earns money working in the Planning department at Richmond Council. This apparently doesn't need to be declared, even if you are the Vice Chair of Planning in another London local authority.
Her employment appears on the register of interests ...
The bigger picture imo is that local Labour party politics would argue this is the only way forward. Central government funding has been cut drastically over years. The only feasible way to get things down is semi privatisation such as Lambeth setting up a "development vehicle" to build housing.
Or take library issue. The "choice" was between different kinds of semi privatisation. The Council gym library with possibly a "community trust" managing at Carnegie. Or Defend the Ten community trust. Both are moving away from Council run services. To services that are partly privatised.
There have been several posts on Cllr Hopkins. He imo wasn't corrupt. He was 100% New Labour. Take Network Rail. NR are bringing a large amount of inward investment to Brixton. It was embarrassing for Council that NR evicted the small shopkeepers. NR told Council they were going to do that. Hopkins said he knew but decided not to tell Joe Public.I don't think Hopkins was in pay of NR. It's that New Labour see working with big business as the only game in town. There will be vocal protests but they are to be ignored. My problem with Lambeth New Labour Cllrs is that they have moved from representing the people to being the best managers of the local state for business. ( See Hopkins CV. Says it all) In the hope that benefits will trickle down. Cllr Rachel grew to not being able to stomach this role. For speaking out she was crushed. So what I'm saying is that under New Labour they don't see themselves as having conflict of interest. They see being best managers of capitalism as making them electable.
Separate names with a comma.