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Local democracy? Far from it if you're poor and live in Lambeth.

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by ViolentPanda, May 9, 2016.

  1. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Tonight, at the meeting of Lambeth council's "Oversight & Scrutiny Committee", chaired by Cllr Ed Davie - a regular poster on Labour-right website progress-online - looked into the "call-in" by St Leonards Cllr Scott Ainslie (Green) of the Lambeth council cabinet's decision to demolish Cressingham Gardens estate.

    That was the intention, anyway. Instead we - and by "we", I mean Cressingham Gardens residents - saw a great amount of what Private Eye magazine terms as "Arslikhan" - Labour councillors polishing their knobs by asking easy questions of their party colleagues, and hard questions of Cllr Ainslie -who mostly answered with aplomb. We were also exposed to the disgusting sight and sound of Cllr Mary Atkins (Labour)- one of our ward councillors - slandering residents of Cressingham Gardens by insinuating a campaign of intimidation by some residents - un-named, naturally, aimed at other residents - insinuations her Labour colleagues gleefully ran with. The truth is however far stranger- it's that Cllr Atkins is regarded as a bully who Cressingham Gardens Tenants & Residents Association are on record as having asked (although after almost 4 months they've still no reply to their formal letter of complaint) to be removed from her self-elected position as Chair of our "Resident Engagement Panel" because of her abuse of process, and bias in favour of council officers.

    We were also exposed to a farrago of excuses, misdirection and vague answers by Matthew Bennett - the cabinet member for housing - and his stooges/council officers Neil Vokes and Julian Hart, although Mr Vokes as usual went bright red every time he bent the truth, which was at least amusing.

    When the vote on whether to return the called-in decision to cabinet was taken, only one cllr - Tim Briggs, a Tory - voted for the decision to be returned. Most of the - majority Labour - committee took the middle road, although at least one Clapham Town cllr debased himself by voting for the status quo. Not that you can expect honour from the sort of person who comprehensively shat on the short-life tenants in his ward

    If you expect local democracy, you won't get it here, with Progress and their fellow-travellers strewn throughout our borough. The only way we're going to get it any time soon, is to take the power back from these right-wing goons, and to - if you believe in the conciliar form of local democracy - re-establish government by council rather than cabinet.
     
  2. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    Really sorry to hear this. Hope there are other avenues you can explore. :(

    Having seen elsewhere the contempt Labour councillors have for their working class constituents, sadly I'm not surprised. Fuckers. :mad:
     
    Pickman's model, Gramsci, tim and 2 others like this.
  3. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    There are, and there's a long game being played. The fight goes on...
     
  4. Funki mamma

    Funki mamma ..still shakin' dat tush!

     
  5. Funki mamma

    Funki mamma ..still shakin' dat tush!

    I was there last night too..although I had to leave, couldn't bear to listen to their bollocks anymore..we knew what the outcome would be. I now hate Lambeth Council more then the Tories and thats saying something for a Welsh Woman. I despise that Matthew Bennett, with his sly smirk...he is only 25 ffs. How can someone so young be a Cabinet Minister for Housing, sorry but I'd want someone who's lived some life first, maybe raised a family in the community or worked in and knows the community they represent. Its a massive Robbery...they want the likes of us out of London.
     
  6. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    We're not going anywhere. This estate isn't taking it lying down.

    We've fought it this far, we're still fighting it, and we will win or (at worst) give the council pause for thought.
     
  7. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Sure, but the barefacedness of some of the shit was breath-taking:
    Cllr Davie repeatedly referring to The People's Plan as "the so-called People's Plan";
    Cllr Bennett and his stooges being allowed to get away with simply waffling their answers;
    The way Cllr Haselden and Cllr Simpson (the two immediately to the left - hah! - of Cllr Ainslie, looking at the committee) toadied and generally arse-kissed with their questions:
    The way Cllr Atkins was allowed to get away with smearing Cressingham residents on the basis of her "contacts" on the estate had told her they felt intimidated. I can only think of about a dozen people on the estate who give her or Cllr Cameron the time of day, and no fucker ever sees Cllr Aminu on the estate!

    I keep saying to people - boring the tits off of them, probably! - that back in the '70s and '80s, even into the nineties, the majority of Lambeth councillors didn't only live in the borough, but had grown up here too. They weren't blow-ins, and their desire was to render public service to their communities, not to render public service that served their own purposes and career. Bennett wants to be the next Steve Reed, and he's arrogant enough that the mask he wears slips quite a lot. Notice how he didn't deny being slated as Chair of Homes for Lambeth?
     
  8. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    We've not even started exploring all the avenues yet. ;)
    We're in this for the long haul, and I reckon that come our local elections in 2018, that contempt is going to cost them dear. There are so many people - good working class people - who are starting to question why they vote Labour "tribally", when while their councillor might be great at pastoral work, the council itself keeps kebabing them.
     
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  9. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    Good. No doubt they (the Labour councillors/council) reckon they can screw people over and they'll still get voted in which, tbf, has been true in a lot of places for a very long time. Sounds like your lot need to be reminded they're there to represent the people in their wards and not their own/the party's ambitions.
     
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  10. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear this VP and Greebo. Not sure what I can do from here but if there's anything I can do then let me know. In the meantime, keep up the fight x
     
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  11. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, nothing surprises me about Lambeth Labour.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
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  12. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Thank you - we (and the other people on the estate) will let you know, when there's something which can be done which we can't do ourselves. To be fair there are plenty of urbanites who've done a lot to help, sometimes going a long way out of their way to do so. :oops: :)

    For now, keep an eye on this thread Lambeth Labour's plan to demolish Cressingham Gardens & build luxury flats around Brockwell Park
    also SaveCressinghamGardens (facebook)
    @savecressingham (twitter)
    Cressingham Gardens - People's Plan
     
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  13. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Thank you. :)
    It helps - it REALLY helps - to know that there are people out there who support the struggle to save social housing, and one of the other things that helps - oddly and embarrassingly enough - is the amount of contact we get from people who say that we've inspired them or informed their own campaigns, just as we in turn have been inspired by social housing campaigns elsewhere.
    Every battle in this war teaches us new lessons, and we're able to pass these lessons on - to say "when the council says this, they mean that", or "when so-and-so makes a promise, it's not actually a promise, it's just something to put you off your guard until he can screw you".
     
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  14. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Well, I already know a few Cressingham residents planning a silent protest (with large banners) whenever our local councillors go out canvassing in 2018, and there are plans afoot regarding electoral alternatives to Labour... ;)
     
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  15. felixgolightly

    felixgolightly furiously apathetic

    Mary Atkins seems a peice of work. Remember being canvassed to support her a few years back. I complained that I was not a fan of what Lambeth Labour were doing re social housing (could have been around the time of rushcroft road evictions?). I was told that she 'didn't necessarily agree either' and I should vote for her so she could challenge it. All sounded a bit vague to me, so I didn't. Nor, evidently, did she.

    Whenever I asked about her views on cressinham she flanneled on about being unable to have a view until she had all the evidence.

    An independent locally focused, protest candidate would get my vote and I'm sure a few more besides.
     
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  16. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    That's Atkins - vague as fuck. Never commits to anything unless it benefits her.
     
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  17. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I rather wish when they set up the London Boroughs under the GLC they had retained "voting by thirds" as in most other places in the UK.

    Ward have 3 councillors - and if one comes up for election each year it gives more scope for protest candidates - and also scope to vote against an administration's policy each year, not only once every 4 years as now in London.
     
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  18. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Agreed. The current system means that - sure as shit sticks - Lambeth's Labour councillors will up their game constituent-wise from late 2017-on, in order to farm votes.
     
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  19. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    I'm just reading through "The Lambeth Council Constitution".
    Part 1, section 1 states "the purpose of this constitution is to...". There follows an alphabetised list of purposes. "f" reads "create an effective means of holding itself to public account through Overview and Scrutiny".

    Looks like you failed with that one, Lambeth council.
    All that's been created with regard to scrutiny at "the cooperative council", is a toothless cur. Check out their record some time. Their conformity to the wishes of the cabinet is really quite illustrative of why local governance by cabinet is profoundly undemocratic.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
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  20. SpamMisery

    SpamMisery I bet you think this tagline's about you?

    How does that begin with "f"? Or does the sentence start with "Fail to create..."?
     
  21. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    "f" signifies the letter - in its lower case - as the council used it. It's not capitalised for that reason, just as it's not capitalised at the start of this sentence, for the same reason.
     
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  22. cantsin

    cantsin Well-Known Member

    bit of a boring question, but have spent some time looking to no avail : can anyone point to a v comprehensive blog / blog post on the whole Lambth Labour / Progress / Cressingham / Bigham story so far that I once read, ie : is there one out there that ITK folk consider definitive ?
     
  23. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Save Cressingham Gardens
     
  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Save Cressingham Gardens
     
  25. lefteri

    lefteri Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear this - the library closures scrutiny committee was exactly the same, a charade basically
     
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  26. cantsin

    cantsin Well-Known Member

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  27. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Yup. Scrutiny isn't worthy of the name. It's choc-a-bloc with Labour Cllrs, and the Chair (Ed Davie) is a scrotum-faced Progress cunt with a strong line in contempt for the democratic process. The latest farce (Scrutiny Committee on decision to demolish Central Hill estate) saw him giving his Labour mates and council officers unlimited time to make their answers to questions, while only giving members of the public with pre-registered questions 2 minutes to speak - and starting heckling them to wind up after one and a half minutes).
     
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