Abolition would actually be the best way to deal with the City of London, but even if that does not happen the business vote must be abolished and the number of councillors reduced in line with councillor-resident ratios in the rest of London. Around two councillors, down from 125 (100 common councillors plus 25 aldermen), would make things proportionate – although two councillors does not really justify the existence of a City of London council. On the basis of the figures Rogers reproduces in his report it is clear that City of London councillors need only a handful of votes to get elected and even Rogers admits the system can be easily manipulated by small cliques. This isn’t democracy, it is a sham and the reason why the City of London has quite rightly acquired the nickname the last rotten borough.Read more "Rogers Report On City Governance Says Our Council is ‘Sclerotic’, We’d Call It Toxic"
In a tweet about BLM protestors in Bristol (UK) taking a statue of slave trader Edward Colston from its plinth and throwing it in a river, influential City of London councillor Tim Hailes bleats: “Violence is not the answer.” In such a context violence would more usually be used describe behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone, or some other living thing. But as a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Hailes wishes to conflate attacks on property – in this case a statue – with attacks on people, hence his rhetorical use of the term violence. It says a lot about Hailes’s biases that he would deploy violence in this way but apparently not to describe the murder of millions in the black holocaust of the transatlantic slave trade.Read more "Tim Hailes And Unconscious Bias At The City of London Council"
At its most recent meeting, the City of London council passed a motion which welcomed Hong Kong residents pursuant to the British Government’s offer to them of extended resident rights in the UK, and criticised China’s imposition of a new national security law on Hong Kong. Will the Lord Mayor and Chair of Policy and Resources respect the will of the council by ceasing to deal with China in a way that avoids criticising it for human rights abuses? As part of that new approach, will they take the lead in reversing the decision to exclude Taiwan from the Lord Mayor’s Show, which was made on political grounds to appease the People’s Republic of China?Read more "The City of London Council Motion On Hong Kong"
More than a year ago we posted a blog entitled City of London ‘Consultations’ Are A Sham Designed To Rubber Stamp Decisions That Have Already Been Made. Our experience of City of London consultations has consistently been dispiriting and disappointing, something that will surprise no one who understands that this council is not just undemocratic but that it actively seeks to undermine democracy beyond its own local authority boundaries. Last week the City of London launched a consultation exercise on historic landmarks and the way it is framed and has been publicised indicates it will be as much of a sham as previous consultations.Read more "On The City Of London Historic Landmarks Consultation"
The City of London council is proposing to postpone the election of its 100 common councillors from March 2021 to March 2022. What little democracy there is in the City shouldn’t be postponed by a year for no good reason. The bill that will be presented refers to a 14th century statute of Edward III as giving authority to postpone council elections, on the basis that doing so is “profitable to the King and to the citizens” and “agreeable … to reason and good faith”. There is real reason to doubt that this statute provides authority to postpone these elections but postponing them is in any case undemocratic and unreasonable.Read more "Graeme Harrower On Proposed Postponement Of City Elections"
None of the stories we’ve seen about the Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School changing its name mentioned whether Robert Robinson’s seventeenth-century racist panel paintings that are housed in the school building will be taken away. We reproduced Madge Dessers’s critique of these pictures towards the end of a piece we posted in June. We also noted in a number of recent posts that top City of London council officials – including current lord mayor William Russell – have posed in front of these racist images for photo ops when attending the annual celebration of slave trader John Cass. We would hope that there are plans in place to remove Robinson’s racist paintings from the school but given the past form of those involved we wouldn’t assume this to be the case until we see a statement from them saying so. Likewise we’d hope the huge red feather – the symbol of John Cass – has been or will be removed from the outer wall of the school, but again none of the news reports we’ve seen mention it.Read more "City School Ditches John Cass Slaver Name, Its Racist Paintings Must Go Too!"
In a recent blog we reported on how for hundreds of years those holding the top posts at the City of London council have been celebrating the slave trader John Cass whose memorials have been hastily removed from across east central and east London following Black Lives Matter protests. As we previously relayed, pages about the annual ‘Founder’s Day’ celebration of this slave trader have been deleted from the website of the foundation named after him. Although documentation of this year’s John Cass Founder’s Day debacle has not been preserved at the Internet Archive, at least some of what his foundation posted about this event prior to 2020 can be accessed there. These include a 2017 photo of City grandees at the event, with the current lord mayor William Russell prominent in his then role as sheriff, with everyone posing in front of a notorious set of seventeenth-century racist paintings by Robert Robinson. Since then we’ve found some more photos of William Russell at this event despite the Sir John Cass’s Foundation deleting pages from its website about this annual celebration of the slave trader.Read more "More Photos Of Lord Mayor Of London William Russell Celebrating Slave Trader John Cass"
We’ve written in the past about how City of London councillor and self-styled ‘diversity champion’ Edward Lord has a less than stellar record when it comes to the matters of inclusion and intersectionality. Therefore we weren’t surprised when we came across a two year-old tweet in which Lord boasted about attending the annual celebrations of slave trader John Cass. But John Cass isn’t the only transatlantic slave trade figure Lord seems to venerate. In a speech at the City of London council’s Guildhall HQ on 10 October 2019, Lord cited William Beckford Senior as a historically inspirational figure. Beckford was the richest man in the world in his time because of the huge number of slaves he owned. Lord apparently thinks this is a mere detail that can be glossed over.Read more "Self-Styled City Diversity ‘Champ’ Edward Lord Champions Slave Traders"
Just as Taylor Wimpey’s The Turd AKA The Denizen AKA Clarendon Court nears completion, Simon Allford was elected president of the Royal Institute of British Architects in the lowest ballot turnout from RIBA’s members in 30 years. Allford is one of the directors of AHMM, the architectural ‘practice’ that did the ‘original’ designs for The Turd. […]Read more "Taylor Wimpey’s Turd Development ‘Architect’ Simon Allford Elected RIBA Prez On Pathetically Low Vote"
In previous posts we’ve focussed on both lord mayor-in-waiting Vincent Keaveny and current lord mayor William Russell participating in the ‘Founder’s Day’ celebration of slave trader John Cass in 2019 and 2017 respectively. Here we will skim through some of the outstanding visual material we have about this annual event which for hundreds of years has been attended by those holding the top posts at the City of London council. However, first we will revisit a picture used in a previous post to put the spotlight on that other lord mayor-in-waiting Michael Mainelli, who we’ve written about more than once before. Here Mainelli is caught on camera on 27 February 2020 in his role of sheriff celebrating the slave trader John Cass on ‘Founder’s Day’.Read more "Michael Mainelli & Other City of London Councillors Celebrating Slave Trader John Cass"