A City resident obtained, through a freedom of information request, the following information about Michael Snyder, a supporter of the proposed expansion of the City of London School for Girls. I thought you might want to have it by way of background. He became a City councillor in 1986. He has been a member of the Policy and Resources Committee for 22 years. He joined it in 1997, and was Chair from 2005 -2007 and Deputy Chair in 2008. He has been on the Board of Governors of the CLSG for 29 years, from 1989 to 2013 and from 2014 to the present. He was Chair from 2014 -2016 and Deputy Chair in 1990. I have checked with the Town Clerk’s department on whether there is maximum period for which a member can sit on either of these bodies. The answer is no. In fact, there is no maximum length of service on any City committee or board except the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Standards Committee, which have a regulatory function, and the Barbican Centre Board and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, which are “high status” appointments that many members covet.
It will have surprised no one that William Russell has been ‘elected’ Lord Mayor of London since the entire City of London electoral system is rigged. Russell’s rise to the top of the City of London council demonstrates how roles within this local authority are stitched up through a combination of a ridiculously small electorate, the undemocratic business vote system and an old boy network.Read more "William Russell Is The 5th Member Of The Bowater Family To Be Lord Mayor In Just Over 100 Years"
Recently the media has been covering sexism in the City of London, with many women in the finance industry suffering harassment in the workplace and being held back by a glass ceiling that prevents them getting top jobs. What is true of the firms given the business votes that enable them to control the City of London council, is also true of the local authority that works on their behalf and against the interests of those who actually live in the UK’s last rotten borough. We have posted repeatedly about the fact that top jobs at the council are monopolised by the men only Guildhall Lodge 3116 of freemasons, who are allowed to meet for free on the local authority’s premises despite this being a class ceiling issue – since only two women have ever been Lord Mayor, while more than two thirds of the men holding this top post since the founding of Lodge 3116 in 1905 have belonged to it. For now let’s focus on media coverage of sexual harassment in the finance industry, knowing it won’t be long until journalists wise up to sexism and glass ceiling issues in City of London politics too.Read more "City Of London Still Feudal In Both Business & Politics"
In Facebook posts and elsewhere Chuka Umunna has made the absurd claim that the Cities of London and Westminster constituency is ‘a global symbol for open, liberal values’. Who does this con artist think he’s kidding? While there are working class residents in the constituency, dominated as it is by the neo-liberal financial industry both in the City and through its interventions in Westminster (the undemocratic office of Remembrancer is merely one vehicle for this) the place is a global symbol of the vested interests and secretive world of wealthy elites; who do their dodgy financial deals in the eastern part of the constituency and often own property in its western parts. The Cities of London and Westminster is not a global symbol of open liberal values but rather a place infamous for exemplifying the money grabbing anti-values of the neo-liberal rich. Umunna was outed as a member of the ‘exclusive’ social network ASmallWorld years ago and as a result publicly apologised for describing ordinary people as ‘trash’ in a post intend only for his rich mates.Read more "Chuka Umunna, A Neo-Liberal Candidate For Those Defending Plutocracy in the City of London"
Portsoken councillor Munsur Ali, who tabled the original motion to revoke Suu Kyi’s award, told City A.M that the suspension decision represented a “watering down” of the Corporation’s original stance, but it was “better than nothing”. Another said it was an example of the Corporation going “weak at the knees whenever there is international pressure” and suggested other trading nations and the foreign office had criticised the decision to revoke. “It was a really unedifying spectacle of the Corporation retreating into its comfort zone and cosying up to power,” they added. Following the original vote to revoke the award, the corporation began the process of revoking the award. However, it is understood that during that process it decided to move towards suspension rather than revocation.Read more "City of London U-Turn On Aung San Suu Kyi"
“In the Dispensations Sub-Committee meeting on 4 June, a “co-opted” (meaning unelected) member rejected the notion that residential councillors should be trusted to exercise their judgment, because in future the “wrong sort of person might join the Corporation”. Since the only way a person can join the Corporation as a member is to be elected, the concern must be that City residents might in future elect the “wrong sort of person”. The residents are therefore being told that not only are they “confused” (as the Standards Chair called them in response to the petition), but that they must also be protected from the consequences of their voting decisions. The Standards Committee itself prefers to decide, through less than a handful of its own members, when resident councillors can speak and vote on matters which affect them and their constituents equally, but the answer – when it comes to voting, which is more important – is usually “no”. So decisions affecting residents may end up being taken by councillors who have no knowledge of the residents’ area. Most of those councillors are likely to represent business wards, so they may have no interest in residents’ concerns at all. The Standards Committee’s policy is therefore a barrier to democracy.”Read more "City of London Gagging Row Latest"
Aside from the business vote system, a major focus of the dissatisfaction of City of London residents with the undemocratic set up of their council has been its so-called Standards Committee. One concern has been the gagging of resident elected councillors by an inflexible dispensations policy, while the same committee is apparently unconcerned about potential conflicts of interest on the part of the 80% of councillors undemocratically elected on business votes and representing the interests of the finance and legal industries. Another big issue has been the willingness of the Standards Committee to allow various freemasonic lodges to meet for free or at discounted rates on council property. Given that as this blog has documented, members of the Guildhall Lodge are massively over-represented in top council posts – such as Lord Mayor – and so are men, these men only lodges should not be allowed to meet on council premises – let alone for free or at discounted rates. This is an equality issue.Read more "Ian Luder, Freemasonry & The City of London Standards Committee"