More than fifty artists, including poet and writer Benjamin Zephaniah, actor Miriam Margolyes, DJ The Blessed Madonna and Turner Prize co-winning artist Tai Shani have called on London arts venue the Barbican Centre to end its partnership with the embassy of Israel. The Barbican is due to host the Jerusalem Orchestra East & West this Sunday 5th February, in an event organised “in collaboration with the Embassy of Israel in the UK”.Read more "Leading Artists Oppose Barbican’s Partnership With Apartheid Israeli Embassy"
All-Party Parliamentary Groups the City of London council has used for lobbying purposes include those for China, Financial Markets and Services and also India. The City of London council and its leadership are, among other things, lobbyists for both neo-liberalism and repressive regimes around the world. Due to its rotten borough status including business votes, this local authority is not democratic and ought to be abolished. However, until that happens, for Parliamentary purposes the City of London Corporation should be registered and treated as a lobbying organisation.Read more "City Of London Council Funds All Party Parliamentary Group To Reputation Wash Xi’s Repressive Regime & Derail Democracy"
At a packed meeting in St Giles’s Church last night, Coco Whittaker, Senior Caseworker at the Twentieth Century Society, announced that Bastion House and the Museum of London are being recognised as one of the ten most threatened 20th century buildings in the UK and are being placed on their Buildings at Risk list. This is a highly significant moment and another blow to the City’s plans to create an inappropriate new office development at London Wall West. The Twentieth Century Society confirmed that it will campaign for Bastion House and Museum of London to be identified as Designated Heritage Assets that merit protection.Read more "Bastion House & Museum Of London – Mass Support For Retrofitting & Opposition To Demolition"
Council leader Chris Haywood completely flunked the equality and glass ceiling questions related to freemasonry by stating ‘we are not considering the diversity of masonic lodges’. The issue – as we’ve pointed out before – is that since the founding of the Guildhall Lodge 3116 in 1905, around two-thirds of Lord Mayors (the top council post) have not just been freemasons but members of this specific lodge. This is utterly disproportionate to the numbers of freemasons in English society (less than 1%) and since Guildhall Lodge members – including Hayward – are flabbergastingly over-represented in top posts at the City of London council, the fact that they run their lodge as a men only club makes it a glass ceiling issue at the council. Among other things addressing this matter should include not letting the Guildhall Lodge meet on council premises until it admits a decent number of women members – currently the lodge is allowed to use the council HQ for free.Read more "Chris Hayward’s Political Support Collapses In The City Of London As He Flounders Through Resident & Council Meetings"
We suspect the City of London council is afraid to do anything about Luis Tilleria and his ‘gang of chancers’ attempting to use his election in Billingsgate to legitimise their dubious activities. Addressing this matter might drag our local authority’s undemocratic business vote system and other rotten borough features under a spotlight – as well as draw attention to unresolved conflict of interest questions that swirl around figures like its civic leader Chris Hayward and others. Nearly a year on from Tilleria’s ‘election’ as a councillor, the Corporation’s failure to speak out – let alone take action – about the way this chancer and his associates have been causing it reputational damage, signals clearly enough how desperately it’s entire structure requires democratic reform.Read more "Luis Tilleria Inflicts Even More Reputational Damage On The City Of London Corporation Via Reports Of His Chancers’ Knees-Up At The Guildhall"
Our view is that all the Cromwell memorials in the City of London should be either renamed or removed and this would not be hard for the council to achieve if it had the will to do so, since it has direct control over all those covered here except for the St Giles bust. In the latter instance, the council is in a position to put pressure on the church to remove it by refusing to hold civic functions in the building while the Cromwell bust remains there. That said, given the council’s unwillingness to do anything about the many problematic memorials in the square mile, without pressure being brought to bear it seems unlikely it will do anything about any of them – including but not limited to those celebrating the colonial butcher Oliver Cromwell. Council boss Chris Hayward is clearly far happier celebrating the lives of slave traders like John Cass, than subjecting their inhuman activities to critical historical scrutiny.Read more "Cromwell, The City Of London & Contested Heritage"
Council leader Chris Hayward’s defence of the outrageously poor value for money the Golden Key event represents was absurd but it fits into a long standing pattern of council vanity spending and rhetoric. What really puzzled some of those following City of London council politics recently were Hayward’s antics at the policy & resources committee meeting of 15 December 2022. This meeting saw the awarding of Asset of Community Value (ACV) status to Simpsons Tavern but not St Brides Tavern, offering the former some protection from developers but not the latter.Read more "City Of London Solstice Round Up: Michael Snyder, Chris Hayward, Luis Tilleria & A Cast Of Cronies"
What frustrates those living in EC1 is that the three Bunhill councillors – with Holloway based deputy council leader Diarmaid Ward orchestrating the party line they tow – simply don’t listen to local opinion. For reason best known to himself, Ward has become obsessed with building new homes as infills and on leisure space. Rather than looking at retro-fitting empty buildings or putting a decent amount of energy into campaigning for the owners of the huge numbers of empty investment flats in EC1 to be compelled to let them to people on the council waiting list at social rent, he wants to use sports and leisure grounds to build ‘brand new’ housing (much of which will be sold to the private sector to fund the Islington’s capital programme).Read more "The Fight To Save The Finsbury Football Pitches, The Degradation of EC1 Leisure Space & Islington Councillor Diarmaid Ward"
We’d put Umradia’s crushing defeat down in part to the unsubstantiated and utterly unlikely claims he made about his career achievements, and news of this spreading in the weeks immediately before the vote. That said, his association with Luis Tilleria probably also cost him votes among those who knew of this. Umradia was one of a handful of City councillors who foolishly agreed to take part in the Business Excellence Awards put on by Tilleria and his cronies at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall on 28 May 2022. Tilleria raised his profile by getting ‘elected’ to the City council in March this year and while he’s used it as a networking opportunity, ultimately it seems to have had a negative impact on his political ambitions to become an Ecuadorian MP – since it led to his 2018 bankruptcy and earlier fines for being a rogue landlord becoming more widely known. Association with Tilleria seems to undermine the credibility of City politicians and so Umradia didn’t do himself any favours by lending his name to the Business Excellence Awards.Read more "Sue Langley Crushes Luis Tilleria Associate Shai Umradia In 8 December 2022 Aldgate Aldermanic Election"
If the Culture Mile was viewed as significant by international capital then Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd would be establishing its art gallery and cultural hub inside it, rather than a short walk beyond it in Fleet Street. The Culture Mile BID is just a local and rather parochial pocket lining opportunity but it will still have a very negative impact on those who live and work inside and around it. City cultural hubs instrumentalise and degrade the arts by diverting them into corporate junkets and reputation washing functions. We need a Cultural Mile BID and Joseph Lau Art Gallery like we need a hole in the head. Say no to the culture mile business improvement district!Read more "On The Culture Mile Business Improvement District & The Joseph Lau Art Gallery At 120 Fleet Street"