The new Lord Mayor of London is Charles Bowman and he’s been saying repeatedly he wants the public to trust the City. Bowman’s problem is he’s thinking globally and acting globally. If Bowman wants to show the world it can trust the financial industry and the City of London, then what he has to do first is act and think locally.
Charles Bowman, what a plonker!
If Bowman is serious about making public trust his priority while he’s the Lord Mayor, he should be reforming the undemocratic and anachronistic political system in the City of London. He could start by abolishing the business vote and the office of alderman, he is after all the first among equals in the latter. He also needs to address the question of vested interests and make sure firms like Keepmoat who have (or have recently had) top management sitting on the City of London council, aren’t given contracts by this local authority. Bowman needs to ‘Keep Keepmoat Out Of The City’, we’ll return to this later. In the meantime, here’s a piece of journalism reporting Bowman’s trust message, and by pitching this so high the City’s overblown version of a Henry Croft-style pearly king demonstrates just how low big business can go:
The incoming Lord Mayor of London has used his inaugural speech to call on City institutions to regain public trust in order to and make a success of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Addressing an audience of dignitaries — including the Prime Minister Theresa May — at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet last night, Charles Bowman, who is also a partner at PwC, said trust was the most important thing for the City as it entered uncertain times.
Bowman said: “Our firms excel in metric after metric after metric. Except for one. Trust.”
He cited a 2017 survey by public relations firm Edelman that reported the biggest-ever drop in global trust in government, business and the media.
“Barely half of respondents trust financial and professional services. City services,” he said. “As sponsor partner of PwC’s building public trust programme, I have seen these attitudes every day. And even after a decade, it still shocks me. Because there’s no ‘hard border’ between City and society.”…
Bowman, whose role means he acts as a global ambassador for the Square Mile, said: “If post-Brexit London is to remain the global hub for financial and professional services, then at a national level we have a responsibility to re-earn the trust of the society we serve.”..
New Lord Mayor calls on City to ‘re-earn’ public trust by Elizabeth Pfeuti, Financial News London, November 13, 2017.
Precisely because the business vote controls the City of London council, Bowman is able to ignore those who live in his rotten borough and pitch above them instead. He claims he wants to earn trust on a national level and yet has nothing to say about doing so locally, among those who live in the City. This is because many of those elected on the business vote like Bowman not only don’t give a damn about local democracy, they actively loath it, as Mark Boleat’s suggestions for ‘reform’ of the planning system in his recent report for the Housing & Finance Institute demonstrate.
Keep Keepmoat Out Of The City – Say No To Walbrook Councillor & Keepmoat CEO James Thomson!
Local people are furious about both the cost and quality of work as regards Keepmoat’s refurbishment of the housing tower block Great Arthur House in the Cripplegate Ward of the City. Despite this and against the wishes of local residents, it looks like the City will deploy Keepmoat on further Golden Lane Estate refurbishments. Throwing ‘trust’ to the wind, the City doesn’t seem to care how it looks when it gives work to a company whose CEO James Thomson is also a councillor elected on business votes for its Walbrook Ward. And there are further issues with Thomson and other City of London councilors that should be clarified in the interests of ‘trust’ and transparency, as this Guardian piece about the contentious granting of planning permission for Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen development on the site of Bernard Morgan House makes clear:
The story follows a by-now-familiar plot. In May 2017 planning approval was given to Taylor Wimpey, despite strong opposition from local residents and businesses. During this process it emerged that the chair of the City’s planning and transportation committee, Chris Hayward, is a director of Indigo Planning, whose clients include Taylor Wimpey. Deputy chair James Thomson was formerly deputy chief financial officer and chief operations officer of Cushman and Wakefield, commercial property and real estate consultants, which marketed and sold Bernard Morgan House to Taylor Wimpey. The committee member and former lord mayor of London Sir Michael Bear was appointed chair of the planning consultancy Turley Associates – which also acts for Taylor Wimpey – a few weeks after planning approval was granted.
Developers are using culture as a Trojan horse in their planning battles by Anna Minton, The Guardian, 10 October 2017.
Pieces in the national press like the one just quoted show why local people in the City of London can’t and don’t trust the likes of Bowman and his financial and construction industry cronies. And if locals in the City don’t trust them, why on earth should anyone else? In short, Bowman’s ‘trust’ campaign is unctuous bullshit!
New Lord Mayor calls on City to ‘re-earn’ public trust by Elizabeth Pfeuti: https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/new-lord-mayor-calls-on-city-to-re-earn-public-trust-20171113
Developers are using culture as a Trojan horse in their planning battles by Anna Minton: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/10/developers-culturehousing-luxury-homes-art-artists
Screen grab of Elizabeth Pfeuti’s story quoted above where she uses the name Borman rather than Bowman for the new Lord Mayor. A simple typo or does this journalist subconsciously equate Charles Bowman with Adolf Hitler’s private secretary, the Nazi war criminal Martin Bormann?