In most of London it isn’t normal for councillors to be elected unopposed, but this is a regular occurrence in the City of London, a tiny local authority in the heart of London that covers the financial district. Michael Mainelli was re-elected as Alderman for Broad Street unopposed on 12 December 2018, but we thought we’d wait until his 60th birthday on 19 December to address this. Those who take an interest in such matters have known for a month that Mainelli would be reinstalled as alderman. The City of London website made clear nominations were only open for a week and no one else stood for this office:
A Notice of Election was published on Tuesday 13 November. At the close of nominations for this election, noon on Tuesday 20 November 2018, one (1) candidate was validly nominated. Therefore, the election will not proceed to poll. Michael Mainelli will be re-elected un-opposed as Alderman for the Ward. Details of the candidates, their proposers, seconders and subscribers appear on the Statement of Persons Nominated.
A Wardmote (Ward meeting) is scheduled to take place at 12 noon on Wednesday 12 December at The Carpenters Hall, 1 Throgmorton Avenue, London, EC2N 2JJ. All eligible voters are entitled to attend and there will be an opportunity to meet the re-elected Alderman and to ask him questions.
Given that the electorate in many City of London wards only runs to a few hundred business votes with residential voters often hovering somewhere around the single figure mark, the opportunities for insiders to manipulate the system are extensive. It should go without saying that business votes should be abolished and the number of councillors in this local authority area should be reduced to reflect the population living in it; in other words rather than having 125 councillors as is presently the case, the number of electors in the City of London only merits around 2. With such an absurdly small electoral franchise it is difficult for those who aren’t insiders to find five people to nominate them so that they can stand for election. In business vote wards such as the one in which Mainelli was just re-elected unopposed, the voting process is stitched up, having been loaded in such a way so as to make it extremely difficult for those who aren’t of a right-wing and neo-liberal political persuasion to even be able to stand, let alone win an election. Broad Street is too small an area and doesn’t have enough residents to justify it electing a single councillor on its own, let alone the 4 it currently has!
As we’ve mentioned before, like the hard right City of London councillor Mark Wheatley, Mainelli has been involved with Select Milano. Among those who supported his bid for re-election was Chris Hayward. Mainelli has also been a Gresham College professor, part of the so-called ‘Tudor Open University’ run by the Square Mile, a post that reflects his status in the financial district. Mainelli puts a think tank spin on the consultancy work engaged in by his Y/Zen companies, and like the ‘work’ of lobbying groups such as the Institute of Economic Affairs, what they produce is basically neo-liberal propaganda. Mainelli on his Twitter profile styles himself a ‘scientist financier trying to promote societal advance through better finance and technology’ – despite the fact he’s a member of the City of London council whose neo-liberal lobbying is exacerbating wealth inequality and sending us backwards to eras of robber baron monopoly capitalists and grasping feudal kings exploiting society. He is also a non-executive director of PCG Entertainment plc and Wishbone Gold Plc (in which he has a 1.2% share holding).
Mainelli’s conservatism is evident from the triple use of the term ‘traditional’ on his small flyer for re-election as Alderman of Broad Street. In the context of the City of London, which is still in many ways feudal, his use of the terms ‘traditional freedoms’ and ‘traditional policing’ strike us as menacing. Whereas the reference to Broad Street’s ‘traditional mascot’ – a cat inspired by Dick Whittington– is closer to farcical given newspaper coverage from a decade ago devoted to then Lord Mayor Ian Luder and the dispute he and his wife had with their neighbours over a cat. On top of this Mainelli misrenders the name of the earlier Lord Mayor as ‘Dick Whittingon’ on his leaflet.
Information at Companies House concerning Mainelli is confused. What appears to be the individual we’re posting about here is listed variously under separate profiles as having Irish, American and British nationality; he may well hold citizenship of all three countries. An old entry on his blog might be read as suggesting he was privately educated at Bishop Moore High School, and so as a teen he could have been living in the Orlando area of Florida. Likewise when he speaks his accent might be interpreted as American. Moving on, Mainelli’s date of birth can be found on Companies House documents listed as both 18 December 1958 and 19 December 1958, the latter is the date more commonly found and we believe it is probably the correct one.
Record showing Mainelli’s date of birth as 19 December 1958.
Another curiosity about Mainelli is that on his most recent declaration of interests (dated 5 December 2018) he reveals himself to be a freemason belonging to the Guildhall Lodge 3116. This doesn’t turn up on his earlier declaration of interests (see screenshot at the bottom of this page). Assuming Mainelli didn’t overlook freemasonic membership on earlier declarations of interest, it is curious to speculate why he’d join the craft at the fag end of his fifties. We’d assume he must know an absurdly high proportion of Lord Mayors since 1905 – more than two thirds – have been members of the Guildhall Lodge, and so one possibility is he joined the Brotherhood because he has his eye on the City’s top office. Another is he’s got interested in mysticism through figures such as Emanuel Swedenborg and Hayyim Samuel Jacob Falk who once lived in the east London Square in which he now has a flat. Regardless, to reuse a phrase of Edward Lord‘s, now Mainelli has ‘come out’ as a mason, we wonder if he’ll restyle himself a ‘mystical scientist financier’ on his Twitter profile.
Record showing Mainelli’s date of birth as 18 December 1958.
Mainelli in his robes.
City of London Notice of Broad Street Aldermanic Election via Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20181212111433/https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/voting-elections/Pages/forthcoming-elections.aspx
Companies House search of directors called Michael Mainelli – note some of those who appear in this search are clearly NOT the Michael Mainelli discussed here, only those with a December 1958 birth date are in the frame: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/search?q=Michael+Mainelli
Post on Michael Mainelli’s blog perhaps suggesting he lived in Florida as a teen via Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20181217002319/http://www.mainelli.org/?p=681
Michael Mainelli’s December 5 2018 register of interests via Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20181212142248/http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/mgDeclarationSubmission.aspx?UID=1323&HID=3241&FID=0&HPID=507504978
Michael Mainelli’s Wikipedia entry, which at the time we posted this piece contained no information about his schooling or nationality: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Mainelli
Record showing Mainelli’s date of birth as 19 December 1958.
Old version of Michael Mainelli’s declaration of interests. Note his wife Elisabeth Mainelli (born 1964) is registered at Companies House as being a German national and this may account for the listing of the British-German Association here.