It was announced yesterday that William Russell’s term as Lord Mayor of the City of London will be doubled to provide ‘continuity’ and ‘civic leadership’ through the current pandemic. Civic is usually understood to mean relating to a city or municipality, whereas Russell’s Covid-19 statements are mostly about the global financial industry. Russell is the fifth member of his family to hold the top council job of Lord Mayor in just over 100 years, this nepotism will be compounded when he gets his second term. As we’ve already reported, the ‘election’ in which he gained office was rigged and the one that will allow him to remain in post will be too.Read more "City of London Shows Contempt For Its Residents & Democracy With Covid-19 ‘Civic Leadership’ Claims"
It’s time to stop demonising joggers or anyone else and take a hard look at the real issues and real measures needed to deal with the Covid 19 crisis. Given its role as a capstone of neo-liberalism, the reform of the City of London is one of the places we must begin. Lets make sure the world we live in after Covid 19 crisis is over is much better than the one that existed before the current emergency began!Read more "Covid 19, The City of London & Jogging"
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"
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"
Following our coverage earlier this year of the City of London website being off-line over and after the May bank holiday – and according to rumour due to a cyber attack – it’s interesting to see the business press today reporting the massive scale of such attacks on this rotten borough. Current coverage stresses this as a danger to residents while perhaps unconsciously implying links between our local authority’s peculiar and undemocratic role in international finance and an even greater criminal threat to locals than is found elsewhere in London and across the UK, by invoking attacks on the European Central Bank. While all councils are subject to cyber attacks, it seems that the City of London is a more inviting target because of its status as perhaps the richest neo-liberal lobbyist in the world. In the interest not just of democratic accountability but also of everyone’s safety – and especially that of residents – the City’s business vote system needs to be abolished and its neo-liberal lobbying stopped once and for all. The business vote system prevents local residents having a democratic say in how their local authority is run, and ensures instead that power lies in the hands of the finance and legal industries – who chose to run the council for the benefit of global corporations and the global super rich and against the interests of both the overwhelming majority of those who actually live in the City and billions worldwide.Read more "City of London’s Neo-Liberal Politics Raise Cyber Attack Risks For Residents"
Two City of London police officers face disciplinary action after the collapse of a fraud trial amid claims that expert witnesses, one of whom was not of “suitable calibre”, were coached. The City of London detectives investigated an alleged £3.5m cold-calling scam. In it eight men were accused of duping 72 people into making bad investments in carbon credits and diamonds. Andrew Ager gave evidence as an expert witness. But the case was thrown out after he admitted under cross-examination that he had never read a book on carbon credits. Now two unamed police officers will face an internal investigation. It follows the disclosure of emails that appear to show one detective constable, Stewart Walker, telling Ager what to write in a statement.Read more "City of London Police Accused Of Coaching Witnesses"
If the City of London and its spokespeople wished to be taken seriously by those it fails to serve and in particular the many Cripplegate ward residents who signed the petition calling for reform of its Standards Committee, then they would have addressed the issues that led to this blog being started – potential conflicts of interest – instead of brushing them off. In the same manner and with the same disdain, this utterly undemocratic local authority brushes off the gagging of councillors who attempt to represent the views of local people as ‘justified’ by rules that apparently don’t apply to the majority in its chambers who speak on behalf of the finance and legal industries.Read more "City of London Gives Its Residents The Finger In Ongoing Gagging Row"
The City of London council likes to promote itself and those in the financial industry it lobbies for – at the expense of the local residents it should be representing – as on top of fintech and leading the charge with it. Nonetheless over the recent May bank holiday and right through the normal working day of Tuesday 8 May 2019 and into the middle of the working day of 9 May 2019, it’s website was down. There was an online notice stating this was due to essential maintenance but rumour has it the council going offline was actually due to a cyber attack. Regardless, any local authority that allows its website to go down for days is clearly in trouble when it comes to technology and ought to be investigated by an outside body to determine how this can be fixed. The City of London council isn’t fit to govern the local authority area it controls, and its website going offline in this way is just more proof of this.Read more "City of London Can’t Even Keep Its Website Online"
Various media outlets are reporting this morning Extinction Rebellion will be targeting the City of London today because the finance industry funds ecological destruction. Let’s hope this is just a prelude to a new phase of Occupy London.Read more "Extinction Rebellion Targets The City of London"
The City of London’s “charm offensive in the race for renminbi” has paid off, with London daily trading in renminbi now exceeding that in euro, the Financial Times reported. But this is only half the story, which is also about life after Brexit for Britain, and about the nation’s role in China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”. Some have suggested that post-Brexit Britain could become “another Singapore” by modelling itself on successful island economies. But in reality the City of London may be in process of becoming another Hong Kong. The key is that both Britain and its former colony are situated at either end of the Belt and Road project.Read more "City of London & Hong Kong Have More In Common Than Their Democratic Deficits"