Peter Estlin’s declaration of hospitality for the first half of his period in office as Lord Mayor of London shows how most of what he did was plod around City of London institutions for dinners. Hardly something that is needed since these are already closely connected and are seen by many as rebuttressing the square mile’s old boy’s club attitudes and lack of diversity. Nonetheless, given that Estlin does not include freemasonry among his non-pecuniary interests in his declaration of interests as a councillor, to us it appears odd that he lists a meeting and dinner of the Guildhall Lodge on 6 March 2019 in his declaration of hospitality. As we’ve stated before, members of the Guildhall Lodge 3116 are massively over-represented in the top post of Lord Mayor of London at the City of London council, and get to meet for free in council premises despite the way this reinforces a glass ceiling in this local authority, with only two women having ever been Lord Mayor. Estlin himself could perhaps explain to us why he attended a Guildhall Lodge meeting when he is apparently not a mason.Read more "Peter Estlin’s Hospitality Declaration As Lord Mayor Illustrates This City Office Is Redundant"
Lord Mayors are chosen in private sessions that are conducted by Guildhall heavyweights. Some members of the Court of Common Council and the Court of Alderman believe the current process inhibits diverse candidates from being selected. In nearly 800 years there have been only two female Lord Mayors.Read more "City of London Nervous The Public Is Learning How Lord Mayors Like William Russell Are Elected"
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"
Many see the City of London as an old boys network shot through with nepotism. The fact that councillor William Russell has already occupied the position of aldermanic sheriff and looks set to become a Lord Mayor is indicative of this. Russell’s great grandfather Frank Bowater was Lord Mayor of London 1938-1939. Frank Bowater’s older brother Thomas Vansittart Bowater was Lord Mayor of London 1913-1914 and also a conservative MP for the City from 1924 to 1938. Frank Bowater’s oldest son Noel Vansittart Bowater was Lord Mayor of London 1953-1954. Frank Bowater’s youngest son Ian Frank Bowater – William Russell’s grandfather – was Lord Mayor of London 1969-1970. If William Russell becomes the fifth member of his family to be Lord Mayor of London in just over 100 years, this can justly be perceived as dynastic and will serve to underscore that a local authority elected on business votes can never be meritocratic. Even the ultra-reactionary City A.M. rag has used the old boy phrase when covering Russell’s rise through this local authority’s hierarchy.Read more "William Russell, Barker Bridge, The City of London, Cronyism & Self-Aggrandisement"
City Matters reported that the livery company who booked a contentious Guildhall event for the far-Right Italian senator Armando Siri was the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants. Is this really ‘an outside body’ as The Guardian reported the City of London council claiming, or is it a cat’s paw? When it suits the City of London this and other livery companies are linked to it, which justifies the discounts they enjoy, effectively subsidies for events such as the far-Right lunch with Armando Siri. But when the City of London wants to shrug off responsibility these ‘linked’ and ‘connected’ organisations metamorphose into outside bodies – as is clear from the City’s statement quoted by The Guardian. We’d like Hugh Morris – and other City of London councillors – to state definitively if they want the City to treat the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants as an ‘outside body’ and to charge it the full market rate when it hires rooms from the council. If this and other livery companies are not City linked and connected, then they shouldn’t be getting discounts. We’re also keen to hear what Morris has to say about the Armando Siri event hosted by a livery company he belongs to.Read more "Hugh Morris, The Livery Lodges & The City of London’s Opacity"
Perhaps nothing better sums up Stuart Fraser as a demagogue who has no time for democracy than the following quote: “I would be most content if I leave the City in a better state than I came to it. Yes, it’s a general statement, but I would still like the City of London to dominate the world.” From “Stuart Fraser keeps a cool head in the eye of the storm” by Yvette Essen, Daily Telegraph, 2 June 2008. Needless to say it’s dictators who seek to dominate the world, not democrats. And not quite a ‘newsflash’ for Stuart Fraser: after the crash and political fall out from that, you’ve left the City of London weaker than when you headed this reprehensible anti-democratic institution. From here on in it looks like things can only get worse for this rotten borough.Read more "Stuart Fraser & The City of London’s Antipathy To Democracy"
Anyone who cares to do a web search will find that a number of conspiracy sites list ‘Sir’ Michael Bear as the 683rd Lord Mayor of London and a Freemason belonging to the Guildhall Lodge #3116. That said, for those concerned with social justice, the speculative masonry of City of London councillors is of little interest; we are much more concerned about operative masonry – the connections between these men and urban ‘regeneration’ schemes, as well as the building and construction industry.Read more "Is ‘Sir’ Michael Bear’s Declaration Of Interests On The Square?"