In previous posts we’ve focussed on both lord mayor-in-waiting Vincent Keaveny and current lord mayor William Russell participating in the ‘Founder’s Day’ celebration of slave trader John Cass in 2019 and 2017 respectively. Here we will skim through some of the outstanding visual material we have about this annual event which for hundreds of years has been attended by those holding the top posts at the City of London council. However, first we will revisit a picture used in a previous post to put the spotlight on that other lord mayor-in-waiting Michael Mainelli, who we’ve written about more than once before. Here Mainelli is caught on camera on 27 February 2020 in his role of sheriff celebrating the slave trader John Cass on ‘Founder’s Day’.Read more "Michael Mainelli & Other City of London Councillors Celebrating Slave Trader John Cass"
Like many members of the City of London council, ‘alderman’ Vincent Keaveny clearly finds it politic to make the right noises about diversity but at the same time his actions not only speak louder than his words, they also tend to contradict them. For example, on 6 February 2019 in his then role as City of London aldermanic sheriff, Keaveny attended the annual Founder’s Day celebration of slave trader John Cass. By way of contrast, Keaveny also tweets reasonably frequently about diversity. He tweeted on 30 June this year about a Power of Inclusion webinar featuring lord mayor William Russell and stating: “Difficult questions already flagged up.” However the difficult questions didn’t seem to include why almost every City of London lord mayor and most sheriffs – including both Russell and Keaveny – have for hundreds of years attended the annual celebration of slave trader John Cass.Read more "Vincent Keaveny & The City Of London’s Instrumentalisation of ‘Diversity’"
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"
What the Lord Mayor of London does is front neo-liberal lobbying efforts to funnel the world’s wealth to a tiny super-rich elite, the fact that nearly all Lord Mayor’s are honoured for this isn’t the real issue, the post itself needs to be abolished alongside other rotten borough practices including business votes.Read more "Knighthood For Former Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin Is A Joke"
With a residential electorate barely large enough to make up a small ward on any normal London council, the City of London attempts to bridge the gap by providing undemocratic business votes to non-residents. By any reckoning there is no need to divide this local authority into 25 wards with 125 councillors. Two councillors ought be plenty to cover the residential population, while wards with virtually no residents and only a few hundred business voters are ripe targets for anyone interested in election rigging – if they are able to get nominated. Without connections to the legal and finance industries it is difficult to get nominated in many City wards, and so alarmingly often there are uncontested ‘elections’. Anyone with views at odds with the finance industry is unlikely to find 5 people on the register of voters in business vote dominated wards who would nominate them.Read more "More Uncontested City of London Council Seat Sham ‘Wins’: This Time For Peter Estlin, Jane Gowman & Vincent Keaveny"
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"
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has pulled out of a dinner in the Square Mile designed to foster relations between London and China. The City of London Corporation is holding the event at The Guildhall on 3 September. It will be attended by China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, the Corporation’s policy chief Catherine McGuinness and lord mayor Peter Estlin. Carney says he pulled out due to a diary clash rather than in support of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. The US vice president and notorious bigot Mike Pence will speak at a black tie dinner, hosted by the City of London Corporation, at The Guildhall on 5 September. The City of London Lie Machine pumps out propaganda claiming the Corporation supports LGBT rights but its actions speak louder than its words….Read more "City of London Rolls Out The Red Carpet For Reactionaries As Liu Xiaoming & Mike Pence Are Feted At The Guildhall"
Mark Field has long been known as the Invisible Man because of his unwillingness to engage with his constituents. When his majority was slashed in the 2017 general election he suddenly became slightly more visible and even vaguely interested in the issues that those who were entitled to vote for or against him wished to raise with ‘their’ MP. That said, after Field brutally assaulted Greenpeace activist Janet Barker last week and a video of the incident went viral, several media outlets still carried headlines that included the question “Who Is Mark Field?” However, the media don’t not know this MP the way his constituents don’t know him, because his aloofness and inaccessibility has long been a talking point among us. Until last week it seems Field had been largely operating beneath the radar of the press throughout his stint as an MP. That is apart from a headline grabbing 2005/6 love affair with fellow Tory MP Liz Truss (before she was elected to Parliament) and which ended with the first wife of this self-declared upholder of traditional values and civility divorcing him. The discrepancy between Field’s words and actions are neither failings nor quirks, they are embedded in the City of London culture of greed and entitlement that the MP is more effectively wedded to than any of his spouses.Read more "Mark Field & the City of London’s Culture of Misogyny & Entitlement"
Earlier this month parts of the right-wing local and national press in the UK – Daily Mail, Times, City AM – covered Westminster’s criticism of the City of London banning a Taiwanese float from the Lord Mayor’s show. It goes without saying that these media outlets didn’t link the lack of democracy in the City – a local council elected on business votes rather than democratically controlled by local residents – and the authoritarian political system in China. Banning the Taiwanese float isn’t – as the right-wing media would have you believe – simply a matter of the City being greedy for Chinese money. The political system in the City of London is out of step with all other local authorities in the UK, but very much in step with authoritarian regimes around the world. Thus the City shares with China and others a desire to strangle local democracy anywhere it exists.Read more "Taiwan Banned From Neo-Liberal Lord Mayor’s Show As City of London & Chinese Authoritarianism Link Up"
A story in various media outlets suggests Muyeba Chikonde, Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, has foolishly accepted the Freedom of the City of London. The unsavoury character of some of those given the Freedom of the City has been noted in one of our previous posts, so Muyeba Chikonde now finds himself in the company of paedophiles and disgraced politicians. The coverage we’ve seen in the Zambian media suggests the story is based on a press release issued by the Zambian High Commission in the United Kingdom. However Google search results label some of this coverage ‘satire’. While getting the Freedom of the City of London is a joke, we think it likely Chikonde really did receive this ‘award’ on Monday 10 December 2018.Read more "Muyeba Chikonde’s Freedom of the City of London ‘Award’ Is A Joke"