The Lord Mayor of London William Russell is yet again making a tyrannical regime look respectable and feel comfortable. Perhaps Russell will foster close relations with Kazakhstan by advising it on things that the council he heads does but the regime doesn’t yet. For example how to: postpone elections instead of holding them, thus avoiding bad publicity for the elections being undemocratic; use medieval laws to give a veneer of legality to whatever the regime wants to do; introduce a business voting system to ensure that the electorate is tiny and disengaged, and that the system attracts mainly members who enjoy the privileges of office and support whatever the leadership does.Read more "Graeme Harrower On Council Governance & William Russell Wooing Kazakhstan’s Authoritarian Regime"
Mark Field claims to have stood down as an MP over Brexit. While this may have been an issue for Field, his failure to mention his attack on Janet Barker and the impact this would have had on his chances of re-election when standing down from the Two Cities seat appears disingenuous. You’d think that once local Tories had got rid of a liability as huge as Mark Field they’d want to put him behind them, but a glance at the Two Cities 2019 general election notice shows that he proposed the current candidate Nickie Aiken. So Aiken comes with Field’s backing and blessing and may not have been the current Two Cities Conservative candidate without this help.Read more "Two Cities Tory Candidate Nickie Aiken, Disgraced MP Mark Field & Why You Can’t Trust A Conservative"
At a City of London planning committee meeting last year both James Thomson and Mark Boleat voted in favour of Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen development; this will replace 110 social housing units with 99 over-priced luxury flats and with no on site social or affordable housing. This demonstrates exactly where both men are coming from on housing issues. It’s all about money-making over local social need. 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 the site he voted to grant planning permission for to Taylor Wimpey. Likewise, the local authority to which Thomson has been ‘elected’ doesn’t seem in the least bit bothered about how it looks when it gives work to the company of which he is the CEO.Read more "James Thomson & The City of London Property Development Lobby"
In recent days the press have been reporting on Robert Davis as a ‘councillor under fire over ludicrous levels of hospitality’ entailing ’60 visits to the theatre, 10 foreign trips, 296 free meals’. One of Davis’s former Conservative colleagues on Westminster City Council, Alastair Moss, is currently deputy chair of planning at the neighbouring City of London council.Read more "Alastair Moss: The City Of London’s Putin Of Planning"
Given that the City of London is the control centre of Britain’s ultra-exploitative off-shore banking business, it isn’t surprising to see it coming under fire for sexual harassment in the wake of the Presidents Club scandal. This was a ‘charity’ dinner at which an undercover reporter from the Financial Times recorded business ‘leaders’ groping and abusing the women serving them. For the City of London everything is a commodity to be bought and sold, and once this is understood the degrading way in which its ‘elite’ treat people can be better understood as a problem that includes the worst kinds of sexism but that runs even deeper and broader than that.Read more "Presidents Club Scandal Puts Spotlight On City of London’s Culture of Rape, Pillage & Plunder"
The aldermanic election in Portsoken on 14 December 2014 provides a peek into the surreal nature of City politics. Despite three out of four candidates standing as independents, at least two of these ‘independents’ had binding party political affiliations. Labour have caused a bit of an upset in the City in recent years by successfully standing official candidates for election in three out of four ‘residential’ wards, Portsoken, Aldersgate and Cripplegate.Read more "Portsoken Election Demonstrates Urgent Need For City Reform"
The proposed site of The Denizen is a few metres inside the City of London borough boundary, and Taylor Wimpey make far more of this than the location warrants; essentially these will be City fringe properties and like other developments in EC1 they are being marketed as ghost home investments to speculators in South East Asia. Potential victims of Taylor Wimpey’s disingenuous sales pitch in South East Asia will already be familiar with Denizen as a clothes brand owned by Levis but with jeans sold at ‘cheap and cheerful’ prices compared to the company’s ‘original’ products. Although Taylor Wimpey tap into hype about cheap jeans, their proposed development is over-priced and dingy; and life inside it is likely to be ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’.Read more "The Denizen: Where Dumb Meets Stupid"