Remove The Racist Sculpture From Inner Temple Gardens, City of London

There are many monuments in the City of London that should be looked into as regards racism and with this post we will highlight a handful of them. One piece of public art that should be speedily removed and put into storage is an early eighteenth-century statue of a crouching young black man holding up a sundial in the Inner Temple Gardens. Two different Inner Temple websites make it clear that those caring for the gardens and the sculpture ought to know it is racist. The Inner Temple is one of the four Inns of Court, the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. All barristers must belong to one of them. The Inner Temple is situated on the south-west side of the City of London.

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Two Cities MP Nickie Aiken & The Property Speculator Elite

In recent months we’ve noticed grumbles on Barbican Talk about new Two Cities MP Nickie Aiken that resemble the complaints we heard about her predecessor Mark Field for years. Today Aiken put out a statement about the top government advisor Dominic Cummings. From what we’ve seen on Twitter, Aiken’s statement on this matter hasn’t gone down well with her constituents. So this is likely to overshadow Aiken’s truly loopy interview with City of London council boss Catherine McGuinness in which the latter claims sandwich shops make the square mile ‘exciting’….

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City of London’s Policing Fail

One reason for the disproportion number of attacks on City of London Police would seem to be a lack of public confidence in this rather anachronistic force. In our view the biggest problem is having the Court of Common Council acting as the police authority for the City of London Police. If this was changed to a more regular form of oversight, then police officers in the City would be both safer and better able to carry out their duties because people would have greater faith in them. While the Court of Common Council is elected this is mostly on undemocratic business votes, rather than by residents, something very different to how police and crime commissioners are chosen elsewhere in the UK. The current deputy chairman of the council’s police committee is James Thomson and there are questions still to be answered about his vote – and that of Christopher Hayward also on the police committee – in favour of granting planning permission for Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen on the site of Bernard Morgan House, a City of London Police property sold to developers at what many see as an inflated price. Aside from the potential conflict of interest over attempting to fix a blown police budget, Thomson and Hayward – and another councillor Sir Michael Bear – also have yet to explain why they felt able to vote in favour of planning permission for The Denizen despite roles at firms who worked with Taylor Wimpey.

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Chuka Umunna, A Neo-Liberal Candidate For Those Defending Plutocracy in the City of London

In Facebook posts and elsewhere Chuka Umunna has made the absurd claim that the Cities of London and Westminster constituency is ‘a global symbol for open, liberal values’. Who does this con artist think he’s kidding? While there are working class residents in the constituency, dominated as it is by the neo-liberal financial industry both in the City and through its interventions in Westminster (the undemocratic office of Remembrancer is merely one vehicle for this) the place is a global symbol of the vested interests and secretive world of wealthy elites; who do their dodgy financial deals in the eastern part of the constituency and often own property in its western parts. The Cities of London and Westminster is not a global symbol of open liberal values but rather a place infamous for exemplifying the money grabbing anti-values of the neo-liberal rich. Umunna was outed as a member of the ‘exclusive’ social network ASmallWorld years ago and as a result publicly apologised for describing ordinary people as ‘trash’ in a post intended only for his rich mates.

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Cities of London & Westminster MP Mark Field Hates The Homeless As Well As Environmentalists

Given ‘our’ MP and the City of London council’s good friend Mark Field’s new found visibility after he physically assaulted a Greenpeace activist at the Lord Mayor of London’s gaff the Mansion House, we weren’t surprised to read in The Guardian today of a new scandal breaking around him. Further revelations about Field may well follow this one since his leaked email on homelessness might not have been treated as news if he’d not already been in the spotlight. We don’t know where the leak came from but it seems possible that there are those in his own party who’d like to unseat him for a variety of reasons and not simply because he’s an utter embarrassment.

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The Last Rotten Borough Revisited

The Corporation of London has rarely come under serious scrutiny since 1960 when a royal commission on local government in Greater London considered in great detail whether the ancient body could and should continue as a separate local authority. Sadly, its conclusion was feeble: “If we were to be strictly logical we should recommend the amalgamation of the City and Westminster. But logic has its limits and the position of the City lies outside them.”

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Stuart Fraser & The City of London’s Antipathy To Democracy

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.

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The Sex Offence Allegations Against City Connected MP Charlie Elphicke

Sex offence allegations about Charlie Elphicke recently surfaced. His wife Natalie Elphicke plays a key role in the sinister Housing & Finance Institute (HFI). The HFI was set by the Cameron–Clegg coalition government and based on a review conducted by Natalie Elphicke and Keith House; but even if the HFI originated outside the City of London’s orbit, it is now well within it. That said, even before the review that led to the HFI being set up, Natalie Elphicke and her husband Charlie had ties to the City of London including involvement in the Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association. Charlie Elphicke was deputy chairman of this particular Conservative Association from 2002 to 2006. Likewise, the Tory MP for the Cities of London and Westminster Mark Field has been a brother-in-law to Charlie Elphicke since his marriage to Victoria Elphicke a decade or so ago.

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Bank Of England & Billy Bragg, A Marriage Made In Heaven?

“Democracy is not enough. We need to hold corporations to account,” says Billy Bragg. While democracy may or may not be enough, contra Bragg, in the City of London –where the Bank of England is located and Bragg is set to deliver a speech on accountability – democracy would make a huge difference not just to the residents of this rotten borough, but the entire world. It isn’t clear whether Bragg doesn’t know or doesn’t care that the 80% of City of London councillors are ‘elected’ on undemocratic business votes and that local residents have virtually no say in the running of the area. Bragg implies we already have democracy when we don’t. It’s also significant that the rotten borough Bragg’s being feted in is the power base from which the finance industry plots its course of state capture and tax havenry around the world. Establishing democracy in the City of London by – among other things – abolishing the business vote, would do much to curb the unchecked power of the wealthy elite’s financial lobby.

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Catherine McGuinness & The Wrecking Ball Smashing Democracy

The London based architectural firm that designed the new Beijing international airport is headed by Patrik Schumacher, whose controversial calls for the scrapping of planning restrictions and planning regulations neatly chime with those of Mark Boleat and his colleagues at both the City of London and the Housing & Finance Institute. When it comes to housing and much else, the ideology of the Chinese authorities and the City of London are often hard to differentiate. And this is simply one of many reasons why we must fight against them. Hong Kong-Beijing-City of London, one struggle for democracy!

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