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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

You may have seen in the media that lots of people are signing up as Labour Party supporters for £3 and getting a vote in the Leadership election.

With great glee The Daily Telegraph is urging its readers to send in their three quid and vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Apparently one Tory donor has sent £15 under five assumed names.

But even for Haringey Tories and LibDems there's a possible downside. You risk getting phoned up by KoberTory councillors seeking your support for Liz Kendall their preferred candidate. A friend of ours had such a call from someone using only their first name. But whose voice our friend recognised. A friendly - or as we say in the Labour Party, comradely - chat ensued.

Then our friend noticed that the number used was a council mobile. Tsk, tsk. Councillors are not allowed to use council supplied equipment or resources for political campaigning.  The separation is strict.  No use of the council email; nor postage; nor Council supplied mobiles. With the latter, though councillors pay for their calls, the phone rental is paid by the Council.

So do ask a caller's full name and check the number the call is from. Councillors' mobiles are listed on the Council website. If it appears that one is being naughty and breaking the rules, consider sending a brief email to Mr Bernie Ryan the Council's "Monitoring Officer" who will advise them of the standards expected. bernie.ryan@haringey.gov.uk

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Some comments:

"To be consulted on this planning application please remit £3."

This principle now applies for developers, who pay for pre-Application advice. I don't doubt this defrays real Planning Department costs; I'm slightly worried that it creates a client relationship. The same principle does not apply for any would-be Objectors, reflecting both the sequence and the bias for development.


I reckon it could be the silent majority of the Majority Group who favour Ms Kendall as Labour Party leader (only speculation, that I know you abhor!).

I would pay Jeremy £3 if it thought it would advance the Finsbury Park campaign, but I know he's unhappy with Haringey's Major Concerts policy, anyway.


I've subscribed to Yanis Varoufakis' Twitter feed since he resigned as Finance Minister. Part of it's Greek to me, but I find his alternative viewpoint interesting, if not fascinating.

Clive, I'm a bit confused by your comment on applicants paying for planning advice. Are you saying that objectors should be asked to pay for advice too?

applicants paying for planning advice

This applies (or will apply) to major applications; 

Are you saying that objectors should be asked to pay for advice too?

No: Objectors do not, will not and cannot receive advice from planning departments, paid or unpaid and that reflects the general bias towards development (I mean bias in as neutral a way as possible, lest you want to contest that). Planners simply receive representations from Objectors.

I say this in order to illustrate that, while there is no danger of creating a client relationship with Objectors, there is a risk – over time – of creating a client relationship between developers and Planning Departments.

The fees reflect real costs (in planning officer time and expertise); at the same time, Planning Permission can be worth a lot of money. The difficulty is perhaps the tension between the need to help development and … helping too much.

The planning system is heavily weighed in favour of the applicant. For instance while there is a right to appeal against refusal of permission, objectors have no right to appeal against the granting of permission unless they go down the expensive and potentially financially ruinous route of a judicial review. In these circumstances I think it's right that a planning authority seeks to recoup some of the cost of providing advice to applicants rather than this falling on council tax payers. Because if the way the fees are calculated and what is permitted to be included in the charge I'm not convinced that advice is cost neutral and developers still end up getting subsidised advice

For all the candidates, I imagine them in a meeting (a) friendly and (b) not, with (a) Barack Obama and (b) Vladamir Putin.   Somehow it's hard to place Ms Kendall in any of those four situations.

Here is an interesting article in the Telegraph about Jeremy Corbyn http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11762773/Ive-lived-...

I think the fact that our Haringey Cllrs are backing him should give us cause to worry

I'm really very disappointed in you, Karen.  We've been on the Council together and occasionally "joined forces" on some local issues which were important to residents. I've always seen you as a fair minded person. Not someone who would simply regurgitate a right-wing hatchet job. Much of which is guilt-by-association stuff which I thought was beneath both of us.

To be clear, I have never met Jeremy Corbyn. Nor is he my first choice in the Labour Leadership. And, yes, there are people in the Haringey Labour Parties who associate him with a period in the borough's politics when a "Left caucus" in the Party was effective and pursued what were criticised in the right-wing press as "Loony Left" causes.

I was then seen as a right-winger. And I too have criticised some of the excesses of this period. (I stopped supporting Ken Livingstone for similar reasons.)  But from my very lowly position in the Party, it also seemed to me a time when real and valuable progress was made. And in areas where I assumed you and I would completely agree. Areas such anti-racism, and changes to tackle all kinds of discrimination.

Apparently I'm now viewed as "left wing" within the Haringey Labour Parties. Though I haven't changed that much. It's more that the KoberTories and their acolytes continue to travel rightwards at alarming and dangerous speed in their commitment to represent the interests of property developers, major landowners, academy chains, high-cost consultants etc etc. As they drive the Two-Boroughs-One-Barnet-Project. Shutting their eyes, ears and minds to any actual evidence of the impact of their policies. While doing their very modest, incompetent, but still useful bit to help the Coalition - now Tory - Government to attack the poorest and most vulnerable citizens, to reduce rights at work; shrink social housing; privatise; and generally to dismantle the Post War Welfare State consensus in the interests of the richest people in our society.

Lift up thine eyes from the Telegraph, Karen.  There's more going on in the wider world than  fighting for the continued privileges of the Barclay Brothers.

We are in a mess of Neo-Liberal austerity politics which is bad for our society, bad for the planet, and even bad for Wightman Road and indeed the whole Ladder area.

I've written a bit about it on this website.

Well, I would never what to disappoint you Alan but it was an article I found interesting and thought others might too.  Something went very wrong with Haringey council somewhere along the line, I would have to do more research to be sure it was this period but I suspect it didn't help. Over the years Haringey Council has suffered huge reputational damage. I got involved in local politics I suspect for the same reason as you, to try and do good from the inside rather than as an onlooker.  Haringey Labour obviously has a huge pull in this borough but it doesn't do any harm to occasionally have a little history lesson.  It may or not explain where we are now depending on your view point I suppose.

Karen, you remind me of the story about the drunken man who has dropped his keys outside the front door, but is looking for them on the pavement under the street light - because that's where can see. Anecdotes - some accurate; some not - about Haringey's left-wingers in the 1970's and 1980s are of very limited use in understanding today's problems.

As far as I know, Janet Daley is not a historian and not everything the Daily Telegraph publishes has the rigour and objectivity of its analysis of the leaked documents in the expenses scandal. If there is an important lesson from the Telegraph article it's surely that politics is far too important to be left to propagandists.  Whether they work for the Government; a left or right wing Party or lobby; or even our own Dear Leader and her less than delightful toadies and flunkies.

There is great value in trying to learn from history. But please let's consult real historians. In my comment posted on the openDemocracy website I urged people to look at the writing and public comments of the late professor Tony Judt. Not about Haringey but with a somewhat broader canvas.

I find his work particularly insightful because he was a Londoner, born here just after the Second World War. For the latter part of his life he lived and taught in New York. But had made his field the history of the wider Europe - east and west.  Judt wrote and researched and travelled extensively. Trying to understand the sweep of events. Including changes taking place up to the time of his premature death in August 2010.

Whether or not people agree with all or part of his analysis and interpretation, I think reading and listening to Tony Judt repays the effort.  If you haven't read him, there are many places to start.  I confess that, with my usual ignorance, I didn't read him until a few years ago when a friend from the U.S. told me I really needed to.

I enjoyed some of his pieces in "The Memory Chalet".  But before that, found it hard to put down: "Ill Fares the Land".  That book was a longer version of a public lecture he gave in New York in October 2009.  A lecture from a wheelchair,  without notes, for about an hour and a half. It's free and online. ‘What Is Living and What Is Dead in Social Democracy?‘.

For a shortened version (under an hour ) you can listen to an Australian audio broadcast.

“We have lost the capacity to think of public affairs except in, and in a very restricted sense, in economic terms. When we ask of a policy or a proposal, is it good or bad? We don’t actually ask, is it good or bad? We ask, is it efficient? Is it productive? Would it benefit gross domestic product? Would it be efficient in that respect? Would it contribute or not contribute to growth and so on. We ask, in a very restricted sense, economic questions, we talk economics as a language of public policy. That is not a natural condition, it is an acquired one.”

At this point - if they're still reading - I imagine a Koberling shutting their eyes, covering their ears and doing a Boris Johnson la-la-la routine. I hope you'll give Tony a try.


Have you actually read the article? It is pure fantasy - if it was possible to roll all the classic anti left cliches in to one artcle this is it.

I am surprised the title wasn't " Jeremy Corbyn ate my Hamster"! or better still Jeremy stole my hamster and gave it to people in the East and forced me to still buy food for it every week so that it could be redistributed to all the loony lefties in the heartlands. They then tried to bring poor people to live next door to us in our Tory community!

Karen If you're worried about Haringey Cllrs believing some of the ideas Janet Daley abhors then be very worried because what most of us agree with is mixed communities.

Good grief you can do better then that!

Interesting but ludicrous article as Emine says!

I think the Labour group is pretty divided in the leadership contest. I know of 4 councillors including the Leader, a Cabinet member and 2 others who have declared publicly for Kendall, there may be more - Claire Kober, Joe Goldberg, Barbara Blake and James Patterson Do I deduce that the caller was a woman, Alan? I haven't found a list as such of councillor endorsements for Burnham. I think there are about 4 for Yvette Cooper, including Adam Jogee and Lorna Reith. An 8th councillor declared he's backing Corbyn yesterday (Sunday) on Twitter, Joseph Ejifor.

My understanding is that CLPs do nominate - that is the word used - but members get the actual vote and aren't bound by those nominations. The same thing happens in Unison elections - branches can nominate but voting is individual by postal ballot.

Thanks for the Tony Judt recommendation Alan, not the first one I've heard. Apparently I acquired a secondhand copy of Ill Fares the Land sometime this year, just wondering where I might have put it!

St Ann's and Seven Sisters wards well represented in the Liz Kendall camp. Ha ha ha.



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