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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hello Harringay,

A few weeks ago a good friend in the Conservatives asked me to run under their banner in the local elections and I didn't laugh right in his face.

My original excursion into politics was in 2001, when I joined the Conservatives because I was so angry about the Victoria Climbie thing but then I left them in 2005 because:

a) I got fed up of politics and

b) I got fed up of the Conservatives (mind you I was just as fed up of the other lot).

When, a few weeks ago, I was invited back to the treadmill, I wasn't any better disposed to the political life but there is so much sh*t going on in this borough that I decided I couldn't ignore it any more.  I don't fit that well into a Party mold but seeing as the Conservatives are the only group really serious about opposition in this borough and seeing as I am an Angry Old Woman, I decided that *someone* has to do something.  Don't talk to me about the LibDems. The place for nodding dogs is in the back of the car, not in the Council chamber.

*If you want to follow me on Twitter, the address is <@LoveHarringay>  

*If you want to get in touch with me by phone, leave a message with Tottenham Conservatives on 020 8374 6305.  I'll get back to you.  Or email loveharringay@gmail.com.

*If you want to discuss political theory, ring the LSE.  

And from now on, you can be as suspicious as you want about anything I say.  

btw:

I and my two running-mates, Sean Rivers and Massimo Rossini (NB--Rivers, Rivlin & Rossini make The Three Rs, which all good Conservatives support) will be putting out a leaflet soon.

The local party have agreed to let us write up our own stuff, so we are actually going to be working hard on it, ourselves.   At least take a look when it lands on your doormat.

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"being a Tory isn't just for Christmas"

Well, Alan, that's the big problem with Socialism at the moment, isn't it? 

It has become a religion--and so fundamental a religion that the adherents are incredulous that anyone might be able to cast it off.  That is why this Socialist Council feels no guilt about the advantage it takes of the voters, or the chaos it creates in people's lives with orthodoxies superceding reality.  This is why they label and abuse and attack with no sense of disquiet or shame because it is All In The Service Of The Greater Good that is the shining ideal of the socialist paradise-to-come. 

And that is why such Socialists find it impossible even to imagine that there are people who are not that religious. If someone has another view, they must have another creed, that is the only way you see it. It is beyond your horizons that someone might just dump what you interpret as THEIR religion. 

But you see, being a Conservative is not my religion.  As far as I am concerned it is a tool which I am using to fight the dreadful situation which has been created by people like you: good people who have switched off their brains and often their consciences too, to serve this heartless god.

You know even better than I do what is going on in the Council right now, the backstabbing, the infighting, the jockying for power, the cheating, the buck-passing.  You must know many more details than do I, and the little that I know makes me sick.  And yet you continue to defend your shining ideal. 

I believe in PEOPLE not ideals.  Perhaps you might define a belief in people, rather than theories, as being Tory, in fact I expect that you will.  Under the sort of Socialism I see round here, Newspeak is the language, the definitions of words change from day to day, mistakes go into the memory hole and everyone who isn't you is doubleplusbad.

Lydia Rivlin — so nauseated by vote rigging in the wards, venality in the Council, shenanigans in the Planning Department and disorganisation in the Social Services, that I signed up to fight it all by becoming a Conservative candidate in the May elections.  One thing about the Tories—they haven’t been corrupted by power round here.

"This Socialist Council". 

Lydia, that's hilarious. I take it all back about your earlier jokes being the funniest.

"this Socialist Council"

Alan,

I am going to ask a serious question, please don’t think it is facetious—it is not and I genuinely would like an answer to it:

The question comes in two parts and starts with your insistence that the present Council is Tory, so:


1) why do you give them help by supporting Labour candidates?  The candidates might meet your definition of socialist but once in the Council chamber they will only further the interests of the Gang of Three because they will be forced to vote along party lines--there would be too much pressure to do otherwise.

2) if you believe that it is possible for Tories to stand under a Labour flag, why do you not believe it is possible for a Socialist to stand under a Conservative flag?

You could respond to this privately, if you prefer.

Lydia Rivlin — so nauseated by vote rigging in the wards, venality in the Council, shenanigans in the Planning Department and disorganisation in the Social Services, that I signed up to fight it all by becoming a Conservative candidate in the May elections.  One thing about the Tories—they haven’t been corrupted by power round here.

You are saying this "too much pressure" to a man who lost the whip? He has provided a great example for the young lefties who go after him.

"He has provided a great example for the young lefties"

Do you think so?  I rather think that his loss of the whip might serve as an object lesson to any ambitious young politician with an eye on a career.Lydia Rivlin — so nauseated by vote rigging in the wards, venality in the Council, shenanigans in the Planning Department and disorganisation in the Social Services, that I signed up to fight it all by becoming a Conservative candidate in the May elections.  One thing about the Tories—they haven’t been corrupted by power round here.

Lydia, I realise that it's very unsettling for the Justin Hinchcliffe hobbyist club when its potential voters are repeatedly assured that they can vote for Tory policies, without a moment's concern, by electing Claire Kober and her cronies.

Why do I support left wing Labour candidates? Because I want left wing voices on the Council and left-wing ideas and views on the changes now underway in Haringey.

But I can't see why you or anyone else thinks having principled left-wing Labour councillors "helps" Claire Kober's red-rosetted Tories. Cllr Kober doesn't think so. She needs more than her little gang of right-wingers to keep her job and increase her power. (I'm told the New Labour fashion is to try to have a "Strong Leader model". And they really wonder why people make jokes about caudillo, duce, and fuhrer?)

Actually I just want to see councillors who have ethical principles, a moral compass; and the ability and inclination to ask questions, look, listen, learn and think for themselves. I'd prefer Labour councillors of course. But in some places the balance of parties means people will vote tactically for LibDem or Green candidates.

I imagine Claire Kober's preferred list of qualities would differ from mine. I assume it includes the following: lacking any critical facility; a supersize portion of sycophantic and slavish loyalty to the Dear Leader - or at least complicit silence. Other highly regarded qualities: lack of ambition to challenge for Leader; plus readiness to be motivated by sweeties such as "Special Responsibility Allowances".

Remember that for some, the Civic Centre is just a warm place to go to keep out of the rain, see a few friendly faces and have paid staff who make a show of pretending that councillors' views are worth hearing. Other councillors are happy to hang around, putting their hands up, while they wait their turn to be the Mayor. (Again.)

If you really want to understand the workings of the London Borough of Koberflop, do please follow a link I've frequently posted: C. Northcote Parkinson's essay on Injelititis.

You ask if it's possible for a Socialist to stand under a Conservative flag?  What a very odd question. Are you about to make a confession? As you know we've had Labour councillors defect to the Tory Party. Richard Reynolds - nice bloke but I never saw him as a socialist. Why not ask your Tory colleague Alan Dobbie?  As a young man he was pretty adamant in his left-wing views. But in the end he seemed to be someone else who ended up loving the ceremonial job of Mayor. 

(Tottenham Hale ward councillor)

You've not seen Star Wars? Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi are lining up for a fight to the death. Darth warns him that he should not have come back but Obi Wan retorts "strike me down Darth and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine". A space opera with a martyr!

When we took up the vote rigging in the House of Lords, the reason that Alan lost the whip was met with sincere approval by the Peers we spoke to.

BTW, Andrew Mitchell was a bit of a lefty wasn't he?

"repeatedly assured that they can vote for Tory policies, without a moment's concern, by electing Claire Kober and her cronies"

Alan, sorry for taking such a long time to respond  but I have been preoccupied by preparing the house for Passover, which is fast approaching. 

I also hoped that a few days' contemplation of what you say in your last posting might assist me to make sense of it, but I am afraid Time has not been useful in this case.


Why, for instance, do you talk about the “Justin Hinchcliffe hobbyist club” voting for Claire Kober?  It makes no sense at all.  You wouldn’t get any Conservatives voting for that lot.  Even *I* wouldn’t vote for that lot and God knows my vote is by no means certain for any political party.  


I cannot see what you are trying to drive at.  You were a stalwart of the System right up until you lost the whip and Ms. Brabazon was pushed out of her job.  Then, suddenly it was All Wrong.  Suddenly the System had been corrupted by authoritarians and seat-warmers voting as instructed, while waiting their turn to be Mayor.  


Alan, it has been All Wrong for years.  The first time I realised it was All Wrong was the Climbie case, which revealed an already established All Wrong situation which was at least three or four years old.  Where were your agonised cries then, about sycophants lacking critical facilities?


There are indeed principled left-wingers.  I fervently wish more of them were around here but my suspicion is that most have gone underground in Haringey.  A principled left-winger who actually spoke up for his/her principles in this borough would risk being torn limb from limb by the sort of hacks who have revealed themselves with such ugly vacuousness on this very thread.

Lydia Rivlin — so nauseated by vote rigging in the wards, venality in the Council, shenanigans in the Planning Department and disorganisation in the Social Services, that I signed up to fight it all by becoming a Conservative candidate in the May elections.  One thing about the Tories—they haven’t been corrupted by power round here.

Lydia you, "cannot see what [I am] trying to drive at?"

Ah well. I don't suppose the Dear Leader will worry if she doesn't pick up each and every Tory voter.

I wonder if anyone except you really believes Claire Kober and her chums are "Labour" in the same sense as Bernie Grant. Or that people are again asked to vote for a Socialist - or at least left-wing Party? 

Perhaps deep down even your little group know this is a fantasy. And that these days the local franchises of the national political supermarket chains all offer a selection of perfectly credible and respectable Tory candidates on their voting shelves.

Of course the wrapping pretends otherwise. A TV programme I saw recently asked customers why they'd bought a particular brand. People said they were influenced by the picture on the package of a farm with animals in the fields. Or it was the brand name: a Scottish-sounding loch. Which doesn't actually exist.

By the way I don't know who gave you inaccurate information about my wife Zena Brabazon, linking this to my own publicly expressed views. But repeating other people's falsehoods demeans you, Lydia.

About your made-up story about me being "a stalwart of the System right up until [I] lost the whip". well, it's plainly as true as the fact that, as I type these words, I can see new-born piglets in their nests in the street trees. They're so cute. Sad that they'll soon be flying off to Cumberland and Lincolnshire.

Though if people want actual proof of what a slavish sycophant I've been of "the system" , they can read my creepy-crawling to the powers-that-be on my Flickr pages from 2007 when I bought my first digital camera.

However, what you plainly don't get is how much worse things are since Claire Kober took over five years ago. That's why I've written and spoken out far more critically. Drift, damage, concentration of power, secrecy; appallingly bad judgment on issue after issue. If you live in Seven Sisters ward, Lydia, she's a perfect choice for you Tories.

(Tottenham Hale ward councillor)

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