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The Luke Akehurst blog - The genuine Luke Akehurst weblog about politics, elections, the Labour Party and that ghastly Hackney place. Ignore counterfeit Luke Akehurst blogs - this is the genuine article from the chap who whips Hackney Labour councillors in his spare time.
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"My favourite film is Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learnt To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb" - Luke Akehurst
"Funny and clever but not particularly nice" - Time Out
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"In gustatus perquam putidus est" - Vatican Bank
"Not so much 'Who's Who?' as 'Who's Sleeping With Whom?'" - Peter Mandelson
"You can judge a blogger's politics by the colour of their blog banner" - The spoof Luke Akehurst
"By a coalition of Trots, tree huggers, anarchists, Tories and a nasty little clique over-excited about my hair colour" - Luke Akehurst

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Memories Are Made Of This

I return from thrilling G-MEX to dreary Hackney with a host of wonderful memories spinning in my head. Here's a little composition from Bryan James I found on YouTube which sums up my visit to Manchester. It may be Tony's last time, but it has inspired me to follow in his footsteps. I'll never forget G-MEX. Memories are made of this.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Some Thoughts About How To Make Reading A Blog A Positive Experience For Politics Students, Especially Those Who Prefer A Thousand Words To A Picture

How I feel each day as I sit to blogBlogs should be enjoyable experiences where the bloggers get a buzz out of promoting themselves and the policies they agree with and their readers feel empowered.

That's why you should use the maximum length of headline and ensure that every point of your argument is fully and ponderously spelt out (preferably with references and footnotes).

Only the writers of comic books such as Iain Dale would disagree (see his "Top Ten Tips for a Successful Blog", #2 - Don't write an essay, be short and snappy).

My fellow Councillor Linda Kelly has got the right idea, having filled the equivalent of an entire "Hackney Groveller" with her pro-Israeli letters over the past few weeks. She knows, like me, that a thousand words are worth a picture!

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's Not Government Policy!

Our closest allies in the fight for democratic government across the globe
The media is constantly accusing the government of things that are simply not government policy.

It doesn't matter if they are stupid and it doesn't matter if they are true. What matters is whether they are official policy.

First we had the US intelligence assessment that the Iraq war had contributed to the threat of terrorism. Then we had MoD report backing this up.

Now we get the statement from Tony reassuring President Pervez Musharraf that, even if the assessments were made and were genuine, their release certainly was not government policy.

That's the way Tony. You've still got your act together, superman!

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

And On Another Site...

Trouble-makers we thought Tony's predecessor Margaret sorted out once and for all

...because we won't let the Commie b******s onto the G-MEX site!

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Tony Blair And Nineteen Eighty Four Three

Nearly a day later I've still got tears rolling down my cheeks. I'm also feeling quite sad about the prospect of life without The Great Leader.

Here is an extract from his wonderful speech about ageing, "normal people in the Labour Party", Aberdeen in the Cup Winners' Cup Final and some chap next door. I can't embed this video unfortunately, but it should play OK if you click on the link.

Video of Tony's farewell speech

My favourite bit - apart from the "Cherie and the man next door" joke - was Tony's reminiscence of watching the 1983 Göteborg Cup Winners' Cup Final between Aberdeen and Real Madrid. This famous Scottish victory took place on 11th May 1983, just 29 days before a famous election victory in the newly reorganised constituency of Sedgefield.

It brought back particularly poignant memories for me. All this was just a few months before I was sent off to public school - following in the footsteps of Tony - to learn how to truly represent the working class. As a birthday present that year, my parents gave me a simple piece of paper - an election leaflet. Over the years it has become my most treasured possession.

Here I reproduce for the first time my momento of that amazing day when The Great Leader burst onto the political map of Britain, only to change it for ever.

God, what a handsome man he isAnd what big policies he's got

My favourite bits are the ones about investing more in manufacturing industry, building more houses, keeping hospitals open, maintaining pension levels and the sheer "madness" of spending £10bn on Trident replacement.

Aaahh. Just thinking about it is making me cry again.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Transformation Is Complete

What an inspiring man (or woman)It's awe-inspiring. What a man!

"Twenty years ago Labour came up with the idea of selling off council housing to tenants. But we didn't go ahead with it. And Margaret Thatcher did. Because we did not introduce reforms, we allowed the Tories to do it instead.

But under my leadership we did not repeat these mistakes. We've sold off the nation's silver. We've privatised public services. We've increased incentives for enterprise. We've launched wars in places where nobody thought we would dare tread. We've done everything Thatcher did AND MORE!

The transformation is complete. I am MARGARET THATCHER.


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Welcome Kim Il Blair

The Great Leader, beloved by all of his peoplesIt's a wonderful moment! One of those times in history that makes you feel so proud. The police are having to hold back the adoring crowds, who have written thse wonderful slogans on their posters:

"Hello Tony, I love you and want your babies"

"Tony Blair - founder of free education and the national health service"

"Our streets are safer since Tony's ASBOs"

"Four hundred more years!".

I hope that no-one notices that the posters are all identically sized and the same marker pen has been used for each one. I wouldn't want anyone to think that I stayed up half the night writing them.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Fire Heroine Cherie Saves Gordon From Blaze

Perpetrator of terminological inexactitudes, pants on fire
I didn't see the incident myself as I was off having another curry with the guys and girls from Hackney, but according to reports Cherie Blair was the heroine of Manchester earlier today when she saved a Party delegate from inflagration by shouting "Hey, yer troosers are on fire".

Security personal reportedly rushed to the aid of delegate Brown from Kirkcaldy and doused the flames.

Geriatric passer-by Anthony Booth was seemingly confused by the incident and told journalists: "If indeed Cherie allegedly used the 'L' word in reference to Mr. Brown and his pledge of allegiance to The Great Leader... and I stress the word "allegedly"... then bloody well done! It's about time she told it like it is."

Mr. Booth is 194. Mr. Brown is finished.

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TV Parade Of Labour Traitors

Labour Traitor-in-Chief and idiot who can't even spell his own name correctlyLinda called just now to tell me about the disgraceful programme put out by Channel 4 Trotskyist Television this evening - timed of course to coincide with the Party Conference. The Dispatches programme "The Labour Loans Scandal" made by New Anarchist magazine "journalist" Martin Bright (there's a misnomer if ever I heard one!) was apparently nothing more than a parade of Party traitors - led by the biggest b*****d of them all, Neal Lawson.

Neal (I don't know which way my compass is pointing) Lawson was joined by arch-traitors Derek Draper, Julia Hobsbawm, Ned Temko, Lance Price, Geoff Mulgan, Peter Kilfoyle and Angela Eagle - more than a few of "the usual suspects".

Collectively, they suggested that Labour arranged the loans knowing perfectly well that most were never intended to be repaid and that honours of one sort or another would follow by an indirect and circuitous route, as in night following day.

What's in your wallet?
What's worse is that the programme revealed inner details of the Party that are not intended to be publicly released. If you have a bit of a financial squeeze at home and half your kids walk out on you and move elsewhere, you don't go blabbing to the whole bloody street, do you?

But these b*****ds went and confirmed that under Tony's watch, the Labour Party has lost over half of its membership, reaching an all-time post-war low, and is now technically bankrupt. According to the programme, as I understand it, the Party could not have accepted loans even if they were genuine loans at commercial rates (which they were not) because you are not allowed to trade while insolvent.

With liabilities of £11.5m, trading losses of £3m per annum and millions in unpaid loans that must now be repaid if Tony is to stay out of jail, it looks like we'd better get the collecting boxes out.

I shall take a lead in this. I will be outside the hall first thing tomorrow morning, come rain or rain, collecting small change from the bedraggled queues waiting to get through the Walter Wolfgang memorial security centre and into the front door of G-MEX.

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Mandelson's Speeches To The BBC And C4

Peter Mandelson made what sounded like an excellent and supportive pro-fourth-term speech to the Progress Rally yesterday. I couldn't hear what he said very well, due to my being allocated a seat "with restricted view" just behind the lighting control panel and squeezed inbetween Walter Wolfgang and Kate Hudson. They both kept putting me off by glowering in my direction and it didn't help much either when I told Kate how much I enjoyed watching her performance in Alex & Emma. I'm sure Peter's speech deserved a wider audience, but as my notes were too sketchy to make any sense, here are some reports of two speeches he made to the BBC just three years ago. I'm sure Peter will have been voicing very similar sentiments yesterday.

My mistake was that I sucked, when I was supposed to blowWednesday, 30 April, 2003: Former minister Peter Mandelson has told the BBC about the moment when Tony Blair demanded his resignation over the Hinduja passport affair. Mr Mandelson recalled his encounter with the PM when Mr Blair made clear he would have to resign for a second time. "I asked, "Are you going to destroy my entire political career, if not my life, on the basis of one morning's newspaper headlines?". And he looked pained, very pained, and said: "I'm afraid I don't think I have any alternative"."

On his home loan, Peter said: "I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. The allegations that were being cooked up I knew were false. I did not believe for one moment that the thing would be so badly handled and such a muddle created that it would result in my departure from government. What happened in all that was a sort of a chasm opened up in front of me over this allegation of cash for passports, which was complete nonsense. It could have been easily dealt with, if only we'd been on top of the facts and not muddled through and just been precise in what we said to the press. But we weren't.

Continuing on the theme of political spin, Mandelson said: "I committed the mortal sin with good publicity, or extensive publicity. Instead of just enjoying it, I inhaled. And I think I probably did inhale a bit too much."

Sunday, 3 August, 2003: Hartlepool MP and former Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson has said that Tony Blair may not serve out a full third term as Prime Minister if he wins the next General Election. "Mr Blair would not go on and on and on and on", he said, "beyond the point where he was no longer wanted."

Mr Mandelson told Channel 4 News: "I must say I am less concerned about who is Prime Minister at the end of a third term - as long as it is a Labour Prime Minister - than what that government is doing during its time in office. No Prime Minister goes on and on and on and on. Mrs Thatcher said she was going to do so and then found that other people had different ideas. I think that for Tony - he has said this himself before - he is not going to overstay his welcome. He is not going to get to the point that, whatever good he is doing for the country, people sort of feel restless and want a change. I don't think he is going to reach that point."

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An Interesting Sense Of Priorities

I'm looking forward to some stimulating debate at Conference this week. There are nine groups of contemporary resolutions, of which delegates will vote to prioritise eight to be debated. As this means that the lefties will have to vote against something as a matter of simple mathematics, it will give me and my friends a great opportunity to poke fun at them for excluding whichever issue they happen to prioritise last.

One thing you can be sure of - we won't be having any of the scenes of dissent that we saw at previous Conferences. We've already ruled out all resolutions put forward by CLPs on the trouble-making and quite frankly irrelevant topics of Iraq, the council housing "fourth option", nuclear energy, trade union laws, Venezuela, incapacity benefit, school admissions policy, party political funding and Thames Water. These are clearly bourgeois deviations from the class struggle.

Gordon out and about with adoring constituents
Gordon surrounded by adoring
Manchester Labour students yesterday
Another area we've managed to put the lid on already is Trident replacement. Kate Hudson has had her knickers in a twist over this, shouting foul, but I'm 100% behind the decision to prevent discussion of the issue. We can't have something as important as nuclear weapons and the expenditure of £billions of tax-payers' money decided by the riff-raff at Labour Conference. As I argued before, Attlee and Bevin didn't even tell MPs they were building an A-Bomb, let alone consult them. The Government - as ministers of the Crown - are there to take non-legislative, executive decisions like whether we have a new generation of strategic nuclear deterrent and whether we go to war. If Labour Party delegates don't like those decisions they can always remove the leadership in a confidence vote, ha, ha! It isn't the job of little people to take part in Government decisions on matters of national security.

The nine topics that delegates will be able to vote on for debate are:
  1. Should Gordon Brown's Prime Ministerial car be a Daimler or a Bentley and will David Miliband keep the Prius after the changeover or dump this PR stunt in favour of a real car?
  2. The role of the Women's Institute in contemporary society.
  3. Development support for the Solomon Islands.
  4. Should further controls be applied to the sport of hand-gliding?
  5. Refuse collection services in the Outer Hebrides (composited with resolutions from Scottish Assembly delegates).
  6. Daisies, buttercups and other endangered flora.
  7. Labour Party logo - have we selected the correct shade of puce?
  8. Should next year's Labour Party conference be by the seaside?
  9. Should Tony be appointed "Leader For Life"?
I know where my votes will be going!

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

G-MEX Conference Security

I hope the last one worked OK. Gosh this is fun. The chaps have given me the code for another video, this time apparently it's one about the security arrangements for Conference. I'm going to buzz this up from my mobile now and hope everything workd OK. I can't wait to see the videos myself, just as soon as I can get onto a PC.

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Bloggers4Tony Get Me YouTubed

I'm very excited. The geeks at the Bloggers4Tony wigwam have shown me how to "blog mobile" - apparently the buzzword for how busy PR Executives like me keep posting to their sites while on the road - and they've also shown me how to "YouTube".

I haven't been able to view this myself yet, but a couple of chaps I met outside the tipi late last night gave me the code and showed me how to send it to Blogger using my mobile phone. Wow! Freaky! It makes me feel young and "with it" again. They tell me this is the new theme tune for the Labour Party conference and they have assured me it will work OK. So I've given it a go. View and enjoy.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

The End Is Nigh... But The Weather's Nice Here

Wear your t-shirt in Manchester with pride... and freeze to deathSorry about the break but I haven't mastered the art of mobile blogging yet. I must ask some of the geeks here in the Bloggers4Labour wigwam how to do it.

As you've guessed by now, I've got myself out of Hackney at last - hip, hip, hooray! - and up to G-MEX in sunny Mancunia to meet some of my favourite student subscribers and some old drinking mates in the Party.

Things are not looking too brilliant in the newspapers today - The Guardian: This is a terrible plight for Gordon Brown and Labour, The Telegraph: Disunity and sleaze will be the death of Labour, The Mirror: Labour blow in two polls, Bloomberg: Cameron Leads Brown in Poll, The Scotsman: Labour 'does not deserve re-election' and many others. But what the hell. What do they know? Tony will make another brilliant speech, the crowds will rise to standing applause, the polls will reverse and we'll look forward to another ten years.

In any event, the weather's looking very nice here.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

In A Galaxy Far, Far Away...

The universe, or somewhere like that

...known to its fans as the GFFA, was a local Councillor and Party Chief Whip who gave a f**k about his fellow Councillors, his local CLP and his constituents.

But that's just a fantasy tale, spun in Hollywood by George Lucas to entertain the masses.

In the real world...

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Hackney Council - An Apology

Oh Hackney, my HackneyFollowing a meeting last night with representatives of Messrs. Lye, Spinnit & Hyde, I wish it to be known that I apologise unreservedly for a number of errors and inaccuracies in an article published by me on this site yesterday.

These inexactitudes arose as a result of my having mislaid my spectacles, in consequence of which I misread certain statements published in the excellent and thought-provoking local newspaper "The Hackney Groveller".

At no point in said publication was any suggestion of impropriety made in respect of any elected Member of Hackney Council, with the possible exception of those on the opposition seats and those whose membership ceased prior to my arrival in Hackney.

I would like to make clear that, without exception, members of Hackney Council Labour Group are fine, upstanding members of the community. Not one of these persons has ever been involved in, or associated with, any offences including but not limited to property misdealings, cultural vandalism, misuse of land, abuse of grants, insobriety whilst on duty, misuse of assets, bribery, corruption, election fraud, misrepresentation, contract violation, issuing false claims, CV fraud, moonlighting, cheque fraud, nepotism or breaches of code of conduct. Nor are any associated in any way with any properties in the village of Cómpeta in Andalucia.

The article in "The Hackney Groveller" made no such suggestions. It did, however, raise concerns about the behaviour of certain Council staff. I am unable to comment in detail at this time due to ongoing investigations which may lead to criminal prosecution. However, Internal Audit has asked me to confirm that strenuous efforts are underway with a view to identifying and addressing any misdoings and their perpetrators. With this aim, they will be interviewing all Council security staff, cleaners, porters, drivers, office administrators and refuse disposal operatives in a determined effort to find someone to take full responsibility.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hackney Council 'Fraud And Corruption'

Syd Barratt, investigator extraordinaireI was shocked to read today's article in the "Hackney Groveller" revealing the extent to which fraud and corruption has allegedly become endemic amongst Hackney Councillors. The revelations came as a special shock to me because, although as Chief Whip of the Labour Group I am responsible for party discipline, I am generally far too busy with matters of great national import to pay attention to the petty goings-on amongst the timeserving vegetables of Hackney Council.

According to "The Groveller", as many as 56 members of Hackney Council "are currently being probed". I have always been squeaky clean myself, and after payment of a small fee for consultancy services I have been assured that I am not personally under investigation.

Fiddles allegedly include falsifying expenses claims, skipping committee meetings in order to moonlight, supplying fake political qualifications when seeking election nomination and misappropriation of Council Tax.

Areas being repainted in exterior matt white by Syd Barratt and his team of auditors reportedly include:

  • property issues, including selling-off of public buildings, demolition of heritage properties and misuse of land;
  • abuse of grants to develop controlled parking zones and other parking restrictions;
  • waste of publicly-funded computer equipment;
  • bribery, corruption and election fraud;
  • cashing of cheques from footware companies for use of the Council logo and subsequent denial that any such deal was struck;
  • unauthorised disposal of public assets;
  • use of manipulated CVs disguising nationality, age, previous criminal records and undesirable employments;
  • acting as political advisors elsewhere, while off sick;
  • financial abuse of the Borough's residents;
  • abusing their positions to benefit family and friends;
  • contract iregularities and breaches of standing orders associated with new tower block developments;
  • financial regulations breaches in grant funding the Criminal Assistance Bank (CAB) and other local organisations;
  • falsely claiming to benefit the electors of Hackney.

"The Groveller" goes on to reveal that Hackney Council has a long history of corruption scandals lasting back over two decades. This includes the period of "no overall control", so clearly all of these problems are a direct result of the treacherous desertion of the Labour Group by those whose slanderously accused us of protecting paedophiles in the Labour Party and Social Services.

I am sure that when Syd publishes his report we will all be exonerated and the blame put firmly on former Council Leader Menzies Campbell.

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Educashun, educashun, educashun!

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Chris Evans Arrested Over Cash-For-Honours

We got the shock of our lives this morning, when someone phoned Linda to tell her that a man looking very much like me had reportedly been arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Specialist Crime Directorate last night in connection with the "cash for peerages" scandal.

Just in case anyone else thinks it might have been me on the receiving end of Lord "Abe" Supergrass, I can reassure you that this is a case of mistaken identity (or perhaps identity theft). The arrested man is believed to be Sir Christopher Evans, aka. "The Biotech King", multi-millionaire founder of Merlin Biosciences and a close friend of Tony.

Through his companies, Christopher Evans is a key supporter of the science PR and lobby group "The Science Media Centre", a leading promoter of GM companies. This group is believed to have orchestrated a secret campaign aimed at discrediting the controversial BBC thriller "Fields of Gold" about genetically modified crops. They have also been accused of attempting to smear journalists working on anti-GM stories for "The Guardian" and other publications.

So, phhhhhew! A man with lots of hair and no glasses. Not someone who could possibly be mistaken for me.

Arrested by the police in connection with corruption allegations
Sir Christopher Evans,
GM crop supremo
A jolly nice chap and a super broadcaster
Christopher Evans, radio and TV
broadcaster and producer

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Knock It Down, Build It Up!

You don't get progress by leaving things as they are. Conservatives are called conservatives because they want to see everything stumble along at the same old pace with no changes. Our policy as the ruling group on Hackney Council is "Knock it down, build it up!", by which we mean that slums and useless old blots on the landscape such as theatres, Georgian properties and social housing need to be torn down and nice new executive apartments and private gymnasia need to be built in their place. Only the Marxists want to keep Hackney as it was, in order to maintain the impoverished working class base on which they feed like vultures. We, on the other hand, would like the working class base to sod off somewhere else.

A typical example of the puerile drivel put about by these Marxists, anarchists, tree-huggers, LibDems and other assorted rabble was passed to me yesterday by a friend who received it as spam in his email. I am publishing it in full so you can see just what kind of nonsense these people spout. I may even forward a copy to the police for prosecution under the Incitement To Prevent Property Development Act, 2005.

Local rabble preventing development progress

At a hearing before the High Court on Monday 18th September, the second injunction achieved by OPEN Dalston against the demolition of the former Dalston Theatre/Four Aces Club and the associated buildings was defeated. This outcome was virtually inevitable, as Hackney Planning Sub-Committee had already granted Planning Consents to the London Development Agency to build a row of tower blocks above the new underground station at Dalston Junction and on the Dalston Theatre site.

The Dalston Lane South Planning Application had to go before the Committee twice because the planners had made a number of omissions at the first hearing and several amendments were required, although the Planning Sub-Committee also automatically approved these, despite the mass of genuine and well argued objections.

During the High Court hearing on Monday, Hackney Council generously agreed not to commence the demolition of the Dalston Theatre buildings for the next 28 days. One of the reasons for this is, of course, because it would be rather dangerous to demolish buildings which still have people in them. On 20th February 2006, a group of well organised and dedicated occupiers took possession of the Georgian houses at the north-west corner of the site and of Dalston Theatre itself. Later that day, a representative from Hackney Property Services and a number of Hackney Council agents unlawfully entered the Dalston Theatre building and security staff have remained in place ever since, at considerable cost to local taxpayers.

It could be argued that the occupiers of the site have now achieved what they set out to do by delaying the demolition of the buildings months past 2 previous deadlines set by Hackney Council, beyond which they claimed the development would be doomed if the demolition did not go ahead on time. However, certain points need to be taken into careful consideration:

1. In stating clearly that the new developments would be certain not to go ahead if the site was not completely cleared, first in April 2006 and then by July 2006, Council Officers deliberately lied to the Planning Committee and to the attending members of the public and press.

2. Knowing that their actions were unlawful, Council officers and contractors forced entry to an occupied building to speed up the recovery process, although they were aware that Court documents were necessary and were not in place.

3. Hackney Council has negligently squandered well over £100,000 of local funding to secure and protect a building which only they meant harm to.

4. With the 2012 Olympic Games due to result in the closure of the Hackney Wick bus garage, Transport for London have donated £10 million to the Dalston scheme, in return for which they will be rewarded with a brand new bus station, surrounded by tower blocks and built on top of a 7’ high concrete slab, through which upwards of 100 buses per hour will pass from and into local traffic.

5. The ODPM has also donated a further £10 million of public money into the scheme, although only 16 of the many hundreds of new residential units will be available for social housing. This is an absolute gift to private sector property developers who will be rubbing their greasy palms as they too go cap-in-hand to the ODPM to receive similar treatment, knowing they will certainly win any law suit if the Government tries to say no.

6. Council Officers and members of the Planning Sub-Committee have totally disregarded the substantive arguments put forward against the proposed developments and have put in place no safeguards to protect local amenities or essential services. The cost of doing so will now fall on others!

7. The London Development Agency is subject to various conditions and agreements which are built into the Planning Consents. However, the LDA has an atrocious record for abiding by such conditions or agreements in their past local dealings. Shortly before standing down as a Queensbridge Ward Councillor and as Chair of the Planning Sub-Committee, Bill Hodgson severely criticised the LDA for their short-comings in this respect, yet 2 hours later his Committee approved the first stage of the mammoth building project in Dalston Lane. Once the development goes ahead, the gutless, weak willed local politicians and officials will be powerless to prevent the same from happening all over again.

8. Hackney Council is now to allow the building of a number of tower blocks in Dalston. These will be up to 19 storeys high and will be privately financed and will predominantly be for sale or rent to the private sector. Tower Hamlets Council is also being asked to consider a tower block scheme. But that is for just one block. The applicant in that case is SHELTER and the units will be for homeless and vulnerable people. One of the main objectors to that scheme, on the grounds that it ‘does not fit in’ is Hackney Council. So our Council not only wants to suck up even more to property developers, it has now formed its own policy for local social cleansing.

9. Barratt Homes has now been named as the development partner which will work with the LDA to impose on the people of Hackney a new row of tower blocks for Dalston which will replace those which were spectacularly blown up a short distance away just a few years ago because they were deemed to be socially unacceptable. If these new blocks lead to the same conclusions being made in the not too distant future, it will cost hundreds of millions of your money to buy them back in from the private sector owners before they too can suffer the same fate.

Over the past 12 months and longer, we have fought tooth and nail to halt the relentless progress of corrupt, devious and unscrupulous private sector property developers who have, by whatever means they see fit, grabbed every available inch of local land to amass even greater fortunes by building ever higher blocks of rabbit hutches for people with more money than sense. Hackney Council has now proven that these private sector developers still have a great deal to learn about how things can be done, just so long as you can get away with it.

Before we all sit back and say to ourselves ‘ah well, the Dalston Lane occupiers put up a good fight but there is not much we can do now, everyone needs to reflect on exactly what has been happening and must decide whether the time has now come to take positive action to seek to halt this decline. For the demolition of the Theatre buildings to go ahead, there must first be an eviction. I feel sure that the planning for this is well under way already. But it will be no simple task and will require a mass of police manpower.

The final opportunity to support the occupiers now presents itself. This can be achieved by lobbying local Councillors, M.P.s, the police, the Black Police Association, the press and media, local and national activist groups and the local population as a whole to ensure that, no matter what the final outcome may be, those responsible understand that people will not take much more.

Please show your support for the Dalston occupiers in whatever way you can. Time is running out for them and they have done their very best for us all.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Top Football Manager Denies "Taking Bungs"

It's been a boring day for political news today, with nothing more exciting to report than the LibDem Conference sleep-over, who's sleeping with whom in The Compass Group and the sleep-inducing merger of Labour Reform with Save The Labour Party. I have no intention of discussing these soporific stories any more than I would drone on about the latest opinion polls on the Labour Party leadership.

Well done Lynton, at last you're getting the easy money-making ideaSo the obvious topic for today, discussed widely by just about everyone without a lobotomy, is football. Being a keen football fan myself - despite having played rugger at public school - my eye was caught by this story in SoccerWorld Today.

Responding to journalists outside his Downing Street home this morning, Premiership Manager Lynton Blair strenuously denied allegations that either he or his French Coaching Assistant Valerie Giscard D'Amos had "taken bungs" in exchange for arranging the transfer of players to their House Of Lords Disunited team. He told the assembled media that he would be briefing his solicitors to put up a robust defence of his "squeaky clean reputation".

Police today re-interviewed football agent Michael "Abe" Levy, former resident of Stokie and Head Boy of Hackney Downs Grammar School. This followed last night's Panorama programme "Undercover: Football's Dirty Secrets" in which Levy was secretly filmed admitting to having arranged the transfer of several players in contravention of the FA rules, which ban the paying of under-the-table inducements.

The alleged incidents involved arrangements for the transfer of players including striker Chai Patel from Real Priory, central defender Goolam Noon from Southall Town and right-winger David Sainsbury from Turville Rovers. According to Panorama, the scam involved appointments taking place in accordance with the published selection criteria, with cash subsequently being transferred back secretly and split between the agent and the manager.

Defending himself against the allegations, Levy told reporters: "Everything shown on the programme was completely untrue and was just invented for the cameras in order to inflate certain people's egos and to discredit the investigative journalists. It may have happened many centuries ago and it is public knowledge that former Arsenal manager David Lloyd George Graham was sacked after being found guilty of it. But I've never seen it myself in the modern game."

The FA is set to ban Michael Levy from acting as a financial go-between. But late last night Levy made it clear that he was not prepared to be the fall guy for Blair and insisted that he had not had any input into the transfer decisions or the £4.5 million in bungs allegedly given as "loans" to the club.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006




A big thanks to all of you who attended our highly successful Peace Week and enjoyed a good drink or two or three or four or five until well after licensing hours so you were all too blotto to cause us any trouble on the way home.
Here's to next year's event. Cheers!

Having fun... and not going home

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Riots As Prime Minister Admits Lying

Bang, bang, bang!

I was awakened this morning by a loud banging on my bedroom door. It was Linda, come to tell me that a large group of local journalists had gathered outside Luke's Supermarket And Off Licence downstairs, blocking the traffic and causing quite a lot of local attention. "They're demanding to see you", said Linda, breathlessly. "They want to know what you are going to do about the riots." Through the window I could hear the distant chanting: 'Blair out! Blair out! What do we want? Blair out!' and the sound of breaking glass and gunshots.

I rubbed my eyes and took stock of the situation. "How the hell did this happen?" I asked. "What's going on?" "Well", replied Linda, "apparently Tony lost his marbles last night and admitted publicly that he lied through his teeth to win us last year's General Election. It seems that he confessed to manipulating the economic figures, offering peerages for cash and having been involved in drawing up the 'dodgy dossier'. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. What's worse is that it's all been leaked in a tape to the media."

Time to call for SuperWhip"Oh my God!" I exclaimed. "How has this happened? What's gone wrong with the spin? We've got to get this under control. Call Godric and Gus and tell them to get their arses over to my office immediately. If the Press Office and Cabinet Office can't deal with this, the Chief Whip certainly can!" I leapt out of bed and pulled my red pants on quickly over my blue jump suit. "Where's the bloody badge?" I shouted. "Don't tell me it's in the wash basket again."

Bang, bang, bang. The knocking sound started up again. I could hear Linda replying to my question. "Come on Luke! Wake up. Come on... it's half past eight!"

"What's... what's... Oh hell! I've overslept. Linda, quick, make up a good excuse for the office, will you, while I brush my teeth. They're going to be very pissed off down at Weber Wickshand. I'll have to tell them some sort of lie."

"Funny", I thought, "I'm sure I had an awful nightmare last night, but I can't remember a damed thing about it."

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Alternative League Tabling

I'm the number 1 idiot blogger for Labour!As ranked by Idiots4Labour, rather than by a Tory journalist sponsored by Simon Miller - a man who holds exactly the same professional position as me (Head of the London office of one of the world's largest Public Relations corporations) - I'm apparently #1 in the blogger lists rather than #8,357.

I'm feeling very smug and obviously pleased with myself. With a bit of luck Linda may suggest that we retire early tonight and play "happy families" - something that we normally only do on my birthday. I hope I draw Mr Snoot the First Class Passenger, but I'll probably just get Mr. Brush The Artist as usual.

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I'm For Burying Selective Schools Full Stop

Well done to Alan Johnson and his spin doctors for successfully burying bad news about the poor primary school results on the day we published the good news about GCSE results. After all, this is not a good time to add to Tony's woes.

Just an ordinary local school in West BromptonAlan made a great speech against selective education yesterday. Talking to my favourite publication "The Education Guardian", Alan said: "I'm against selection, full stop. I think the Prime Minister is as well. The changes that Labour introduced recently are intended to stop schools interviewing children or parents as part of their admissions process in order to operate selection by the back door.

A local mum says goodbye at the school gates before setting off for a hard day's work"Only one state school has gone public about flouting the existing rules against interviewing and the new rules will put a stop to this shocking behaviour, starting with the school in question which I understand is some place Oratory."

"No decent minded person would send their children to such a disgraceful institution", he continued, "it's not just Victorian but Mediaeval."

I grew up in a part of Kent that still has the 11+ today, after nine years of a Labour Government pledged to "Education, education, education" and over 45 years after it was scapped in Hackney under what was then I.L.E.A. My mother scrimped and saved, took in washing, and eventually was able to send me to a minor public school where I could be educated properly away from the riff-raff.

I remember children in my primary school class crying in the playground because they had "failed" and would not be going to the same school as me. I went on to a good degree at one of Britain's top universities and straight into a career in politics, just like so many successful Labour Party members before me, many of whom reached Cabinet positions. My school chums went on to all sorts of careers such as refuse disposal officers, school nutrition suppliers and welfare benefits consultants - all very socially useful but slightly less well paid than me.

Like Tony and Alan, I'm completely against selective education. Just so long as the stupid rules don't apply to me.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Børk! Børk! Børk!

It's a great life in Sweden, but Linda won't let me go"Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue, Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn børk! børk! børk!"

As predicted in the media for many days now and reflected in the political betting, Sweden's centre-right opposition bloc has defeated the ruling Social Democrat party in the country's closest-fought general election for decades.

I have long been a great supporter of the Swedish Social Democrats, although judging from the responses posted on the web in response to my blog articles and letters to "The Guardian" they are not necessarily supporters of me or my views.

This in part is due to the crass comments I made earlier when I attacked left-wing extremists in the UK, saying: "If you lot weren't such a distraction of energy and effort we might have the kind of society by now that Sweden does (the Swedish Social Democrats having very sensibly told their left to **** off and form another party and let them get on with building the world's finest welfare state)."

I went on to explain that the Swedish Social Democrats are pretty much invincible, writing in a letter to "The Guardian": "I do hope the Labour party will follow these aspects of the Swedish model. Tony Blair could perhaps take a leaf out of Tage Erlander's book. This should see him retire in 2020."

The Swedish opposition - the Moderates, Liberal People's Party, Christian Democrats and Centre Party - form a bloc to the single party of the Social Democrats, charmingly known as the "Bourgeois Bloc" (which, as I explained in a previous posting, is how I think of our four-party opposition in Hackney - the Tories, LibDems, Greens and Respect).

So, I was nearly right, then. I understand that, in his victory speech, Fredrik Reinfeldt announced urgent reforms to the Swedish welfare state. I just hope Tony doesn't take a leaf out of the SD book and...

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Final Blogger Results

I'm pissed off by Iain Dale's final blogger rankings. Considering that I only started doing this to explain how come we achieved such totally implausible election results in the May local elections, and, having seen Dale's criteria here: I can't understand why I didn't come top. Obviously it was a Tory hoodie-hugging fiddle.

The criteria are:

1. Write something every day.Nearly. I blog most days but sometimes it gets a bit heavy with Weber Shandwick, because I piss about doing this for large parts of the day and sooner or later they are going to catch on and wonder why they pay me such a large salary for running a personal glory-seeking blog instead of doing what I am paid for. Also Linda is going to get even more pissed off if I blog in the evenings when I should be changing nappies. She says I am old enough now to change my own.
2. Don't write an essay. Be short and snappy.Short and snappy is not quite my thing. I like to drone on and on and on and on and on and on until only Manchester students can stand reading it and even then it is because they have essays to write on "Compare the writing style of Thomas Hardy with that of the modern day." But I'm trying. Very trying.
3. Interact with your readers who make comments.Absolutely. I'm the first to point out to the little f**k-faces of Hackney that they are talking out of their a***s.
4. Don't try to copy another blog. Make yours unique to you. I think I can safely say that there are only two blogs in the entire blogouniverse that are unique to me.
5. Choose a blog name that is easy to remember and not too long. I've fallen down on this one a bit by promoting my family name in the title, whereas my stalker only uses my first name. But overall it's not bad. Twenty characters (including spaces), which is only three more than Iain Dale's Diary.
6. Don't pander to what you think people want to hear.I get 11 out of 10 for this one. Almost no-one wants to hear the crap that I spout. I never pander to the vegetables in the Labour Group and I certainly don't pander to the peasantry of Hackney.
7. Be controversial, but not for the sake of it.I don't understand this one. What's controversial about being a good Labour Party member who wants to resurrect the Crusades, privatise all public services, nuke trouble-makers and drink the Frogs out of claret?
8. Don't be afraid to offend or be offended.You gotta be kidding. I've been both offending and offended since I was born!
9. Link to your favourite blogs and ask them to link to you.I link to "Keeping The Christian Faith" and also to several of the blog sites that came in the top 100, including "Iain Dale", "Bloggers4Labour", "Bob Piper", "Harry's Place", "Tom Watson" and "Dave Hill". Some of them even link to me.
10. Sign up to a stat counter which can track how many hits you get.I have. Iain Dale still gets about 1,000 times as many hits as me. What am I doing wrong?

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The News In Pictures

One of my best friends pointed out to me last night that I've been droning on and on and on recently, like a blogger's version of New Statesman (only not nearly as left-wing, of course). So I thought this morning I would present the news in pictures for a change. 'Nuff said.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Nargis Khan Tackles Terrapin Terrorists

Fundamentalist terrapins - can they be integrated into our society?Hackney journalist, serial procreator and general rabble-rouser Dave Hill has been reporting that my fellow Labour Councillor Nargis Khan (see blogs passim Right-Minded People Don't Read 'The Groveller', I Steal "The Big Idea") has "invaded Thought For The Day with her condescending manner, excruciating egomania and Christian Right message thinly disguised as a religious reflection."

This is utter nonsense and typical of the Trotskyist slander that is being shovelled out by Stoke Newington Tory scribblers and Guardian journalists. The reality is that Councillor Khan has launched her first initiative under the auspices of The Commission On Making Turtles Just Like Us not as an act of maverick political lunacy but as part of a concerted and focused Hackney Labour Group campaign.

Nargis is spearheading our efforts to defeat the current spate of amphibious carnivorous terrorist attacks in Clissold Park - already home to countless tree-huggers, anarchists, frustrated swimmers and other local loonies. In a move accidentally timed to coincide with a spate of bad news for the party, she told the press: "This is a very good day to bury this threat".

Drawing on the not insubstantial PR skills of her Labour Group colleagues, Nargis has been featured on Radio 4's Today Programme and Vanessa Feltz Weekdays on BBC London and is planning forthcoming appearances on "Blue Peter" and "The Chris Evans Radio Show". Her choice of a Christian reflection on "Thought For The Day" was, of course, a sensible way to show her balanced views in the wake of malicious questions that have been raised about Britain's leading wannabe First Muslim MP finding employment with one of the House of Lords' most prominent members of Labour Friends of Israel.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Two Verses Short Of A Qur'an

I still don't understand where the missing verses wentIt looks like Tony will be postponing his plans to convert to Catholicism, following the recent stupid speech by Pope Günter Grass-Ratzinger II, blaming 15th century Muslims for launching Crusades to spread their religion by violence and attacking the Prime Minister for perpetrating the same policies in the 21st century.

Visiting Germany last week, Pope Grass-Ratzinger is reported to have said that "everything that Blair brought was evil, 'such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached'".

As if we didn't have enough trouble with internecine religious warfare in Hackney Labour Group (see my earlier report on Councillors Alas Smith-and-Jones and Lindy Haifa).

We need this sort of political stupidity like we need an explosion on a number 26 bus. Just because he was a member of the Hitler Youth is no excuse for this upsetting behaviour. Tony's butcher has already refused to supply Downing Street with any turkeys for Christmas Winterval and if things get any worse we may see the senior citizens at the PKK Retirement Home and Community Centre getting overly excited and falling out of their bathchairs.

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Hospitals For Votes - It's All Damned Lies!

Plans to charge for each bit that a doctor fixesThere is absolutely no truth in the scandalous lie in "The Times" that we are offering hospitals for votes. Admittedly we may have been caught with our pants down a bit over the 'jobs for votes' scheme in Scotland, we did also get some unfortunate publicity over 'cash for peerages' and Prescott's 'sex for no votes' affairs haven't done us much good in the opinion polls.

But there is no truth in the outrageous allegation that a secret meeting with top Party officials was called by Hazel to work out ways of closing hospitals in order to address the £500m+ NHS deficit without jeopardising key marginal seats. I can assure you that any e-mails from Patricia Hewitt referring to "heat maps" were merely communications about acupuncture and its role in the NHS and were nothing at all to do with marginal Labour seats where closures or reconfigurations of health services could cost us votes.

Planned hospital closures, mainly in Tory and LibDem constituencies, hahaIn the normal course of events there will always be some towns where hospitals are scheduled for closure and others where new hospitals are planned. Planned closers include Huntington, Enfield Chase Farm, Penzance and Central Middlesex. It is likely that there will also be closures in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, rural Essex and Hertfordshire. The fact that none of these are Labour marginals is completely coincidental.

On the other hand, many new projects have been funded under the massive investment programme that New Labour has brought to the NHS. Nothing has been announced yet, but I can reveal that new hospitals may be planned for Crawley, Harlow, Sittingbourne and Sheppey, Battersea, Stroud, Stourbridge, Islington South and Finsbury, Finchley and Golders Green, Chester City, Oxford East and Watford. The fact that all of these are Labour marginals is equally coincidental.

After this I shall not be reading "The Times" again. Added to the other newspapers on our family banned list, it looks like a choice between "The Independent" and "Hackney Grain Harvest Today" in future.

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Carter Demands

Who's this Yo Blair fellow?American Democrats are keen on "transitional demands" - on the face of it nice-sounding policies that are undeliverable without a revolution and thus help turn people into revolutionaries.

Unfortunately, in amongst the apparently reasonable but "pushing at the boundaries stuff" such as urging Blair to continue his behind-the-scenes efforts to moderate the policies of President Bush, some plain loopy Spart-speak has slipped in.

The Great Leader pays a state visit to the USFor instance, they accuse Blair of being a "poodle" to Bush and slavishly following the Republican President's foreign policies. Someone who should know better is former US President Jimmy Carter, who according to Reuters accused Tony of simply copying US foreign policies. "I have been really disappointed in the apparent subservience of the British government's policies related to many of the serious mistakes that have been originated in Washington," Carter told the BBC's Newsnight programme.

Jimmy Carter, US President from 1977 to 1981, cited Britain's stance alongside Washington during the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon and its participation in the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. He said there had been some reports Blair had tried behind the scenes to influence US President George W. Bush but, if true, it had been to no avail.

Carter, who now tours the world promoting peace through his foundation, said Britain had acted as a moderating influence in the past through the so-called special relationship between the two countries, but this was no longer the case. "This time no matter what kind of radical or ill-advised policy is proposed from the White House it seems to me that almost automatically the government of Great Britain would adopt the same policy," said Carter, adding "when the British have a public news media appearance there seems to be a total acquiescence to whatever America proposed at the beginning".

This extremist nonsense is just the kind of stuff that John McDonnell and his CPGB comrades are spouting as part of their revolutionary Spartacist campaign for the Labour leadership. Thank God for our sound and enduring special relationship with George Dubya, I say. It's pretty clear now that Labour's true political partner in the US is the Republican Party. The Democrats are clearly aligned to British Communists, Trotskyists and tree-huggers.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Right-Minded People Don't Read 'The Groveller'

Time to withdraw Council advertising from this lying ragClapton Trotskyist and tree-hugging rabble-rouser Paul Hodge is at it again. Writing in today's edition of "The Groveller" he expresses his shock at the fact that my colleague, Dalston Councillor and virtuoso rickshaw rider Nargis Khan, recently admitted: "I don't read the Hackney Groveller".

I say "well done" Nargis! The "Groveller" gained its name as a result of tough, independent, investigative journalism in Hackney, but recently it has started to wobble a bit.

Today's issue, for instance, continues to spread malicious and utterly false stories about an all-out media war between two of my Labour Councillors, the pro-Palestinian Angus Mulready-Jones and pro-Israeli Linda Kelly. To make matters worse, it prints a letter from a 52-year-old Greek biddy who, in response to the question: "How do you think Tony Blair will be remembered?" responds: "For pretending to be Labour when really he's been the most Conservative politician we've had for the last 100 years."

If that wasn't bad enough, "Groveller" Editor Ferris Bueller recently published snivelling little pieces about Clissold Leisure Centre from Marxist agitator John Field and failed Tory council/mayoral candidate Andrew Boff, bemoaning "incompetence" and "failed promises" and blaming everything on Julian.

Right thinking people toss aside "The Groveller" (perhaps it should be renamed "The Hackney Tree Hugger"?) and focus their attention on "Hackney Grain Harvest Today". This truly independent and courageous free newspaper, delivered to every home in the borough at only a trifling cost to each Council Tax payer, contains my kind of article. Some examples from the current edition - "Jules Pipe 1, Nike 0", "Jules Pipe Opens Thousands Of New Public Toilets", "Jules Pipe Leads Family Fun Day On West Reservoir" and "J Is For 'Julian'". The "Hackney Toady", as it is affectionately known in Stokie, is a shining example to us all.

Biographical footnote

Councillor Nargis Khan, 33, aspires to become Britain's first Muslim woman MP (click and play audio/slide show #3 on the right). She was recently appointed to serve as a member of The Commission On Making Muslims Just Like Us. Councillor Khan is currently employed as a political researcher by my fellow member of Labour Friends of Israel Lord Young. This is an exciting new role which should greatly aid Councillor Khan's career aspirations.

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