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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hackney Town Excursions


I'm only too aware, from comments made occasionally by my on-line stalker, that I often get a bit carried away with international, Westminster and Old Queen Street affairs and forget that I am supposed to represent people here in Hackney.

I'd really like to do more, but as you will appreciate I have very serious commitments at work which mean that, although I can blog at all hours of the day when no-one's looking, if Augustus needs a de-worming trip to the vet I have to leave it to Linda.
Hackney welcomes careful driversThis is why I don't go out too often

This week I decided it was time to do my bit and mingle with the peasantry. Yes... I know I've always had a problem with ordinary voters and prefer to mingle with Labour students, but it was time for Councillor Akehurst - quoting from Monty Python and the Holy Grail - to "get some shit on him". As it happened, I managed to spend most of the week with people just like me, so it wasn't so bad after all.

With all these votes in the bag, we're laughingLinda and I are popular
with local voters
Last Sunday the whole family went to Hackney City Farm. It was a great opportunity for me to mix with lots of other middle class people and their children and celebrate the announcement that the Farm had been awarded £50,000 as runner-up on ITV's "People's Millions" programme.

I particularly enjoyed meeting Jasmine Harman of "A Place In The Sun". Over a nice cappuccino at Frizzante we were able to discuss the long-term investment potential of my family apartment in Cómpeta and the prospects for purchasing buy-to-let property in Slovenia. It sounds like an excellent prospect, but I might think about Bulgarian property if I can get a better tax break there.

On Monday I was at my favourite Government Department, the MoD, helping Junior Transport Minister and MP for Halton Derek Twigg dish out leadership awards to a group of Hackney 14 and 15 year-olds who successfully completed outward bound courses in kayaking, mountain-biking, navigation and hiking in the Lake District. They seemed such a nice set of young people and I was pleased to see this group who I'm sure were typical of the teenagers of Hackney. I must say that the thought of re-introducing conscription came very much to mind as an alternative to the ASBOs that I've been so strongly in favour of up to now.

On Tuesday I had a meeting with my council colleagues Barry, Sade & Jonathan to discuss the shocking state of cashpoint facilities in Haggerston ward.

They wanted to know how come we were falling over ourselves with free cashpoints in Stoke Newington, whereas all of theirs were third-party machines charging vulnerable, old and poor people £150 in fees for every £10 that they withdrew from their accounts.

I pointed out to them that the problem would go away if they had fewer vulnerable, old and poor people living in their ward.

I explained that doing more to encourage the demolition of factories and workshops and the development of blocks of luxury flats was the simplest way to ensure that this demographic change came about as quickly as possible.
Loadsa wonga machines in Stokie
Money everywhere in Stokie... less in Haggerston

Last night, after seeing the news of Terry Cole's bouncy-ball trip across the 12 Thames bridges, I thought that for next year's Children in Need I would borrow Augustus's Tonka fire engine and ride it from Stamford Hill to Stoke Newington. On reflecting this might be a bit ambitious so I might just do Windus Road to Cazenove Road. We'll see how I feel on the day.

The worst elements of my trades unionSo, all of this did me a power of good and I look forward to getting out and about again in a few months from now. It was a busy week and at least it kept me well away from the phones so I didn't have to listen to the anarchists and trouble-makers in my trade union whining on about Penny's proposals for the offices in Maurice Bishop House and claiming health & safety breaches.

They should be bloody well pleased that they've got a job at all, I think. As I keep reminding them, unemployment would be much higher if Macaroon ever got in!

1 comment:

Jock Scroag said...

You know what to do the the Unison whingers because you already said it - send them all off on national service. I spent 11 years in the Navy and it never did me any. I can't remember what it was it never did me, but you know what I bean. Here's to you sonny.