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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Washing Yinka Downa Da Sinka

This post is brought to you by the spoof Luke Akehurst, kindly invited by the real Luke Akehurst to join the Editorial Board of this blog in the spirit of Gordon's magnanimous offer to invite two grandees of the LibDems into the next Labour cabinet. Please bear with me because I don't have the literary skills of the real Luke, I do tend to be a bit preachy and I have to stop every few minutes to use the spell checker (I certainly can't spell "proselytising"). But I hope that I've come somewhere close to the wit and stylish presentation of the Hackney Chief Whip.

A very balanced piece in The Groveller with my apology lost at the foot of page 2Wow, what a relief! For a while back there I thought I might be in serious trouble over the Parkergate affair. A few days later, however, a certain person who shall remain nameless gave me comfort when she wrote: "At a time like this it is more important than ever that we stick closely together and do not allow the New Labour Project to be derailed. Parker can take the full blame."

But even I wasn't expecting to get away with it without having to pillory our own Councillor. Baby Parker has been forced to stand down as Chair of the Vice Planning SubCommittee Vice Chair of the Planning SubCommittee, but he's avoided any more serious punishment because yesterday's meeting of The Standards Committee found him not guilty of having had a prejudicial interest when he voted twice to demolish some of Hackney's most historic buildings to make way for yuppie appartment skyscrapers at Dalston junction.

So ya boo sucks to the anarchists, cyclists, swimmers, Tories and LibDems who said he was guilty and should be hung out to dry. And well done to The Groveller for hiding the bit about my role at the bottom of page 2.

Not a bad result, considering the independent report produced by London Borough of Haringey Principal Lawyer Yinka Owa (click on the link, then click on "Download File") concluded:

6.2. I find that Councillor Parker did have a personal and prejudicial interest in the Dalston Lane South application and he should have withdrawn from the meeting and not participated or voted on the application. In failing to do so he did not comply with the Hackney Council Code of Conduct as detailed in my report at Paragraph 5.3.

What our critics fail to understand is that we just don't lay down and die, even when the going gets tough. With a majority on Hackney Council proportionately bigger than Labour's majority in the House of Commons, we don't have to take s**t from anyone. If some uppity lawyer somewhere makes a ruling against us, we simply drag together a group of unqualified 'independent' members and declare the ruling invalid.

So join the winning team. We need your membership fees. Labour rulez OK!
The kind of stupid cartoon that some tree-hugging magazines have published


Anonymous said...

Labour Group Press Release:

Hackney's Standard Committee has cleared Cllr Darren Parker of failing to declare a prejudicial Interest. The committee which has a majority of independent members met last night to consider a complaint that had arisen following a highly charged planning committee meeting in July 2006 that considered the Dalston Lane South applications.

Cllr Parker who had been a Councillor for just over two months when he chaired the meeting in question admitted that he had a personal interest, since he had recently started working in the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) who were a non statutory consultee to the application. The Standards Committee in considering whether that interest was also prejudicial heard that, although CABE had commented on the design merit of the application, they had not recommended that it be approved. Also that Cllr Parker had no prior involvement with the application as he worked in a separate directorate to that which made the design comment.

Cllr Luke Akehurst, Chief Whip of Hackney Labour Group said: “Cllr Parker has at all times acted in good faith. He has accepted the finding of the Standards Committee that he failed to declare a personal interest and has expressed his remorse at this genuine mistake. We are delighted that the Standards Committee upheld our view, and Cllr Parker's, that he had no prejudicial interest to declare, that he therefore acted properly in chairing and voting on the Dalston Lane South planning application, and that therefore there is no question whatsoever of any impropriety in the way the application was passed. We deplore the personalised way in which objectors to the scheme have attacked Cllr Parker's role in the process.”


Luke Akehurst said...

Yes, well done anomymous. That's exactly what I published on this blog. I'm pleased to see that you can copy whole words in sequence. Either you were educated outside Hackney or things are looking up for local education.

ilikeakehurstfanclub said...

My dearest Luke,

I've got to hand it to you, you've done a brilliant sanitation job on Parker; from the press release, right through to the Labour Party profile .

I'm not sure about this bit in the profile, though: "Improving the provision of services and facilities for local young people - especially in relation to drugs and prostitution." Has he got another vested interest in his closet?

Yours affectionately


P.S. What happened to the bit that was supposed to go in the press release about "As Chief Whip of the Labour Group, I accept full and personal responsibility for not having identified this as a potential issue when I recommended that the Group appoint Cllr Parker to the Planning Committee". I suppose we had better forget that bit, huh?

Elroy Partington-Whistler said...

I just love Chris McShane's entry in the new Labour Party profile of its Councillors: "Chris is currently a communications advisor".

According to the Register of Members' Interests, Chris is "Prime Minister's Special Adviser, Communications & Press".

Now what kind of attitude to the late beloved Tony Blair is that - giving him the Trotsky podium steps "airbrush" treatment? It's a case of "washing Finka downa da sinka".