Friday, 7 August 2009

Grubby Politics

Every so often people ask us which political party is behind our campaign. The answer is simple - none. There is no-one behind us, we are not hapless puppets manipulated by some shadowy Svengali. We are residents who have joined together to resist the threat to our homes.

The Council would love to portray us like that of course. It's just nasty old Labour manipulating the thicko working classes for evil purposes.

As if people's lives aren't difficult enough... Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh descended unannounced on our estate recently with wannabe politician Shaun Bailey and other acolytes. They knocked on doors to conduct what Bailey absurdly calls in his latest Conservative bulletin "a door to door survey session". Their purpose? Apparently "to reassure residents following the scaremongering by Labour Councillors and the MP for Ealing and Acton." There you go. It's just a Labour conspiracy. Phew.

Incidentally, aren't you meant to ask questions in a survey, not 'reassure' people? But let's not split hairs.

(Though someone really should have told Shaun that the 'scaremongering' accusations are a bit out of date since Mr Greenhalgh fessed up and some skilfully unearthed meeting notes confirmed the extent of Tory interest in his nightmare vision. Keep up Shaun.)

See the somewhat disturbing photo below of this intrusion into the peace of our 'not decent' neighbourhood.

CAPTION COMPETITION - please forward your caption for this photo. The best three will be published.

Lots of us were at work when they came so we were spared this alarming spectacle (though sadly not represented in their 'survey'). But we heard an amusing tale of one minion knocking on a front door only to have it slammed shut in his face by a resident furious with the plans to take away his home. They brought in the 'big gun', Cllr Greenhalgh, no doubt envisaging that no-one could refuse to talk to their Great Leader. Result? Door slammed shut again!

Not that we laughed of course...

But just to reiterate, as far as politics go we are not affiliated to any party. However, it's true that as the campaign has progressed it has become clear that an extreme right wing ideology lies behind the plans the Council has for us. It's not simply a question of money.

It's also true that we greatly appreciate the support and advice we have received from our ward councillors since we first approached them for help, after reading alarming headlines in local papers. Before anyone else was interested it was these Labour councillors who listened and gave us hope that at least somebody could treat us with respect. Okay, it's their job to do that, but we all know that some councillors don't do the jobs they are paid for.

In particular Stephen Cowan, leader of the opposition, has been tireless in his support. It was he who first gained evidence of the Council's shenanigans and details of the trip to Cannes via the Freedom of Information Act. This will not surprise the many borough residents that he has helped on all sorts of local issues that concern them, irrespective of their voting habits. I wonder if worried West Ken Estate residents are getting the same support from their local Conservative ward councillors?

So it was particularly grubby of Shaun Bailey to attack Labour councillors in his propaganda (sorry, bulletin) for their supposed 'abandonment' of us to 'hit the beaches'. Hard working people deserve a holiday with their families, for goodness sake.

Mr Bailey, have you any idea how ridiculous this petty point-scoring makes you look?

People on this estate know it's not the Labour councillors who have abandoned us.


  1. So all in all there's no political element to your campaign, you just support Labour, hate the Conservatives and go as far to start a childish caption competition about a photo of a Conservative candidate and Council Leader. You purport to be mature but then find slamming a door in the Council Leader's face funny.

    He's the mature one who actually bothers to consult people. He could be offering you free money but you would walk away as he's a Tory...

  2. To be fair, I think attacking the Conservatives for actually going and talking to residents is a bit harsh.

    I wouldn't describe canvassing as "grubby politics".

  3. Am glad you posted this.

    This isn't as you say, about politicians its about communities. families & people.

    It is about decency, fair play and justice.

    Its about memories, the ups & downs.

    Seems to me that the current administration is unable to comprehend that a council supplied dwelling is not "just somewhere to live", ticks a box, meets a target.

    Its where people pour their efforts, their money and their time to make it a HOME.

    To bring up families, care for loved ones, to return to after work, to pay the council tax on.

    Why is less importance placed on the value of a home, just because it isn't mortgaged or owned by the resident?

  4. Thanks for your comments, always good to get feedback. Just a few words in response...
    User 23: You seem to have written in haste and are factually inaccurate. I did not say there is no political element to our campaign but that we are not affiliated to or being run by any political party. We have certainly come to recognise the political nature of the Council's actions and intentions, so in that sense you could say our resistance is political.
    I did not say that we support Labour but that local Labour councillors have supported us (quite right, it's their job).
    I certainly haven't written about hating anyone - and I wouldn't do so.
    Re your last comment that 'he' might be offering us 'free money'... what can I say? It's a suprising comment. It's not clear who you are referring to out of Mr Greenhalgh and Mr Bailey or what you are suggesting. But for the record I would certainly not abandon my home and community for a fast buck. You can't buy what we have here.
    Anonymous (1): Good point - but context is everything and we have had our fill of the Council telling residents that nothing is happening, when we know it is. And I wasn't suggesting canvassing is grubby politics but I believe attacking hard working Labour councillors for taking holidays most certainly is.
    Anonymous (2): Thanks for this, you express how we feel about our homes beautifully. Absolutely agree that a rented home can be just as valuable as a mortgaged one because I know how I feel about my home.

  5. 1) It seems that the H&F Liberal Democrats are also supportive of this campaign -

    2) What were Shaun Baileys comments and door-to-door canvassing following Cllr Ivimy's comments as reported widely and here

    He does refer to the work he has done within the black community you would think he would have something to say about any form of racist comment.

    3) Talking to residents is one thing, its the listening that seems to be the problem.