A little catch up…

AFTER a little long weekend break, here’s a catch-up on the blog:

* UP in Cambridge, Labour councillors “took to Twitter to slam Jubilee celebrations”, as reported by the Cambridge News. One of them wrote: “Worshipping a dysfunctional family of half-German semi-illiterates because of which womb they plopped out of is absurd.” George Owers may be thinking he could have phrased that slightly differently, but the idea that an elected councillor shouldn’t say, if that’s what he honestly feels, that the Jubilee marathon was toot is plain silly. In fact, more should say it if they believe it. There is a fear among the elected, especially among Labour councillors, about saying anything slightly discursive about the monarchy and all that goes with it, when deep down, having won elections themselves, there is clearly a proportion irritated by the set-up as it is. When Lazzaro Pietragnoli jokingly described the Queen as ‘old fart Betty’ before his election as a Camden Town councillor earlier this year, Conservatives tried to make electoral gain out of the comment. It is difficult to believe that there aren’t high profile Labour people – and perhaps some top-ranked bods from other parties too – who feel similarly. They cower in silence, hoping the issue will go away and nobody will ask them about it. Some people are for an unelected head of state, some people are against – there should be a climate where politicians at every level can say what they think without fearing electoral meltdown.

* ONE Labour tweeter who didn’t hold back in publishing his views this week was London Assembly member Murad Qureshi, who cut Lord Andrew Adonis, Baron of Camden Town, no slack. Lord Adonis had been muttering about the High Speed 2 rail link being delayed. One of those delays could be the High Court challenge launched by Camden Council, which is concerned about the demolition and disruption facing communities around Euston. Reminded that Lord A was in the Labour Party and therefore a colleague, Murad tweeted: “You could have fooled me”. With friends like these….

* THE dust is settling on the Labour leadership election in Camden with Tulip Siddiq wisely deciding against hounding the group as to who switched their votes on that dramatic decision day last month. Remember: she had more votes than Sarah Hayward at the group’s AGM on the first ballot, but in a second round of voting her score inexplicably slipped from 15 to 14, allowing Sarah to claim the big prize in a run-off. Others say they have deduced what went on and seem to know who changed their mind at the crucial moment, apparently in the interests of fairness and giving everyone a vote. Sarah, who said she was “humbled” by the support of her group, heads up a cabinet meeting at the Town Hall next Wednesday.

* JUST in case you haven’t clicked this link before: This looks like a perfect day in Kentish Town – a 360 panoramic view of the Alma Street Festival. Beautiful.

* AND another link, this time from our friends at the Hampstead and Highgate Express: The headline alone should be intriguing enough – ‘Does the ghost of Francis Bacon haunt the Gatehouse pub?’

* REGULAR readers to these pages will be well aware of the exasperation felt towards the Daily Telegraph’s news gathering operation, the bit where they seem to farm local newspapers for stories on a daily basis and then publish them almost word for word without any credit to the source. All nationals do a bit of this and we accept this, a lot of us are proud that are work is of a standard and importance for a national audience. The key thing is that our work should not go uncredited. The Tel actually did mention the New Journal last week as they took up the story of Camden Council’s prayer break dispute. The paper, however, has form HERE and HERE and HERE of allowing that simple mention to drop out of the copy. Yesterday Streatham Rachel Blundy from the Streatham Garden (@streathamjourno) claimed her story about a press officer suggesting Streatham should be napalmed was dealt similar treatment. There is anger about this on the comments section added to the Telegraph’s version. One reader writes that he thinks the story has been pinched, adding: If the shoe were on the other foot, the Telegraph would be bleating about plagiarism and demanding a credit or removal from website. You must be very proud of yourself and your work. The Tel would lose nothing by adding ‘told the Streatham Gazette‘, so why don’t they? It would actually look better. And if it is copy strung through agencies, they should refuse to buy without knowing where it is sourced from. Fairtrade journalism.

7 Comments on A little catch up…

  1. Tulip still going on about who ended who career prospects of the Leadership!

    Sadly the Labour party have more leaks than Thames Water at present, and believe it or not, there is something in my waters that tells me that there is soon to be a “Vote of No Confidence” in some of our councillors, who undermine far to often the views of many tenants living in disrepair and non water tight homes!

    Basically, there are some bad apples within Labour who do not have a clue about living in sub standard Council homes, take Cllr Blackwell for instance, he thinks the Gospel Oak regeneration project will be the next St John’s Wood!

    Dream on Theo and play with your lego!

  2. It’s quite frightening to think that peoples futures of homes, surrounding enviroments are in politicans hands !!!. 1 does have to think sometimes a little common sense would help instead of being reffered to as a monopoly board with no one getting £200 for passing GO.

    Gospel Oak will never be the ‘ new St Johns Wood ‘ as much as people would like it to be
    I would have to say carry on dreaming you obviously are not used to Gospel Oak as not all people of the community here in Gospel Oak are not privilaged enough to have homes, services or facilities on there door step !!!!.

  3. Kim Janssen // June 13, 2012 at 12:41 am //

    The real issue isn’t the theft or how badly the nationals treat the local press — though they do treat the local press badly and steal stuff all the time — it’s what this habit says about the credibility of their reporting in general.

    If the Telegraph didn’t report it themselves, how do they know it’s true? If they lifted it but don’t admit to lifting it, how can a reader trust anything they report?

    In other words, why should I assume that the Telegraph can vouch for the accuracy of any of its stories, if it’s lifting some of them without verification or attribution?

    • Theo Blackwell // June 14, 2012 at 11:07 am //

      To set the record straight the person writing under the name ‘Terry’ has attributed words to me that I have never ever said, nor would say – I can’t see why someone would want to say that unless they had other motives.

      As councillors we stood for election to regenerate the area, to improve council housing and secure council tenants rights so Camden remains a place where all can live.

      The Community Investment Programme will increase the amount of council housing in Camden by 800 homes. Major improvements will be made to estates and real efforts will be made to make areas greener, provide better youth facilities and jobs.

      Guarantees on all of these things have been given to local people publicly and in writing. Everyone who is a tenants now on the estate will have first choice on whether they want new council homes in the new developments.

  4. Kim Janssen // June 13, 2012 at 12:46 am //

    Also: isn’t this exactly what Johann Hari was fired for? I’m pretty sure anyone who did this at any major U.S. newspaper would be fired for it.

  5. What record was you referring to I live on the outskirts of Gospel oak
    and have been realiable told Gospel Oak will be the new St Johns wood
    Due to new buildings etc hoping to lure better class to the area, I am
    unsure which estate / estates you are referring to ?.

  6. Theo,

    After reading your statement, I do have to say I am sitting here
    On my stairs in my home waiting for the postman to deliver my letter
    of garantee giggling to myself .

    I wounder what will come 1st my letter or the TV LOL.

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