Former Camden Council finance chief: ‘Ed Miliband, the pgymy’

John MillsFORMER council finance chief John Mills gained a bit of respect from local journalists during his many years at the Town Hall for …and this might sound quite other-worldly and beyond crazy… having an opinion and telling us, when asked, what it was.

There was no checking with the party leader. There was no consulting with the council press office about what he should say. He had done the homework and knew what he wanted to say. This openness, whether you agreed with what he was saying or not, largely meant he got a good crack of the whip. He didn’t even slam the phone down when I had to ring him about his brother’s trial in Italy. It sounds like a simple quality but you’d be surprised how many senior councillors get other people to write opinion pieces and letters to local newspapers for them.

If you speak to the boss of JML in Kentish Town these days, he can sound like he’s missing the Town Hall and his donations to the Labour Party suggest he is still keeping a close eye on local and national politics.

This morning, that willingness to have opinions and talk about them when asked finds him on page two of the Independent as he warns that Ed Miliband needs to find a dynamo for the British economy. He warns that in a policy void across Westminster, the Labour Party leader risks appearing like a ‘Pygmy’, a word not often used since inking out of Arthur Conan Doyle’s quills.

He goes on: “The whole political spectrum is policy-light and this includes the Labour Party. I’m not sure anybody has a compelling message.”

There may be a few crunching organisers in the Miliband team who will think such an assessment is terribly unhelpful. In reality, you wonder whether they should probably be glad that their party’s ranks still contain the odd soul willing to offer an opinion. The word pygmy may ruffle Ed, but this is Mills just trying to be friendly.

5 Comments on Former Camden Council finance chief: ‘Ed Miliband, the pgymy’

  1. Vote Mr Independent // June 1, 2013 at 6:49 am //

    Dear Richard

    I would like to congratulate you on such a fabulous article referring to Ex Labour Finance Chief John Mills, which I am sure that many of us would agree is an accurate and true reflection of a man of steel and impeccable mathematic intelligence.

    Unlike Cllr Blackwell who I bet would “Chomp at the Bone” to have half the intelligence and mathematical knowledge as John Mills?. Ed Miliband would have had a safe bet if he placed John Mills at the helm to plan and restore the British economy and people confidence, it’s got to be better than today’s juvenile Government delinquents who are turning Britain into a land of poverty and high unemployment.

    John Mills is a man of honesty and intergrity, who always operated within the Town Hall corridors in an open and transparent way, never briefed and most definatly never reliant on others to fight his corner or battle, John Mills would say it as it was, unlike some of our Labour Councillors who have lost their way in life to speak out for those that elected them.

    Hopefully, John Mills will come back to the Town Hall to offer true leadership and guidance to some of our councillors that are still being nurtured and bottled fed in the Town Hall creche.

    • Das Kapital // June 5, 2013 at 12:01 am //

      Cllr Blackwell and his colleagues are certainly very policy-light in their approach to tackling the government’s bedroom tax – read below article and comments!


      • The article shouldn’t be too much of a surprise – I said the same on this blog.

        • Das Kapital // June 6, 2013 at 12:55 am //

          Yes, but you received a few more comments in return and not just from contributors to this site – oh look, it’s the usual suspects – you’re getting very predictable!

          It’s also quite clear – and it’s getting clearer as each week passes – that more and more people (and yes, us voters do have a few brain cells to rub together!) expect our opposition Cllrs to at least adopt some kind of position on issues such as the bedroom tax, or at the very least come out in opposition to the policy, especially as both you and your colleagues are the first to say when it suits – and we’re already reading it on election leaflets – that the welfare reforms are not only unfair on some of the most vulnerable in society, but are also being politically driven by this government – but where’s the opposition?????

          The fact of the matter is a number of councils up and and down the country – and it’s not just Brighton and Hove (the number is increasing daily) – are attempting to work with their tenants by adopting anti-eviction policies and implementing other measures to by-pass the bedroom tax!

          I’m afraid offering tea and sympathy isn’t going to be enough to help some poor souls in Camden, which is basically the position you’ve adopted, therefore any genuine will to oppose this horrendous policy should involve councils up and down the country adopting an anti-eviction stand, which would make the implementation of the reform practically unworkable!

          Of course, there are those councils who hope to capitalise politically on other people’s suffering and misery – we’ll reverse everything once we get back into power – but how much human suffering will we see before then and how many people will be made homeless?????


        • Das Kapital // June 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm //

          Look Theo, forget about who said that and who didn’t say that – a master of distraction politics – people want to know what happened at the meeting in Manchester to discuss the bedroom tax attended by 30 other Labour councils.

          The big question is whether Camden tenants are still going to be evicted if they accrue unmanageable debts due to the bedroom tax, or is this council once and for all – and it’s not just about the bedroom tax – is going to start standing up for the ordinary citizens of this borough???

          Forget about the building in King’s Cross – is anybody really interested – (and yes, we all know how much it’s costing!) – and start facing up to some real challenges such as becoming an effective opposition!


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