Evening update 19.09.15: ‘Sell Dobbo’s house’



OLIVER Lewis never misses a chance to politely congratulate Sian Berry on being chosen to run for the Greens in next year’s London mayoral elections. The Labour councillor in the Labour-Green split ward of Highgate would in fact like as many people to know how busy Sian will be in the coming months… as we saw at this week’s full council meeting.


chris-philpSTOP me if you’ve heard this one before, but did you know that Frank Dobson lives in a council flat? Ok, I haven’t got the scoop on this one, but blame the Tories for that – for once every month or so one of the former MP for Holborn and St Pancras’s old political rivals will bring it up like a sore that never scabs over. Frank has ridden this storm out many times in the past, reminding people of the roundabout way he became a council tenant in the first place and how the council bought the property from under his family’s feet. It’s an age old saga, and you can find people of all sorts of political persuasions who think he was right to stay put – and others who say he should’ve moved out to free up a home.

Anyhow, earlier this month, it was time for Conservative MP Chris Phillp, the former Camden councillor and H&K runner-up who now represents Croydon South in parliament, to take his turn. He told a parliamentary debate on housing : “… the sale of valuable houses might provide councils with the opportunity to use the proceeds to build two or three new social housing units. For example, I used to be a councillor in Camden and some of its housing stock, such as some units in Bloomsbury, was worth well in excess of £1 million—one of those units was occupied by the hon. Gentleman’s former colleague, Mr Dobson. Were such a unit to be sold, we could have built two or three council or social housing units elsewhere in Camden or London. There is some merit in that.”


WE were expecting the new Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer to be called up to Jeremy Corbyn’s team sooner or later, and now he has. Keir had said some things about being a team-player behind Corbyn, even if ‘Jeremy doesn’t have all the answers’. The new MP also suggested that those who speedily and willfully returned to the backbenches after the result of the Labour leadership contest was known had rather unfairly failed to give the new-look party an open-eared crack of the whip. Corbyn could hardly turn down a high profile face, tipped to go far at the Commons, offering such a conciliatory tone. So, Keir, called up by Corbs late on Friday, is in – with an immigration brief to take care of. There’s spots in the final shadow line-up for our neighbouring MPs Emily Thornberry and Catherine West too, although Tulip Siddiq had already said she was not looking to jump straight into a key job, declaring before the winner was announced that she did not want to serve in a shadow position, regardless of who won.


THE Church Times has tried to get to the bottom of whether new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s favoured choice of headgear is a nod to Lenin, pressing the issue in a q&a interview this week. Its reporters may need to ask the bloke down the Stroud Green Road for full confirmation.




THE Evening Standard reported yesterday that Haringey Council has whopped £80k or so on creating a new logo, dumping the zap star emblem – a nod to Alexandra Palace’s broadcasting history – for a sort of red scrawl, with a font which looks borrowed from a theme park entrance sign. Haringey won’t confirm if the leaked design is the final choice. The people who decide whether it will be might want to reassess whether it actually looks like…. red tape, a dreaded term among local authorities. But what is perhaps more interesting in the long run is that Haringey looks like it is ready to ditch the never glamorous word ‘council’ to incorporate ‘London’ into the fix instead. Other councils in the capital have done that already, forging their own fresh look but strapping themselves to a city the rest of the world, generally, thinks is cool. Maybe Camden will one day follow suit. There are many people who still ask what the retro logo is all about, not seeing it is made up of four handshakes.


Conservative campaigner Tim Barnes has a selection contest to tackle, as he runs to be the Tory candidate for the London Assembly seat of Barnet and Camden. But first, let’s judge him on his taste in music and his instagram love for a night out watching trance crooner Ellie Goulding.


2 Comments on Evening update 19.09.15: ‘Sell Dobbo’s house’

  1. Keith Sedgwick // September 20, 2015 at 11:30 am //

    What I don’t understand about Dobbo, is how he was able to salve his concience on this one. OK, you can equivocate about being against a war and yet still stand for the party, in an election, being led by the person responsible for that war, thus ensuring the very same person is returned to office. Such things can be abstracted and removed from the personal, because of the distance at which they occur.

    Yet, what sort of person, month in and month out, holds surgeries, in which the most awful housing cases are presented to him, without feeling a certain pang of guilt, about occupying a property, the release of which ,would solve the problems of the very person in front of him.

    A lot was said in the CNJ about how Dobson was one of the ‘cleanest’ MPS with no expenses scandal to blemish his record, and yet the paper gave very little scrutiny to his housing situation, in which he was being subsidised by the Housting Revenue Account, money intended for housing of the very poorest in our borough. How could it have been morally acceptable for the rents of working council tenants, to be used to subsidise the rent of an MP who owned another property and whose household income was norw than ten times more than that of an average tenant?

    People like to believe that this was a matter of the abstract, but actually, there was a cost attached to Dobson’s housing situation and it was one bourne directly by the poorest in the borough.

    It has long been my observation that the well-heeled socialists of Camden are well versed in ideas about how the money of others should be spent on the poor, but give very little thought about how their own wealth might be sacrificed, in pursuit of the same noble ideal.

  2. Labour is as much about their own money and power in this neck of the woods as any other party…let’s not forget their record on Health for which the Right Honourable Member was Minister too.

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