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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

From Harry Potter to Opera

Hornet listened intently to the budget debate this evening and it was like watching a Harry Potter movie. Full of fantasy and ham actors, with a predictable ending you can see a mile off. Wannabe MP Lightfoot made a good cameo, even getting in Camerons mantra of working together.

The gallery was packed, and Hornet ran the gauntlet not to be captured by the news crews outside the building, but did manage a smile at the Evening Standard dishy reporter.

Jonathan Read got all Tribal and spouted off, apologising for the length of his speech he had forgotten his watch. He probably would have done better with a calendar, and a cattle prod to wake everyone up afterwards. Lofty of course mumbled some interventions, but they were largely inaudible and uninteresting and particularly irrelevant anyway.

The public gallery was the place to be, the booing and hissing was something a performance on 24th December at the London Palladium would have been proud. All that was missing was "he's behind you" and Moylan really was....

The LibDems were there, and the decision on their appeal for more money will be saved for later. Their muted contributions overshadowed by their rather ill-judged letter asking for a top up to their combined payments of £33,000 on a night considering swingeing budget cuts.

It was mentioned, from the opposition benches that £4.5 million of the £5.5m income from the council tax this year isnt going to be used to soften the blow of the savage cuts, but to be "squirreled away" into reserves for use in leaner years.

Leaner years. This council wouldnt know a leaner year if there was a worldwide ban on cheesecake.

The reason being is most of the Councillors who voted for this budget wouldnt know how to access some of the services they are cutting, let alone ever contemplate having to need them.

And there is the rub.

While we have the powers that be rubbing their hands with glee and the pointless political point scoring in the council chamber, and no doubt tonight quaffing southern Frances finest; we have the vulnerable being bussed across the borough and back again so they can have a hot meal, or their day centres closed. We see kids having after school clubs cut or closed, and advisory services for tenants facing eviction being left on their own to name a few.

Still, there's always Holland Park Opera


  1. What is Holland PArk Opera

  2. The actual point was that from the coming year's Council Tax receipts, the Council is going to transfer £5.5 million into the reserves as per usual. Our alternative Labour Group proposal was to reduce the amount going into reserves just for once and use £4.5 million of the £5.5 million excess Council Tax being charged to residents to pay for services that otherwise are to be cut.

    Cllr. Judith Blakeman

  3. anonymous 08.18 asks What is Holland Park Opera?
    Let me tell you who you are...
    You are a failed Inde by election candidate.
    If you carry on I will have to reveal your true identity and your issues with have been warned.

  4. Sorry I seem to have walked into some alternative universe - I am a resident of Westminster and I got this unsolicited email to look at this web site. Now could someone please tell me what this Holland Park Opera is?

    J. Parkes

  5. Welcome J Parkes.

    Holland Park Opera, is an annual event put on by the council every year. It costs a few hundred thousand short of a million pounds.

    Its a short summer season of opera performances, in Holland Park.

  6. shame on your abusive readers who write to innocent readers. And you for allowing it to be published

  7. shame on your abusive readers who write to innocent readers. And you for allowing it to be published

    4 March 2011 17:27

    I don't see any abuse in what he wrote; he is merely interested in the affairs of the Rotten Boro'
    The thing is your comments don't make much sense.
    Incidentally cllrs gets freebies for this little money waster. Why subsidise HPO when we have two world class opera houses down the road

  8. anonymous 08:18(Mr Parkes)

    I apologise for my intemperate remarks: I assumed it was a local cllr being mischievous.
    I hope you will continue to stay with Hornet

  9. Holland Park Opera is supported by thousands of local tax payers. I used to believe opera was the elitist preserve of the rich - which ironically it is at the two world class houses down the road as you put it - but I went with my two kids on the free ticket scheme they have and my neighbour, who is 72, regularly goes on their equivalent scheme for the older people. My children have fallen in love with it and press me to go all the time.
    It is a lovely, welcoming and relaxed way to introduce children to the arts. I am no expert but the productions are fantastic and I notice from the website that The Sunday Times named them the best opera company in the UK for 2010. How many council run cultural events receive such accolades?


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