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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Readers Write...

Open Letter to Conservative Councillors of Kensington and Chelsea

Conservative AGM on 16th May

Just before the AGM on 16th May, it is the custom to vote on the Leadership of the Conservative Group for the coming year. Cllr Cockell is now in his thirteenth year as Leader of Kensington and Chelsea. In America, the heart of modern democracy, the Presidency is time limited to eight years (two terms) with a national election after one term. The reason for this is clear: power has a tendency to corrupt.

Leadership typically passes through four stages:

Stage One

A Leader is elected by his or her peer group

Stage Two

The Leader consolidates his or her hold on power by developing a patronage system and appoints those who will do his will to positions that carry highly paid Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA's)

Stage Three

Hubris (self belief) takes over and the Leader becomes disconnected from his or her peer group and focuses on a personal agenda. A culture of fear and recrimination takes hold. (This is why the 1922 Committee plays such an important role in the Parliamentary Party-there is no such anchor at RBK&C)

Stage Four

The Leader's peer group become demoralised but the culture of fear and recrimination makes them afraid to initiate change. The system stagnates and the Leader operates a personal fiefdom

Good democratic systems ensure leadership change before Stage Three is reached. But in Kensington and Chelsea this has not been the case. Confidential discussions with a number of Conservative councillors suggest that Stage Four has been reached in Kensington Town Hall. It is time to change the Leader at the AGM on 16th May. A leadership span of fourteen years is unheard of in Kensington and Chelsea. Historical precendent has always been that change takes place at 10 years or less.

The irony of the Hornet website is that it has been put together by people who have grown tired of the democratic abuse in Hornton Street and who feel that the time for change is overdue. It should also be noted that the Hornet's penetration of the voter base rises by a 1000 viewings a week. Extrapolate this over the years to the next Council elections and the omens are not good.


Long Term Residents of the Borough.


  1. Good letter.
    The question to ask Mr Cockle is just how long he is intending to hang on for? Until all the school fees are paid-or someone offers him a better
    paid job?

  2. Cockell has always warned off pretenders to his throne by accusing them of disloyalty and muttering that a contest would produce a succession mess of Thatcher proportions.

    Quite so

    But Pooter could do the honourable thing and just retire gracefully. He has had long enough in the trough (a record actually) and even he must realise that he is past it.

    There is job vacancy at City Hall - go for it Pooter. Would increase your allowance too......

  3. 00.16 you are too well informed. It takes my breath away.

    Clearly our Conservative councillors need to start seeing the wood instead of the trees and also realise that service to electors sometimes requires a bit of backbone and courage

  4. Sir Merrick Cockell is a fine public servant and the Mayor of London would do well to get his services

  5. The Kensington Gold Cup is waiting for Boris if he takes Cllr Cockell to the next stage of his career, 11.24

    Merrick is telling his friends that his work in K&C is "not finished yet". Please encourage him to higher things 11.24

  6. he says his 'work is not finished yet" only because he is using the £60,000 pa allowance to pay school fees

  7. Its £67,000, 10.34


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