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Friday, 1 July 2011


Very soon the Dame and entourage will be slowing down for the summer break, so it's time to see what, if anything, has changed in the Royally Rotten Borough....
In just over 12 months much has happened-either initiated by Dame Hornet or by one of her loyal fans.

  1.  Rampant expense abuse is over:Cllr Cockell is no longer entertaining "mystery friends" to dinner in New York and submitting expense claims ($2,100) for hotel stays in Boston without receipts being presented. His expenses are now vetted by the Town Clerk instead of a junior officer.
  2. The Hornets Nest is now the rallying point for residents of all political hues who resent the abuse of power for which this council has become synonymous. But the clean up campaign continues....
  3. Daniel Moylan, the driver of many nonsensical and money wasting ego projects has been neutralised and is no longer a power in Hornton Street
  4. Cllr Cockell and friends are now having to look over their shoulders. No longer can they act as if they owned the place
  5. Barry Phelps, a legendary bully and financial man of mystery has been booted out; thanks to a spirited campaign by the Hornet
    Councillors-such as Cllr Palmer, who thought they could non disclose business interests have been bought to book and realise that they are not above the rules...... BUT there is much work in progress. Freedom of Information requests and continued press coverage will be used to shine the light on abuse of power and financial recklessness. 
The Dame will continue to campaign to

  • Reduce outrageous senior officer class salaries. Eric Pickles has made a clarion call demanding Chief Executives reduce their salaries by 10%. Oddly our man Myers, costing us £280,000 a year has chosen to laugh off the suggestion.
  • The Dame would like to see some national benchmarking for Cabinet salaries and the Leader's SRA reduced from £66k to a more just £40k, in line with Hammersmith and Fulham. So far, we have made no progress with this objective.
  • She wants to see an end to double jobbing-Eric Pickles has slammed the practice, but our £125,000 'Leader' seems not to have heard, nor Cabinet colleague Baronessa Ritchie on close to £100,000
  • Put an end to ludicrous Trophy Projects such as Holland Park School and Exhibition Rd. Residents have proven over Sloane Square that it can be done.
  • Force proper explanation of out of control credid card spending and normalise the current obscene expenses regime. RBKC councillors are practically alone in still being able to travel First Class. Have they forgotten that this is a perk that MP's and senior military are now excluded from: or do they think they are more important? Finally..... 
  • Restore Democracy to K&C
    The culture of fear in Hornton Street: control by the Leader of individual councillors via SRA's: the abuse of the "consultation" process by using it to announce decisions rather than to consult. The absence of checks and balances is proving a tough nut to crack. It seems that only the retirement of Cllr Cockell- to make way for fresh blood will achieve this. No Leader of any council should be allowed to linger on after 14 years of mediocre rule. Time to go Cockell! 

    So it's been a productive time demonstrated by the nearly 67,000 viewings. The Dame welcomes reader's additions to the 'wish list'  and bids you all a fine summer holiday


  1. How very deluded you are -

  2. The Hornets Nest has fundamentally changed behaviour in Hornton Street.

    Thats the bottom line and its good enough for me

  3. Well done Dame. Lots more to do but a fantastic start

  4. The level of abuse and misinvestment the Dame enumerates has the Council crying out for multiple "No Confidence" Campaigns.
    See Who's with me?

  5. The Hornets Nest is a fantastic innovation for Local Government. The new technology of the Internet, and determined democrats,have been able to enter the political fray.

    There are about 70 councils up and down the counrty where the ballot box has never worked to prevent abuse. Natural Tory or Labour monopolies with no checks and balances. Derek Hatton's Liverpool in the 1970's was one example and Merrick Cockell's Kensington and Chelsea is a contemporary example.

    For too long, overbearing and over confident councillors, corrupted by power and running their private fiefdoms, have waved two fingers at protest with the words "If you dont like it, stand against me at the local election". Of course King Canute tried this with the waves in Margate

    But now we have the Internet. Spirited campaigns against abuse and profligacy can be organised. The Hornet is a pathfinder in Local Government. A First Mover. We know that it is widely read and forwarded in neighboring Boroughs of Westminster and Hammersmith. As well as compulsory reading in K&C

    Exposing wrong doing to public scrutiny is a cornerstone of free society. It is no longer possible for Cllr Cockell to get up to his tricks in secret. Exposure brings action and retribution.

    Lord Hanningfield, the disgraced Leader of Essex Council, just went to jail for fiddling his expenses. The WASP ran a long campaign on ConservativeHome against the Hanningfield excess and endured much censorship and ridicule. But now the rogue is where he belongs....

  6. There has been a long thread of comment on this blog accusing the Dame of "rubbish" and "trivia". The usual suspects fulminating with their blow pipes....

    But the record above speaks volumes. Thank goodness for the Internet and public spirited residents who have invested time and money in an effort to clean up abuse in Hornton Street.

    Now its time for Conservative councillors to make their move. Vote out the Cockell Dictator and restore democracy.....

  7. Dear Old Driveller(or shall we say Cllr Palmer)
    Cannot even a buffoon like you see that the Dame strikes fear into the heart of little Pooter. We know he hates the Dame....

  8. Let us never forget this:

  9. Political Historian1 July 2011 at 19:21

    There is a convention in British politics that the Establishment closes around its own to protect the status quo. Consider Eric Pickles outspoken words about the waste of Town Hall Newspapers, excessive CEO salaries and SRA's, and expenses abuse.

    Cllr Cockell at K&C is a prime target in Local Government (maybe THE prime target) for these words. But incredibly he is also an advisoer to Pickles and the press laid off him in his campaign to become LGA Chairman. Masons at work. Overtime. Pickles turns a blind eye to the growing record of press exposure.

    Even ConservativeHome ruthlessly used the censorship pen, time and time again, to shield Cockell. WASP says they did the same for Hanningfield

    But democracy knows that in the end the truth will out and justice will be done

  10. David. No confidence campaigns and petitions make not a jot of difference in K&C. There is a long record of this stretching back over Pooter's 14 year reign.

    We go through the motions of presentation at Council and thats it. Resident wishes sink without trace.

  11. Well sid, Political Historian.

    It is much too common in British politics for the Old Boy Network to promote its own and turn a blind eye to inconvenient truth. America has taught us the value of Senate Hearings and Scrutiny Committeess where those aspiring to high office, and put forward by the peers, are subjeted to public scutiny. Rigorous and uncomfortable. But at the end of the process you know what you are getting.

    The new wave of political bloggs goes some way to address the imbalance in Britain. Some bloggs, like Guido Fawkes, are true to their roots, raw, and fearless. Others, like Ian Dale, start well but he used his platform to get selected to fight a Conservative seat. The givers of power feared him and tried to buy him off. But the electorate would have none of it. Iain has now closed down his blog.

    ConservativeHome is another sad story. Big resources and talented people. But the Editors trying to feather their own nests and bowing and scraping to the Tory establishment. When will they learn.....

  12. Donald Cameron2 July 2011 at 07:38

    Driveller (Cllr Palmer?) you are silly to belittle the Dame

    The idea for the Hornets Nest came from a brainstorming meeting in Victoria Street between the Tax Payers Alliance and Conservative and Liberal activists. Some of us groaned about the effort and expense of establishing and feeding the website. But the result has been spectacular in THE Rotten Borough. Exposure, a Dictator running for cover, process changes to bring personal spending in the Leaders office under control. All important stuff.

    And more transparency. The data is still opaque but a move in the right direction. For example council tax was used to send council care workers on holiday to Malta. That is the bald fact. Now we need to find out more.

    Who knows how the Hornet will develop and what direction it will take in future.

  13. Political Historian has kicked off an interesting thread.

    The biggest news in Local Government today is the jailing yesterday of Lord Hannigfield, Leader of Essex Council, for fiddling his expenses.

    Not a word of this on Conservative Home. Are they trying to ignore/surpress the story?

  14. A perceptive comment, 20.47

    Disgraced Cllr Phelps used to say that the reason he supported his friend Cllr Cockell was that he expected one day to be invited to the House Of Lords for tea.

    No mention of honesty, integrity, service.....

  15. Factually not quite right, 20.47

    Iain Dale was controversially shoe horned into the shortlist for the safe Tory seat of Bracknell by Central Office before the last General Election. Better to have him pissing inside the tent than outside it. But he was rejected by the selection committee.

    With his political ambitions in ruin, I seem to remeber Iain saying that he was "tired" and he dumped Iain Dales Diary, his political blog.

    But I think that we are saying the same thing.....

  16. Why is the council becoming so top heavy with senior management while the workers lower down the food chain are being pushed out of the door via 'redundancy savings'? Does this mean that the senior managers are going to roll up their sleeves and do some work instead of meetings? I dont think so. It would be a good idea for the Dame to look into these issues.

  17. The Dame with her Hornets Nest blog has named and shamed Cockell, Moylan, Baronessa and the rest of the spine less cronies at Hornton Street. I do not know how they can walk the streets in K&C (sorry ride the streets in their new 130k Bentley) and face the public they serve. The greed and sheer cheek of Cockell makes me sick.

  18. WOW - Donald Cameron at 07.48

    Tax Payers Alliance, Conservative and Liberal Activists....

    Serious political stuff

  19. Dame Hornet's sting is the residents most effective weapon against the powers that be in RBKC - a typical one party mini-state. Over decades, endless examples of malpractice appeared in the Town Hall. These scandals are now repeatedly exposed to the Dame's sting. Her achievements are already very considerable; but her work must go on till something resembling democracy appears; even in Knightsbridge.


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