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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Sir Malc Rifkind's Family In High Places

Brittan/Rifkind Cousin

Ex convict Gerald Ronson picked up a CBE in the New Years Honours to the astonishment of the Daily Mail- but not the Dame.  Ronson has powerful political allies. And powerful family members at the top of the political tree. Leading off is our very own Malc Rifkind-not as rich as cousin Gerald, but with £350k a year in various director's fees quite comfortable. The Dame does not believe having such a powerful and well connected family made any difference to Ronson's honour........

Another Ronson/Rifkind cousin is Lord Brittan rudely described as  
Lord Brittan-The Fat Poodle
    'Thatcher's Fat Poodle' when EU Commissioner
  



      
Leading up the rear- not Leon but brother, Sir Samuel Brittan.....

Sir Sam Brittan Big Noise at the FT
 











£500k MP Sir Malc and family





and last but not least...

Friday, 30 December 2011

Memorialising 'Lord' Pooter Cockell

Milton in Yogic pose
The Dame strongly disapproves of politicians being immortalised by statue makers-least of all-if just local politico's. She can just cope with those two great Englishmen, Cromwell and Churchill being plonked down in Parliament Square, but Simon Milton? OK, he seemed a nice chap but really do we need to have this odd piece of work. An important part of the English way of life is our disdain for politicians. We reflect that in our refusal to bung up their statues everywhere.



The  Milton sculpture will be erected in Paddington Basin, presumably as a 'Thank You' by European Land, the lucky developers.
The Dame has never understood the mindless adulation of Milton. Milton was Shirley Porter's willing poodle. At no time did he ever apologise for her criminal activity. In fact, they remained close buddies.
The harm Porter did to London and the reputation of the Conservative Party was immense.
Anyway, leave that aside..... The major concern about the statue is the possibility that other minor local leaders will want to have themselves immortalised in stone or bronze. It is truly a horrible thought; the stuff of nightmares.
The Dame hears that the Milton Memorial has got one leader salivating with envy. Yes, you guessed it... Pooter Cockell is particularly concerned his arch enemies, Barrow, Lister or Greenhalgh might try to copy The Milton Monument: thus he has discreetly canvassed colleagues to see whether they might promote a similar sculpture of him.
So far, the reaction has been one of abject horror. However, the Dame can see the possibilities.....
She invites readers to nominate a 'placement' for the Pooter sculpture and ideas as to how the thing would look. A dynamic Pooter? Or one of him recumbent on a Virgin First Class flat bed? Posterity demands it!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Paving the Way To A Peerage-The Cockell way ahead

The Dame pays particular attention to comments from Another One Who Knows. AOWK seems to be well connected. Could it be that ex Mayor, Mr Phelps, with his interest( like another cllr) in young boys' images. Or maybe that mischievous chap Mr Myers: after all it does no harm to keep the elected members on their toes....
Anyway, the Dame is fascinated to know that taxpayers of the Rotten Borough may have had a sort of Maundy Gregory role in procuring a peerage for Pooter. How come you might ask? Well, if we are to believe AOWK, the  move to make Pooter a member of the nobility will have been advanced by a load of York Stone on 'Dave' Cameron's street. Read on to know more.

"When Cameron moved into North Kensington his street was immediately re-paved with York stone, which was then deep cleaned and magnolia trees were planted, including one directly outside his house.
Prime Ministerial Paving
The Special Branch officer said that one would have to be removed if the Camerons stayed there, as it would interfere with a direct sniper shot at any terrorist going up the path to knock on the front door! Thankfully for the tree, they decided to move into No. 10, although they still retain the house. A peerage is an excellent payback for these little treats."

New Year Honours

The Dame has been tipped off that our £115,000 Bentley limo has been seen in the vicinity of Ede and Ravencroft( they rig out all those dodgy life peers who infest the Upper Chamber)- and the College of Arms where they go to get their armorials sorted out. What fun Evelyn Waugh would have had with it all!
The 'Arms' Factory

Lord 'Pooter' Cockell
Anyway, peering through the darkened glass windows of the Bentley a sharp eyed observer spotted 'Lord' Pooter Cockell looking terribly pleased with himself as he reclined on the back seat dressed in his regalia. He looked something like this.

The Rotten Borough Tells Mr Pickles To Mind His Own Business


The Dame has been impertinent and reproduced  extracts of Rowena's piece in today's Telegraph. 
Sadly she overlooked the Rotten Borough where the Council is sitting on £170 millions in Reserves!
Part of our £170 millions in Reserves

Soon after the Coalition came to power, Mr Pickles urged local authorities to dig into their “piggy banks” as more than 50 were holding more than £50 million in their bank accounts. However, K&C was immune to his strictures. In fact, Mr Myers went 'on the record' as saying how RBK&C dealt with Reserves was not the business of the Secretary of State. 

Grant Shapps, Mr Pickles' gofer and housing minister, previously accused Labour councils in particular of hoarding money instead of using the cash to keep public services open. Curiously, he too refuses to pressure Cockell. 

So what we have is an enormous windbag called Pickles whose demands are ignored by the Royal Borough of K &C. Odd when you think about it....  Pooter Cockell boasts of his close contact with Pickles as 2 day a week £53,000 a year chair of the Local Government Association. Still odder is that Baroness Hanham( Pooter's predecessor as K&C Leader) is also Pickles's Local Government Minister in the Lords.

As the Dame's favourite 'walker' the disgraced ex Mayor Barry Phelps is prone to say, 'you could not make it up'


Rowena Mason
By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent


New figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government will today reveal that local authorities are likely to have £10.8 billion in reserves by March – an increase of around £240 million on the previous year.
Councils are advised to keep sufficient sums of money in reserve so that they have a financial cushion to meet sudden unexpected costs.
But the extent of the cash piles may cast doubt on complaints by some local councils that they must make deep cuts to public service and cannot afford to freeze council tax.
Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, last night said councils would have “room to manoeuvre on their finances next year” because of the huge amounts of cash on their books.
He claimed councils had been making “political cuts” that were “totally unacceptable” while sitting on vast cash reserves.
The new figures show that some of the biggest increases in reserves came from Labour-led Wakefield Council, which is expected to have more than doubled its cash pile from £21 million to £51 million by March.
Meanwhile, Labour-run Bolton Council is likely to have tripled its reserves £23 million to £81 million.
Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said councils should be easily able to freeze council tax given the level of reserves.
"Given the amount of reserves councils are sitting on they should at the very least all be freezing council tax this year, and many could go further,” she said.
“Local authorities could help households struggling to pay council tax, which has almost doubled in the last ten years, but instead many are hoarding large sums of taxpayers’ money. Councils should review the level of reserves as some have put aside far more as a percentage of their spending than others.”

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Cllr Ritchie and the cost to the taxpayer= £500 per day

It might interest people to know exactly what Cllr Ritchie is making in her various positions.
As a Cabinet member RBK&C roughly £60,000 per annum.

As a member of the House of Lords she has the potential to claim £42,000 per annum.

Until very recently she was paid by a further £15,000 per annum for an outside chairmanship.
We understand that she has an RBK&C pension of £13,000 per annum.

So in total the taxpayer is providing an income of £2,500 per week or £500 a day.
There may be other associated costs such as out of pocket expenses but these have been
difficult to track.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Baronessa-Make Up Your Mind!

In a gruesomely embarrassing  piece in the Daily Mail in 2007 La Baronessa  Ritchie said,


.














"Your love life certainly doesn't come to an end when you are in your sixties - far from it!!
"John and I can fill the house with candles, close the curtains and dance around the house on our own, without worrying about children being around.

Well, I am sure we are all fascinated by La Baronessa's highly erotic sex life, but it got the Dame thinking..the Mail into'd the article as....


SHIREEN RITCHIE, 60, has been married to John Ritchie, 73, Madonna's father-in-law, for 23 years.
So in 2007 she claimed to be 60 meaning she was born in 1946/47. Yet in her entry in The Peerage she gives a different age...
Shireen Olive Folkard, Baroness Ritchie of Brompton was born in 1949.1  

We now have an interesting comment
Anonymous said...
In fact Shireen Folkard was born in 1939.

So, according to Anonymous  La Baronessa is not the being a model of veracity in relation to her age.

Now one could say a lady has a right to lie about here age: perhaps....BUT not... if you are a councillor. As a councillor you have no business in denying the truth; especially when taxpayers are now paying La Baronessa £120,000 a year- plus her RBKC pension.
We are entitled to know exactly how old this very greedy and most ineffectual councillor is ....the 61 she claimed in the Daily Mail, the 65 she states in The Peerage or the 72 that Anonymous states?







Shireen Folkard
* 1939
Marriages
1982
John Vivian Ritchie * 1928

Children
English Version

An Utter Disgrace

Congratulations to those two business bird brains Pooter Cockell and Paget-Brown.

Our Desperate shopkeepers looking for trade thought Boxing Day might offer some respite from the gloom; after all the Wedge Card championed by Pooter had been an utter £300, 000 flop so they expected a new brainwave from these two clowns whose business track records are notable for failure on an epic scale.
Driven By Greed
So what did the Pooter and Paget-Brown decide? To set the CEO's on hapless shoppers who thought they could park on single yellow lines. With idiots like these two running K&C no wonder the High Street is dying on it's feet. And the fine money raised will be spent on some other hopeless, money frittering scheme. What a pair of prats!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Myers Lays Down The Law

An officer writes.......

Derek Myers has given strict instructions that we should not blog on the Dame's site.
A law degree does not a lawyer make

This draconian directive from Myers(he likes to delude people he is a lawyer-he is not: merely a social worker with a law degree) may work to stop us blogging from Hornton Street, but it will not stop us expressing our opinions about the huge mess that Myers has got us into.The low morale in Hornton Street is palpable: fat cat officers at the top of the pile jump ship with huge pay offs, leaving those below to fend for themselves.
We disenfranchised officers will be telling the jumped Myers to take a running jump by ignoring his pompous 'directive'

The Dame congratulates......

The Dame is hearing good thing about the Mayor, Cllr Julie Mills.

hardworking Mayor



When she began her year she said, "A common misconception about Kensington and Chelsea is that it is full of rich people, but that is simply not true.
"Of course there are some very well off people, but we also have some of the worst pockets of deprivation in London, particularly in the north of the borough. And people can feel isolated due to poverty, but there are so many other reasons too - maybe due to age or disability."
The Dame, with her ear firmly to the ground hears that Cllr Mills is noted for her hard work and commitment as she does what she set out to do. Well done Madam Mayor!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Dame Salutes RBK&C Officers(most-but not all)

What RBK&C Officers Have To Do

Private sector employees look to their boards of directors for mature, experienced leadership.


Employees in local authorities are no different. They too wish to be led by 'competents'. However, instead of reasonably well qualified leaders they are as often as not directed by councillors who,( and the Dame is going to be as tactful as possible), have little in the way of qualifications/business acumen.
So the Dame salutes that cadre of RBK&C officers who, against all the odds, manage to keep the Rotten Borough going, despite the best efforts of senior councillors to screw things up on a monotonously regular basis.
The Dame has cited over the months the so many idiocies perpetrated by Cockell and his crew: they need no repetition....
At this festive time of the year the Dame pays tribute to the competent officer class who 'Keep Calm And Carry On'.
How they must dread having to sort out the messes that Pooter Cockell and friends gets them into. And how angry they must get to see their budgets slashed whilst Pooter and friends like La Baronessa Ritchie continue to draw £120,000 a year plus allowances for doing what little they do supremely badly.
And worse they now have to looked forward to working within the appalling mess that it is the ill fated Tri Borough Arrangement.
Cllr Ritchie needs to resign with immediate effect, as does the utterly hopeless E. Campbell. The Dame cannot even begin reflect on the lunacy of promoting Cllr Feilding-Mellen to do a man's job.
Anyway, well done Borough officers who do their job with application and honesty. It is a pity that councillors cannot follow their example!


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Hill House School and a 'couldn't care less attitude' To Dangerous Parental Parking

Double parking school campaign.jpg

A job for RBKC and the Police-Not Pupils

 


Posted by Emma Heseltine on Dec 17, 11 09:00 AM in News
Pupils from a North Kensington school took matters into their own hands to try and stop drivers from double parking on the road outside.
Youngsters at Bassett House Primary School in Bassett Road designed and distributed leaflets to raise awareness of the dangers of double parking.
Their campaign was supported by PCSOs from the north of the borough and the road safety team at Kensington and Chelsea Council. 
This is the most extraordinary of stories. The Council is so impotent in the face of parents illegally parking that it has to dragoon potential victims to halt this illegal and anti social practice! You could not make it up!! In Hans Place parents of Hill House School triple park and the headmaster and staff do absolutely nothing to stop it. PCSOs walk blithely past whilst parking attendants say that they have been told not to upset parents by asking them to move on. The school seems quite indifferent to the danger posed to children and refuses, as other local schools have done, to use staff to move on parents. What a terrible example is set by parents to their children. The story is that Pooter Cockell refuses to intervene: he does not wish to upset the uber rich parents. The Dame suggest that the headmaster's son, ' Fat William' be made patrolman-he is not much use for anything else! All he could come up with in the 'Guide to Parents' was this nonsense..."Parking This is the most contentious point of all with local residents.  The Tutors on parking duty are there to help the smooth flow of traffic and to keep inconvenience to a minimum.  They do this with courtesy and efficiency in the best interests of everyone so please follow their directions. Do not double park, block Residents’bays, sound your horn to attract your child’s attention or leave cars unattended at any time." 
Hill House NEVER has tutors supervising traffic. It is a downright lie to suggest otherwise

RBK&C do something about this lawbreaking before a child is maimed or worse


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Rowley Roll Over And Resign

Left: The Boy Councillor praying for forgiveness for lack of  veracity

The Dame will always interest herself in Westminster parking issues: we are, after all, affected by unilateral decisions taken by 12 year old Cllr Lee Rowley.
Also being part of the Tri Borough we are 'all in this mess together'.
A comment posted below made the Dame prick up her ears. The link takes you to a meeting at St George's, Hanover Square. In the Dame's day young Lee would have his mouth washed out with salt water for telling such 'Phibbs".  

A reader writes.....
"In my opinion, Lee Rowley, you should be grown up about this and resign. Click here to see yourself  being economic with the truth and digging your own political grave with this tripe. This is London, not a third world banana republic where people do as they're told. Also, while we're at it, let's not forget Rosemarie MacQueen in this. How did she compile a report so supportive of these charges, when 95% of people and businesses don't want them? I mean, Goebbels would have been proud of her! These two, and Colin Barrow, should go in my opinion. They've worked harder to weaken the Conservative Party vote in London than Ken Livingstone."

As one commentator said, "If Cllr Rowley is prepared to stand up in Church and be so disingenuous before a Church congregation just how much credibility can ever be given to anything that Cllr Rowley says in future. Of course, it must be noted that when Cllr Rowley admitted to revenue generation from parking he was not then the Cabinet member for parking and transportation."

Rowley may just have his claims that Westminster Council is not using the almost universally unwanted parking charges to fill a £7million black hole in the parking budget proved wrong.
Documents recently discovered show that Councillor Lee Rowley is not only aware of his parking department using enforcement to raise revenue but it is also part of a businesses case to do so.
















Thursday, 15 December 2011

Lee Rowley...To be Pushed or To Jump?

Beleaguered Leader of Westminster Council, Colin Barrow partially followed the Dame's advice going into rapid reverse over Cllr Lee Rowley's daft plan to turn the West End into an economic desert. But he has yet to act on the Dame's other bit of advice to fire baby faced management consultant Lee.
The Dame will have to have a quiet word with Lee about falling on one's sword......

If Colin is not to face a challenge to his own leadership he needs to find a scapegoat-and what better scapegoat than the silly boy behind an extremely silly idea.
Come on Lee....time to fall on your sword.

Left: Rowley, the architect of Barrow's misfortune

Merrick In Mistaken Identity

'The Dame was very much amused to hear of this story from within the entourage of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP. 
Mr Alexander had been called upon to give words of wisdom at a Housing Conference at the LGA. Arriving hotfoot from Parliament in his limousine, (not a Bentley) Danny was pleased to be greeted by a friendly doorman chappie who opened the door in an unctuous manner and bid him a subservient 'good morning'.
Imagine the Chief Secretary's astonishment, therefore, when this 'doorman', who bore a remarkable resemblance to Mr Mole from the Wind in the Willows, followed him into the reception room and began to engage him in earnest conversation, with much flapping of hands to cover up his excitement. It transpired that said doorman was none other than Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell, who indeed shares many characteristics with Mr Mole: thus the error was forgivable.
 
 
left: The LGA Chairman


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

"Cllr Palmer" on Facebook

The Dame was amused to see that Cllr Roundell Palmer has joined Facebook. He titles himself 'Cllr Palmer"!!!

Currently he has no friends listed but that is not news. The Dame notices he says he is 'stuck in Sharma-el-Sheik.' Now that will bring much joy to many. But calling yourself  "Cllr" on Facebook must be a First....what a pretentious fool.

Dancing On Freedom In Exhibition Road

 
The opening of Exhibition Road, paved with millions of pounds of Chinese granite, forces us to ask questions the Rotten Borough conveniently ignored. Fortunately, they have different ethical standards in Sweden.This extract from a trade magazine below tells us more.

Sweden to check Chinese quarry standards

An investigation into the standard of working practices in Chinese quarries has been launched by several Swedish local authorities. The local governments in Malmö, Göteborg and Örebro have commissioned Swedwatch to check on working conditions and health and safety practices in a number of quarries in China, which currently supply stone paving products to Sweden.
The launch of the investigation comes after a national radio programme in Sweden, Kaliber, highlighted the low standard of care for workers in China. The programme’s review focused on several industries, including the quarry industry, which has raised concerns in Sweden about the ethics of buying materials from China just on the basis of price.



 left: Our Chinese quarry? It would have been closed down by RBK&C Health & Safety officers.

There is a double irony in using stone quarried by political and other prisoners in one of the world's worst abusers of human rights-China. The granite paving serves a unique collection of cultural and educational institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College London. These institutions represent the best of Western civilisation and intellectual freedom-things not so revered in brutal, repressive China.
The other irony is that of the transportation process and it's environmental impact and cost. But then Pooter Cockell with his adoration of 8 MPG Bentleys is unlikely to be worried about that.
So when Tott Brill, the overpaid and dramatically under-qualified 'Fun Leader' organises her 'dancing festival' in Exhibition Rd spare a thought or two for the cruelly treated 'slave labour' who made it all possible.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Dame As An Agony Aunt

Seriously....The Dame is being used by some of London's most senior local government leaders as a maternal shoulder to cry on!
The latest is embattled Cllr Barrow at Westminster. Just about everybody is screaming at him over his greedy plans to fill his funding gap using the hapless motorist-and at the expense of West End commerce.
Over a warming cup of hot chocolate at Fortnums a tearful Colin gave The Dame the inside track.
When it became clear that, through ineptitude, WCC had lost out on it's government grant young Lee Rowley came up with the crass idea of turning the West End into a ghost town.
The Dame asked Colin why had he listened to young Lee knowing he was just a junior management consultant, but by now Colin was past reason as floods of tears coursed down his ample jowls.
All he could think of was how his seat in the Lords, alongside Pooter Cockell, had been jerked from beneath him.
Luckily, The Dame had the answer. "Colin, wipe away your tears" she said, passing him a lavender scented handkerchief "I have the solution- you must fire young Lee Rowley without delay".
Watch this space for the firing of Rowley-for the greater good, of course....






 left: 12 year old Lee

Greenhalgh off to the Lords??

The Dame has now heard that Steven Greenhalgh has decided to step down  to focus 3 days a week on his business. He sets an example to Merrick Cockell. Cockell is being paid close to £70,000 for what was meant to be a full time role: In reality he is giving just two days a week.
Steven Greenhalgh did the honorable thing of taking just £35,000 a year for what was in effect a full time job-and a bloody good one to boot. Come on Merrick follow his example!


 Left: Greenhalgh adding more weight to Mr Pickles

HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM LEADER TO STAND DOWN
STRICTLY EMBARGOED FOR MONDAY 12TH DECEMBER, 12 NOON
THE Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council (H&F) seen by many as one the most influential council leaders in the country has announced that he intends to stand down.
Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, who has been leader since 2006, has overseen a council that is on track to reduce council tax five times out of six while cutting its historic debt burden in half.
During that period resident satisfaction increased to a record level, H&F was given the highest score possible by the Audit Commission for the quality of services and the borough won the prestigious LGC 'Council of the Year' award in 2010.
Standing down will enable Cllr Greenhalgh to focus on how to decentralise power from the town hall and Whitehall to the neighbourhood so that local public services are more accountable to local people.
He is helping to pioneer plans for a Neighbourhood Budget for the White City Opportunity Area. Nearly £70 million of taxpayers’ funds or £17,000 per household is spent in this area every year. Despite this unemployment is twice the borough average, the area has high levels of overcrowding, relatively low educational attainment and relatively high levels of crime. H&F wants to pool central and local government's spending into a single budget pot, involve residents far more in how that money is spent and ensure that every penny is focused on improving the life chances of the people living there.

He said: “I am keen work with Whitehall and the town hall to develop a new approach to public spending at a neighbourhood level while continuing to serve the residents of Town Ward where I both live and work," he said.

“I do not think the people of White City are getting value for money out that £70 million, nor do I think are wider taxpayers,” said Cllr Greenhalgh. “I want to focus that money on getting much better outcomes for people living there and ensuring that the neighbourhood is fully involved in how that money is spent.”
He went on to say: “Being leader of the council is a remarkable challenge which I have been thrilled to have taken on. I am immensely grateful for the energy and professionalism of my fellow councillors and staff in making possible such a radical transformation of the council over the last five years.
“We can be so proud of what we have achieved in becoming such an influential, trail blazing council. From cutting tax to paying off debt, to widening choice in schools and housing, from fighting crime to a cleaner environment we have blazed the trail. We have been the guiding star by which other councils seek to navigate. I am confident that our course is firmly established for the future."
Recently H&F, Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea announced plans to combine services and management costs to save £33.4 million-a-year across the three areas by 2014/15.
Another part of that reform, is seeing H&F on course to reduce its accommodation footprint by half which has been a major contributor to the Council’s ambition to reduce its historic £176 million debt burden to £78 million by 2014, saving local taxpayers £9.1 million a year in debt payments.
H&F has some of the cleanest streets in London, six of its parks have been given the national accolade of 'Green Flag' status and the Council pioneered spending on round-the-clock town centre police. This year saw educational attainment reach its highest levels ever with the best ever GCSE results, three new schools opening and H&F being placed as the top borough for the number of children going to leading universities.

““It is extremely difficult simultaneously to cut taxes, improve services and reduce the debt burden and yet that is just what Stephen has done at H&F. He has lifted the spectre of debts from future generations of residents - there can be no higher accolade than that.”
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, said: "“Stephen has been an outstanding council leader. He always understood that the role of the council was to stand shoulder to shoulder with the public. People in Hammersmith & Fulham are getting a better service at a much cheaper price. Hammersmith and Fulham is truly a council to be proud of.”

The Dame to sue the Beeb

 

 


The Dame was unamused to read the BBC have 'ripped off' her site in this way. 
But ex Cllr and Worshipful Mayor, Barry Phelps comforted The Dame telling her it was better to be talked about than not to be talked about. And, of course, he knows all about being talked about....after his problems with emails....
Evidently the Time Lord is based upon none other that Lord 'Pooter' Cockell, who spends all his Time thinking of his peerage.....

Doctor Who – The Hornets’ Nest


Hornet’s Nest, a gripping five story Doctor Who adventure starring Tom Baker and Richard Franklin, broadcasts for the first time on Radio 4 Extra over the next two weeks.
On Monday and Tuesday, in The Stuff of Nightmares, Mike Yates is reunited with the Time Lord. Barricaded in the Time Lord's cottage, he hears about re-animating bugs.
On Wednesday and Thursday, in The Dead Shoes, it's back in time to 1930s Cromer for Mike's next lesson about the alien swarm.
On Friday and Monday, in The Circus of Doom, the Time Lord encounters the invading swarm in early 19th-century rural England.
Next Tuesday and Wednesday, in A Sting in the Tale, his next alien insect encounter, the Doctor travels back to medieval England.
In the final story on Thursday and Friday, Hive of Horror, now up to speed, Mike Yates joins forces with the Time Lord to tackle the alien swarm.

A Mayor Miscalculation


When Mayor Boris said the Prime Minister had, 'played a blinder' he must have reflected,
morosely, that he himself had played his own hand very badly.

Left: Played the fool

Boris needs reflect on the old clichéd adage of a week being a long time in politics.
Last week Boris used his position as a putative 'national treasure' to undermine his old school and university chum.
Taking the advice of the Great Debater, Cllr Moylan, he decided to put himself up as a champion of some of Cameron's fiercest enemies on the 1922 Committee.
But those enemies have now become the Prime Minister's closest allies and our rather incompetent Mayor's attempt to supplant his rival look gauche and ill thought through. Even Simon Heffer has fallen in love with the Prime Minister, along with the rest of the Tory press.
So where does it leave our Mayor? Most exposed thinks The Dame.....
If the Dame were wily enough to be David Cameron she would show no mercy. She might even screw up his attempts to continue as Mayor, and in the years to come, she would certainly try to frustrate his efforts to return to Westminster.
Disloyalty has to have it's just reward

Friday, 9 December 2011

Cadogan and Seaborn Enhance Sloane Square

Those with taste and a sense of tradition who adore Sloane Square( not you Daniel Moylan) are trilling with delight now that Cadogan and his super capable lieutenant, Seaborn, have selected those two maestros of culinary excellence to take over the horrid and unlamented Oriel 'cafe.
Jeremy King and Chris Corbin have grand plans for a grand all day 'eaterie'. On their record to date it will be superlative and a great boost to the Square.
Sometimes we all groan about landlords such as Cadogan and Grosvenor but we incline to forget that they often have a greater sense of taste than any alternative owner-such as some greedy financial institution.
Hugh Seaborn did a terrific job when boss of Portman. He encouraged small non cloned retailers into Marylebone High Street making it the lively, interesting place it is today.

The Dame also hears that Cadogan have also taken back the Cadogan Hotel so we can expect better things there.

Below: Oriel: a dreadful place....but good things to come

Malc Rifkind says EVERYBODY needs Winter Fuel Allowance

The Dame was interested to read of the Borough wide initiative to persuade those not needing a Winter Fuel Allowance to donate to those who do: particularly important in RBK&C for fuel poverty here is a major issue. So the Dame was even more interested to read of a response to a resident who wrote to Sir Malc Rifkind asking why the Government was dishing out these allowances 'willy nilly' to those without need. There are millions of OAPs living in sunny climes who cannot possibly be suffering fuel poverty.




 Left: Malc asks what is a Winter Fuel Allowance

Malc is a very busy man with little time for silly things like 'surgeries' for his constituents:but then why would he? After all, his 'collection' of non exec directorships-with some very curious companies-plus his journalism, and the fact that his base is Edinburgh, leave little time for irritating constituents.

So how did Malc respond to the eminently sensible suggestion the Government 'monitor' those who receives the Allowance? In precis Malc implied the Government have no intention of doing so and everybody needed a WFA. So that alright then!

Clearly, he has not read the local paper campaign. But then again why would he? He has far more important things to worry about.

It's really time Malc made way for a younger and more committed replacement. And preferably one who actually lives in the Rotten Borough.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Raised Voices and abuse of alcohol

The Dame's hubby No 5-before property billionaire No 6-was an ex Indian Army general so you can be sure that the Dame is pretty used to some fairly ripe barrack room name calling. However, even she was somewhat surprised to find it being used in the dignified setting of the council chamber. No....and by raised voices she is not referring to the squeaky speechifying of Cllr Lightfoot.

It appears that a senior councillor, and a noted 'great debater' became so angry and excited he used the most vulgar of terms to describe his opposite number on the Labour benches.
Yes, shocking stuff and the sort of language best kept to low class Handsworth 'boozers'......

Left: Irish Attack Dog

Anyway, overheard was an exchange between the Great Debater in full flow, and a member of the minority party. Evidently the Labour councillor had the temerity to ask the 'Great Debater' his position on the minimum wage: he replied, "mind your own f*****g business you c**t"
The Great Debater then went over to a bunch of fellow councillors to say how "rude" the Labour councillor was. Very odd coming from the coarsest and rudest bully on the Council.
The Dame can't think why asking such an innocent question should have ignited such a disgusting tirade: ironic coming from someone whose unpleasantness is matched only by the vile Brian Coleman, GLA
.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Our Leaders' Dilemma


 Left: Pooter Cockell pondering the way forward


It must be the festive season. Once again The Dame was summoned into the presence of the Leader to advise on a rather delicate matter. Sir Merrick asked her to be circumspect but The Dame felt readers could give some unbiased advice over his dilemma.

A few years back humble Merrick, as he then was, persuaded colleagues he was full time and needed an allowance to reflect the fact. They caved him and gave him his near £70,000 a year. This year, when he picked up another £53,000 pa from LGA insolent councillors(and not a few officers), pointed out that he was just 2 days a week at Hornton Street and should adjust his allowance to reflect it. At the very idea our Leader threw a hysterical teutonic tantrum.
Recently a few councillors began suggesting the time was ripe for Pooter to 'move on'- but here's the rub....Pooter has children at boarding school and needs to fund school fees etc.
His plan is to get a junior ministerial position in the Lords before moving on. Doing so will mean he can re-balance his income by keeping his LGA job and maintain- through double jobbing-the taxpayer funded lifestyle he has become accustomed to.
So how can we all persuade our Prime Minister to clad Pooter in ermine so he can maintain his £130,000 lifestyle?

Rush To Get Your Tickets For Mayor's Christmas Concert



The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr Julie Mills, is helping to ring in Christmas next Monday 12 December by hosting a charity Christmas carols' service at Our Lady of Victories Church, Kensington High Street, W8.

As well as traditional carols, service goers will hear festive readings from writer Sebastian Faulks, actor Clare Bloom, Jamie Lang of Made in Chelsea and others while enjoying minced pies and wine.

All proceeds from the event will go to four Royal Borough charities: Age Concern Kensington and Chelsea, Open Age, the Second Half Centre and the Pepper Pot Centre, who work with isolated older residents.

Tickets cost £20 and can be booked by phoning 020 7361 3659 or emailing mayor@rbkc.gov.uk

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Exhibition Rd...a meadow which building contractors can graze for ever."

Simon Jenkins writes in The Standard today about idiocy of ring fencing parking revenues.





Left: Top journalist and conservationist slams Exhibition Road


Below is his rationale. Interestingly, he alights on the 'groundnut scheme' that is Exhibition Rd: an example of  what goes wrong when councils have too much money to squander on ego driven schemes. Cockell came up with some ludicrous justifications for spending the £40 million(Jenkins underestimated the cost) but in reality it was just a chance councillors to 'show off' using taxpayers' hard earned money.
Just think how £40 million could have been used to help residents in a practical way.....

"There is a hitch. Money raised from roads and transport can be spent only on roads and transport. One reason why every street in central London is continually being dug up, to the fury of users and the mystification of foreigners, is that London boroughs have massive sums to squander on redoing pavements. The Exhibition Road project in Kensington, a decade old and three years in the building, has consumed £25 million on repaving and relighting, and is still cluttered with signs and bike racks. It is a meadow which building contractors can graze for ever."

Monday, 5 December 2011

Pooter Cockell Defends His Wastefulness

The Dame had her attention drawn to a nonsense letter from our man of business, Pooter Cockell.
We should be very wary of Pooter's business judgment: his track record is not comforting. The two companies he worked for are now defunct in odd circumstances. His decision to lose taxpayers close to a million pounds on Chelsea Care is emblematic of the Cockell approach to business.
He talks utter rubbish about the potential of Exhibition Road to expand economic activity. Of course, it won't. Like the tens of millions spent on Holland Park School the near £40 million spent on Exhibition Rd will do nothing for economic activity.
The main beneficiary will be the Chinese who flogged us the granite. Oh, and the other beneficiary will be the pompous Pooter. Pooter can now boast to his friends about how he splurged millions of our money to boost his fragile ego.
As for lending the near billionaire Terence Conran nearly £4 million of unsecured taxpayers' money at 3% interest-it just beggars belief.
The only thing Cockell succeeds in doing is wasting our money. At the last count he has burnt through over £100 million of it just when the UK economy is in it's direst state.
And claiming that the development of Earls Court is something he has had a hand in....well
I rather think Capco, the owners, will be having a good old laugh at Pooter's presumption.


Left: Cockell...good at wasting our millions

Thank you for your balanced coverage of the decision by the Council's Cabinet to offer the Design Museum a loan ('Council puts business before people in need' 25 November 2011).
As June Knight acknowledged, we want to help the Design Museum in part because it will bring more visitors to the area and secure the High Street's viability, as well as increasing employment.
There is not a lot the Council can do directly to help those on low incomes - though we will keep Council Tax low and will continue to pay benefits promptly.
But we do have a role in the economic development of the borough: from the investment in our streets - most recently Exhibition Road - to the ambition of a Crossrail station at Kensal, through the new academy in North Kensington and major plans for Earl's Court, we are fully engaged in making the borough a better and more prosperous place to live.
Yours faithfully,

Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell,

Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Mr £410,000 CHELSEA CARE .....STEVEN FORBES EXPOSED


The Dame shines a light....thanks to an 'insider'
 
Some time ago the Dame posed the vital question “why was consultant Steven Forbes paid £410,000 by the Council over a four year period?”. The Dame’s assiduous researcher/walker disgraced ex Mayor 'Bazza' Phelps can now reveal all.
Some five years ago it became evident, with people living longer and wishing to stay in their own homes, that the Council would become responsible for obtaining decent home care services for older and disabled residents. A senior officer was duly hired to do the job. Sadly, she proved unequal to the task and chaos reigned. Enter the Forbes Hewlett consultancy. 

 Left: Half a million £ man Forbes

Although Steven Forbes was not appointed as a member of staff, he was given the title of “Director” within the Health, Housing and Adult Social Care business group. His role was to sort out the problems within the Home Care service. It was also at this stage that the concept of Chelsea Care was revived.
As “commissioner and purchaser” [i.e. identifying residents’ needs and then finding companies able to meet them], Steven Forbes’s role was to “commission” home care services, including from Chelsea Care. So for the 15 months when Chelsea Care was dysfunctional, he was the person at the Council overseeing this shambles while at the same time failing to organise the Council’s internal home care commissioning structure. 
So a senior officer from a different Council business group was parachuted in for a couple of months. He sorted out the mess and then returned to his day job. 

Residents, however, were now paying not ONE , not TWO, but THREE people to do this ONE job – justified on the grounds that all Executive Directors have a budget for consultancy advice as and when they feel it is needed.
But the problem did not end there. With growing realisation of the fiasco that was Chelsea Care, Cabinet members decided that the ideal person to sort all this out was Steven Forbes! So in November 2010 he became interim Managing Director of Chelsea Care Limited. 

In January 2011 he was forced to go cap in hand to the Council for further funding to keep Chelsea Care afloat. Despite all the signs now indicating that the Council should cut its losses and close Chelsea Care and contrary to officer advice, the Cabinet decided that Forbes was their man and gave him the money. 
Two months later the organisation collapsed – leaving the Council with a loss far greater than the £300,000 of taxpayers’ money that they are prepared to admit.
And the epilogue? The incompetent Council officer who could not do her job remains in post, while both her boss and the officer who finally got the internal structure to work are to go, both victims of the Tri-borough folly. Mr. Forbes has thankfully now also gone, but has resurfaced in the neighbouring London Borough of Brent.




Cllr Matthew Roundell Palmer Breaks Cover And Admits To Being A Council Security Guard

The Dame was amused to see that a 'Roundell' has commented. It has to be in house buffoon Palmer attempting to rationlise his weird 'photographic mission'.
One can see Palmer's fingerprints all over the comment. How? Because it makes no sense.
Why would a councillor be responsible for checking sickness records or ensuring there was no litter?That is a job for the security team at the Town Hall.
We know Palmer has little to do but surely this extension of his duties is a FIRST.
To remind you here is Cllr Roundell Palmer on his security guard duties.






left: Roundell Palmer checking for litter 



Roundell has left a new comment on your post "Cllr Palmer photographs striking RBKC Council Staff..":

I think its perfectly legitimate for the strikers to be photographed. In case there are any infringements onto council property, littering offences or damage to any council property. Or maybe to cross reference sickness records on the day.

If you have done nothing wrong why would you complain?



An Officer Comments.......

The Dame promised to bring to you witty and perceptive comments-in particular from officers. This one is smack on the mark. It had the dear old Dame giggling away as she enjoyed a cuppa' with her walker, ex Cllr and Worshipful Mayor Phelps.
Clearly officers think nothing of the buffoon Palmer and his attempts to trap them!



 




Long Suffering Officer has left a new comment on your post "Sir Pooter calls The Dame and announces he will be...":


left: an officer rolling his eyes as once again he explains something to Cllr E Campbell

Thank heavens for the Dame.


We all regularly look at her musings and more often than not completely agree with them. We even think one of us is writing it.


Don't worry Palmer can't touch us as we use the library computers or home PCs not our office ones that can track where we surf.


I echo the candidates up for eviction and would ask the Dame to run an "I'm a Councillor Get me Outta Here" competition.

As far as I and my senior colleagues are concerned the entire cabinet could go and it would save us all a lot of time, worry, and residents expense.



Sunday, 4 December 2011

A Senior Officer Writes.....

A senior officer has commented- and it caused the Dame such mirth- she felt compelled to bring it to wider attention.




Dear Dame

I think you have allowed yourself to be influenced by his Lordships fine vintage port, courtesy of the K&C council tax payers. 



 Left: Lord Pooter's port decanter engraved with the newly devised  Pooter armorials


Did he offer it to his mystery guest in New York too? I am sure his Lordship cannot remember, he never does. But back to business. All a bit like the Mikado. There is no doubt that Sir Pooter and Snitcher Palmer must go, sorry if you promised his Lordship to exclude them, a mistake. Two of the most unpleasant people you could ever have to deal with and Cllr Ritchie, useless, lazy and expensive, a real burden on us officers. All of them unpleasant to us with it. After that Sir Useless and Nasty Coates Bt. Certainly Councillor Moylan, also unpleasant to officers, none of them will be missed. But I refuse to be selfish and your other readers should have their say too.

Cllr Gardner scores points/ Cllr E. Campbell-a laughing stock

The Dame has heard that Cllr Gardner has worked hard on Abingdon Ward planning issues and has been especially good with poor residents in Shaftesbury Place-next to Tesco and the new development there. Evidently, she holds weekly meetings with them. Well done Cllr Gardner.
The Dame wishes to hear about good cllrs-not just loonies like Palmer.

However, the same, sadly, cannot be said of the feckless Elizabeth Campbell. It seems that this councillor is quite incapable of understanding a brief-to the despair of officers.(so they tell the Dame)
What strikes the Dame as odd is that Cockell insists on promoting councillors who just lack intellect. Instead, he refuses to promote anyone could intellectually challenge him...not too difficult, we know!
Cllr E. Campbell is known to be quite thick.

There are some very bright Conservative councillors. Two come to mind immediately...Cllrs Lindsay and Read. Why does Pooter cast them into outer darkness? The answer is obvious...they have intellect and they have integrity and these are two gifts he feels uncomfortable with.

Cllr E. Campbell is described as extremely pompous. As the Dame knows so well... pomposity is in inverse proportion to lack of talent. 

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sir Pooter calls The Dame and announces he will be culling councillor numbers

Mysterious things happen to The Dame.....
A call from the Leader's Office led to the scrunching of gravel as the Leader's vast and luxurious Bentley pulled up outside the Dame's huge Holland Park town house. Soon The Dame was decanted outside the Town Hall and led by various uniformed minions to the Leader's penthouse suite

 Left: Pooter Cockell's penthouse office where The Dame and he  hatched  a plan


Nursing a glass of fine 60 year old RBKC Special Reserve port Sir Cockell explained his dilemma.

"Dame, I intend following the advice of my arch enemy, Doctor Gordon Taylor (see letter below) but  I can't give the impression that I listened to him- that's why I did not reply. Also I have to decide which councillors to cull. How can I not lose face to Taylor?"

In an instant the Dame had the answer.

"Leader,  I will hold a competition. I will ask our 85,000 readers which councillor should be immediately sacked. I won't include your ghastly idiotic friend Palmer: I know you value his very personal services. And, of course, I won't let any of the 85,000 choose you"

Our Germanic leader snapped his heels saying, " Dame, you have saved ze bacon, please organise zis competition now. Your Hornet Nest is ze most useful thing."
So readers nominate your most useless councillor..... however, do not include Sir Cockell.
The winner will enjoy a fun filled weekend at Sir Pooter's country retreat.

Here is the letter which forced Cockell to adopt the Taylor Plan to be announced in the next week or two...



Dear Merrick,

On March 8, I wrote to you suggesting that consideration be given to a consultation aimed at reducing the number of councillors by a third – from 54 to 36.This would produce worthwhile savings in the estimated annual cost of councillors of £1.2m.This approach is already being taken by other councils, including Bucks County Council and Telford and Wrekin Council.The chief executives of several councils are also taking voluntary pay cuts.With the chief executive of RBKC costing the taxpayer £256,000 pa, I suggested that a similar gesture would be appreciated by borough residents.Despite a reminder, you have not yet to replied. Perhaps this is not surprising as RBKC seem determined to protect themselves from the effect of the recession and cuts by increasing charges for their services.In October 2010, RBKC decided to increase charges and fees by 3.1%. This was followed by substantially higher increases for parking charges. This is a clear example of the public sector protecting itself at the expense of the taxpayer.
Gordon Taylor,
Chairman West London Residents’ Association

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Prout and Pooter Show Goes Badly Wrong



left: Prout creates a Rout
The unlamented and unqualified David Prout who gained the reputation as a less than useful Rotten Borough planning chief( he moved before his uselessness was outed) became director-general of Localism at the Communities and Local Government Dept. No one is quite sure what he does for his £200k a year salary but making very foolish comments would seem a job he excels at. But then having spent years working for the idiotic John Prescott something is bound to rub off!
Speaking at the local infrastructure body Navca’s annual conference in London yesterday (22 November) he came out with the gem that councillors were actually volunteers!
Sajid Hashmi, chief executive of Voluntary Action Stoke-on-Trent, said he was alarmed by the comments and could not see how councillors could be part of the voluntary sector. Prouts' comments were greeted by some gasps of disbelief and gales of laughter among delegates
Fortunately-or perhaps not so fortunately, Sir Pooter Cockell was in the audience and we all know what a big volunteer he is. Firstly, he 'volunteers' for a £70,000 a year allowance as RBKC leader and then 'volunteers' for a further £53,000 as chairman of the Local Government Association.
Coming to the hapless Prout’s defence Sir Pooter- tongue in cheek, said

"It worries me that in an audience like this, there is suspicion about the motives of councillors," he said. Most councillors, said Cockell, came from community activism backgrounds. Or like him are failed businessmen who can't find any other income generative source.
We all know the only activism that Cockell knows is getting a level of allowance to ensure he lives 'on the hog'. And on close to £130,000 a year he does just that.
Sara Ruiz director of Newham Voluntary Sector Consortium, quickly put Cockell right. She said it was wrong to describe councillors’ community service as volunteering. She said councillors in the London borough of Newham received annual allowances of about £25,000 on average and more than £50,000 in some cases. "That isn’t volunteering," she said.
It is fortunate she did not know about some of the other juicy £50,000 plus 'volunteer' councillor sycophants Pooter surrounds himself with.....

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Cllr Palmer photographs striking RBKC Council Staff


 left: Cllr Palmer who recently oversaw the loss of  a million pounds of taxpayers' money at Chelsea Care and Cllr Lightfoot's leadership bid campaign manager....

That embarrassing and unemployable buffoon Cllr Palmer was secretly photographed photographing RBKC workers manning a picket line. Now the Dame is ambivalent about the strike, but she is not ambivalent about a senior councillor and member of various powerful Scrutiny Committees engaged in activity which looks like harassment. At worst, it is redolent of tactics used by despotic Middle Eastern regimes.
Make up your own mind. The Dame holds strong Conservative views but she is revolted by this sort of behaviour: behaviour that brings our Council into disrepute. Before the corrupt Standards Committee is finally wound up one hopes his behaviour would become subject to a complaint. 
It would seems his last 'training' session conducted by Miss Parker taught him nothing. What a clown!



left: the hardworking cllr on a photo shoot.....






One reader has asked how to complain. The grounds are simple. Palmer has bought the Council into even more disrepute. Anyone wanting to make a formal complaint should follow the link Complaint about Palmer . It is a public duty to do so.....