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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Pooter Talks Leadership With The Dear Old Dame

The Dame's Hot Line To Pooter
Fresh from successfully advising the Leader to appoint Cllr 'Buffy' Buckmaster as the 'Jubilee Mayor' the Dame's telephone shrills again....
This time  Pooter asks the Dame her thoughts on Leadership succession.
Before you all start jumping up and down with excitement Pooter has not tipped the Dame the wink that he about to jump before being pushed:far from it.With no signs yet of that Lords job he refuses to give up his near £70000 a year sinecure.

Now his company, Abingdon Cockell, has been 'taken over' by very sinister Chinese gentlemen he has nowhere to go.

Whoever follows Pooter will need be a  'Healer'. This is a council riven with discontent. Officer and councillor morale is at an all time low. Councillor resignations-for very unsavory activities- have  kept the council in the public eye.

The loss of important wards and miserable election  turnouts reflect the disenchantment of  voters with a leadership stale and tainted and well past it's shelf life.
So who could be that Healer? Hot favorites, with the Dame's own incisive observations, are below. Let us start with the rank outsider....

Rock Feilding Mellen

Rock comes with a serious, and possibly unfair health warning: he is known as Pooter's protegee. Pooter is keen that a 'blue blood' should succeed him-why the Dame cannot fathom.
Rock is a pleasant enough young man, but known for arrogance and being a naif. But his gravest defect is lack of gravitas and experience. He will need several years before he has the stature and wisdom to repair the damage that is the "Pooter Legacy". To elect Rock FM would be the height of folly.

Nick Paget-Brown

The Dame has mixed views on Nick. In so many ways he is a nice chap with a ready smile and a people pleasing nature. However, he tends to get himself into a bit of a muddle over the ' technical stuff'.
As one senior officer hinted to the Dame over a working breakfast....'we have quite a lot of hand holding to do here'. A further problem is that he is rather perceived to be yet another Pooter Poodle-not a great recommendation.

Tim Ahern

Another 'Pooter Poodle'. He wants the job, no question of that. And he is rich so there is the possibility of an "independent streak" which might be prepared to do the right thing and take a balanced approach to changes that are urgently needed in K&C: for example, the outrageous SRA's and senior officer salaries. But is he tough enough to take a stand and lead his Cabinet? Sadly he has failed time and again to carry Cabinet colleagues turn around of bad recommendations. Most recently he went along with the absurd decision to use council tax for unsecured, low interest loans to the Design Museum (and he is supposed to be a businessman). He also failed to insist on an independent audit of the scandal which is Chelsea Care - another huge waste of tax payers money by deluded councillors.

Tim Coleridge

Tim has many virtues. He excelled himself during the battle to save Sloane Square by coming firmly down on the side of the residents. In character, a charming and emollient man with an ability to lead by concensus he has few enemies-even on theLabour side(we don't need to worry about the Lib Dems-they don't matter). He is also popular with the officers who see him as quite incorruptible. But is he clever enough?

Then there is an interesting outsider-one whose background makes him an excitingly outstanding candidate. He could be pivotal in revitalising a Council which has lost direction.

Jonathon Read

Read has none of the baggage of the previous 'usual suspects'. Though new to the Council he has a formidable business, financial and academic background. He will have the ability to take a 'helicopter view' of ongoing developments in the tri borough-an ability none of the previous have....
Jonathon has run trading, structuring and product marketing businesses at major financial institutions in London and New York. He started his career at Goldman Sachs, and has worked at other investment banks including Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch. 

An Energising Breath Of Fresh Air
His focus has been on financial assets and derivatives, including credit (illiquid, structured, corporate and emerging markets), interest rates (interest rate swaps, local markets) and foreign exchange. In addition, he has been responsible for the development of several innovative hybrid products that provide risk transfer solutions to less liquid risk factors, such as longevity derivatives, life settlements, and portfolio correlation products.
Jonathon has a variety of business interests, including the provision of boutique consulting and advisory services to a variety of global clients.
He is a Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School, where he teaches courses at the MBA, MFin and MPhil levels. In addition, Jonathon is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School in New York, where he teaches on the MBA and EMBA programmes.
Jonathon holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder.

Not to seriously consider Read would be a grave error of judgment.


  1. This guy HAS to be the smartest guy for the job. People like Read earn fortunes: lets get him running RBKC.

  2. Cllr Read is pleasant enough in person but listen to his Council speeches and you will hear that his ideology is very right wing, even to the right of most of the Tories in RBKC. He would be a better fit for LBHF, the Tory group there is full of ultra-Thatcherites. He would be a highly ideological choice in comparison to someone like Ahern or Coleridge.

    It's too soon for him in any event. He may have good business experience but he has not even been on the Council for two years, and hasn't even been in Cabinet yet.

  3. Sometimes you have to take a risk with a new broom like Cllr Read. No skeletons and not beholden to anyone.

    Cllr Cockell's K&C is such a rats nest that any of the old crowd may be too compromised to clean up the Town Hall and return the ship to Tory values

  4. Has Cllr Moylan fallen off the cliff??

  5. Never heard of Cllr Read. Does anybody know of him?

  6. Cllr Read needs to prove his worth. Maybe he is backbench fodder waiting for a shot at Westminster. Like Margot James.....

    Dont want another James - nor the hopeless Cllr Marshall who is also "parked" but has the wrong profile for Westminster

  7. Cllr Coleridge has worked hard for the residents of this Borough, he understands the importance of community and has no doubt stayed true to his own moral and family values These have seen him navigate the rats nest and he is viewed by officers and decent councillors as uncorruptable, THAT can only be a good thing. At times of change we need someone who understands the ropes as well as having an insight into the past. Who knows what will be uncovered when poorer departs, it is therefore vital that someone who knows right from wrong, has some morals and decency is assigned the role. Cllr Coleridge would be more than capable of fulfilling it with honesty, integrity, and decency. He would in your words dear Dame be a good healer.

  8. I am afraid it is the two Dim Tims. Both nice enough, but not very bright. We do need some brains to fill the intellectual deficit of the Pooter years. K&C can't afford another thick leader.

  9. "Dim Tims" fills me with dread after 14 years with the intellectually challenged Cllr Cockrell.

    Cllr Read is obviously bright but he needs to tell us three things

    (i) is he on the (Westminster) cndidates list?
    (ii) has he ever applied to be on the list?
    (iii) does he intend to try and get on the list?

    Not a bad thing to be on the list, but we need to know this if he has Leadership ambitions in K&C.

    Chelsea resident with Parliamentary ambitions, Margot James, found it useful to stand and be selected as a K&C councillor. This gave her an opportunity to cosy up to Cabinet member Cllr Ritchie (in charge of candidate selection at Central Office) and to use her gay female profile to fast track onto the candidates list and be selected as a Conservative PPC. In six months she was off the Council, leaving her K&C residents high and dry. They put their trust in Margot and got a slap in the face.

    K&C residents do not need more of this.

  10. No bad thing to have some right wing behaviour in the Council, 20.54

    If Cllr Read sounds like a Tory, looks like a Tory, and wiggles like a Tory, then maybe he is a Tory!

    A refreshing change from the reconstructed Whig tendencies of Cllr Cockell and his penchant for self indulgence

  11. Cllr Moylan is certainly not "dim". And he has more than an "insight" into the past, 22.37

    Moylan tried to be Leader of K&C before and was defeated by Pooter (by one vote only). And of course he hates Pooter - so no risk of poodle behaviour.

    And in a few months Ken Livingston will send him packing from TFL.

    Just need some checks and balances to control the Moylan downsides

  12. No To Moylan and No to Read

  13. Another One who Knows8 February 2012 at 09:27

    Neither Moylan - with all his alleged skeletons - nor Read would be suitable.

    The defining characteristic of Kensington and Chelsea once was that it was a caring council that looked after its poor as well as its rich - "how good it is to dwell together in unity". Sir Malby Crofton was the greatest exponent of this, followed by Nicholas Freeman and also Joan Hanham. This all went to pot when Pooter took over.

    The idea of Read or Moylan as Leader would fill everyone else with horror. Even the most privileged residents of the Borough would be forced out, to be displaced by foreign plutocrats of dubious provenance; the Borough would become a ghost town for most of the year. As David Prout once observed approvingly, "in Kensington and Chelsea the rich are being displaced by the super rich".

    No, let us go for one of the two Tims - both men of honour - who can unite the Council and restore Kensington and Chelsea as a pleasant and fair place of which its residents can once more be proud. Neither is as intellectually challenged as some correspondents seem to think and either one would grow into the job.

  14. "Whig tendencies of Cllr Cockell and his penchant"

    Cockell is so politically and in every way illiterate that he thinks a whig is something you wear when you are 'follicly'challenged. Just read his LGA speeches: really the product of a very poorly educated and third rate mind

  15. Kensington Resident8 February 2012 at 10:12

    "Dim Tims" can make great Leaders!

    You do not have to be clever to lead - you just need to surround yourself with people who make up for the deficiency (the team)

    What we cannot compromise on is honesty, integrity, humility and service. All of which have been absent in K&C for far too long

  16. Does Cockell wear a wig?

    I did not know this

  17. Cllr Cockell does not wear a wig. But he is badly in need of a good tailor

  18. It is another problem that Cockell has created. Like all small time dictators he has not bothered to invest any time in a management succession plan, and only felt comfortable with yes men around him. If Myers had been doing his job, he would have insisted that succession was a high priority, but Myers did not want to do anything to upset 'his' leader and damage his own position.

  19. A councillor with the most perfect credentials to be leader is Victoria Borwick-oh but no that won't work....she is too honest; too unwilling to compromise her principles; too unafraid of little men.
    She would have immense all aparty support. Come on Victoria throw you hat into the ring!

  20. 12:12 Great Idea, Victoria Borwick as next leader.

  21. Since Victoria was shafted by the Conservative hierarchy with her lowly position on the GLA election list and will almost certainly lose her London Assembly seat, she will be ideally placed to take over the leadership of Kensington and Chelsea Council - and with all party support. Victoria must throw her hat into the ring. She has the intelligence, the skills, the integrity and experience beyond the narrow confines of K+C. She will make a first class Leader.


  23. Agreed. Borwick for leader and now!

  24. I agree, and it would send an excellent message to the public, to have a woman of integrity and intelligence as Leader; a worthy successor to J Hanham.

  25. Cllr Borwick is an interesting option for Leader. Hard working, dedicated, and completly honest. Plus a long history of public service and the common sense of a woman.

    She knows how to motivate people, is a ball of energy, and there would be no "Exhibition Roads" on her watch

  26. A woman as Leader of K&C would be a clever move to handle the infighting that will become a part of the tri Borough

  27. We should remember that Cllr Borwick was a strong runner up to Boris Johnson in the competition to be the Conservative Candidate to be Mayor of London.

    No shrinking violet here

  28. Great idea Victoria for Leader no wool will be pulled over her eyes. She has the courage to face whatever happens to surface from the rats nest, deal with it in an effective clear manner. And has Kensington and Chelsea running through her veins.

  29. Chelsea Resident8 February 2012 at 19:54

    She would be an outstanding leader. I just hope that her Conservative colleagues have the sense to realise this.

  30. Clllr Sir Merrick Cockell, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea, has a full head of hair

  31. Up Yours, you are an idiot

  32. Up Yours

    He may have a full head of hair but does he have a head full of air?

  33. Actually, Up Yours, he has a bald patch. Result of an unsuccessful brain transplant.

  34. Up Yours

    Don't you realise that your comments just provide us all the chance to ridicule you-and often your Capt Mainwaring of a hero, Capt Pooter!


    Of course his fingers couldn't resist a comment about the great leader.

    Full head of hair..who cares as long as its the back of his head we see and quickly.

  36. Cllr Palmer (aka Up Yours) cant keep his fingers off the keyboard

    Telephone push buttons (especially those paid for by the council) are a temptation too

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