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Friday, 10 February 2012


The Dame has to report something with blushing pride. The talk of councillors and officers in K&C is The Hornets Nest! Enquiries reveal that there is a deeply held feeling that the Conservative monopoly has been operating without checks and balances for too long and democracy has failed. The Hornet’s Nest has become the de facto opposition and for the first time in living memory is 'telling it like it is'. 
Mix in the deep seated unease about Cllr Cockell’s leadership amongst Conservative rank and file and the answer is that there is an urgent need for change.

Are there lessons from Westminster, the Mother of Parliaments, that could help to restore the democratic deficit in Kensington Town Hall? The Dame says a resounding YES

In 1923 the Conservative Party established The 1922 Committee to give backbenchers a mechanism to determine their views independently of the front bench and shield individuals from bullying. Bullying is something Cockell revels in. Voting is limited to backbenchers but the Cabinet (except for the Leader) are invited to attend meetings which take place every week. The Chairman of The 1922 Committee has always been a powerful Tory and there is an Executive Committee which oversees the election of a new Conservative leader. Also, a vote of confidence in the Leader is triggered if 15 percent of Conservative backbenchers write a letter to the Chairman asking for such a vote.
Graham Brady, Chair of the 22 Committee

The Dame believes that the time has come to establish a “1922 Committee” of backbench Conservative councillors in K&C. The suggestion is that this should be christened The 2012 Committee.
This blog is an open invitation to Cllr Buckmaster, Chairman of K&C Conservatives, to take the initiative. Cllr Buckmaster has told friends that he considers there is a need for change in the way that K&C has been operating. If he really believes this then he should be the champion for change: The 2012
Committee is the vehicle for change.

Come on Cllr Buckmaster...the residents of RBK&C need you now!


  1. Brilliant idea, Dame. This could transform life for brow beaten councillors like Freeman, Lindsay, Marshall and Donaldson. And a development opportunity for the newcomers like Rossi, Mosely, Faulks and Will.

    But most important, it could rekindle democracy in Hornton Street

  2. Broadcasting Council Meetings (cameras) on the website is another "check and balance" that councillors should consider if they are serious about transparency.

  3. The worse thing that ever is the introduction of the Cabinet system to local government. It is manna from heaven for greedyguts like Pooter Cockell and his mates

  4. Brilliant idea Dame. But have the K&C Conservatives the guts to do it?

  5. Person Familiar With The Situation10 February 2012 at 22:17

    Cllr Palmer has joined Cllr Cockell and is briefing against Cllr Borwick.

    Attack dog

  6. Being attacked by Palmer is like-as Healey said about Howe-being attacked by a dead sheep

  7. Great idea Dame. Imagine a council that is transparent, represents it's residents, is seen in action, works hard, and is honest, not divided and infested by cliques of vicious, greedy, clawing, crawling, brats.

    Palmer briefing against Victoria...thank you Palmer for once again showing what a gofor you are. Victoria will rise above it as she always has and work for the residents she represents. Victoria for leader.

  8. Victoria attacked by Palmoil will make as much of a difference as he has for the residents he is supposed to difference. She has integrity...he has not.

  9. The more Cockell and his lackey brief against Borwick the more pitiful he appears.She is head and shoulders above the mediocre dolts to run thing here in K&C

  10. More strength to your arm Dame!

    (but not in the Phelps sense)

  11. Is Cllr Buckmaster man enough to accept the challenge?

    He would go down in local Government history and create a legacy.

  12. Kensington Resident11 February 2012 at 09:10

    This whole idea of a 2012 Committee deserves very serious consideration by Conservative councillors in K&C

  13. It is time for one of his colleagues to take Cllr Palmer aside and tell him what a pathetic lapdog he is

  14. Person Familiar With The Situation11 February 2012 at 11:29

    Cllr Buckmaster is intrigued by the idea of a 2012 Committee. But as things stand he is not prepared to take any public or private initiative.

    However as Chairman of K&C Conservatives he is prepared to listen to the views of backbanch Conservative councsellors, in confidence and on an individual basis. He would welcome this.

    Editorial Note: There is a window of opportunity before Cllr Buckmaster steps down from the Chairmanship to take on his duties as Mayor

  15. Cllr Borwick is by far the best option for leader. She is a person of integrity and intelligence. As the Tories have bumped her down the GLA list, she is unlikely to be an Assembly Member after May and would be available to lead RBKC. If Cllr Up Yours is briefing against her then Pooter must be worried. She clearly outclasses Pooter, though I expect that Pooter has enough Tories in his pocket to block her, and I wouldn't credit the Conservative Group with the good taste to choose her.

  16. Before we go down the route of backbench committees can I join the Dame in congratulating Fiona Buxton on her recent appointment. The abolition of the Appointments Commission will leave a large gap for public sector employers looking to find suitable candidates and Fiona with her ability and experience should be able to help them. It may well enrage the Dame’s loyal readers to read this and I am happy to take the flack; but it is easy to criticise others under the cloak of anonymity. Difficult decisions do have to be made and sometimes the consequences are not what anyone of us would wish. Fiona and her executive director have made every possible effort to preserve front line adult social care services in the face of the funding cuts that have been imposed on us. Fiona should be allowed to take the credit for this and not be subjected to anonymous sniping.

  17. 15.27 there is nothing "anonymous" about the £1 million Chelsea Care loss

    And there is nothing "anonymous" about warnings from Officers and others about Chelsea Care before it was set up

  18. And there is nothing "anonymous" about the Scrutiny Committee report which pointed out what a shambles the Chelsea Care venture was from the start with "no market research in order to save money" and a business case that was "doomed to make losses at the outset"

    Clearly Cllr Freeman's hands also need to be kept away from investment decisions. Just like his colleague Cllr Buxton who was the architect of Chelsea Care

    But surely this is all a diversion from the subject of this blog? The 2012 Committee?

    Robert, please keep your eye on the ball......


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