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Friday, 9 March 2012

Real Leadership

Merrick Cockell is struggling desperately to get Crossrail to build a station at Kensal Green. But somehow he is just not getting his message across...least of all to the Labour Group. So where has  Cockell gone so wrong? Did people just doubt the economic benefits flowing through to the area? Or was there a sensation it was not the Council's responsibility to use millions of pounds of taxpayers' money on the scheme.
Maybe it was something far worse...
Did people look at Cockell's spending record....Exhibitionist Rd(£27 million), Holland Park School(£100 million), Chelsea Care(£1million), Bentleys, trips to New York, greedy £130 a year allowance and think, 'this is a man driven by a desire to carelessly fritter way money out of sheer hubris or self-aggrandisement: we don't trust him'

Of course, Cockell has a majority. He can ride roughshod over the opposition, residents and anyone else he chooses. The last council meeting was a sad display of petty bickering and showing off. It set a terrible example to residents. Cllr Read entirely missed the point on the Bentley. It was a perfect moment for a sensible debate about how residents-not just councillors, felt about running a Bentley in hard times.

The Dame has spent a lifetime around leaders. They manage, through the qualities she has listed below, to obtain consensus. But, of course, Cockell, not being trusted or even liked, has to bully his way through to getting what he wants. Such 'leaders' eventually fail. The Dame cannot help feel were it Cllrs Ahern or Coleridge promoting the benefits of Kensal Green there would have been an effusion of support.

Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside.. 
Dedication.. not just to screwing as big an allowance as possible and refusing to succession plan
Magnanimity means giving credit where it is due. A magnanimous leader ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely
Humility  A humble leader is not self-effacing but rather tries to elevate everyone.  
Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking.
Creativity is the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions.
Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly.
Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness.
A sense of humor is vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility.


  1. Well the Dame has hit the nail on the head. As usual.

    Put this way, it becomes rather obvious that Kensal Station is probably THE strategic priority of the Borough.

    It was just crowded out by the cloud of distrust around Cllr Cockell. So much hatred that anything he put his name too had to be rejected.

    When the opposite is required. A full blooded cry from EVERYONE.


  2. Time for Cockell to step aside and be replaced by a person who is worthy of the trust of residents and Opposition Parties.

    This is the only way to get the Borough united behind the idea of a station at Kensal. The arguments for regeneration are compelling and the cost is peanuts.

  3. When a leader becomes this much of a liability they must go or be forced to go.

  4. He wants to keep north Kensington poor, a constant building site, with communities being shifted and moved about constantly.

    It feeds the rest of the borough with flowers and other fripperies to keep the illusion that this is the perfect borough. And so It suits him to be confusing at this time, he had no problem getting his other nonsense through the council.

    To put a station in and beautify the area would literally mean his gravy train would dry up.

  5. If we consider where we are, there are two imperatives for getting Kensal off the ground.

    First, an all Party group behind the project has to be created (Tories, Labour and Libs). No Party political stuff, just a project of Borough Unity. Cockell is incapable of pulling this off. Even the dumbest poodle must have figured this out by now

    Second, spend some big bucks on a heavyweight political consultant like Tim Bell and put together a campaign and execute it

  6. Kensington Resident9 March 2012 at 09:37

    Kensal Station needs a wake up call.

    Something dramatic like "all development spending in the Borough is suspended in order to free up capital for the Kensal Station"

  7. My Mate The Builder9 March 2012 at 09:42

    The first trade off should be cancellation of the proposed £24 million replacement leisure center in N Kensington. This money could pay for the Kensal Station.

    The current leisure center was refurbished a few years ago at a cost of £5 million. It is a perfectly good facility. Even thicko Cllr Paget-Brown said so in the Borough Newspaper

  8. Political Strategist9 March 2012 at 09:48

    It is late in the day and rescuing this idea will be a herculean task. One for the big boys.

    Pathetic photos of Cllr Cockell and Mayor Boris surveying the scene in the Borough Pravda cuts no ice. Pooter may get a warm glow over his breakfast when another issue of the propaganda news sheet pops through his door and he sees yet another sycophantic story and sycophantic photo.

    Kensal Station is now a challenge of General Election proportions. The experts need to be brought in. Tim Bell is not a bad idea.

    Whatever it costs.

  9. Lord Kensington9 March 2012 at 09:49

    I like the cut of the cloth in this blog.

    We could save some money by closing down the press office. And Pravda

  10. Tim Bell firing on all three cylinders (Tories, Labour and Lib Dems) could be awesome.

    Vince Cable shouting for regeneration in the country's poorest Ward (Golborne), Ed Milliband could muscle in on a Tory stronghold, and David Cameron could bask in doing something for his home Borough. Photo opportunities for Boris and Moylan. George Osborne could twist the arm of a banker or two.....

    I am excited already

  11. Tales of Bentleys, New York jollies, Exhibition Road and Holland Park Opera are PR disasters for Kensal Station.

    Why does Britain's richest Borough, and people who live on this scale, need regeneration?

  12. Where is the useless MP, Malcolm Rifkin in all of this?

    Nowhere, of course

  13. The Tories need to raise their game. They are failing the Borough

  14. Get shot of Holland Park Opera and that's another £5 million saving.

    At the least.

  15. Dear Scribe

    Because Golborne Ward in north Kensington is now officially the joint most deprived ward in London. This is something of which we should all be ashamed.

    The Kensal station will "regenerate" the area only by bringing in rich and middle income residents to live on the new housing development to reduce the overall deprivation statistics in the area. It won't help people in over-crowded social rented housing, because none is planned for Kensal, nor will it provide them with jobs because getting the train to Canary Wharf for a low paid catering or cleaning job won't be possible as the fares will be too high.

  16. 10.51 I am puzzled. Is Labour for or against the Kensal Station? At the Council meeting this week you said that you support it!!

    If you have an alternative vision please share it quickly......

    If the station does not have Labour support, please say so and we can all move on to something else

  17. Political Strategist9 March 2012 at 11:23

    From a marketing perspective Kensal Station needs to be rebranded "Golborne" and not K&C.

    The public face and champion needs to be Golborne Ward (Cllrs Hoier, Dent Coad and Mason) and not Cockell.

    The Town Hall needs to come in fully behind Golborne with all its financial, intellectual and organisation strength.

    A big stretch for these three councillors and the Leader of the Council will need to hold their hands and play a backroom roll - claiming no public kudos

  18. Lets ask the thick and greedy Tory Cabinet some basic questions and see if we can produce some focus

    Kensal or £1 million a year HPO?
    Kensal or £5 million a year pavement programme?
    Kensal or £1 million a year PR Department?
    Kensal or Pravda?
    Kensal of £24 million leisure centre?

    Cllr Palmer, are you starting to feel a sense of direction?

  19. Cllr Foreman, 10.51 has made an amazing and distressing statement.

    Can you help us?

    Very little future in where 10.51 is coming from.......

  20. Cameroon do something for his 'local' area...get real they have never done anything for anyone in this Borough.

    Except come up with their 'BS' campaign for the ppor people to do.... NOT themselves.

  21. I can only imagine that Pickles, Mayor Johnson, even Cameron, or whoever else is in charge of the decision on Kensal, might be looking at our reserves and thinking: why does a Council with massive reserves have such poor wards?

    If they can afford Exhibition Road, they may be thinking, it can only have been at the expense of more localised action to help people out of benefit dependency.
    Bleeding hearts pleading in this context is hardly convincing.

    This is Cockell's cock-up.

  22. RBKC has always taken a 'colonial' view of the North Kensington 'poor.' Nothing has changed. The intention is to ship low incomes residents out of the Rotten Borough and replace them with Tory voting yuppies.

  23. Well this is a pretty pathetic response (and absence of response) from representatives in North Kensington. If they do not want the rail station then no point pushing for it.

    It is also a crystal clear failure of Leadership by Cllr Cockell - a failure to inspire, a failure to carry colleagues and a failure to mobilise opinion of local residents.

    It is a pity that K&C Labour never embraced New Labour. The current lot are in a bad place.

    Its a shame that Conservative backbenchers did not get rid of Cllr Cockell before such deep seated and negative feelings were allowed to develop in the "North" about the "South"

    As Cllr Lindasy said in the debate this week "once every two hundred years there is an opportunity like a new railway line to boost economic prospects. The historical lessons are compelling"

    If Cllrs EDC, Hoir and Mason are too damn ignorant to see this, and the residents are too pathetic to help themselves, then sod them. And since Cockell is too dismal a person to inspire Leadership - then we are all fucked.

    RIP Kensal Station

  24. Has anyone actually seen anything substantive about the "regeneration" this Crossrail station is supposed to provide?

    A quick search of the Council website reveals little more than "PR fluff" and general vagueness.

    I am sure there are many residents willing to believe that a Crossrail station will help regenerate the area, but anyone who has had more than a little experience dealing with this Council would be inclined to ask for something a bit more empirical than what can be found on their website.

    As if anyone reading this blog isn't already well aware: they simply can't be trusted. They "speak with forked tongue" (to paraphrase) and wouldn't know the truth if it bit them in the a*se.

  25. A campaign for regeneration led by mediaCONs was bound to fail.

    You need to get the community on board first. That's why it's all gone pear-shaped.

    Do none of the Tory numbskulls understand Localism?

  26. This blog shows that the political set up in K&C is in a pretty bad sate. Labour stuck with Old Labour baggage of class politics and the Tories stuck with an organisation that is fine tuned for yuppie fun and personal advancement.

    Kensal Station highlights that the core of local Government should be about councillors who spend their time mixing with their community and coaxing and nudging towards a better future. Not jetting off to New York, riding around in Bentleys and networking for the House of Lords.

    K&C needs a bunch of councillors in their 40s to 60s with experience of life, some achievement, and motivated to make a difference for those around them. Personal advancement is not what local Govt should be about.

    And bright young councillors are an aberration too. Not much to offer in the way of wisdom and experience and itching to rush off to Westminster. Or to pose and play at being Parliamentarians.

    This is a pretty sad legacy for Cllr Cockell. I hope his successor understands what needs to be done. It will be a long haul.

    And the Labour lot really need to modernise themselves. The world has moved on. The notion that Kensal Station is a bad idea "because residents are too poor to afford the train fare to go to work" beggars belief.

  27. Scribe forgets to mention what an utterly useless and pathetic MP sits for Kensington.

    Sir Malcom Rifkin is the worst possible blight that could descend on the residents of North Kensington

  28. If we don't trust the man, there is a clear opportunity for a No Confidnce campaign, but I'm sure the sheep will line upyet again to be sheared...


  29. The Labour Group of councillors (each one) should read Philip Gould's book "The Unfinished Revolution"

    They might learn something that is in their personal interest and the interest of their residents

  30. We in the Labour Opposition Group think long and hard about these issues. You may get a hint of this in my PERSONAL blog, albeit with a bit of tongue in cheek to relieve the pressure:

    New post, 'Cold, but soo busted' Tory reductio ad absurdum ploy exposed

  31. Crossrail's current plans do not envisage ANY stations between Acton Main Line and Paddington. All of the work carried out to date to enable Crossrail to integrate with the existing services along that route are drawn up on that basis. From those are derived the journey times and service frequencies that everyone loves so much. Any additional stations put those plans in jeopardy.

    It is possible that an additional station could be introduced with no major impact to these plans. But probably not two. As such as soon as H&F got the go ahead for a High Speed 2 station at Old Oak Common (which will no doubt develop into the West London equivalent of the Statford City mega-interchange) the Council's scheme was busted.

    Unfortunately the Council appears intent on pretending otherwise and trying to pin the "blame" on someone, anyone, else whether or not they were actually involved in drawing up the Council's scheme at at any point. This is no doubt saving someone a bit of embarrassment but it is doing bugger all for the residents.

    Business as usual in other words.

  32. A tram link between the northern end of Ladbroke Grove and the promised Old Oak Common Crossrail interchange would be far cheaper and much more likely to be realised. We understand that this is Transport for London's preferred option - which Cllr. Moylan can no doubt confirm. The Council should also be campaigning for a station at North Pole Road as planning gain for the horrific 35 storey tower block that Hammersmith and Fulham is threatening to impose on the poor benighted residents of Cameron's home Conservation Area.

  33. Aha, is this why Moylan leaves the chamber and refuses to get involved in debate on Crossrail?

    Does he know something we don't know?

    Whatever is going on?

  34. For the serious stuff, Stephen Greenhalgh knows how to get results. Like lowering council tax and securing a Cross Rail station for Hammersmith.

    No wasted time for photo opportunities with Boris

  35. I have never read such stuff and nonsense on this blog.

    Our Leader Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell has asked us to show our support for the Crossrail station and we shoud all concur.

    This is no time for nay-sayers.

  36. So Up Yours you are back with us.
    Your latest post leads us in no doubt you are Cllr Matthew Palmer. Previous posts rather give it away....spelling, grammer and general buffonery. I understand your fellow cllrs are hideously embarrassed at your Up Yours posts. I think they want you to stop!

  37. There is an ugly rumour going around that Councillors have been told not to post on the Hornet. This is blatant rubbish as usual.

    In fact we have been encouraged to speak out about matters important to us. And I will continue to do so wahatever others may think.

    Very interesting that you think I'm Palmer but it will do you no good whatever as you have no proof.

    I am a concerned resident of North Kensington, wanting to improve the area, adn why shouldn't I? I have a perfect right to speak my mind and no one can stop me.

  38. Cllr Palmer
    I think you have pretty well admitted that you are posting as Up Yours. As a resident who voted for you in the last election I am surprised you don't post under your own identity. If it is true that Sir Merrick Cockell has given permission to contribute I see no sign of it. I do see Cllr Dent Coad seems to have no issue about flying under her own flag.
    It seems quite undignified for you, as my representative to post using a quite vulgar alias such as Up Yours


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