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Wednesday, 18 February 2015


The Dame senses that the 'Friendly Article' bit was a bit tongue in cheek, but well done to Sir Malc for picking up the gauntlet and challenging the old Dame.

She now invites Doctor Rod Abouharb to join in the debate.
A question the Dame wishes to put to Sir Malc is this..." why did you encourage Pooter Cockell to overstay his welcome by fourteen years?" 
If you had the good of residents to the forefront of your mind you would have foreseen the danger-not just of encouraging his overstaying-but worse, his greed over expenses and allowances.
As for the kind invitation..... the Dame rarely ventures from her castellated, stuccoed Holland Park mansion so has to decline...
In fact, the Dame and Sir M did meet at a Holocaust Memorial event at the FO some years back.
Young D. Miliband was running things in those days....

from Malcolm Rifkind

 Thank you for your invitation to respond to your friendly article in Hornets Nest.
 You wrote in your article that you had invited my Labour opponent to meet you. 

So far as I am aware (as you keep your identity secret I do not know who you are) we have not met. 
I would be delighted to meet you and could do so either at a place of your choosing or (if it would not be misunderstood or misrepresented !)  we could meet at my office in the House of Commons.
    Turning to your article it would appear that you have been misinformed. I have been domiciled in London for some time  as London has been were we have lived since I became MP for Kensington 10 years ago. Our house in Scotland is in the process of being sold.
    Secondly, you take issue with my practice of inviting constituents who need to see me to my office in the House of Commons. We provide a streamlined service more suitable for the modern age. A large proportion of all problems from constituents are communicated by e-mail. I, and my excellent staff of three give a quick response which can often mean a letter going from me or my staff right away to, for example, the Director of Housing or the Home Office instead  of waiting for a surgery the following week. If constituents need a personal meeting with me because they need time to explain their problem or because of its complexity they get a meeting. We often receive thanks from constituents for the quality of the service they receive.
You imply that I am inactive in Kensington. You are again misinformed. This evening, for example, I shall be in Campden and Holland . Next week I shall be in Pembridge. Recently I was at an event in Abingdon. I spent last Friday in North Kensington. I visited the new Academy, met with the Principal, toured the building and met many of the pupils. Later that day I went up to the Hub in Kensal Road for a meeting with youngsters who had invited me there. I attend meetings in Dalgarno of all the organisations, including residents, who work to improve the quality of life of those who live in that part of North Kensington.
As I hope we will meet in the near future I will leave it until then to discuss with you how I plan to continue doing a robust job for my constituents.
Feel free to publish all or any of this as you choose.
         with best wishes


  1. Old smoothie! Knows how to woo a Dame.

  2. Look at that photo! A man who knows how to disect an insect

  3. - whereas Dr Rod looks like a decent human being.

  4. What a revealing letter to the Dame. A whole list of PR stuff. Social visits to pump flesh in rich central Kensington and processions to North Kensington to intrude into the lives of bewildered school children. The question Sir Malcolm needs to answer, after 10 years of representing Kensington is:

    "What difference did I make?"

  5. Kensington is a central London constituency which is close to the center of political power and with immediate access to the media and broadcasting. A dream for any politician who wants to make a difference and make a name for him/herself. An MP with the slightest interest in the problems and needs of Kensington has the ingredients for campaigning on a plate. For example, two big issues for our constituency are basements and the Mansion Tax. How many column inches in the media and hours on the news does our MP have on these two issues? Virtually none. What initiatives has he taken to make a difference? None that we know of. How many times is he quoted as an authority or having an opinion on these matters? Never.

    A waste of space.

    1. Boris understands this very well. He is using his central London platform to get himself into No 10

  6. Obviously there is bad history with this MP. But what does he promise to do for Kensington in the next Parliament? What is his prospectus? We have been told nothing about this.

    1. The man has not got the first clue about Kensington and its needs. He just enjoys going to Garden Parties, making little speeches (which he delivers well) and shakes the hands of rich and impressionable old ladies. If the Dame would agree to a meeting she would be bowled over

  7. Does Mr Rifkind understnad how inconvenient it is to travel from North Kensington where I live. Does he understand how intimidating it is for an ordinary person to go into the House of parliament

  8. What tripe the MP writes about email. Most of his constituents are rich and old and never found out how to use email or they are illiterate and cannot use it. Just another clever way for him to avoid doing his job. Good MPs need to be seen on the shop floor regularly. That means having surgery meetings, in the middle of Kensington at a well known place, on a weekly basis. Just like the Fulham and Chelsea MP

  9. Rifkind has turned self interest and self serving into an art form. He will never change.

  10. The MP's letter says it all

    "I am the member of Parliament. And I am an important person".

    Everyone should sit up, take note, and genuflect. Or tip their cap. Pass the sick bag

  11. Ever since Sir Brandon Rhys-Williams (who was a hard working, caring and dedicated MP to Kensington and Chelsea residents) we have had a series of most unfortunate adoptions. First it was the policeman's son with a serious alcohol problem. Often found lying in the street. Then it was the wayward aristocrat. Then the tortured soul. And now Rifkind. A series of self inflicted wounds by the Conservative Association. After boundary changes half of the problem was put right. Rifkind lost Chelsea and Greg Hands was appointed as the young and enthusiastic MP for Fulham and Chelsea. A man in the mould of Brandon Rhys-Williams.

    Kensington is outstanding business that requires attention. Let us hope that the incoming Chairman of the Conservative Association, Cllr Mills, will take care of this. Her views about the MP are well known and she is fearless.

    1. The wayward aristocrat was an "ariviste"!

      And the tortured soul found peace as a railway journey enthusiast (which he is brilliant at)

    2. Cllr Mills wrote an indignant memo to fellow Conservatives in 2013 stating that there "was as much democracy in the Planning Committee as starched pampers". Last year she moved on to the Planning Committee and after only a few short months (if reports in the Hornet are anything to go by) there is a major change of behaviour underway. If this continues it will be a transformation.

      The outspoken ex Mayor is a change agent. No doubt about that. Maybe she will sort out our sitting member arrangements too.

    3. Oh dear Anonymous 15.10, don't get too excited. The really major shifts are on the Major Planning Committee which dear Julie is not on. So it is NOT 'the Julie effect'. Let's see if the committee members are quite so indignant after the election.

    4. The Duke of Campden19 February 2015 at 20:39

      Who was the wayward aristo? Surely not Clark? Mere jumped up lowland Scot trade


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