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Thursday, 30 September 2010

First nutters, now idiots and twits

Hornet heard a while back ex-Cllr Daley at some excuse for a drink up in the Dear Leaders company referred to his electorate as "nutters" allegedly. The source pointed out that this claim was made by last man standing in St Charles, Cllr Matthew "Rainbow" Palmer, about the recently resigned member for Cremorne.

Well, if thats not bad enough, now we have Cllr Weatherhead swearing to God that people using footpaths in the Royal Borough are idiots and twits!

Yes, dear reader, in an exchange of emails she bemoans how youngsters wander around with these "e-things (sic) stuck in their ears listening to music which is still encroaching on other people or listening or gabbling into a stupid mobile phone...."

This email was discussing genuine safety concerns of a resident around Sloane Square and how specific "improvements" undertaken by the council around a crossing had made safety issues a worry. Dropped kerbs and poor quality studs on a pedestrian crossing literally makes it a matter of life and death if an errant motorist careers down the street.

She goes on a little further, injecting just a little bit more venom, describing cyclists as "twits", "I have watched idiots who walk along and then just walk off the pavement as if they were in the middle of the Sahara - that is no way to behave....  ......and these days with all the twits on bicycles...."

Nasty-Nick PB (Nasty as he is a whip, rather than being a nasty person) is more forthright in his response to enquiries, championing how accidents have decreased over recent times, telling us the good news that the borough is one of the safest places on the planet when it comes to road safety. Nice words, but useless to the lady and her family  who was rushed to Hospital after being mown down by a BMW Coupe in June at this very spot.

Getting back to Barbadian born Cllr Weatherhead, Mayor of RBKC in 1994, and a member of the council for a whopping 46 years. She finishes her email with a warning, just in case the hapless recipient decides to come back with a tear-jerker...

"Don't come back to tell me about children, that is a different problem and everyone including parents and carers have to be very watchful there..."

Perhaps Cllr Weatherhead would like us all to live in a Chinese Granite utopia where "ethings" dont exist, children are seen and not heard, and we go back to hand-carts instead of the motor car. At least then she wont then have to worry about the idiots and twits as she listens to Joe Loss and Glenn Miller gramophones.

Eye Spy

Get yourself a copy of the latest Private Eye, for the Great Architect makes an appearance at the foot of Rotten Boroughs. Hornet wonders how they got hold of that story..............

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Moylan comes out on CC

Yet more revelations that the Great Architect, not one for following in the Dear Leaders footsteps has also come out against the congestion charge.

Moylan, while he is in the country anyway, is on record as saying "The Congestion Charge will have an appalling impact on our community, it will leave a large slice of our borough cut off from friends and family and drain small businesses of their customers, we are now settling down for a long hard fight to ensure that the interests of Royal Borough residents are not trampled upon." First Palmer, then Cockell, and now Moylan.

The councils own response published under the imaginatively titled "The impact of Congestion Charging on Business" published by the council said "77% of respondents felt that the Scheme had a detrimental effect on their businesses, 70% believed their takings had decreased and 83% stated that the number of customers visiting their shops had reduced"

Can't argue with that now can we?

Dont forget your toothbrush

The gaggle of Councillors were whisked off the other weekend for an "awayday". This is, for the benefit of the unenlightened readers, like a team building thing, chit chat sessions with the leaders so that those at the bottom of the ladder are made to feel important and dont rattle their cages too loudly too often. Funny what the effects of proper coffee in real china mugs can do.

The usual suspects were there, and congratulations were made for the stunning victory in Cremorne and quiet reflection on what would have been if only Spalding, the Dear Leaders friend and neighbour in Philbeach Gardens hadnt had let the LibDems run away with it.  Oh dear. Well, one out of two neighbours is better than none. Rumour has it the Dear Leader is already eyeing up a person a little further up the street to be the next victim....   I mean, candidate (oops, I mean prospective member, then can apply for selection).

Hornet has been given a heap of papers to pore over, but frankly none of it is of any real interest except for a few snippets that will be appearing on these pages over the next week or so.

One thing that did make Hornet chuckle was to hear that the Dear Leader prattled on for over an hour, when the actual message he was delivering took about ten minutes. So there is your warning Councillors, if you get an invite to the next awayday, dont pack your wristwatch, take a calendar.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Who I am

In response to the "Heckler" who has repeatedly asked what it is I am trying to achieve, I say simply this Where there is discord, may I bring harmony. Where there is error, may I bring truth. Where there is doubt, may I bring faith. And where there is despair, may I bring hope.

But Mr Heckler, why don't you ask who I am? Remember, not evEryONe who smiles aT you is your friend.

Oh, and don't trouble yourself with your multiple identities, its all sent from the same IP address so I know its you. You little tease you....

Monday, 27 September 2010

Westenders Episode 2

Episode 2

"The Visit"


The local Party office, at 2B Not-on-My Manor Street

The photocopier machines are whizzing away in the background and every now and again Cllr Marshall pops up to refill them with A4 paper. In between reloads he is sat cross legged on the floor in his prep uniform, cap askew, playing Super Mario on the X-Box but he keeps getting killed before he can finish the level, getting more and more annoyed.

The Agent, JFH is sat at his desk sipping some herbal tea, he is wearing a complete suit with the LVH logo all over it, complete with matching umbrella - he is momentarily relaxed. Cllr Marie-Terese Rossi is standing in the doorway looking at a photo on her phone of the Holy Father.

MTR: Wow, can you believe it, he was actually here the whole weekend
JFH: [nonchalantly] yes I know, the whole weekend
MTR: He is from abroad, and he was here, actually here, the whole weekend.
JFH: I know the last time he was here was like aaaaaages ago [he reclines back as he stresses the word ages]

They look up sharply as Cllr Marshall lets out a little scream, thinking it was the copier jamming JFH gets up to investigate and walks over to where Cllr Marshall is sat

JFH: Whats the matter? [he straightens Cllr Marshalls cap as he speaks]
QM: I just finished level 2, I beat the boss
JFW: [aside] oh the irony... [he clips Marshall around the ear and loudly proclaims in Capt Mainwaring style] stupid boy

Returning to his desk JFH picks up his tea and Cllr Rossi tries to re-engage in conversation

MTR: So do you think we should have done something to celebrate him being here in London?
JFH: Hmmm perhaps, like what? [pondering silently]
MTR: I don't know, maybe a Civic Dinner or something?
JFH: [aghast] a Civic Dinner? Just because he spent the whole freakin weekend in London? Are you mad?
MTR: Er no, I mean its not like we get a visit from the Pope every month now is it?

JFH: [confused] The Pope? [the penny drops] I thought you meant Cllr Moylan
Cllr Marshall pops his head round the doorframe and throws a paper plane made out of a DHL invoice to Bangkok that hits JFH in the side of the head

MTR & JFH: [in unison, eyes up to heaven and in Mainwaring style] stupid boy


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Duplicitous? Dissembling? Iran Plan puts things into a Tizz

More news reaching Hornet concerning Cllr Danny boy "DHL" Moylan, relating to the Iranian planning application currently doing the rounds in Hornton Street (aka, the nest).

The source provides information where Cllr Moylan has, in his capacity as the Great Architect (Planning Supremo) for K&C met with the Iranians over the design for the new monstrosity, Hornet means Embassy building down in Queens Gate.

In fact Moylan was so excited about these plans back in 2009, that he rushed this unsuspecting individual quicker than DHL could get a parcel to Thailand, to get a sneak preview of the plans that were laying around in his office. Whizzing her around so quickly she nearly came a cropper in her Jimmi Choos. The source says Danny boy called her a philistine for not appreciating the design merits. The cheek of it!

A short while after receiving this anonymous tip off, Hornet gets a second one from a different person, on the Iranian embassy thing, again involving the Great Architect. This second snippet was a conversation between the unidentified source and Moylan, and Moylan was saying the above meeting with the lady in high heels didnt occur.

So someone somewhere is not being exactly truthful.

But what have they got to hide?

TMO AGM ends with tears

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation held its Annual General  Meeting on the 22nd September at the Town Hall.Never before has this bastion of Tory virtue seen six members of the Organisation call for a vote of no confidence in the Chairman, and further call for a vote of no confidence in the entire Tenant Management Board, even going as far as to call for an adjournment of the meeting so that these motions could be tabled as Ordinary Resolutions. 

It was manna from heaven for these six rebels when a Director of Company, a pillar of the Kensington elite, later disrupted proceedings by not accepting the authority of the Chairman: completely usurping his role not through the revolutionary barrel of a gun but through the amplification of that middle class equivalent, a microphone. The poor chap chairing the meeting just couldn't cope with the humiliation from one of his own, having successfully seen off six stroppy Kensingtonians raising points of order from the floor, he never in his wildest dreams anticipated that a fellow Director of the Company would stab him in the back. 

There were tears before bedtime when the crestfallen Chairman abandoned the meeting realising that his MBE would not come jangling through the letter box. What a hoot! A good night out for all.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

No CC in K&C Says Palmer & Cockell

Last man standing in St Charles, Cllr Matthew Palmer has put it on record his distaste of the congestion charge in Kensington & Chelsea.

Hornet asked him if he was against a congestion charge in the borough and Roundell rounded on Hornet with a "got it in one".

So there you have it. 

Be careful though Mr Angry, you never know what is just round the corner.

Previously the Dear Leader has also come out firmly against the Congestion Charge in K&C, saying

"Merrick Cockell, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: "We've been protesting for a long time. "It comes into effect on Monday and we just thought we'd remind [Mr Livingstone] that we are still here. We still object to the extension."

So there you have it.

Mill-E Gets it

The battle of the bruvvas is ova...    Ed snatches it, just as Hornet predicted.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Hold the front page

Miss B reliably informs Hornet that it will be worth investing in a copy of Private Eye next week, apparently "someone" from RBKC is making an appearance within it.

No names, lets just call him "DHL".

Thursday, 23 September 2010

All white on the night

Yet another person has contacted Hornet and pointed out something when discussing the selection of candidates in Earls Court and Cremorne Ward. Hornet assumes this person is a member of the Tory Party, and Hornet makes no assertion to know the internal workings of that Party nor its selection processes or criteria. Just to get that straight.

The source rightly pointed out that we live in a multi-cultural society and this borough has a healthy and welcome mix of cultures, religions, ethnicities, genders and the like. It is important that the governing body reflects the various structures of our community.

No one can argue under-representation amongst the elected members for women or gay men, and this is a good thing, but it is striking that there are absolutely no councillors from asian or the black community. Non-white people make up about a third of the population in K&C, so why then is it that every councillor is white?

Hornet does not believe in positive discrimination, nor in quotas - but equally does not believe there is insufficient talent in the ethnic communities of this borough to make a positive contribution to the governance on the council.

Hornet hopes that the political parties will ensure that in future their selection processes are open and are made accessible to the ethnic communities of the borough and looks forward to seeing a better reflection of our community elected in future. And if they don't well lets hope some Independents stand up for their communities.

Although if the selection process of the Tories at Earls Court is anything to go by, according to Hornets secret source, then we'd better hope the LibDems and Labour show us the way.

All about "mi"

Readers of the London Evening Standard may well have spotted a piece by celebrated fashion icon Naomi Campbell bleating on about being hauled before the International Criminal Court in Holland in the trial of former African dictator Charles Taylor. How she is being made a scape-goat over the blood diamonds she allegedly received, and how no one was interested in the trial before she made her reluctant cameo.

Mr Taylor is indicted for terrible crimes actually Ms Campbell so you are a little off the mark. The Prosecutor alleges that Mr. Taylor is responsible for crimes which include murdering and mutilating civilians, including cutting off their limbs; using women and girls as sex slaves; and abducting children and adults and forcing them to perform forced labour or become fighters during the conflict in Sierra Leone.

Miss Campbell, although guilty of no crime except selfishness, greed and stupidity with her celebrity, glamour and wealth, gave this man for a nano second, a glimmer of faux respectability. She may well have had it tough growing up in Streatham, but it is nothing, not even a pixel on one of her photos, compared to the hell that man has put the poor, damaged people of Sierra Leone through.

Labour of Bruvva-Love...

This weekend will see the crowning of the new leader of the Labour Party and it will be, if opinion polls are anything to go by will be either Milli-E or Milli-D. There could be an upset but its pretty unlikely that Diane Abbot will storm through on second preferences, no matter how hard Jeremy Corbyn wishes.

A straw poll amongst Hornets office colleagues provides interesting reading. Of the non-Labour voters at the last election, around half said they would vote Labour if David became the leader, and almost all of them plus about two-thirds of the Labour voters said they wouldn't if the other Ed (Balls) struck it lucky.

Diane Abbot was widely known and respected but not considered a runner, and no one had heard of Andy Burnham. Hornet believes Milli-D will suffer a Thatcher moment, that is to get the most first preferences but fall short of the magic 50%, only to see the prize snatched by his brother Milli-E on second preferences.

Whoever wins they face an uphill task of convincing an already sceptical electorate over scale and speed of budget cuts, and a clean break from the perceived disastrous helmship of Gordon Brown.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Dont tax the rich, its taxi for Ritchie

Hornet today announces the first in a series of new awards that each of our elected representatives stand a good chance of winning.

Today its the prestigious "Taxi Award" and the lucky winner is Bromptons very own Cllr Shireen Ritchie, clocking up an impressive 37 taxi rides costing almost £500.

Cllr Danny "DHL to Thailand" Moylan and Cllr Cunningham were a distant tied second with just eight each, and Redcliffe stalwart Cllr Taylor fourth with six, although the costs for hers were more than Moylan and Cunningham.

Councillors are allowed to claim back taxi fares only if the journey is absolutely necessary, in connection with council business and to ensure punctual arrival.

So that means if a councillor is at home, or in the Town Hall and has a meeting to get to with four hours to go until it starts. You can either saunter to the tube or the bus stop in good time and use an oyster card to pay the £2 fare with rest of the hoi-polloi, or wait until the very last minute and then hail a cab charging it back to the council.

A special achievement award goes to Cllr Warwick Lightfoot, the self confessed Hobbit, who managed to squeeze out from the council some cab rides on an away day to the rather plush Executive Management Residential AP Moller Training Centre in Cambridge. Butter-Beers all round!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Go back to your constituencies...

Hot on the heels of Linda Wades spectacular result in Earls Court causing a Tory Meltzer-down the LibDem conference kicked off in Liverpool, the town with two football teams, blue and red though, not yellow.

Danny Alexander has been banging on about squeezing those who earn more than £150,000 using lie detectors to help solve tax evasion, and that they would hire the local collection firm Mssrs Kray & Bruisers Ltd to collect taxes.

I know that, like at General Elections, politicians suffer from a strange, but temporary, motor neurone complaint, whereby mouth and brain do not function simultaneously, but yesterday’s announcements were a little odd and very un-Liberal-like.

Why should it be assumed that anyone earning a large salary is less honest than someone who is not? What value is a lie detector when English law forbids their admissibility? Why confuse tax avoidance with tax evasion when the former is legal and encouraged by the government, whilst the other is neither?

The answer is simple. Danny was talking rubbish to appease the rabble of wild, green eyed lefties, who want to see the Coalition crack down on the pleasures of the richer. Of course, none of these ranting will ever be implemented.

What is amazing is that over the last few months Clegg has emerged as a worthy deputy PM, and Cable a safe pair of hands, so why then is the need for all this claptrap about slamming the rich and the like? At last the LibDems are being seen as a senior party, all grown up and all that could be undone by silly conference speeches and unguarded quotes.


Hornet wishes to put on record her thanks to the person we shall refer to as Mr X for providing the documents concerning the DHL courier shipments to Cllr Moylan. Mr X has just emailed in saying Hornet has missed the issue he allured to concerning transparency.

The Dear Leader prophetically opines Council business belongs out in the open, where residents can keep a close eye and if you follow the links you can read the council 'fessing up to delivering council papers between Oct08-Oct09 to Danny Boy in Thailand.

But the invoices MrX kindly sent over to Hornet yesterday clearly show the cost between those dates was considerably more than what the council have publicly stated.

So quite how the Dear Leader manages to bang on about transparency is anyone's guess.

Hornet is grateful for MrX to point this out, and happy to set the record straight.

If any of you dear readers know of anything strange, see something suspicious or just want to vent some frustration just click the link below and send Hornet the details. You do not need to give your name, and you may earn a community reward.

WestEnders, Episode 1, Pt2

Episode 1
Part 2

Act2/Sc1:  EXT/DAY Town Hall Car Park
In the background we see a group of council employees struggling with a huge box about the size of telephone box. It is wrapped in brown paper and has DHL stickers on it saying "Send to Thailand".

The council leader is stepping out of the Bentley tipping over a flute of champagne in the process. Inside we can see he is stuck on Level 2 of Super Mario on an X-Box. Cllr Marshall is holding the door open for him and closes it behind him, he is dressed in prep school uniform.

QM: [enthusiastically] Hello Leader, can I have my X-box ba [he is cut short as MC goes past him]
MC: [into his phone ignoring QM] Yes I know about that, but what happened to the Queens Club[the conversation trails off as he enters the building and QM shuts the car door and skips in behind him]

SC2/INT.DAY. The Members Room

Various groups of councillors are lolling around on chairs engaged in inaudible conversations. Cllr Taylor comes in wearing a rather brightly coloured cardigan which she proudly displays to anyone that will look. No one does apart from Redcliffe colleague Charles Williams who is reading the latest copy of Nutz, and only then from the corner of his eye but she spots it and strides purposefully towards him.

FT: Do you like it [pointing to her garment] its my new Cadogan

The whole room falls silent, everyone looks at CW in anticipation hoping he wont fall into the trap. The silence is deafening but there is a very faint voice who we dont know but they say "dont do it" - but it is too late

CW: You mean cardigan dont you?  
FT: No no no, its definitely a Cadogan
CW: [he says the word quite forcefully] Cardigan
FT:  [she phonetically speaks the word to be helpful] Ca-dug-an
CW: [he replies in the same fashion] Car-dee-gan
FT: [getting annoyed now she pauses between each syllable] Ca [pause]   dug [pause]   an [pause]
CW: [sheepishly now realising his mistake] Car..  er ca-dug-an
FT: [looking around at everyone as she speaks very slowly] Yes, my Cadogan

The tables and chairs then part off shot down the middle to the left and right and a disco ball descends from the ceiling. Cllr Weatherhead on roller skates moves to the centre of the room as music from "Shall We Dance" starts playing and Cllr Weatherhead dances along

DW: [singing] You say Cadogan I say Cardigan  [and then all the councillors present jump up for the last line and finish with a showbiz pow] lets call the whole thing off


Monday, 20 September 2010

When does 4 = 28?

Oh dear.

Hornet has been sent some rather revealing information concerning the delivery of council papers couriered to Cllr Moylan while he is "on holiday or away on business".

The Council website tells us it was four times, costing about £800. Then we subsequently learn it was seventeen times, costing over two grand,

Now we learn its TWENTY EIGHT times.

Thanks to a interested resident Hornet has seen the actual invoices the council received from the courier company DHL and it makes for uncomfortable reading.

DHL sent packets of council papers, as few as one document and up to five on twenty eight separate occasions all approved by the council as Moylan has according to RBKC "reason to travel abroad on business and he has a holiday home abroad". So then have a guess where, without exception, every document was couriered to...

Frankfurt?  No.   Paris?   No.   New York?  Thrice no.
So where then, dear reader, is there another bastion of hot business that one would have cause to travel to so many times?

Yes reader you have kindly paid for council papers to be delivered to Danny Moylan in Thailand no fewer than twenty eight times, costing well over two thousand pounds. And up to five times per month.

Now if he had to pop off to his holiday home in that mecca of tranquility once, and as a result had some important issue to consider back here in blighty, you could, in all reasonableness let him have that and send him some papers. Despite the fact that even in Bangkok they have the internet, so he could have read them online easily enough.

But then that would mean he would have to drag himself out of the bars in Phuket and into an internet cafe, unless of course he has some special arrangement with RBKC that the IT budget for councillors also extends to getting his holiday home wired up with broadband.

But it wasn't once, it was 28 times. Examining the details Hornet can see that each August (the summer recess as politicians call it) for the past three years Moylan has been "away on business or at his holiday home".

There were planes departing Heathrow weekly laden with his "vitally important stuff". At Christmas and New Year, December and January for the past two years, RBKC helped contribute to the turnover at Deutsche Posts DHL operation by again sending planes weekly to Great Architect while he spent the holiday season "away on business or at his holiday home"

In other words, Moylan has been swanning off August, Christmas and New Year, plus about a dozen more times inbetween to what can only be his holiday home in exoctic Thailand, and getting you to pay for his "important documents" couriered to him.


Serious questions need to be answered by Moylan as if these documents are so important what the hell is he doing swanning off to Thailand. Moylan should apologise to the electors of K&C and repay the money. He has to make a choice, civic duty or holiday home.

If he chooses civic duty then with that comes civic responsibility, so lets see some. You should repay the money Daniel.

Hornet understands from her source moves are afoot to bring Moylan to account over this extravagance, hopefully to the desk of his employer at City Hall, she will keep you informed.

The peasants are revolting

Sources indicate that about two dozen councils up and down the country now subscribe to this noblest of notions "transparency in spending".

This wonderful concept is designed to allay any fears that you, dear reader, would have in the fiscal responsibility of those who hold the pursestrings in the town hall.

Unfortunately, our very own RBKC is one of these administrations signed up to flaunt their payments, contractors and suppliers to public inspection.

Unfortunate because Hornet is going through the information now as we speak. So watch out as we bring you revolting revelations....

WestEnders, Episode 1

The long awaited and anticipated WestEnders has arrived, and Hornet proudly brings you Episode 1

ACT1/S1. INT. DAY. Leaders Office

The Leader and Cllr Palmer are in the Leaders Office relaxing on leatherette recliner chairs, discussing the recent by elections.

MC:  So Palmer, what went wrong?
MP:  Well, in Earls court we selected an independent who slagged us off last time, and we underestimated the threat of Labour in Cremorne, then our leaflets....   [interrupted by MC]
MC:  [angrily] No, no, with my cappuccino, I distinctly remember saying soya milk

suddenly in bursts Barbara Campbell carrying a bottle of Irn-Bru. They both turn round looking surprised.

BC:  I cannae believe you dont have this in your drinks cabinet [shoving the bottle into MC face]
MC: Well thats not really what we drink here [passes her a rose vase to drink out of]

MP:  [gives MC a new coffee] So shall we get back to the election now?
MC: Yes yes, look we got stuffed in Earls Court and you know what, I think I know why
MP & BC [in unison, looking totally shocked] you do?
MC: Yes, my good friend Phelps was stitched up like a kipper and so the voters punished us by staying at home and not voting otherwise we would have won.
BC: Ya knae that dunnae sound like it could a happened
MP: So what you are saying is that if people hadnt had read the emails, we would have won?
MC: No, what I am saying is that if he hadnt sent them we wouldnt have lost

They sit in quiet contemplation for what seems likes ages. No one wants to be the first person to speak and then suddenly Palmer breaks radio-silence

MP: So we should ban councillors from sending emails!
MC: Exactly, wont be that difficult, I mean we banned them from holding surgeries 10 years ago
BC: Make mine a double [pours out more Irn-Bru]

Cut to Chez Patrick and a shadowy figure alighting from an RBKC liveried vehicle, going in the side door with a brown envelope. We cant exactly see his face but can see he is carrying a tennis raquet as well.


Read it and Weep

Never let it be said that Hornet isn't the giving type.

She understands well enough that hot on the heels of a crushing defeat in Earls Court and an unconvincing scrape of a victory in Cremorne that Messers Read, Buxton, Condon-Simmonds and the other chap must be a tad worried about their ever increasing fragile majorities.

Do not worry, Hornet is here with a very special technique for you that never fails...

and for those councillors and activists in their Party who are exasperated over the lack of political accountability for what has been the most disasterous six months of the Tory Party since records began, Hornet kindly provides this:

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Blame is the name of the game

The Dear Leader is never one to allow a calamity to contaminate him. Fortunately, a scapegoat is not far away. Step forward the hapless Jonathan Fraser-Howell who is the Tory Party main man in the office.

Poor old Fraser-Howell and Pooter have only ever had an acrimonious relationship so Pooter may well see this
an opportunity to rid himself of an irritant and put up a reasonable fall guy. 

Will the people buy it ? Doubtful....

Though not every body's cup of exotically infused flavoured tea J F-H can rightfully claim to be a pretty good agent, dispatching the opposition candidate in Holland Ward without a firing a shot for example. Doubtless he will be keen to point out that Phelps was very much Pooter's friend and ally so the blame could rebound upon Pooter; after all Phelps's emails were well known to most councillors.

Friday, 17 September 2010

It was the postals wot wunnit...

Thanks to a friend of a friend, Hornet has received a first hand account at the goings on at the count last night for the Earls Court and Cremorne by-elections.

The first thing that struck Hornet was the arrangement for the actual count. The friend of a friend tried to explain it, something about Sunderland and not counting the Tory votes and taking part A away from Part B and then dividing it by the number you first thought of, but to be honest, Hornet couldnt quite grasp it so just nodded sweetly and assumed that as no one objected to it, it must be right. Maybe.

Apparently the Labour rabble wasnt there for the initial briefing and it is said the council officer at the time commented about this, suggesting it was justification for where they would come tonight, or words to that effect. So much for political impartiality! Hornet supposes one has to protect the bonus somehow!

The count was graced by, amongst others, the Dear Leader, and a bloat of other Councillors, including Buckmaster, Buxton, Read, Campbell and a very tall cameo by Palmer. The usual cacophony of party hacks were also there, including professional agents sporting a stylish Louis Vuitton off-the-shoulder number containing somewhat unkeeping plastic folders and biros.

As the clock ticked by it became crystally apparent the Tories had lost. Early indications suggested a Labour victory in Cremorne matched by LibDem cruising past to complete the rout in Earls Court. Hornet understands that a recount in the initial Cremorne result overturned a Labour victory to a slender 20 majority for the previous unsuccessful Tory Candidate twice over.

Earls Court faired a little better with the LibDems and Tories vying for first place throughout the night. Unlike Cremorne in Earls Court the LibDems postal ballots seemed to match the Tories, as venturing down south Labour missed a trick and polled far fewer postal votes than their rivals.

Hornets source suggests the Tories were only spared blushes in Cremorne as they pulled in far more postal votes than Labour. On the day, the votes cast in polling stations in both areas the Tories were way behind.

Soon it all became clear, a rather resplendent Malcolm Spalding was looking non plussed and his comrade in arms Terence Buxton, one of the two remaining Tories in Earls Court,  his face looking as deflated and crumpled as the suit he was wearing. Another Tory who the source didnt know, and said  looked like a young Lionel Blair (Hornet believes this chap comes from Holland Ward and if Lionel Blair was ever young) was frantically scrawling notes on scraps of paper adding up imaginary numbers and no matter what calculation method he used, it still came up as a LibDem win.

The Dear Leader applauded the announcement of his neighour winning Cremorne and didn't congratulate Linda Wade who won the seat vacated by Phelps. He then promptly left the count along with the buffoonery of accolytes.

Apparently the comedy input for the evening came from the UKIP candidates, one of whom clearly had been at the Chateau Palmer before arriving, proceeding to tell everyone how difficult it was to engage his would-be voters in "intellectual conversation". The other one on seeing he polled about a dozen votes left early muttering that he couldnt stand being around "these Tory see-you-next-tuesdays" and shuffled off. God help if the electorate momentarily lose their senses and vote this Party into office if these two are anything to go by. Thanks to the heavens the Holy Father is in town.

The independents were there too, Mr Bovill who sat and chatted politely to all and sundry, and seemed happy with his placing above UKIP. Mrs Arbuthnot also turned up with what looked like a triangular bandage arranged as a headscarf, but Hornet's source complained, didnt have the "horn of plenty" she so happily portrayed her blowing into on her literature.

So the Tories lost one, and embarrassingly only just managed to avoid losing the second. Their over reliance on postal votes must not be a serious concern for the Dear Leader, as he managed to get one of his neighbours in at least. Hornet wonders if Spalding will now want to join the LibDems?

Just like the Colville by-election last year, and St Charles and Notting Barns this May they can have another drinks party and pontificate over "what went wrong". It will be quicker if they considered "what went right".

Tory strategists must be going postal about the thought of a Liberal attack in Earls Court and a Labour assault on Cremorne!

Doubles all round!

Letter to the LibDems

Hornet has heard that a letter is being prepared for the LibDem agent, Robin Meltzer and this is how Hornet thinks it would read...

Dear Mr Meltzer,

I was just wondering if at any upcoming by election you wish to stand in the Conservative Party interest.

Yes, I know that you are a committed member of the Liberal Democrat Party but until persuaded just a few days before this election our chap Spalding was a candidate of Independent persuasion. We here, at Hornton Street are a broad church and would be happy to welcome you into our 'big tent'. We don't pay much attention to political ideology, have you seen some of them in here?

Perhaps you might care to visit us here at Hornton Towers so that I and Cllr Moylan could discuss your potential conversion over a bottle or two of Chateau Palmer? Or maybe you'd want to come to the next Philbeach BBQ, but Cllr Moylan wont be there as he is having another holiday.

We have many elderly Conservative councillors teetering on the edge of senility who could be easily persuaded to step aside for young talent such as you. And if they dont make way well we'll get them elevated to the Lords or something.

Look, I know we have had our ups and downs over my perfectly legitimate expenses but let us move on now. Just like when asked who my companion was at the Four Seasons, where I had that rather delightful meal, its all forgotten.

I look forward to hearing from you, please.

With best wishes


By-Election Results

Earls Court

Linda Wade                704    LibDem   *Maj 109
Malcolm Spalding       593    Con

Turnout out 24%


Gerard Hargreaves     602  Con     *Maj: 20
Mabel McKeown       582  Lab

Turnout 25%

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Take a helicopter view...

Part of the explanation why senior council wages’ have rocketed in the past decade must be the cosy deals cooked up by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace), the “trade union” for senior local authority bods.

It has a wholly owned commercial subsidiary, Solace Enterprises Ltd, which dispenses eye-wateringly expensive management “consultancy” to its members’ councillor bosses. Blind eyes seem to be turned to the glaring conflicts of interests in such arrangements.

Now Hornet is not suggesting any impropriety as there is no evidence to suggest it, but you remember those transatlantic junkets the Dear Leader went to funded by you, the K&C taxpayer, it was to attend a conference connected with BT?  Well one of SOLACE's partner firms is, BT....   and the Chairman of Solace is our very own RBKC Chief Executive...

Hornet is investigating...

Trouble at Mill...

News is reaching Hornet the Tories are having trouble finding the manpower to handle the election in Earls Court, and have asked their colleagues in neighbouring Hammersmith & Fulham for assistance.

Bear in mind there are 45 Tory Councillors with a combined majority of about four hundred and twenty two billion (thats majority, not age). Polling stations are open for 15 hours, so if each one of those 45 councillors gave just two hours of their time today they could run away with this election without even breaking a sweat.

Polling Day Today

In what has been a pretty low key election, voters in Cremorne Ward and in Earls Court Ward go to the polls today to elect their new councillor.

The by elections came about because of the double resignation of the previous Tory incumbents, when one sent to the other (amongst others) inappropriate emails from his council based web email account.

The only thing that will raise an eyebrow in Cremorne is if the tory candidate fails to win in as no party, including the Tories have busted a gut to ensure victory.

Earls Court though is a different matter.

The LibDems have been battling hard for what seems like weeks pushing out their tatty Focus leaflets, matched only by the number of jaded blue Tory In-Touches. Linda Wade, according to the LibDems is a hard working campaigner (well, they would say that wouldnt they) and the Tories claim their latest recruit Malcolm Spalding (who used to be an independent and still lives next door to the Tory Council Leader) is "tried and tested". Quite what he is tried and tested in isnt really explained - perhaps his conversion to Conservatism?

The LibDems have as usual bussed in their workers but have experienced difficulty getting face to face discussions with voters because of the large number of houses converted to flats with buzz entry systems. The Tories have also had to resort to canvassing Kensington Mansions, a feat not done before Hornet reckons, 1805...  are they scared of something?

Labours Joel whatsisname has put up a credible fight in what must be a hopeless situation for them, and I am sure they are just hoping they can come in third.

The Greens and UKIP are also standing, but have been predictably absent.

There are two independents one apparently related to Tory MP James Arbuthnot, and another Jack Bovill who is campaigning on the ticket as the "no allowance candidate". His campaign literature was surprisingly good and effective and anyone who can take decisions on what is right for the ward rather than convenient for the Party is a good choice.

Hornet cast her vote this morning, she is Backing Jack Bovill.

Who will win? Only you can decide...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Nice job if you Cannes get it

Redcliffe Wards would be Christine Hamilton at a recent meeting of the council expressed her displeasure at the recommendation to cut twinning arrangements as part of the exercise to reduce the impact of budget cuts.

The battle axe has finally fallen on the annual £17,000 budget used to promote commercial and cultural ties.

Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riveria a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. The concept of sister cities has been criticized as an unnecessary and expensive endeavour for cities to take part in with little to no accountability or obvious signs of economic development resulting from the arrangement.

So with no budget to fund the flights there is little possibility of a junket to the city famous for expensive hotels, luxury shops (who wont accept the Wedge Card), and exquisite restaurants. No more will the hallowed halls of the mairie echo "Oh mon dieu, c'est encore cette femme!"

Pool of fools over rebuild....

Its about this time every month residents in K&C receive through their letter boxes the other local rag from the Council imaginatively titled "Royal Borough". Quite how they came about giving it this mast head name is beyond Hornet.  As with most people it finds itself placed directly from the doormat into the dustbin (unless of course there is a rabbit or guinea pig in the garden that would graciously grace its pages).

 It was not so long ago that Nasty Nick PB (the Chief Whip) proclaimed to the world "It is wonderful to see that people are taking advantage of the offer and making use of our facilities. I hope that it will encourage them to use some of the other magnificent facilities that our leisure centres have to offer." when he was banging on about free swimming schemes.

Not a mention of how bad any of the boroughs facilities are, or that the buildings are nearing the end of their natural life. The Leisure Centre has recently been refurbished, used by many and any right minded person giving it the "eyeball test" is that it is a perfectly satisfactory facility. No need for an expensive knock down and rebuild.

So why then in the latest offerings from the Ministry of Truth's very own Pravda does it suggest that Kensington Leisure Centre [makes] poor use of [its location] it is also reaching an age where major investment will be needed to keep it operating"?  Why indeed!

This is the rationale behind the Dear Leaders plan to demolish a perfectly sound building that neither requires nor warrants major refurbishment to make way for a "state of the art school and leisure complex" especially in light of the dire state of the nations finances.

The ConDems Education chap, Michael Gove has already signalled the way forward to drive up literacy and improve the lot of the kids passing through schools is smaller class sizes, acadamies, and crucially to allow parents and community groups to open smaller more focussed schools - so exactly where does the Dear Leaders new super school fit in?

Let no one be in any doubt over how the Dear Leaders cock-eyed schemes come about. There is a need for more school places in the north of the borough, and what happened to the only secondary school in that area?

The Dear Leader arranged for part of the grounds to be sold off to a developer to build accommodation and then £100million can be found to re-design the site but critically not providing one extra school place!

This Trophy project (his House of Lords marketing programme) delayed the planning for a new school in the North and now Schools for the Future is dead, and with the suggested demolition of the Leisure Centre and rebuild, now is not the time for yet another £100 million capital project.

It would be more in keeping with the times to bring back into service one of the secondary schools in the North that were abandoned in the 60's when there was a vogue for big comprehensives and everyone was dumped into Holland Park. The council currently occupy such a school in Lancaster Road which is used as council offices.

Hornet questions the leadership of the council for the shortsightedness of these suggestions, and believes the question that should be asked is, is the right people to carry us forward, the same as the people who got us to where we are?

Six degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation (also referred to as the "Human Web") refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.

Voters in Earls Court and Cremorne will soon be electing a new councillor, and have the choice of failed Tory Candidate twice over Gerard Hargreaves and Independent-turned-Tory-in-a-matter-of-minutes Malcolm "local tories dont listen" Spalding.

Gerard Hargreaves at least seems to be able to slip first past the finishing post down in Cremorne as none of the other parties fighting it seem to think they can snatch it away thus Hargreaves is, probably, unable to complete a hat-trick and thus keep the rosette.

Whereas Mr Spalding who stood as an independent candidate in the May elections, pulling in 170 votes against the lowest place Tory winner 1152. At this by election heads were certainly turned when it was announced on July 23rd that the very same Mr Spalding who told the world in May the local Tories dont listen to local people, suddenly became one - and their candidate in the election.

Malcolm said on his selection: “It is a great honour to be selected as the Conservative Party Candidate for Earl’s Court and to be given the opportunity, if elected, to work with Terence and Jonathon to continue to improve Earl’s Court, where I have lived, worked and been active for so many years for the benefit of the local community”. He didnt mention anything on what brought about his actus reus,

Now that got Hornet wondering.....                       .....on what brought about this massive u-turn.

Then it all suddenly fell into place.

Spalding, Hargreaves and Cockell all live within six steps of each other in Philbeach Gardens, so Hornet wonders how long it took Cockell to persuade Spalding to sign up, and what it took to do it? Maybe the offer of being the Tory candidate in the election?

No doubt next Summer the barbecues in Philbeach Towers will soon be held in camera, and one more councillor from that street will make them quorate! Look out residents, the Dear Leader is probably already eyeing you up....

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Babs Campbell home and dry

Cllr Babs Campbell is causing a bit of a stir here in the Hornets nest, in that we cant stop laughing....

We've already highlighted how every councillor has to complete a declaration of interests form, so that we the public can see who our elected councillors work for, or are employed by, how many houses they own and so on. So that we can check when they take vote in council they are not lining their own pockets.

Babs has, like many other councillors chosen on the online version of this declaration not to state her home address, perhaps to avoid anyone cold calling with a problem? Or perhaps for "security reasons".

That being the case, why then on the "find your councillor page" on the RBKC website does it show, what Hornet reckons is a home address?

What is the funniest thing on this page though is the very last line...  she is the "Lead Member for the Leader",

Hornet wonders what her job description must be to hold that title.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Friends, countrymen, electorate...

Act III, Scene II.
Iambic feet are hard and flat and come down heavily just like that.

Hornet recently was pointed in the direction of homilies from the last man standing in North Ken for the Tories, the great campaigner Cllr Palmer asking the electorate to lend him their vote.

On the 9th April, in that web house of Conservatism, Cllr Palmer posted a sure fire way of getting people to vote Conservative by asking them to "lend their vote" and if by the time of the next election the voter decides it was a waste of time then they can "take their vote back" next time.

Palmer says " On the doorstep we said we wanted the opportunity to prove we could do a better job than the existing Labour councillors and therefore we asked the residents to lend us your vote for this one election. If we deliver all that we promise and we help you when you come to us then in the following election we keep your vote. However if we fall short of that promise, you take your vote back and vote us out”

So four years ago the electorate did exactly that and returned three Tories in St Charles on the understanding that if the three chaps were not up to the job they would be turfed out at the next election.

Palmer goes on to say that "This was impossible for them to argue against and 95% of people to whom we said that agreed and became pledges" and that "For the past four years we have worked the ward and those pledges are “solidly for us” and we hope to be re-elected. 20% of the electorate are new to our ward since that election, and when we introduce ourselves and repeat the same “lend us your vote” line – and it still works."

....only it didn't. Two of the Tories in St Charles were turfed out, and the "lend us your vote" approach that failed miserably in the Colville by election last year helped the LibDems storm to victory in the same ward. 

Question is, is that a statement on the Tories campaign, the Tory Councillors, or both?

Cock-rail on Cross-ell...

More news reaching Hornet concerning the Dear Leader and the suggestion of a Crossrail station at the former Gasworks site just off Ladbroke Grove.

The world and his wife now know about the dire state of the nations finances, so there is a real risk that a number of capital projects, Crossrail being one, will be scaled back, redesigned, all in an effort to keep the budget down.

Rumours abound that the Crossrail project, one of TfL's major infrastructure projects may decide to abandon the plan to have a station in north Kensington. But dont forget, we have our very own Danny Boy who is, when he is not having his council papers couriered to his holiday home, not only a K&C Councillor but also Deputy Chairman of TfL.

So whats the betting on the Dear Leader and Danny Boy deciding to fund the station in Ladbroke Grove using the vast reserves built up by K&C? You heard it here first.

Shall we open a book?

Cockell on By-Elections...

You couldnt make this one up.

The Dear Leader was spotted here introducing a campaign session at a Tory Party event called "Winning your local by election".

Last year at the Colville By Election the only decision the Tories made that was spot on the money was the candidate, a local resident and fresh campaigner, everything else about the campaign was completely cock-eyed.

In the May elections this year what should have been a turkey shoot for the Tories turned out to be a rear guard action that, again, completely misfired and cost them two seats.

Good job the Dear Leader was only introducing the session rather than explaining how to lose.

On yer bike!

Election fever is certainly affecting some people in Earls Court. Hornet has received a sheet of A4 paper with lots of blue writing, purporting to be from "friends and supporters of Barry Phelps" both residents groups and it is suggested, Tory party members.

Hornet usually would have put this straight into the bin, but decided on this occasion at least to give it a go and see what it says.

Merda fuit, as the Romans would say.

Yet again we have to endure the recently redesignated Mr Phelps being portrayed as a victim in his downfall, the leaflet goes on to suggest that Phelps only "crime" was to stand up for the residents of Earls Court much to the annoyance of the Party bigwigs, who couldnt wait to get him out at the first opportunity.

He may well have been a good local councillor, that isnt why he resigned. He resigned because he sent inappropriate emails from his council email account.

Phelps is history, can we please move on.

Wishful drinking

News has reached Hornet of a meeting a week or so ago where everyones favourite, Husband hosted a reception in the Mayors Parlour for various Association chairmen.

A number of councillors also turned up, including one or two from the opposition just to make sure it kept within the rules of impartiality.

The cola flowed, and the glasses chinked and everyone was happy, even when the Dear Leader popped in to say a few, well, quite a few words.

Hornet wishes to point out here that all this was made possible by you, the very generous taxpayers of K&C.

So what was the purpose of the meeting, well it was by invitation of the Mayor and he or she is allowed to invite whomever he or she wishes to plunder the entertainments budget.

Mr Angry loses the plot

May 2010, the council elections were something to behold if you were anything but Labour. Despite the best intentions of the previous administration, the Tories secret weapon - Gordon Brown - managed to transform the chances of a Labour victory in the polls from no chance to no hope.

So that should have seen the Tories in this borough wringing their hands with glee at the thought of actually breaking through in the north of the borough.

Long a Labour heartland, the three wards of Golborne, Notting Barns and Colville could become another St Charles and turn blue if the campaign and message came across to the electorate.

The selection "process" was run, the candidates "selected", and the printing presses went into overdrive. There was such a run on blue ink, apparently the company that produces the blue drums for these riso machines had to work weekends to fulfill demand.

In Colville, fresh from a humilating defeat the candidates put up a brave fight, despite fierce opposition mainly from those in their own party who didnt help campaign.

Golborne was a lost cause from the outset, but the Tories scented blood in Notting Barns, thats the red blood of Labour, not the blue Tory blood of course.

Desperate phone calls were made, more leaflets produced and enquiries were made to see if buying a couple of extra hours to add to a day would count as election expenses.

On a day when the most that Labour could hope for is that the wipeout would be as painless as possible, and when the Tories could safely assume they would hold St Charles and possibly pick up on one or more seats...

.....the Tories didnt win any of the opposition seats....
....and they lost two of the three in St Charles.... Labour!

No wonder Mr Angry, who is Hornet understands the Chief Architect of the Tory campaign in the north of the borough so upset.

Still, we know a song about that, dont we children!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

We don't have a freehold on the planet...

Readers of this blog will know how Hornet told you how the stones being laid on Exhibition Road as part of the multi million pound redevelopment were imported from China. Or, so were told by the guys laying them.

Well it turns out the story is true!

The erstwhile member who has responsibility for making all things plush is Nick Paget-Brown, and he claims "I think it will be the most beautiful road in London,” and there is Hornet thinking he would have chosen a road not to far from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital!

Anyway, back to the Chinese stones....

It is suggested that the council believe the carbon footprint of these stones being shipped from China is far less than having them transported from the north of England. So having them travel over 5000 miles by sea, in a ship, burning fuel, then transported to the borough in trucks, burning fuel, has somehow less of a carbon footprint than they would being brought 300 miles down the M1?

Who would expect anyone to actually help the granite industry in the UK, when we can go abroad?

No one should be any doubt on Nasty Nicks green credentials, as it was he who posted on a blog elsewhere "..we don't have a freehold on the planet "but a full repairing lease"?"

Ah, so thats alright then.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Suffer little children

K&C, despite its wealth, is refusing to end the practice of burying children in "paupers' graves".

Despite its wealth, it has buried 16 children in this manner in the last three years and remains the most significant of the London boroughs to refuse to endorse a Standard campaign to end the practice. Smart old Wandsworth (leader Eddie Lister) instantly signed up to earlier this year.

For K&C to do the same would only cost it £7,000. That's hardly a massive sum - especially for a borough able to run a chauffeur-driven Jaguar and Bentley for the benefit of its mayor - and on occasions Mr Cockell.

If every single councillor gave up jsut one month of their basic allowance, it would be more than six times the sum needed.

So what are they waiting for?

Myosotis Amnesia Azorica

When  Hornet pops off on holiday as she frequently does from time to time, either abroad, or a little foray out of London to the countryside or seaside, she usually has a good time. weather permitting.

The journey is either by coach or plane, sometimes by car and occasionally by train.

Now when Hornet has to go abroad for something connected with work, or shall we say, for purposes that enable her to perform her duties better then thats usually something to smile about as it means the expense account creaks open, much to her line managers disgust!

Oh yes, Hornet loves a junket as much as anyone.

Clearly our Dear Leader Cockell also likes to be entertained in such a fashion, as Hornet reports earlier on this blog especially flying Virgin Upper Class to America on three occasions, being put up in swanky hotels and being ferried about the place all courtesy of the taxpayer.

When Hornet is away on business her bills are picked up by the company, who have their own money. They dont dip into the pockets of taxpayers. In anycase, if Hornet came anywhere near to extracting the urine on expenses no doubt she would be forced to make a contribution and would have less trips to indulge herself on in the future.

No such worry for the Dear Leader!

We've already heard how he dips into the mini bar and orders room service, paid for by the residents of K&C. And we already heard how he hires a Limo to transport him from Airport to Hotel and back to the Airport.

We also know that he was put up in New York in the Sofitel, paid for by, yes you guessed it, and yet decided to eat out one evening at the rather plush Four Seasons Hotel restaurant. The $186 bill being picked up by, yes thats right again, K&C taxpayers.

But exactly who was dining with the Dear Leader on this night that shall live in infamy? We know he was not alone

If you ask Hornet who she dined with at Buffalos Steak House in Berlin in February 2005 she can tell you it was George and Hannah from the office, plus her friend Rosita who came up on the train for the weekend. If you ask Hornet who she was with in 2002, the first time she went to New York and had a square burger in Wendys just opposite the Rockerfella Center, she can tell you it was her then boyfriend, now husband.

The point here is that when events that are out of the norm happen, you usually retain some memories, of the journey, the location, and quite reasonably of the company you were with.

So why then does the Dear Leader not know with whom he dined on that fateful night? Did he not ask him or her their name?  Does he remember what they look like?  Would he be able to pick them out from a line up? Did the ambiance and atmosphere of such a nice hotel restaurant really play havoc with his memory tubes?

Hornet has acquired from a source a copy of an email sent by the Dear Leader himself addressing the very important question of who else did the K&C taxpayer fund stuffing their face with grub and booze that night:

From: ""
To: ***********
Sent: Monday, 21 September, 2009 11:57:38 AM
Subject: RE: January 2007

Dear Mr *******

I regret that I do not have this information from two and a half years ago. Had I the information you are requesting then it would have been provided in response to your earlier FOI and other enquiries.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Merrick Cockell

Leader, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


Does the Dear Leader really expect us to believe he cannot remember?

Pull the other one, it has a blue flower on.