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Friday, 30 August 2013


There is a tedious English tendency not to speak ill of the dead. 
But why should the reputation of wicked people be protected simply because they have died?
The Dame brings this up as she has noticed that Mr Fizzypaddy of PR has put something up about the Freeman Suite at Hornton Street...doubtless of an adulatory nature.

Freeman was leader of the Royal Borough in the '80's.
For some of the less intelligent and naive councillors the years have bestowed upon Freeman an aura of saintliness: odd because the man was an odious bully with little interest in anything other than his own political ambitions. 

But, like his protege, Pooter, those were never fulfilled.....happily!

Today, Nicholas Freeman would have faced criminal charges: not just over the appalling destruction of the old Town Hall. But those who know about these things tell the Dame that Scotland Yard were on his tail for activities similar to those which caused ex Cllr Andrew Lamont to end up charged and found guilty of child pornography. 
(Incidentally, so convinced was Lamont that he would escape justice that he told those who would listen that he was going to sue the dear old Dame for what she had written about him.) 
Silly fellow!
Anyway, back to the ghastly N. Freeman.

"Nicholas Freeman had long been a controversial figure: in 
1982 he had provoked a storm of opposition amongst people of all political persuasions by using his powers as council leader, without consulting colleagues, to order the overnight destruction of Kensington's fine century-old Italianate Town Hall on Kensington High Street. The building was due to be given special Listed Status on the Monday, but at 3 a.m. on the day before the fa├žade was smashed to pieces by demolition experts. The Royal Fine Art Commission condemned the action as "official vandalism... decided upon covertly, implemented without warning and timed deliberately to thwart known opposition".


Nicholas Freeman was a disgrace to the Royal Borough.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

One of the Dame's loyal followers writes to welcome her home from her summer travels...... 

'Welcome home dear Dame. I know summer is well and truly over when I walk past HPO and see the huge structure being dismantled to be put in storage until next year.
It has become a huge, complex and vast structure over the years - certainly not a tent, which is how it started. 
Pulling down something like this and storing it every year and then building it up again is a huge and inefficient overhead for an arts undertaking: itself fragile from the financial standpoint
Such a self destructive cost structure/business plan should never have been allowed to develop.....a total absence of Financial Stewardship'

The same reader also drew her attention to the Leader's blog
In it Nick has a little dig at the Dame: most ungenerous considered against the support she gave and continues to give him. 
But Nick is right: RBK&C is a big organisation and does a lot of good things.
But that does not excuse criticism of some of the awful blunders it has made and continues to make....and this is why the Hornet is so essential. 
For without the Dame's pricking and prodding complacency would set in. 
Certain councillors pull their weight, but others are deadweights and should seriously consider their positions.

But Nick misses the big point which is as Leader he has to avoid the big blunders (eg Exhibition Rd) and lead from the front restoring  common sense when circumstances move in a different direction (eg basements)
As a person leading a big organisation he needs to acknowledge that he has constantly to fine tune the culture; strive to eliminate complacency and above all lead by example
Maybe he is doing all of these things, but if he wants to puff himself up he also has to be on the ball and give us confidence that he is a safe pair of hands.
One does not wish to hark back to the past, but the Sloane Square debacle, driven by Cllr Moylan, was an object lesson in what happens when the leadership becomes detached from residents.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


There is a tendency for ex councillors with bugger all professional qualifications to set themselves up as 'planning consultants'. In their publicity they subtly infer that years of contact with planning officials and knowledge of process make them ideal partners for architects and developers keen to turn a buck or two. Of course, having no professional qualifications of any relevance, this is the only avenue they can pursue in order to get clients on board.
Naive residents might think that an ex councillor should not use the knowledge and contacts gleaned through public service to promote his/her business interests....particularly if former left wing Labour councillors.

So the Dame was interested to read the self promoting blurb put out by ex councillor, Keith Cunningham. 
Keith is not your typical 'dry as dust' Labour councillor. 
He loves his holidays in Thailand and boasts in his website of working for local members of the aristocracy. 
He is not shy either about boasting about being 'behind' the new Holland Park School and Chelsea Academy whilst a member of the Major Planning Applications Committee. 
Such claims will bound to upset Pooter!

It would be interesting to know Comrade Keith's view on basement developments-so beloved of the hedge fund managers he would have at one time claimed to despise.

As the Dame pointed out back in February....
'Our Keith' claims to have the sort of inside track we all dream of. One Conservative multi millionaire  Abingdon Villas owner paid 'Our Keith' £10,000 for his 'expertise'.
As Cunningham has not one relevant professional qualification one has to wonder what he does offer'

Friday, 23 August 2013


Click to enlarge

It took little time for the redoubtable Grenfell Action Group to turn the tables on Miss Sarna, RBKC's Senior Solicitor and fire back a volley of reasons as to why the curious case of Miss Gohil and her running costs required scrutiny.

But before threatening the Group Miss Sarna needs to explain the basis upon which she is acting for a non Council employee. 
The Dame even wonders whether Miss Sarna might be prepared to give her some legal advice gratis.....

Anyway, read Grenfell Action Group's robust response here


The news that RBK&C have extracted £800,000 from some hedge fund boss has been ramped by Mr Fizzypaddy of PR as being of momentous import. In reality, the hedgie has a smug smile on his face knowing he will be getting a mega return on his mega basement investment.

But what will the Council ending up doing with this windfall tax? Doubtless, it will be spent on some frivolity benefitting no one.....certainly not those suffering the hell basement excavations create.

The Dame says the £800,000 and all subsequent and similar taxes should be used to alleviate the hardship caused to neighbours having to endure years of misery. 
Money raised in this manner should be used to provide exemption to council tax during the course of basement excavations. At least then neighbouring residents would feel that some account has been taken of their hardship.

Monday, 5 August 2013


So Lynton Crosby has a cunning new plan to defeat UKIP: he wants to out the perverts and 'anti socials' believed by him to populate the ranks of UKIP coucillors.  He planned to get a fashionable lobbying company, Westbourne, to 'do the dirty'. 
Westbourne boss, James Bethell, advises payday lenders, like Wonga(but not Wonga), on how to look good so is obviously a real PR pro!

Sadly, it seems that one of the Westbourne guys leaked the idea!

But the Dame queries whether this strategy is a sensible one to pursue....
Click to enlarge

Looking at our own council a number of Conservative councillors have been found to have very unhealthy sexual tastes. One, Andrew Lamont, narrowly escaped being locked up for possession of child pornography and was heavily fined....another, Mark Daley, was pushed out(unfairly) and our ex mayor and loudmouth, Barry Phelps, was kicked out for an artistic interest in very young boys.
Another, recently deceased (and a preacher, when not actively serving Mammon) was supposed to have had a young boy friend tucked away in a West End flat..... away from the prying eyes of his family!
One of the many emails, with his disgusting caption, sent out by Phelps, ex Mayor

Further....but not so far afield.... we have a couple of Boris's chums done for naughtiness and that arch trougher, My Lord Hanningfield, late leader of Essex CC who did some time for fiddling his expenses. Then Barnet cllr and mate of Boris, the vile Brian Coleman, who was collared for assault. Oh, and how about Pooter's adversary, ex Leader of Leicestershire CC, David Parsons? It seems his officers are still trying to loosen his grip on expenses he "inappropriately" claimed for trips to Europe....resonate with you Pooter?

So Lynton, this might not be one of your better ideas. The number of Conservative councillors done for expenses theft and criminal activity (like the odious Hannigfield and Coleman) far outweighs the supposed miscreants in the UKIP ranks.

Friday, 2 August 2013


It seems that our Council is sponsoring Keep Fit classes....or can there be some other explanation for the weird goings on? 

Maybe  a variant of Tai' chi classes?
Mr FizzyPaddy of PR should tell us....

Thursday, 1 August 2013


Two other ex council leaders get their bums on the red leather....but nothing for poor old Pooter. 
Life really isn't fair.
The Dame hears that Pooter's criticism of Osborne did not resonate well and though he might have felt they would give him something to shut him up it did not play that way...
When he loses the LGA he will be back down to £10k a year...

  • Richard Balfe – former MEP and Conservative Party Envoy to the Trade Unions and Cooperative movement
  • Sir Anthony Bamford DL – Chairman and Managing Director of JCB
  • Nicholas Bourne – former Leader of the Conservative Group in the National Assembly for Wales
  • Matthew Carrington – former Conservative MP
  • Daniel Finkelstein OBE – Associate Editor of The Times and former Head of Policy for the Conservative party
  • Annabel Goldie DL MSP – Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament; former Leader of the Scottish Conservatives
  • Lady (Fiona) Hodgson CBE – campaigner on women’s issues; senior member of the Conservative voluntary Party; former Chairman of the Conservative Women’s Organisation
  • Christopher (Chris) Holmes MBE – former Paralympic swimmer; Director of Paralympic Integration at London 2012; Non-Executive Director of the Equality and Human Rights Commission; and a former Non-Executive Director of the Disability Rights Commission
  • John Horam – former MP; Conservative representative on the Electoral Commission
  • Howard Leigh – senior corporate finance professional; Conservative Party Treasurer; former Chairman and current President of Westminster Synagogue; former Trustee of Jewish Care and current Chairman of Jewish Care’s Business Group; Trustee of the Jerusalem Foundation in the UK
  • Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe CMG – former senior civil servant, including Number 10 Policy Unit; former leading Executive at Tesco Plc
  • Sir Stephen Sherbourne – longstanding political career in Westminster and public affairs, including former Political Secretary to the then Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher), and former Chief of Staff to the then Leader of the Opposition (Michael Howard)
  • Michael (Mike) Whitby – Conservative Councillor in Birmingham; former Leader of Birmingham City Council
  • Susan Williams – former Councillor and Leader of Trafford Council