send the Dame your information, discretion assured.
Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Saturday, 28 March 2020


Dear Dame,

I trust you are suitably embattlemented against the onslaught of the dreaded virus.
The brave postman has delivered the Royal Borough’s rate demand safely to my doormat.

Alas, it seems that the Borough’s highly paid financial experts are unable to do percentages.

The demand correctly shows that Sadim Khan’t has greedily taken an extra 3.6% this year to support his disastrous administration. 
Nothing like a bit of political point-scoring.....

The demand also shows that Lizzie’s famous frugality at Hornton Street has led to only a 2% increase for her administration.

Imagine my puzzlement, when the overall increase in my bill is not somewhere between 2% and 3.6%, but 3.9%; an increase beyond Sadim’s fevered imaginings.

Have the aforesaid experts discovered some magical new mathematics, beyond what I laboured to learn in my undergraduate degree and PhD?

No. They have simply told a BIG  fib.

The demand states that the % change in both parts of the Royal Boroughs take (Precept and Adult Social Care Precept) is 2%. Indeed they polish their halo further with a footnote that “the actual Council Tax increase for RBKC is 1.99%. When rounded to 1 decimal point (sic.) it appears as 2.0%”

Not so.

Take Band G as an example. The bill states:

RBKC        Change    % Change
£1,412.20  £28.86        2.0

Actually, the % is 2.06746%, which rounded to 1 decimal place is 2.1%.

But there is worse to come, much worse, when we look at the RBKC Adult Social Care Precept. The bill states:

Precept      Change    % Change
£95.73       £29.00       2.0

Actually, the % is 43.4587%, which rounded to 1 decimal place is 43.5%.

So the change in Dizzie Lizzie’s total take is actually 3.9901 %, which rounded to 1 decimal place is 4.0% not 2.0%.

Lizzie may think that the Dame’s grasp of figures is such that she can’t spot such a fib, but I think the old dear may not be quite so daft.

Indeed her offence at being misled in this way and with Lizzie’s greed even exceeding Khan’t’s, when so many residents of the Borough are struggling, might result in some breakages of the Waterford crystal.

Your numerate servant,

Thursday, 19 March 2020


Successful business leaders know the questions to ask and who to address those questions to.
Our political class seems like rabbits in the headlights scuttling from one idea to another with little cohesive strategy.
This brings the Dame on to her idea.

Dangerous times need dynamic thinking. 
Churchill saw this in wartime. 
This is why he bought in bullyboy Lord Beaverbrook to organise aircraft production.....and boy, wasn't that a piece of brilliance?

So, why not build on that idea and create a cohort of some of Britain's best and brightest business brains to form a serious fighting task force able to give shape to a somewhat ragged government strategy

One name that springs to mind is the Dame's young friend, Simon Wolfson who saved Next...another, Jim Ratcliffe, our most successful entrepreneur.

Let's get our brilliant business leaders riding shotgun with our somewhat lacklustre political leaders. 
We might be very surprised by the results


UK business....small...medium...large is crucial to all our futures. 
Even before the pandemic business rates were killing off business and jobs

With no IF's or BUT's the government should now impose a blanket ban on the collection of business rates until such time as normality returns.

If the Government refuses to intercede then the thousands of businesses in this Borough should stop paying.

This would send a message that business is not for messing with even if it means mass civil disobedience. 
Sometimes it is only such measures that make government act.

One trader in Walton St said that Cllr Sof McVeigh had been visiting businesses to give comfort and advice.
Well done, Sof and thank you.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020



The Steeples Times goes on the attack against the squalidly alarmist editor of the Daily Mail, the social climbing Georgie Greig.
Well done, Steeples Times STEEPLES TIMES

The Stourton family made a mistake of great magnitude marrying into lowland Scottie trade.


Dear Dame,
I am elderly and self-isolating so I have plenty of time to ponder on life and human nature. When I was younger rich people in local government rarely expected any form of remuneration: they were driven by public service.
It seems different these days looking at our very comfortably off 'leadership team'.
Most of our 'leaders' never need to worry about the everyday burdens facing residents like mortgages, business rates, council tax, school fees etc
So, at times like this why won't they show solidarity with the very people who struggle to fund their allowances and refuse to accept their allowance? 
Looking at the list the only one who seems to claim nothing is Cllr Kim Taylor-Smith.

Lady Unbountiful

On the left is our mayor, Cllr Pascall. 
He and his wife have taken massive amounts from the council in allowances despite him being a rich man.

Thank you for publishing a rant from a senior citizen,

Best wishes

Mrs  xxxxxxx

Tuesday, 17 March 2020


How about some good news?

  • China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital. Not enough new cases to support them.

  • Doctors in India have been successful in treating Coronavirus. Combination of drugs used: Lopinavir, Retonovir, Oseltamivir along with Chlorphenamine. They are going to suggest same medicine, globally.

  • Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center claim to have found an antibody against coronavirus.

  • A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for 6 days in Wuhan, China.

  • Apple reopens all 42 China stores,

  • Cleveland Clinic developed a COVID-19 test that gives results in hours, not days.

  • Good news from South Korea, where the number of new cases is declining.

  • Italy is hit hard, experts say, only because they have the oldest population in Europe.

  • Scientists in Israel likely to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

  • 3 Maryland coronavirus patients fully recovered; able to return to everyday life.

  • A network of Canadian scientists are making excellent progress in Covid-19 research.

  • A San Diego biotech company is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore.

  • Tulsa County's first positive COVID-19 case has recovered. This individual has had two negative tests, which is the indicator of recovery.

  • All 7 patients who were getting treated for at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi have recovered.

  • Plasma from newly recovered patients from Covid -19 can treat others infected by Covid-19.

So it's not all bad news. Let's care for each other and stay focused on safety of those most vulnerable

Monday, 16 March 2020


If you have a break in and the police say they are too busy to attend here’s a tip...

Just tell ‘em the burglar made a racist comment as he fled your premises.
It doesn’t matter he didn’t ........just tell the police he did. 
In a New York second you will have the entire Kensington police force at your service!

Mr. X is an elderly and long-time resident of this Borough: a man of seventy and impeccable character.

He fell into a dispute with a neighbour who persistently dumped rubbish bags on the pavement on non-collection days.

Our elderly resident politely asked him to refrain and was met with a barrage of abuse.... a calm discussion turned acrimonious.

Mr X decided that discretion was the better part of valour and retreated.

Four months after the incident you can imagine Mr X's shock, horror and extreme stress to receive an email from a PC Arthur Burrell asking him to attend Kensington Police Station to be investigated over a four month enquiry into alleged racially aggravated public order offence

The complainant was his Italian neighbour who embroidered his racial abuse story by saying the old boy had tried to assault him...a bit odd seeing as the Italian was half his age, very aggressive and frighteningly muscular.....

PC Burrell proposed a number of dates one of which required our elderly fellow with a weak heart to get up at 06:00 to be interviewed at 07:30.
Declining Mr. X was told he would have to come in on Saturday: again declined as he had other commitments.

Finally, a slightly more civilised time of 08:30 was chosen. 
Our solid local citizen arrived at Kensington Police Station to be greeted by a MPS receptionist having a bit of banter with two young female colleagues. 
Clearly irritated at being disturbed he yelled to PC Burrell, “there’s a guy here to see you”!

The ten-minute interview completed Mr. X was told he was free to go.

The following day he received an email from PC Burrell saying, “due to lack of evidence a decision has been made that no further action will be taken against yourself"

So, what was achieved in those four months of investigation taking many hours of police time?            Zilch

Worse-a member of the public with nothing more than a speeding offence was the subject of mendacious, vexatious and police time wasting  complaint.
Properly handled by the police the matter could have been closed down at the outset with an informal interview.

Don’t believe the police when they say they are short of resources: this incident proves they have time on their hands to stress out an innocent local resident of impeccable character.



The Dame had a call from the owner of a one-man band dental practice in South Kensington. 
The dentist pays £83,000 a year in rent and £33,000 in business rates. 
£116,000 a year before he pays himself or staff

He has seen his practice smashed to pieces yet being just outside the Business Rates Relief plan is forced to continue to pay rates. 
In a few months, it will be the end of his practice.

There are hundreds of similar examples in this Borough.  A Business Rates Strike is what is required to save the local economy
The Leader needs to support those businesses.

Which brings the Dame to the Leader.....
Cllr Campbell is a lady with a rich husband. 
Would she starve if she gave up her £70,000 a year allowance until this crisis is over?
Of course, not...she is already one of the highest-paid and least qualified of council leaders
Stopping her allowance would show sensitivity to the plight of the many businesses being squeezed to death. 

If you have a faltering business that is being screwed by business rates then withhold them until the world returns to some semblance of normality.


The Dame first met Guy Oliver when he mounted a David and Goliath campaign to save the much-loved Art Deco cinema in Ken High St. 

In the end, he was beaten by naked greed and council indifference.

Dear Dame,

May I make an appeal for a little rationality as we move through this crisis?

My own experiences feel like a lifetime ago but the same hysteria in the press that engulfs the virus of today reminds me of the hysteria that surrounded an
even deadlier virus (HIV) those many years ago.

We see so much scaremongering in the press that it feels quite disingenuous to me. 
The fact is that life goes on and by fuelling mass hysteria amongst the population it just seems like we have become like those lemmings heading over the cliff.

As a London businessman, I see the results of this irresponsible reporting.

Right now the biggest issue for Londoners is the cancellation of hotel bookings and conferences and all the knock-on effects on tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops.

A friend of mine, the General Manager of a major 5 star hotel,told me that millions of pounds of cancellations in the past week means that the hotel is currently running
at an unsustainable loss. Already, non-essential staff and services are being let go and he says if this carries on they will need to “mothball” rooms. 

People need to understand that if they take precautions they can go about their daily lives. Most people know that I am a stalwart supporter of Rory Stewart-who I believe
is the best man to lead London.

I am looking forward to Rory, in his usual down to earth manner, telling Londoners to pull together and support their local businesses. 
These things shall pass if we cease the
hysteria, take the necessary precautions and carry on.



Sunday, 15 March 2020


The Dame across these inspiring words from Brother Richard Hendrick, a Franciscan monk from Donegal.

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again. 🎢 
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.🌷

They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.🌈

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the wearyπŸ˜‡

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way🌍

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.❤

So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.πŸ™

Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.❤

Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing. 🎡 

Brother Richard Hendrick, OFM
( Capuchin Franciscan  Monk )

Stay safe everyone πŸ’œπŸ™πŸ’œ


One of our most despicable residents is gnomic Geordie Greig, editor of the Daily Mail.

Common little man
The Dame, being a terrible old snob observes the Greig family started off as Glasgow grocers before insinuating themselves into royal circles and topping it all off by marrying into a grand Catholic 'sort of' recusant family.

Greig's editorial policy is to spread by whatever means panic in the population by a daily stream of lurid headlines exaggerating the dangers of Covid 19 so his dimwit readers rush off to strip supermarket shelves. 
In wartime, his paper would have been closed down for spreading fear and despondency amongst the population.

Saturday, 14 March 2020


Most people will be glad to see diesel/petrol black cabs off our roads. 
The feeling intensifies when you see them behaving with total disregard for other road users. Their real victims are the vulnerable young and old as their cabs spew out toxic filth.
This was the scene in Walton Place this afternoon.

At least 30 cabs were lined up with engines running and blocking the roads for other road users. When a CEO was asked to move them on he looked up for a moment before replying, 'not my job' and carried on ticketing a harmless overstay.
Frankly, CEO's are about as useful as chocolate teapots.
But the real question is who at the Council is responsible for managing these 'space wastes'.
The Dame has her Armstrong Siddeley but she would always use Uber in preference to these anti-social cabbies.


Click to read 
The Dame got this curious email from yet another new £100,000 pa addition to the RBK&C payroll.
Council Tax is shooting up and reserves shot but we still have money for a Head of Culture and 'Place'!
Reading the LINK it's clear that once again the Council is sticking its nose into areas better left to the various world reputed museums etc that populate the Borough and who are masters at promoting themselves to a global audience

Our Council is run by officers with no business experience and councillors led by the nose by officers with idiotic ideas.
This newly created post is an insult to RBKC taxpayers struggling to pay their Council Tax.

To the left is Verena Crawford who will run this £250k a year nonsense! She tells the Dame she's 'well respected' so that's OK then!

Wednesday, 11 March 2020


In Kim  Taylor-Smith we have a leader in waiting with qualities absent in the incumbent.

Taylor-Smith is a self-made man. 
The Dame likes the cut of the jib of self-made men and women. 
They are classic business 'builders' with the skillsets to lead others.

The Dame has met Taylor-Smith on one occasion. 
She found him lucid, quick on the uptake and not someone to take himself too seriously....altogether a good egg.

The Dame has never had the honour of meeting Cllr Campbell which is unsurprising as the leader despises the Dame and holds her little organ in the greatest contempt.

There is a general feeling that Cllr. Campbell is putty in the hands of the good Doctor Quirke.
If Taylor-Smith were running the show officers would need to be on their mettle.

It's time the Conservative Group chose a leader without the baggage of years past and Taylor-Smith is just that man.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020


This is North Kensington tells it how it IS

Local government does seem to attract some oddities and none more so that this one! 
It's Kirsty Tobin, she is both Head of content, channels and digital and also Head of Grenfell Communications at RBKC. Some residents referring to Ms Tobin’s particular sense of style, have described her as a “Human League reject circa 1983”! 

But Ms Tobin clearly does not appear to pay as much attention to her duties as she does to her appearance.
On Friday, there was a meeting about Grenfell Soil and Environmental Checks . 
It fell to THINK to publicise this for our council failed to mention it anywhere. Not on social media, and not in the many publications that clutter up our entrances nowadays such as “North Ken News” or “Housing Matters”.
It gets worse than that. Residents looking for details of the meeting on the RBKC website were for some reason redirected to details for a Planning Applications Committee meeting from last February instead.
As for Friday’s Grenfell meeting, some not very bright spark decided that holding the meeting at 10am when most residents are at work, would be a good idea. Furthermore, both the bad timing and the absence of publicity for a meeting of such local importance was not just an insult to the North Kensington community but also was an insult to Professor Paul Nathanial who had turned up there expecting more than just a handful of residents to be there asking questions: his disappointment was palpable!
It is not only residents in North Kensington and visitors however, who are being let down by Kirsty and her colleagues. The webcasts of Full Council meetings do not appear to be working at all – so much for their “improvements”
As for “channels” if that means RBKC’s YouTube page, it is not regularly updated and nor is it easy for users to find what they are looking for.
Also, something ought to be mentioned about that Planning Application Committee meeting from February 4th last month – which had a very packed agenda with several items and several objections so obvious that there would be a very large number of residents attending the Town Hall. Despite this, someone thought it was a good idea to pack them into a little committee room with people crushed against the door, while both the Council Chamber and the Small Hall remained empty.
We have to tell RBKC that particularly after Grenfell, that it does not exactly look good for the council in charge to be breaching health and safety conditions publicly in their own administrative centre.
The RBKC website might, at first sight, look nicer, but it is still clunky, malfunctioning and hard to navigate and just as bad, if not worse than ever.
RBKC residents are now facing a 3.9% increase in council tax and tenants are facing a 5% rent increase partly to pay for such incompetence and we deserve better than people who cannot organise a p*** up in a brewery or just do not care.
We wouldn’t even trust Ms Tobin to get the orders in a cocktail bar right. ….
If RBKC really wants to improve, it is time that they stopped wasting our money on paying huge salaries to people for doing next to nothing and who are not up to the demand of the job..... and here is a venue more suitable and appropriate than Hornton Street, for “Kirsty Hopeless” and her non-skills....

Monday, 9 March 2020


There is a useful community website called Nextdoor. 
The police seem to be using it as a PR tool. 
Officer Crawford may be trying to be helpful but one has to wonder whether she should be better off pounding the beat not shooting off public health warnings. 

Those fall within the purlieu of national government, NOT local police. 
The police should be spending time walking the streets not bombarding us with regurgitated advice.....oh, and the link doesn't even work as it's restricted to the MPS intranet....
Come on focus on policing....get out of those cozy offices and on to the means streets of London Town
We want you on the streets not on the laptop!


The Dame was at the Yorkshire Building Society in Kensington depositing her 'widow's mite' when she espied this poster on the counter.
Was it an early April Fool's Day joke or attempt at dry Yorkshire humour?

The serious young cashier didn't think so.
With much gravity, he told the Dame the new Quiet Hour had been thought up by the Diversity & Transitioning Team at head office.
Those whom the gods etc.....
Anyway, the Dame closed her account that think that her little nest egg is being wasted on such nonsense.


There are good laws; bad laws and good laws abused by bad men and women.
In totalitarian regimes, your enemy could go the authorities with a baseless accusation and you might end up 'disappeared'.
In the UK the best way to damage someone's reputation is to run to police claiming to have been 'racially abused'
You need to produce no evidence; just a baseless and unsubstantiated claim. 
The police then have to spend hours investigating whilst real criminals go relaxedly about their business.

This is the scary experience of one resident, Justin Downes

"As I was preparing to leave my flat in Hans Place I saw a large BMW 4x4 parked with what appeared to its engine running.

I approached the driver and politely asked if he could turn off his engine: pollution levels being dangerously high in the area. The man replied that his engine was now off. 

This is something I gently do and am always met with courtesy.
In fact, because it was dark it was impossible to know the driver's nationality.

Apologising profusely I said it must be the car next door.

I thought that would be the end of the matter: it was not.

The driver then said, “I will tell you what I will do”  
He proceeded to turn on his engine and revving it for a maximum of several minutes.

Astonished, I said to him, “ you really are stupid and rude: we don’t behave like that in this country.”

The burly, forty-something driver replied,We own this country”

I laughed and walked away saying, “You own this country? You really are an idiot”

Those were the last words I addressed to the driver for I did not wish his aggressiveness to turn to physical violence-my wife and six-year-old son were close by.

A couple of weeks later I received this email from a PC Burrell at Kensington Police Station.

Good Afternoon, Mr Downes

I am writing regarding an on-going investigation about a racially aggravated public order offence.

You are a suspect named by the alleged victim and you need to be interviewed about this matter.
Would you be able to come in for an interview on Thursday 12th March at 0730hrs?
This type of interview would be a caution + 3. You won’t be under arrest and you are entitled for a solicitor to be present.
If you fail to turn up for an interview, however, then you may be arrested in order to interview you about this offence.

JD: Sorry, but can you please enlighten me?

PC Burrell:
Someone has made an allegation against yourself that you racially abused him.
In order for this matter to be investigated, I need to interview you about this matter.
Are you able to come on Thursday 12th March at 0730hrs?

JD: I am a seventy year old. Can we make it a later time?

I am now faced with the stress of having to prove the driver is a vexatious liar wasting police time and my own.
I am also faced with considerable legal fees to prove my innocence.

The police claim they are so under-resourced they can investigate only the most serious of crimes.

But here's the irony..... thirty-eight of my close friends are either Nigerian, Ghanaian, Indian, Tunisian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Turkish, Asian or Middle Eastern.
The ten I have spoken to so far cannot believe what is happening to me: all are prepared to come forward to say I have not a racist bone in my body. 
More ironic is the fact that my wife is Japanese and my children and grandchildren all have French, German and Japanese blood and my cousins Jewish!

Were it not so serious it would be funny.

I don’t know what the driver claimed I called him to justify the allegation.....did he say this seventy year old threatened to beat up a man half his age? 
I  fear I am not that courageous!

What is interesting is that the police have not asked the driver what might have been the cause of the altercation which was the driver breaking the law by running his engine at maximum revs whilst stationary.

Were they to do so it would become obvious the driver was seeking to use the police in order to support his outrageous claim of racial abuse."