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Comments are welcome but do not necessarily reflect the view of the Dame.
Offensive/inappropriate comments will be deleted and the poster banned.

Sunday, 24 May 2020


Residents of Brompton and Hans Town ward will be highly pleased to hear Cllr Sof McVeigh is to be deputy mayor of the Royal Borough.
In the time she has been a councillor Sof has proven to be hardworking, intelligent and, more importantly, pro resident. In these hard times, she understands the pressures facing the local business community and is out there trying to help.

Other ward councillors could take a leaf out of Sof's book.

Of course, public service runs in her family. 
Her father, Ken Baker, is still hard at work in the community despite advancing years. 
Old style Tories, like the Dame, miss these men of stature

Well done, Sof....we are delighted for you!

Wednesday, 20 May 2020


Having boycotted the Borough’s scrutiny system for a year 
(did anyone notice their absence?) the Labour Group have decided to return to scrutiny and take up the places generously offered to them by the still fragile Tory administration.   
But did the Labour Group then decide to rise to the occasion at this time of national peril and offer up its most experienced and talented members?    
Of course not. 
The Labour Group by a now standard, 7 to 6 majority offered all its committee places to the most inexperienced and unimpressive members of the group.  
It even went so far as to exclude ANY of the experienced  moderate Councillors (Henderson, Healy, Press and Atkinson) from the committees entirely so as to make it impossible for them to be elected as Committee chairs by wiser heads in the Council.

The only scintilla of sense in the new line up is the return of Cllr. Nail as Labour Lead on the Families and Children Committee. 
One would have hoped that this was in recognition of her talent and dedication. 
Not a chance. Cllr Nail continues to be put down or ignored completely by the Ultras – who in any case show no interest in Children’s Services.  
Labour still has an unfilled place on the Children’s Committee but because it doesn’t carry an extra allowance none of the other Ultra members wants the place. 
So much for public service!

So how were the new leading lights of the Labour Group selected?  
Oh, that’s easy - The selection criteria was simply loyalty towards the ever more vengeful and highly strung Emma Dent Coad who from her position as Chair of the group now relishes directing events.  
Step forward Cllrs Ali and Elgani ( who he I hear you ask ) who will now receive Select  Committee  Chair Allowances of more than £16,000 without ever having previously shown any interest in or knowledge of their new areas of responsibility.


The Dame says there is plenty of rationality here in promoting a bit of exceptionalism.

My purpose in speaking tonight is to propose Cllr. Pat Healy as the next Mayor of the Borough. 

Given Pat’s obvious qualities this is not an onerous task.
Amongst Pat’s Qualities are: 
  • Length of Service (  24 years by the end of her current term ), 
  • Detailed knowledge of her brief ( Pat has steadfastly led for us on Adult Services and Health for many years and in the current National predicament, her wisdom deserves a National and not just a local Hearing ( I note especially  her advocacy of Free Social Care and the overdue Integration of Social Services and Health )    Councillors.....unlike some of us Pat is NOT  ‘’a  Sounding Gong’’ or someone who leaps to their feet at every opportunity . 
  • When Pat Speaks, she speaks with authority  and because she chooses her themes and interventions sparingly,  she is always listened to carefully (And Not just because she speaks quietly!) 

Councillors, I believe that Pat Healy’s Greatest qualities are Steadfastness, Principles and Loyalty.
( She first Campaigned  for the Labour Party at the age of 13 and has been a loyal Party member ever since .  Pat has had a distinguished Career  as a Journalist – and a Journalist with a National Name.   Since 1986 Pat has been known  known throughout the profession and the Labour Movement  as A leading  Wapping  Refusenik’.  
Madam Mayor... I realise that half the Tory benches were still in Nappies when Wapping happened so perhaps some explanation may be necessary here. Pat as a well-known  Times Journalist refused to cross the picket lines when Rupert Murdoch smashed the print Unions and moved production to Wapping. As such she sacrificed her career to try to preserve decent and independent Journalism . Pat was the first Chair of the National Union of Journalist’s  ( NUJ )Ethic’s Council which set out to encourage journalists to seek to tell the truth and to be honourable and ethical in their pursuit of News .  Councillors, if Pat Healy had been listened to when Margaret Thatcher colluded with Rupert Murdoch to tame and distort print journalism there would have been no need  for any Leveson Inquiry or two part report . And Journalism  over the last 30 years would have been better able to serve its constitutional function.  
MM Pat Healy has carried forward her values and concerns into her time as a Councillor in  the borough . She is a stickler for proper practice and the following of rules and procedures  ( Sometimes to the irritation of those  like me ,with a tendency to cut corners ).  But fellow councillors these rare and undervalued qualities are just what we need in the Mayor of the Royal Borough . Someone who will stand up for free speech and curb the pretensions of an over-mighty Executive 
Not all Councillors , even within my own group value : Experience , Relevant Knowledge, Decency and a terrier like holding fast to Truth and Steadfastness but if Councillors really value these qualities as much as I - you will have no hesitation in voting for Pat Healy tonight as the First Labour Mayor and the First Mayor to Represent North Kensington .
Two brief final Points  Madame Mayor .   
In nominating Cllr Healy, I am in no way denigrating Cllr Hargreaves . There is little wrong with him and if we lacked better candidates,  he would be acceptable. 
It’s just that Cllr Healy has more to offer.

Finally, can I make a point that I have made many times before . 
The office of Mayor is supposed to be above politics – But Never in the History of the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has there ever been anything but a Conservative Mayor .   The Borough is blessed with 6  Labour councillors who are more than 60 years of age and some of us have 20 or 30 years’ experience as councillors. Isn’t it time we had a  fair share of this office ?   
Some of us have been Deputy Mayors and I do not think we let down the borough when fulfilling that office . 
But frankly we are fed up with “always being the bridesmaid and never the blushing Bride” !

Councillors lets go for broke tonight and elect a brave and distinguished Labour , Female,  Mayor who represent far North Kensington . 
Let us have Pat Healy as this year’s Mayor....
Cllr Robert Atkinson 


Dear Dame,

Yesterday RBKC held its second Microsoft Teams major planning committee meeting.

This was to rubber-stamp the developer’s latest amendments to the controversial Kensington Odeon site.

It seems strange to me that this is being sold as some kind of victory for the greater good.
AND it feels disingenuous for the developer to spin that what is to be built is somehow the result of genuinely listening  to the local community and to a campaign led by local activists, amenity groups and residents to Save the 1926 Kensington Odeon (of which all that remains
is the fa├žade)

Certainly, A new cinema is being built (the latest variant is 1000 M2 less than previously agreed) and not on the site of the original (despite misleading images in the press and on the hoardings outside the site for over a year) but next door under the former post office.

Misleading Imagery On Building Hoarding
for over a year
Now, we are told that this space will be a brasserie or restaurant (although this is not conditioned) and I suspect that the developer will use this as the entrance foyer to the luxury apartments as per imagery in the Savills property brochure below which looks distinctly like an apartment lobby to me......

Savills Brochure Image

There are socially rented units in this scheme, but 30 instead of the 70 + recommended in RBKC and GLA guidelines and the council has granted additional height and square footage to the developer in order to achieve this.

We should not forget that our council has been complicit in the demise of what was a much-loved community asset and a significant landmark building.

One former councillor who deserves a special mention here is Daniel Moylan who accepted regular hospitality from Peter Bingle of Terrapin Communications (the former head of PR for the previous developer) and then went on BBC television to call for the cinema to be demolished.

He ignored the wishes and petition of close to 30,000 residents and every relevant amenity society including \\

  • the Kensington Society, 
  • ESSA, 
  • The Cinema Theatre Association, 
  • The BFI; 
  • SAVE Britain’s Heritage 
  • The 20C Society 
  • The Hitchcock Foundation and 
  • Opera Holland Park, amongst others

Even before a final decision was reached yesterday there were already articles in the press saying architect's Squire and Partners are finally able to build out the scheme that they designed 15 years ago LINK a scheme which is totally out of step with demand, will add yet more empty luxury flats to an already overcrowded Kensington market place whilst
simultaneously undermining the character of our community.

This was the local cinema of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, Michael Powell and Richard Curtis.

The campaign to save it was supported by Royalty and celebrities including Dame Kristin Scott
Thomas, Jeremy Irons, Sir Ian McKellen, Zoe Wannamaker, Sir Patrick Stewart, David Suchet,
Brian May, Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Grant, Lord Putnam and Benedict Cumberbatch

And a  constellation of stars including Madonna, Emily Blunt, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon,Ewan McGregor, Jonny Depp, Elizabeth Hurley, Kate Winslett and Dustin Hoffman attended premieres and watched movies here privately…….

None of the aforementioned support what was pushed through yesterday.

Thursday, 14 May 2020


THINK has a good piece on police obsession with social media posting. LINK
Nextdoor, the neighbourhood community site which flogs members' personal data to all and sundry and a founder who fled the scene of an accident is a preferred site.

Every week local police put up some inconsequential nonsense or other. One even had a picture of cherry blossom!

The public neither wants nor need this pointless information and the police should not have the time to waste putting it up.

The public need to see the police coming down hard on crime not harassing harmless sunbathers in our parks.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020


It's not just Cllr Henderson who is being sent off for re-education for consorting with the enemy.

It seems that Cllr Lari has some dubious Xtreme Right activist friends like Facebook friend, Tom Harwood and other hardline Tories.
Harwood on the right!

Harwood was chair of the pro Brexit Students for Britain and also worked for the American US libertarian organisation, Students for Liberty. 

In 2018 Harwood started to work for the right-wing blog, Guido Fawkes.

The Dame is worried that all this socialising with an extreme Right Winger might have 'turned' Sina and so a spot of re-education is called for to ensure his 'ideological purity'.
Cllr Atkinson will take charge of this....

Sunday, 10 May 2020


Yesterday there were 1,166 unique views on the topic of Cllr Henderson.
It is likely the figure will be substantially more by the end of today. 
This is a bit of a Hornet record with a relatively high number of comments.
However, some of the comments were close to the bone- defamatory or homophobic.
The Dame considers that everybody has had their chance to air their views so time to move on.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020


The Daily Telegraph tells us...
"The scientist whose advice prompted Boris Johnson to lockdown Britain resigned from his government advisory position on Tuesday night as the Telegraph can reveal he broke social distancing rules to meet his married lover.
Professor Neil Ferguson allowed the woman to visit him at home during the lockdown while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The woman lives with her husband and their children in another house.
The epidemiologist leads a team at Imperial College London that produced the computer-modelled research prompting the national lockdown, which claimed more than 500,000 Britons would die without it.
Prof Ferguson has frequently taken to the media to support the lockdown and praised the “very intensive social distancing” measures.
The revelation of the “illegal” trysts will infuriate millions of couples living apart who the government has banned from meeting up during the lockdown, now in its seventh week."

Monday, 4 May 2020


Do you like the idea of having your very personal data shared?

If you use Nextdoor that's what you are doing.
You are allowing a multi-billion dollar Californian company access to your very personal stuff they can then flog on to someone trying to sell you stuff.
The average K&C user doubtless thinks Nextdoor is some benevolent, quasi philanthropic community website.
It is most certainly not.... 

It's founder, Nirav Tolia, was charged with felony hit and run after fleeing a crash on California's Highway 101 that left a woman injured. 

The victim's solicitor commented-"It's ironic that the CEO of a company that is holding itself out as trying to promote neighborliness, crime watch and things like that flees the scene of an accident that he caused and doesn't bother to call 911 or stay around to exchange information or see if he caused any injuries"

Tolia served 30 days of community service in lieu of jail time.
In March and April, 2019 Huff Post and Wired reported that Nextdoor paid a firm to improve its image by lobbying for changes to Wikipedia on Nextdoor.

We should all be asking whether local police, our local council etc should be endorsing this site by publishing stuff on it.


What a Bounder
Johnson's judgment of people is really appalling.
"Conservative minister Conor Burns has resigned after the standards watchdog found he had attempted to intimidate a member of the public. 
The House of Commons standards committee concluded the breached standards after a complaint that he suggested he would use parliamentary privilege over a debt dispute involving his father."

Sunday, 3 May 2020


Protecting themselves from the stench of  the 'Rt Hon' Shapps

Call the Dame old fashioned but the impression she gets of our Cabinet is that some are very spivvy and none too honest.
When the Dame appoints domestic staff her reference checking is so stringent that dodgy Grant Shapps would fall at the first fence

Did the Prime Minister ever read Andrew Pierce's damning expose on this awful man and if he did whatever possessed him to appoint such a third rater? READ

Some of Grant's entrepreneurial activities have been 'well dodgy' and indicate an imperviousness to proper ethical norms.
It seems difficult to believe the Parliamentary Party is so bereft of quality that only stinkers like Shapps float to the surface. 

From Wilkipedia...
"In 2012, Google blacklisted 19 of the Shapps's business websites for violating rules on copyright infringement related to the web scraping-based TrafficPayMaster software sold by them.[29][30] Shapps's web marketing business's 20/20 Challenge publication also drew criticism. It cost $497 and promised customers earnings of $20,000 in 20 days. Upon purchase, the "toolkit" was revealed to be an ebook, advising the user to create their own toolkit and recruit 100 "Joint Venture Partners" to resell it for a share of the profits.[31]"

Saturday, 2 May 2020


Fatso police were out in force today in Hyde Park harrying and harassing Londoners trying to keep fit in these hard times.

Keeping fit is perhaps something these officers should be doing. The two doing the harassing must have had a collective weight of 200 kg and could hardly waddle towards the persecuted and harmless residents

God knows what would happen if they had to chase a bad 'un....

In days gone by it was rare to see slob like policemen mainly because they spent their days pounding the streets rather than gliding around in £50,000 motors and stuffing themselves with Gregg's finest pies.

Pre-pandemic police people were as rare as hen's teeth..... these days they are everywhere.
Police management is now as bad as that of the bureaucrats in the NHS and the consequences are similar.