Friday, November 06, 2009

Sir Robin Wales: Forest Gate Labour meeting

Last night the two Labour Party wards (or branches) North & South Forest Gate took part in a little bit of an experiment. We merged both ward meetings and had as the guest speaker our Labour Mayor for Newham, Sir Robin Wales. Also we asked Party members to invite friends and neighbours (non Party members) to attend the meeting and listen to the Mayor and take part in the Q&A. It was all a little last minute but we had a good turnout of Party members and residents (about 32 I think) in Durning Hall, Forest Gate.

By-coincidence Durning Hall is right next door to the local Royal Mail sorting depot where I was planning to go with some members of Newham Labour Party TULO to show support for the CWU picket this morning (the strike was called off yesterday for further talks).

The presentation and Q&A lasted about an hour and a half. So this is only a summary of key issues and topics that Robin brought up. Also the usual health check that notes were made on my netbook and I am not a copy typist:-

The aim of the Council is to make Newham a place that people choose to stay, work and live. To have choice you need to have money. So we need to get people into work or better jobs. Need to improve not only economic capacity but personal capacity – aspiration and ambition. Robin thinks he and the local councillors are first and foremost community leaders representing the will of the people.

Need to ask local residents who want things such as subsidised housing from the Council - what can they offer back to the community in return?

He is worried about what might happen if the Tories win the next general election. Their plans are to regenerate estates by exporting the poor from the Tory boroughs into East London. They will use the Bankers crisis to make cuts.

There is now a much fairer allocations system for housing in Newham. There will be less queue jumping and more opportunities for local residents. We can’t continue mind to keep putting poor people into the same place. This just creates ghettos. We need the poor and the better off to live together.

Things are changing – Newham now has better than average ratings London ratings for resident satisfaction. There is a 0% increase in Council tax and the lowest rate in London.

Need to do much better in education but have amongst the best results for qualifications when weighted to allow for factors such as the high levels of poverty in parts of the borough.

The Mayor’s Employment Project – guaranteeing the long term unemployed that they will not be worse off if they take up a training course or job. Paid for by the Council.

The most important regeneration project in Newham is not the Olympics but the new retail and business centre next door “Stratford City”. This will have the biggest John Lewis outside the West End. We don’t want to make the mistake made with Canary Wharf which regenerated an area but created more jobs in Kingston than Tower Hamlets. It is agreed that public policy should be that East London wealth is brought up to the standard of the rest of London.

Free School dinners for all primary school children. This is criticised as being expensive but no kids should go hungry while at school trying to learn. Every child in Newham should be offered the chance to have and learn to play a musical instrument. Middle class kids have this opportunity - why not the working class kids? Free books also for all our children. Apparently the American County singer and Actress Dolly Parton is paying for half of this scheme!

Local Space” the housing organisation set up by the Council with no financial help from the government which has bought 1000 homes and rented them out. After 5 years some of these homes will be sold and the money ploughed back into housing.

Labour Beliefs – there are 9 community forums in Newham. Last year £12 million was devolved to the forums to decide how this money should be spent locally.

He wants every community hall on a Saturday to be full of kids learning to dance, to have a lunch club run by elders, an after school clubs and other facilities for older teenagers to keep them out of trouble. No one community or faith will be supported by the council to build their own centres. They should rent space in existing Council centres and mix with the local community.

Robin finished by urging Labour to attract new people especially the young to join the Party to continue to serve our community.

There was a number of questions at the end upon opportunities for women, more youth clubs for older kids, English language teaching, education, quality of local proposed redevelopment, Olympics, planning and licensing (too many fast food outlets and off licences).

This was a good experiment which worked and we had an interesting debate with many contributions from non Party members. I think this idea will be expanded across the borough.

It was a just little surreal at times since during this fairly serious political discourse it was of course Bonfire night and the sound of fireworks going off outside could be heard from time to time. As well as the singing and happy clapping of the local Gospel church who were holding a service in a room below us. It was very Newham!


Peter Kenyon said...

Dear John

Congratulations. Looking forward to hearing how this works out in terms of recruitment / campaigning over time. We are planning a 'Question Labour Time' here in the City of London in the early spring. In the meantime, we are getting stuck into ramping up our London Living Wage campaign.

Peter Kenyon

John Gray said...

Hi Peter
Keep up the good work. We need to attract members into the Party and make it relevant to them before exposing them to the joys of all our committees.

Get well stuck in about the London Living Wage but make sure that where employers are (or should) be subject to national JNC conditions that they pay the proper rate not just London Living Wage. Since with pension, sick pay, overtime etc it will mean more money into the pockets of our people.

Anonymous said...

MY GOD, that is the most disingenuious tripe I have ever heard from Sir Robin Wales.

It is totally unhealthy for local democracy in a London borough that Labour rules so strongly, and equally, so aggressively.

Newham doesnt need more Labour, it most certainly needs less

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

We will leave this up to the good people of Newham to decide.

Personally I'm hoping for a clean sweep this time.

Fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

That's not in the interests of the Labour Party and most certainly not for the people.

Don't count on a clean sweep, even on a GE day.

You should value the adage 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. You sound more like a totalitarian in wanting a clean sweep, than a pluralist and democrat

Anonymous said...


What is the mechanism by which members of the Labour Party in Newham influence the policy of Newham Council?

Mike Law said...

When I first read this post I thought there was nothing new in it... and that's the point; these are promises (which are short on the fine detail of delivery) that Wales has made for the last 12 years.

I'm particularly interested in concept of making Newham a place that people choose to stay, work and live - how exactly is this going to be achieved.

The Household Panel Survey makes it clear that "Newham imports poverty and exports prosperity; the people who move into the
borough are far poorer than those who leave".

After 12 years of Sir Robin's stewardship, what's new?

John Gray said...

Hi anon 20.50
We need to change some things but if people vote this way in a modern British democracy then how can you say this is wrong? You don’t like the result but neither will the BNP?

Hi anon 22.49
Imperfect but by Ward, by GC, by LGC, by affiliates - there are actually lots and lots of ways but by choosing not to participate we should not whinge out the outcome.

Hi Mike
Not really sure what you are talking about as usual but you seem to be talking your usual partisan selective rubbish IMO of course.

Mike Law said...

Re-read my comment, V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y.

Anonymous said...


I do participate as an active party member. You rightly mention the LGC (Local Government Committee) as one of the mechanisms by which members of the Labour Party influence the policy of Newham Council. If it is so important, can you explain why the LGC has not met since its AGM many months ago?

Secondly, perhaps you might also explain why the LGC which supposedly liaises between the party and the council, is itself packed with councillors?

I would like to recruit new members to the Labour Party, but it would be good to be able to assure them that they could influence local policy. Unfortunately that is an assurance I am currently unable to give.

(Anon 22.49)

Mike Law said...

@ anon 22:49

From what you write, it seems that very little has changed in Newham Labour.

There were a few who did try to get the LGC running as an effective party body but their efforts were always thwarted.

It's almost a tradition in Newham that the LGC only sparks into life when it's time to select and ratify candidates for Council, then Wales and his cronies jump into action to get the "preferred" members selected.

Anonymous said...

Partisan rubbish from Mike Law? Not really an impartial statement from John's Labour blog is it?

Your hostility to all things not Labour is endemic in Newham Labour Party and purveys a rather aggressive and tribal outlook on things.

With that approach one does wonder, if you John Gray want to be a councillor and govern for the people or whether you're just doing it to be Labour, for Labour.

Very sad. I guess that's why since 2002, you lost 3 councillors to defection

Anonymous said...

From The Mayor who brought you £350pw rents for "social Housing tenants" who has failed to build 1 new council property and wants to create mixed communities.. Sounds like a tory, acts like a tory..Like Cllr Greenhalgh.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon 22.49

The LGC should meet more often, even though there are so many LP meetings. In West Ham we have problems getting delgates to turn up. Its a little chicken and egg. I think that Members can influence policies but should have a greater say.

Mike and other anons

Attack the real politics not the person.

Mike Law said...

What politics?

With Wales and his cronies having a stranglehold on Newham Labour, what "real politics" are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, look at some of your older posts John and see if you chose the same rule . . . .

Anonymous said...


It is not just that the LGC should meet more often - it has not met at all. That elementary connection between the party and the council does not function. So, if you will forgive me for repeating my question: if we recruit more members to the party as your post suggests, how can they influence the council and its policies? Or is the lot of a Labour Party member just to stuff envelopes and do what they are told from above?

Disillusioned Labour member said...

John - I am another party member and we don't have a selection process that is either fair or democratic. Wards have still not seen a list but we do know that some councillors have been deselected for spurious reasons and with no branch consultation. Others have been forced to stand down by rumour and innuendo, and some who aspire to be councillors have not made the list for again spurious reasons. Regional office refuses to investigate, probably because they have even bigger problems in Tower Hamlets. Democracy does not exist in Newham, and the council is run by the patronage of one man. Show a little honesty in your blog and start to help get Labour back to the honest party it once was locally.

Anonymous said...

Anon (17:01) is dead right. It's no good sounding a trumpet for our local leader when party democracy has been effectively extinguished. If we don't sort that out then there is little point continuing and certainly no point in recruiting members under the pretext that they can have some kind of say - when we know it's simply untrue. We need to sort out the party and quickly. Anon 22:49

Anonymous said...

Robin Wales is totally nuts. Why is the Mayor building Westfield in Straford?. Why not re-develop the existing shopping centre?

What will happen to the shops in East Ham and Stratford?. You will get more people going to the Stratford Westfield and abandoning the existing shopping streets. Do we really need our high streets boarded up?. Shop keepers are already complaining about slack trade.

I heard the Mayor complain that he wanted shops like those in Canary Wharf in Newham?. So Robin Wales wants Gucci and Armani wants in Newham?. Is he for real?. Whilst I have no problem in mid-range shops in Newham, but is there any demand for a £400 handbag?.

Also, why on earth anyone working in Canary Wharf, decide not to shop there and come to Stratford?.

Anonymous said...

"Labour Beliefs – there are 9 community forums in Newham. Last year £12 million was devolved to the forums to decide how this money should be spent locally" ----

Are you aware that some community forums don't exist? And Councillors are still getting paid to run them. As for £12m? - where did you get that front. The only decision I have seem to recall is about where to plant a tree. So no devoling of power!

disillusioned labour member said...


Another example of the lack of democracy. Apparently there is an all member meeting tomorrow and the manifesto for 2010 will be discussed. Except quite a few of us have not been invited. Someone who has is a member of some only 18 months who wants to be a councillor for Labour despite standing for respect at the last election. The contempt for those of us who are lifelong residents and members is staggering.

John Gray said...

Hi Anons

Labour is facing a general election and a borough election probably within the next 22 weeks. This is not the time for internal dissent. We must put aside any (repeat any) differences and work for a Labour victory locally and nationally in 2010. Full stop. Afterwards comrades can of course argue for change in the proper way.

Our real enemies locally and nationally are the Tories and anything else at this time is an distraction. IMO.

Mike Law said...

You live in a dream world John.

This has gone on for the last 12 years; grass roots Labour members who are not prepared to support the current leading regime are marginalized.

There has been plenty of talk about regaining the local party for ordinary members and from time-to-time some have taken a stab at it (John Saunders has made several valiant attempts).

If the local Labour Party doesn't change now (before the elections) what will be the motivation for change after the elections - of course, should we get a non-Labour Mayor, that might be a good incentive for the party to take a good look at itself and work towards change.

Sadly, nothing changes in Newham Labour.

John Gray said...

Hi Mike

Thank you very much for your views. But to be clear you choose to leave Labour and join the Tories. I don’t really know why you did so but it would appear to be not for any political issues but purely over personalities.

That was of course your democratic choice. But in doing so you have IMO forfeited your right to lecture anyone in the Labour Party about anything.

Mike Law said...

You are something else.

I've explained this before, but as you have a selective memory, I'll go over it again.

It's nothing to do with personalities (yes, I think Wales and his cronies are ... well, let's not go there) IT WAS the politics.

There was (and, from what I can tell from some of the contributions on this blog, still is) no proper democratic processes in place with regard to how local party members select and interrelate with the Mayor and councillors.

As a CLP secretary and a LGC member I'd raised the issue (along with a few other) to no avail.

One of the final straws for me was when a member (white male) was put forward by Wales to stand as a councillor who hadn't been a member for the required period of time to qualify. At the time, the party was pushing for more BME and female candidates. I took this to the regional party and was ignored.

There was the parks constabulary fiasco - much documented. It is "politically" dangerous for an elected official to establish his or her own private police force - which is what Wales was trying to do.

There is the fact that many Labour member have been awarded huge allowances by the mayor for advisory posts that have no real function.

Finally, there is the bizarre and very undemocratic system of internal performance monitoring of councillors by the council.

I'm passing on my observations of the way Newham Labour has been hijacked by a few members with a personal agenda, and will continue to do so until things change.

I love the way you tell people what they think and what their motives are... you're going to be my favourite councillor; I do hope you get selected.

Disillusioned Labour member said...

John - you say this is not the time for dissent, but when is? Many of us constantly try to raise issues but are ignored. We end up having to use the FOI to get information that is witheld, and can't raise issues because the LGC never meets.

If all we exist for as a party is to get elected irrespective of politics or principle then we fail every test. The problem is not those of us who dissent but Robin Wales and his paid cronies who control the Party in a way that is at best distasteful. If you have been on the doorstep recently, and I think you have, then you will know the contempt that Robin attracts.

As for the Tories being our enemies, I do wish such martial expressions were not bandied about. Locally they are not even the opposition - that is more the domain of Alan Craigs lot.

Nationally we can and must win the general election and Lyn Brown and Stephen Timms need our support, but their position is not helped by the antics of morally bankrupt local leaders

Anonymous said...

Whilst I can not sympathise with Mike Law's decision to join the Tories it is hard to argue with his critique of the way that the Labour Party has been deeply damaged by the elected mayoral system and the rule by patronage of one person.

John, if you can show me a mechanism by which the Labour Parties of East Ham and West Ham might be able to hold the council to account and have any influence whatsoever over policy - I would be delighted.

The elected mayor, as you well know, holds all executive authority. He pays over half of the councillors 'special allowances' (even though councillors have no executive authority). The LGC is packed with councillors and doesn't meet.

I haven't been invited to the meeting on the manifesto either. And even if I were, we know that the manifesto is likely to be determined by one person only. We have notional consultation but what we don't have is party democracy.

I could never support the Tories. But that doesn't mean that Mike Law is not right when he says that if we are unable to influence or reform the party in the run up to an election then we have zero chance the rest of the time.

I am sure you would be a hard working and conscientious councillor. But in what way can you possibly make a difference to party democracy under the present regime, or even have an input into policy? If you step out of line you know you won't be a councillor for very long... as other comrades have belatedly just discovered.

Anon 22.49

John Gray said...

Hi Mike
As I thought – At the heart of this a personality dispute and local issues - no huge political points of principle at stake to justify your conversion? Nothing about housing, nothing about fighting poverty, nothing about education policy, nothing about foreign policy...So you had one of your temper tantrums and defected to the Tories - a Party you clearly don’t have much if any political sympathy with.

I think that we ought to look to ourselves before we blame others. We need to revitalise all our wards, hold regular meetings, pass and debate motions, we need to conduct political education lessons and visits, we need to hold social events and fund raise and organise. I also meet Labour Party members from outside Newham who make similar complaints about local and national Party governance.

There is never a good time for external dissent and in the run up to very important elections this is not the time for internal dissent either. In my view for what it is worth.

As someone who has been on the doorstop I will also pass on my experience that Robin is an election asset for the Party and I am pretty sure that his majority will increase hugely next year.

Hi Anon 21.03
As with DLM. The manifesto meeting for all members will be held I think in January.

One other thing that I don’t think some people take into account and should remember is that Robin is in my view supported by a clear majority of Labour Party members in East and West Ham.

Disillusioned Labour Mamber said...

John - does this mean you weren't invited yesterday either. There was an all member meeting announced in a letter by Robin weeks ago, or should that be and all members who agree with me meeting.

For the record I belong to a very active branch but my disillusionment stems from the way we are ignored, the LGC never meets, and so many councillors are scared to say anything less they lose their income.

The real world John, start living in it and help make the changes that are needed to restore democracy to the Newham Constituency Labour Parties.

The fact is we are all guilty of being right and wrong about things, the difference is, Robin won't admit his fallability. If you disagree with him about anything, he attacks you. I think Mike Law going over to the Tories was very sad but its his decision. It doesn't make him wrong about everything and you and I need to listen to him and other people outside of the Party if we are truly going to serve the people.

Mike Law said...

So sorry John, the title of your original post threw me; I thought the discussion here would be concentrated on Wales and Newham Labour. Apart from what I had already stated on this thread (which I would argue are “political points of principle” – erosion of democracy on the council, illegal private police force etc) I was also disillusioned with the Blair administration for some time and was greatly alarmed by both the creep towards greater and greater periods of detention without charge, the Iraq invasion and the move towards ID cards to name but a few “political points of principle”.

Furthermore, I was a LOCAL councillor and my decision to cross the floor was influenced by the fact that the Mayoral system of governance has been abused by Wales to the point where I felt that I could no longer represent the people of my ward with a clear conscience if I remained a Labour councillor in Newham. I say Labour reservedly, as there is no real, active local Labour representation in the Council chamber.

Do I have temper tantrums? Didn’t realise you knew me that well! This is an interesting point – have you ever seen Sir Robin in full flow?

As for political empathy with the Conservatives – isn’t it a little juvenile to believe that any thinking, rational individual will have unfaltering drone-like adoration to a political party, accepting every policy announced by the leadership without questioning the validity of that policy?

@ Disillusioned Labour Member: It was not an easy decision to cross the floor to the Conservatives, and, at that time, had there been a better alternative I would have followed that path. I had been a Labour Party member for a few months short of thirty years. I had tried to voice my concerns within the Party – from being shouted down at Labour Group to being told to look at the “bigger picture” by the then London Regional Director –(I asked what the bigger picture was and never did get an answer).

My experience of the Conservatives is that there is no great difference between them and the Labour Party as it is today – there are exactly the same type of characters in the usual posts (MPs, Councillors and active members) . Both parties are obsessed with presentation and spin and both are desperate to govern (naturally).

I’ve not been a party activist for the Conservatives in the same sense that I was an activist for Labour and haven’t attended a meeting for more than two years. However, there are one or two Conservative activists that I would like to see on the Council as I think they’d make excellent local councillors and I would support them unreservedly.

I would not have a problem standing for the Conservatives in the next local election (if asked); as John has rightly pointed out, I’m not in total empathy with the full gambit of Conservative policies but, from experience, I’m aware that if elected I’d be given the flexibility to represent the constituents of Newham as I see fit (which was NOT the case when I was a Labour councillor).

From your comments I can see not much has changed in Newham Labour – all I can say is that I applaud your resolve in staying with the party and attempting to resolve issues from within.

Anonymous said...


You assert that the Mayor is supported by a majority of members of East Ham and West Ham CLPs. In that case why did the mayor not want to face an open contest against other potential candidates?

It's not about personalities it's about whether the party is run democratically or in a top-down manner with members simply told where to go to deliver leaflets.

It's about whether the Council is in any way acccountable to the party, or, whether the party is accountable to one person. If you want to know what the Labour Party in Newham looks like now, then have a look at

Anon 21.03

Anonymous said...


I could never join the Tories myself, but I also think it is tragic that Labour should drive away people of principle - you ought to have had a home in the party.

anon 22.49

Mike Law said...


Have been going over your responses to comments to see if you do actually make any valid points.

I came across this, which I missed earlier: "One other thing that I don’t think some people take into account and should remember is that Robin is in my view supported by a clear majority of Labour Party members in East and West Ham."

So, people should take into account YOUR view that Wales is supported by a majority of Labours members.

I think that people should take into account my view that Wales has promoted his close friends on the council to high-paid posts (£40K plus on top of the basic allowance) and is generally taking the micky out of the vast majority of Labour members in Newham.

What say you?

Incidentally, why have you not made a blog post about the fantastic £70 Million "savings" Wales has announced?

John Gray said...

Hi Mike and Anons
What I should have said is that I am certain that Robin has the support of a clear majority of members. Very few politicians are going to volunteer for an election they don’t have to fight. The vote not to have an internal candidate selection was pretty convincing by any measure.

Good luck Mike with the Tories.

Anons – again, I say this is not the way to change anything. We now need to pull together and rally around the Party and concentrate on defeating our opponents locally and nationally.

Our real opponents are the Tories and that is why I hope that Mike will be there for them.

Mike Law said...

I'm guessing that the reason you'd like me to stand for the Tories locally is that you can highlight the fact that I'm not fully signed up to a Conservative agenda.

That'd be great as I have reams of documents that highlight the "conviction" politics of a good number of our current Labour councillors.

Just to make things absolutely clear, the only way I would say yes to standing for the Conservatives is if they commit to running a referendum to see if the people of Newham would like to continue with a mayoral system of governance. And in any event, I haven't been asked to stand for them.

However, if I do get to stand (for the Tories or as an independent), I look forward to seeing your comments on my haircut, and I'll check your blog religiously to find out what I'm really thinking.

That aside, what about the £70 Million in "savings"?

Anonymous said...


The rules used to recommend that elected mayors serve no more than two terms - presumably because of the degree of concentration of power in the office. A national Labour Party committee reviewed this. On it sat a number of elected mayors, including our own. Surprisingly (?) they decided to allow elected mayors to serve a third term.

The distortion of the democratic political process locally through a system of patronage (of which you may soon become a part) is really the problem. How members might remedy this situation is unclear to me since the very democratic mechanism that one would need to use are already compromised.

It appears to me that councillors may whinge and moan in private but in public they follow the whip, upon which their allowances and careers depend, and it seems to me that they don't even dare voice contrary opinions. Put a foot wrong and you are out.

How can you be any different...?

Maybe you and other principled aspiring councillors could refuse the additional 'special allowances' paid to over half the council?

Labour anon (20.14)

John Gray said...

Hi Mike

No I had a far more cunning plan. If I do happen to mention anyone's haircut I am sure you will respond in your usual approprate and measured way.

Hi Anon

Have you ever considered that if you or others want to persuade anyone to change it is usually not the best way to firstly call them all crooks?

Mike of course would disagree!

Mike Law said...

"A cunning plan" sounds nasty - and that just about seems to sum you up. The man who pontificates about addressing the "politics" will resort to a "cunning plan" in the forthcoming local elections.

As for responding in an "appropriate and measured way", do you actually read the way you respond to some of the comments on this blog?

Can you please give me an example of where and when I've referred to anyone here as a "crook"?

If you're referring to my comments about Wales and his cronies, I only comment on what I know (I don't recall you being on the Council when I was a member - I don't even recall you as a Labour member).

I get the impression that you are desperately trying to curry favour with the great leader as you want to get a seat on the Council.

I see that there are some who comment here that live in the hope that, should you get a seat, the scales will fall from your eyes and you'll begin to see the Wales administration for what it is. I hope they are right; I do not know you (much the same as you do not know me - although you have canny knack of knowing what I think even though I don't know I think it) and I hope they are right - but I doubt it. I would suggest that you may do yourself a service if you talk to the Deputy Mayor and ask her about the value of trying to cosy up to Wales.

You campaign a lot with Whitworth and Saunders - you should ask them about the pros and cons of the mayoral system as determined by Wales in Newham. While you're at it, why don't you ask one of the sitting Labour councillors who chairs a scrutiny committee why it is that, in eight years, not one mayoral decision in Newham has been the subject of scrutiny? - The legislation makes it clear that the scrutiny of executive decisions is a major aspect of the work of Overview and Scrutiny.

I'll ask again, why no comments here about the £70 Million "savings" made by his worship?

John Gray said...

Hi Mike
You are now being silly and even childish. Back to your old tricks of being personally abusive, ranting and raving about anyone who does not share your views or beliefs.

This is all rather pointless and just in my view makes you look completely unreasonable, aggressive and very intolerant.

But there again in your world – I would say that wouldn’t I?

Anonymous said...


I am really amazed that you should acuse someone of calling people crooks - where exactly? There is nothing in any posting from me that implies any illegality whatsoever. Please re-read it carefully.

It's an old trick isn't it. Grossly misrepresent a legitimate criticism as some more serious allegation that can then be denied. The allegation is emphatically not criminality but distortion of the party's democratic processes due to a system of patronage.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
Not that I find negative anon comments about me a particular problem (I should be use to it by now) but whether you intended to or not you clearly imply that I am potentially corrupt.

Mike Law may be an utter dipstick but at least he posts his nonsense in his own name (so we know it is nonsense).

May I request that the best way for you to pursue your concerns about the governance of the Party is to work within for change?

Never by publically attacking the Party.

This is not getting any of us anywhere and our shared aim to change society and further social justice is just far, far too important to spend any more pointless time on this subject.

You’ve made your point, I don’t agree (who really cares what I think) now move on.

Anonymous said...

There was no absolutely no suggestion whatsoever that you, or anyone else is in any sense criminally corrupt or potentially criminally corrupt - and actually I think this is a red herring.

But you may, or may not, agree that there is a problem with the payment of 'special allowances' to more than half of the council. And in my view this system is distorting the democratic process of the party. Do you agree?

Mike Law said...

This is good John:
"Hi Mike
You are now being silly and even childish. Back to your old tricks of being personally abusive, ranting and raving about anyone who does not share your views or beliefs." and then,
"Mike Law may be an utter dipstick"
Get it off your chest!

Where was the "ranting and raving"?

The only "ranting a raving" is done by you.

I've said before, and I'll repeat myself, when you're on the back foot to resort to accusing people who put forward an alternative view to yours of adopting your own argumentative style - and I'm sure many of the readers of the comments on this blog have drawn the same conclusion

You never actually respond to the points put to you; but then as an apologist for Wales why should you?

Again, what have you to say about the £70 Million "savings" made by Wales? I'd have thought you'd crow about that.

Mike Law said...


Apologies for the three posts - got a message with the first two that there was a problem with the site. I re-wrote the message after the fist error message and copied it - I sent the second message and got an error message again so I re-submitted it.

Unknown said...

I have heard that RW has announced his intention to face Nick Griffin at the GE in Barking. If so it is very brave of him, and certainly answers his critics who have described him as insecure, petty minded, delussional (£70m savings). I for one will work tirelessly to get him elected against Nick Griffin. I urge every one out there to show support by giving their blessing to RW in this.

Once elected, I would also strongly suggest that he be made Savings Czar. I believe he has shown hidden talents in managing to find a savings of £70m in 11th poorest borough in the country and 2nd poorest in London. With 32 boroughs in london it translates into 32x72= £2204 millions of savings, and countrywide a savings of £14.33Billions. I think his talent is wasted in Newham. How do you spell Madoff.


tory toff buster said...

aijaz the budget for Newham council is just under £1billion per year.

You spell it "George-Gideon-Oliver Osborne"

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
It is not I think a "red herring" it is key to understanding why (wrongly) you think that you have no voice in the Party.

Hi Mike
Yes, I apologise "dipstick" is a bit too strong. "A bit of a dipstick at times" would have been better.

I think Tory toff bashers sorted Aijaz and Mike on that score. Well said!

Anyway I think we have exhausted things for now so I am closing comments. No doubt I will post again soon on Newham.

John Gray said...

closed means closed Mike!

John Gray said...

...and closed still means closed Mike.