Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mike Law playing the Hokey Pokey for the first time

(Warning this is a Newham thingy). I've been sent this very sweet YouTube link of Newham ex-Tory, Mike Law, when he first played the "Hokey Pokey" at a young age (no skinhead haircut for sure).

Big Bad Mikey (BBM) has recently closed his blog (blaming me) then reopened it (blaming me) then closed it again to the "uninvited" (me and ?). Now he has reopened it again, but hasn't posted anything (yet). Will he close it again? (and take his ball away?).

Who knows :)


Anonymous said...

jon it seems the labour then tory then skinhead betting office party candidate mike law is unhappy at your post. shame that someone that makes a living ripping off and stealing from working class people while exploiting addictions, swearing and ****ing off anyone who doesn't agree with him thinks he has anything to say to the rest of us.

John Gray said...

Hi anon

It's a free world so BBM can post what he likes I suppose.

He does seem to have a rather unhealthy obsession with me (but please cut out the personal stuff in any future comments. I'm afraid you are getting as bad as him.)

Taff said...

I suppose you could try answering some of his (legitimate) questions about the Olympic stadium recently - most residents (who elect you)would love some straight answers, rather than SirRobin babble / spin , and then we could decide what the truth is & who's "bad" in this scenario.

Anonymous said...

I second Taff's comments!

Answer Mike Law questions. I would like to know, why you are squandering my money. £500million asset, but Newham have to spend £40million. Newham will never make that money back!

Incidently, it was the architect two put a complaint to the EU about the West Ham bid.

Anonymous said...

john this is all rubbish. you have answered all their nonsense. Law is just a right wing extremist with a personality disorder who attacks anyone who does not agree with him

Anonymous said...

I love this video

Mike you are so cute!

Anonymous said...

Bob Smith has your measure. Newham labour has failed white people and that is why we have moved out. this is your fault. rot in hell you labour lot.

John Gray said...

Hi racist anon

I'm not really sure of your point?.

After all what makes you think anyone would want to live near nasty, small minded bigots?

Taff said...

Further to the above request fro straight answers, Mr Law's most recent FOI request has turned up :
"The estimated spend by London Borough of Newham for the stadium bid from the start of
the process (March 2010) to the time the Olympic Park Legacy Company terminated the
process (October 2011) was £987,916. The costs include legal, financial and technical
advice, including legal advice received in the defence of legal challenges to the bid."

So as an accountable elected local representative could you please confirm:

1. Did you know that this much money had been committed as part of this process?
2. Do you regard it as an appropriate use of council tax payers money?
3. Can you list what specific benfits LBN residents will receive by spending £40 million on the stadium, as opposed to the benefits if it is simply publically owned?

- and anon 22/2 20.43 if the councillor or his colleagues / leader had actually answered specifically to reasonable requests then the questions would obviously stop. Being prepared to commit £40M of our money in an unaccountable, unproven and unscrutinised way hardly seems "rubbish"

(and fyi I'm left wing, a Labour voter - not that the 2 necessarily go together in Newham - and sane the last time I was tesetd.

Anonymous said...

As a lifelong Labour supporter and trade unionist of some years I have to say that I have sympathy with Taff's points. They are bona fide questions which should have an answer.

Personally I think a lot about you for actually engaging in your blog with ordinary folk in a debate about something which will pretty much determine the future of Newham. I wish I wish more of our elected members ( including the Mayor) would engage in a similar way. It would be healthier for the borough, the council and the labour party (they are not synonymous, however much they appear to be).

Why not answer the questions? Especially as the interview by Sky with the stadium architect casts an even larger shadow over the stadium legacy and its long term viability. Simply saying we get a £500m building for £40m isn't sufficient. It may have cost £500m but that does not mean it is worth £500m after the Olympics and does not mean it will generate a net income throughout its lifetime.

On the subject of Mr. Law - he may well have an agenda but because some of us think some of his questions are valid does not mean that we share his agenda, are closet sabateurs, anti-labour or anti Newham. Far from it.

John Gray said...

Hi anons

I have (I think) responded to these points before. Maybe it would be more useful to check out the Council website FAQ info below which has was first published months ago.

John Gray said...

or even

macuser_e7 said...

Anon 22:37 wrote:

"On the subject of Mr. Law - he may well have an agenda but because some of us think some of his questions are valid does not mean that we share his agenda, are closet saboteurs, anti-Labour or anti-Newham. Far from it."

I couldn't agree more. It's not a particularly subtle point but still seems to be beyond the comprehension of many in and around the council.

Regarding the FAQs that were published on the council website "months ago", I am surprised you didn't mention them before, John. We had a bit of a dialogue here back in January and you never once thought to direct me to them. This is especially odd as some of the 'frequently asked questions' are exactly the ones I was asking.

It's also odd that this 'months-old' document mentions the specific cost to Newham of the stadium bid (£987,916) but somehow this has remained out of the public domain until this week.

I'm afraid I have to say I find the answers in the FAQ less than convincing, especially around the benefits to local people. None of these requires Newham to have an ownership stake and most could be achieved through short term tactical activity for far less than £40 million. Do we need to own the stadium to secure access for residents to events? Or to generate employment opportunities?

The FAQ asks "Will the stadium make enough money for the council to make the repayments?" To which the answer is "We are confident the OPLC will […] make the financial figures work." Jesus H Christ on a bicycle, John, what kind of answer is that? If you really think that's a good enough basis to invest £40 million I have some ocean-front property in New Orleans you might be interested in!

John Gray said...

Hi Macuser

Sorry but I must disagree. Mike Law is a foul mouthed hypocrite. He has no politics, he is a bitter and twisted stranger to the truth and is obsessed with personalities and conspiracy theories.

I repeat that the FAQ has been on the Council web site ("the public domain")for months and I am amazed you have not looked at it.

It has also been widely reported that 16 different organisations have spent time and money putting together a bid for the stadium. I think that this tells us something.

Anonymous said...

John,I think you missed the point about,

"On the subject of Mr. Law - he may well have an agenda but because some of us think some of his questions are valid does not mean that we share his agenda, are closet sabateurs, anti-labour or anti Newham. Far from it."

I don't know Mr. Law, have never met him and have no interest in furthering whatever agenda he may have but I do care about Newham. I was remarking that there is a tendency to tar everyone with the same brush and to make assumptions about their loyalties and motivation if they ask the same or similar questions as Mr. Law.

It borders on a conspiracy theory itself and doesn't advance the debate. You have a perfect right to your opinion as does everyone in a democracy and we are not all the same, thank goodness. I honestly thought that, given the general public apathy towards local government matters, involvement and interest in them was something to be welcomed. I hope that I am not wrong in that.

As to the publication of the FAQ's - I do look frequently on the Newham site and must confess I had not seen these before you posted the link.

John Gray said...

Hi anon

I take your point but I don't (think) that I dismiss everyone as Mike Laws? It’s difficult at times since he uses false names, his family member and pretends to be someone else etc.

If people are polite and constructive to me I am back to them. What does frustrate me is that I know that politics can be a bit of a dirty business and my hands are not clean in this. Yet much (not all) of the criticism of Labour in Newham is totally personality based. Attacking the player not the ball.

It is too often the case that someone is attacked not because of they have made the wrong decision but because they are liars, corrupt, thieves, cowards, F**kwits etc. This also puts people off politics.

With regard to the FAQ. I repeat it has been on the front page of Newham Council Olympic website for "months". I don't know exactly how long but as far as I was aware it was all common knowledge.

Jez said...

john, I see that Mike is pissed with you and started ranting again. You obviously know how to rattle his cage and since it is pretty obvious that he has some health issues then I think it is wrong of you to wind him up as you do. I know this must be difficult but he is clearly la-la so just ignore him and concentrate on Boris.

John Gray said...

Hi Jez

Nah, he is just an self righteous, intolerant, attention seeker who also from time to time thinks it is perfectly acceptable to act like a yob.

You are right that I will be concentrating on Johnson and the Tories in the coming months.

Anonymous said...

Mike Law was indeed a Tory Councillor. He was elected as a Labour Councillor in 2002 but then defected (defaecating on loyal Labour supporters in the process in the Autumn of 2005. Did this great man of principle resign there and then ?

Of course not.He stayed on as a Tory until May 2006 and then stood as a Tory candidate in the 2006 elections.

Some of the allegedly Labour- supporting posters here should note this.

PS One of Law's latest "campaigns" seems to be that people who get legitimate parking fines should not pay them. Any takers for that ?

macuser_e7 said...

Jez wrote: "I see that Mike is pissed with you and started ranting again."

Ranting? I don't think so. All things considered it seems to me an entirely balanced and reasonable response. Anyone who's interested in seeing first-hand can go here:

John Gray said...

Hi macuser

Interesting range of views! Remember my thoughts about what is "truth? Am I sell out John? Is BBM a hypocrite for not resigning when he defected from Labour and joined the Tories?

Or have we exhausted that topic?

NewhamTory said...

John, Mike Law is certainly a selfish hypocrite. He deserted the Labour Party when a councillor because he couldn't get his own way. So he had one of his famous temper tantrums and left. He then deserted the Conservative Party after more childish behaviour because he couldn't have his own way with us either.

macuser_e7 said...

"Is BBM a hypocrite for not resigning when he defected from Labour and joined the Tories?"

Did you ask the same question when Alec Kellaway defected to Labour from the Lib Dems?

Perhaps you did, as you were a Liberal candidate yourself at the time (sorry, I didn't vote for you).

My personal view is that elected members who switch parties should give their constituents the chance to endorse (or not) their decision at a by-election. However, there's currently no legal requirement to do so and it's a matter of personal conscience. I can only recall one politician ever doing so - Bruce Douglas-Mann in Mitcham & Morden back in the 80s when he left Labour for the SDP. He lost his seat.

But Mike Law's decision to switch parties is utterly irrelevant to the points he is making now about how Newham is governed and how councillors do (or don't do) their jobs. His questions are not automatically invalidated by his once having been a Tory. That would be an asinine position to take.

John Gray said...

Hi macuser
That is not the question I posed? It was about “truth” and how people come to different conclusions on the same evidence?

Actually I do think that Mike is a hypocrite but not over “resigning” when he defected. We don't have a PR system in local elections so the fiction is that we elect individuals not Parties.

While everyone is entitled to have a view on Newham Council (good or bad) the problem with BBM is that he is deliberately obnoxious and while he can “dish it out” he cannot abide any criticism. Which is a shame but there you go.

Anonymous said...

I have just read the link referred to by Macuser and to be honest it does seem a reasonable and argued response – I’m afraid I cannot say the same for some of the stuff here from various people. I can understand some of the motivation – I am old enough to remember Reg Prentice and the vitriol that followed – but really does it advance any rational debate? Especially when he is by no means the only one to have changed parties or does it only count against you if you leave the Labour Party? The road to Damascus in Newham seems a pretty crowded place at times, with 2 way traffic. There does seem to be a bit of “pots and kettles” here.

I would have hoped that the un-necessary personalisation of issues was something to be discouraged, not the least because it gives rise to a suspicion that it’s easier to attack an individual than address a specific point.

I do think there is a real structural issue with the Mayoral model Newham has adopted. Because the Mayor is elected as an individual, exercises massive executive power and cannot be "no-confidenced" into resigning (unlike a Prime Minister) it is almost inevitable that there is some personalisation of issues, because largely, it is an individual who is calling the shots and who is the “face”.

In interviews of the elected Mayors in the UK many of them have stated that they value their “independence”. And let’s not forget this model was borrowed from America where personalisation of politics is far more prevalent than in the UK. So to some extent I think personalisation is inevitable for those elected into this structure.

There are undoubtedly merits and advantages in the Elected Mayor model but it is not without its weaknesses. In the Stoke-on-Trent Governance Commission 2007 (commissioned by the Local Government Minister of the time) the following potential weaknesses in the Elected Mayor model were identified

• Could be politically inexperienced
• Could be hi-jacked by extremists
• No control over quality of person
• Power of patronage
• Open to corruption
• Deals could be done
• Council leader remote from local people

Even supporters of the Mayoral model (Fenwick et al – “Leaders and Management in Local Government”) say that, for the model to work effectively,

"The strength of the scrutiny function is important. (It) significantly affected by the local party group....Strong leadership alongside strong scrutiny produces a healthy separation of powers, while strong leadership alongside weak scrutiny generates a possibly undesirable degree of autonomy"

Given that there is no natural “opposition” party in the Council I think that it is essential that the effectiveness of the Scrutiny Committee is examined to test the strength of the democratic process in the Council. I think Mike Law is right in focussing upon them. It should form part of the debate for everyone, especially the Labour Party. Ultimately, if the Mayor is discredited so too will be the Councillors and the Party and we end up like Doncaster with a right wing Mayor. It’s a dilemma not without the complications of layers of self interest and the temptation for most may be “not to rock the boat”. So my question is “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” – who checks the checkers -because, from where I am sitting, the level of scrutiny in Newham does not look good.

John Gray said...

Hi anon

I am really, really, surprised at your comments and wish you had the courage of your convictions to give your name (a proper one - you can email your details if you do not want it to be published). Otherwise I will have to suspect that you are Mike (yet again) pretending to be someone else. I'm afraid he has a long established habit of posting how wonderful he is (he also attacks himself in a nasty way to discredit those who don't agree with him). He has done this for decades. Especially in the Newham Recorder.

Mind you there are some interesting information but I voted for an Executive Mayor system in the Newham referendum in the full knowledge of what that means. The British Executive Mayor model is relatively new in British municipal politics and will doubtlessly evolve in future years. While I have no doubt that what we have in Newham is not perfect (where is?) the criticism by BBM is not of actual decisions or examples of inadequate scrutiny, it is based on personal abuse. Pure and simple. Lazy politics of the worse kind.

Anonymous said...

John, thank you for your response. While I do not agree with all your thoughts I would like to point out that someone is impersonating me on Mr Law's blog. I am not “Spartacus” and whoever wrote this is insulting and has made me think carefully about your comments regarding the “honesty” of Mr Law.

Like you I am forced to suspect he is the author of most (if not all) of the largely moronic anonymous comments made on his blog.

I am afraid that I cannot identify myself since I work for a London Council.

John Gray said...

Hi ?

This is all getting rather silly!

Are you an genuine anon or Spartacus, taff or Newham Tory or Big Bad Mikey?

I did think of only allowing comments that had a google account. However, people can still set up accounts in false names.
I suspect that you are BBM but cannot prove it.

Anyway, no one really cares (except BBM of course)


off now to deliver some Ken Livingstone leaflets

NewhamTory said...

No I am Spartacus

Spartacus said...

No, you are not I am

Mike Law said...

you f**kwits: I am Anonymous; I am Taff; I am Jez; I am Newham Tory;

We are all Spartacus (didn't you see the film?).

Genuine Taff said...

Oddly I'm not Spartacus, or Mr Law, but I am Taff.

And I'd still like Councillor Gary to give a personal specific response to my specific questions - not actually answered and reference to waffle on LBN website is a fine example of truth strained through spin alas.

Rest of this debate demonstrates urgent need for real politics to emerge in Newham although its probably too late as we have a largely unaccountable leader for life, and little prospect of genuine scrutiny or credible opposition - surely desperately needed whatever your politics?

And as this seems to still be live any chance of moving it up the page as I can't be bothered scrolling through so much blogging to find it everytime?

John Gray said...

Hi Genuine Taff

I had thought that I had answered your questions?

Its Yes (legal challenge was ongoing), Yes to Q1 and Q2. I think that the FAQ is informative and useful - not spin.

I think you have missed my point (somewhere in bloggersphere) that there is no guarantee that the stadium will remain in "public ownership" under Boris/Tory government. In fact personally I would expect them to try and sell it off as soon as they can.

Also again "It has also been widely reported that 16 different organisations have spent time and money putting together a bid for the stadium. I think that this tells us something".

Also I simply do not agree with you that the Mayor is unaccountable or that there is no scrutiny in Newham.

There is no opposition in Newham which I personally regret but that is hardly the fault of the Party but rather people genuinely believe in Labour and there is a pretty useless opposition.

Macuser has contributed to a new "Newham" thread on "Ken Livingstone meets London Labour Link".

Real Taff said...


Anonymous said...

I just love this video of the young mike law. He stops his blog, he starts it, he stops his blog, he starts it, he shakes it all about....that’s what it all about (nothing of substance - he just does all this to attact attention)

Anonymous said...

You know looking at the exchange of words it's hard to tell you or BBM apart lol. Definitely a love hate brokeback mountain feel about you two. You can't beat a good bromance within politics.

John Gray said...

more like my


John Gray said...

Hi anon 17.33

I'm sorry but I won't post anon negative comments about named Council officers.

That would be wrong and unfair.

I am not aware of the matter you refer to and will look into it.

If a Newham resident wants to contact me about this matter they can (except for BBM who can go and see his own Cllr)

Anonymous said...

Maybe BBM can raise it. I know it's an awkward one John.

John Gray said...

If you are a UNISON member you can bring these issues up with your branch.

BBM is of course completely untrustworthy with bad judgement in my view.

But I will leave that choice for you to find out.

John Gray said...

thank you for your further comment (which you know I cannot publish). It would appear that the matter is being investigated by the appropriate person and it would not be right for me to involve myself into an ongoing issue.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand John.

Thank for responding.

John Gray said...