Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information
About ten days ago or so a comment piece by Sue Hessel was published in the Ham and High headed Idea of ‘rich west and deprived east’ in Haringey is dangerous myth. Quite a lot of the argument in it is perfectly valid, and some is quoted here. Haringey as a borough is an artificial construct and the railway line does create a remarkably clear boundary. Just how prevalent the myth is and how stark the divide can be seen in this Haringey political map article by Flora Drury, an Archant staff writer. Her opening sentence states the rich/poor divide as a simple fact.
"Haringey has consequently [given a guaranteed Labour majority] lacked the democratic checks and balances to work well", a situation made worse by the pernicious cabinet/mayor system of unaccountability.
"Haringey Council is a chronically dysfunctional organisation" - who outside the organisation would argue with that - it is secretive and introspective. Sue picks on the Hornsey Town Hall delays and obfuscation as a specific example, something I feel quite strongly about and hope to have more news on shortly. This aspect of the comment is picked up in this week's Opinion pages (Ham and High 20th Mar 2014 p 24) by Stephen Morpurgo echoing the views of the now moribund Crouch End for People.
What we can be sure of is that their proposed solution - to split the borough into two - will not happen, and nor should it, we already have far too much government, being paid far too much money simply to tell us what we have to do to be good citizens. Rather than subdividing Haringey to create further polarisation, what we should be looking at is combining a number of boroughs, so that fewer, but more capable, public servants can run bigger units, with greater economies of scale, and within which the perceived differences take on less significance.
One point to bear in mind about the "guaranteed Labour majority" - Labour has only just hung on to power in recent council elections. For example, in 2010 if only an extra 907 people had shifted from Labour to Lib Dem in the most marginal wards, Labour would have lost control of the council.
Please get it sorted out this time. Agree not to stand against the Monster Raving Loonies in touch and go wards, and then go into coalition with them to run the borough. Please displace the current lot.
I was quite active in the Conservatives before about 2005, then I went off them. I have recently come round to the conclusion that some Conservative votes in this area would be a good thing--if only for the very small point of democracy. I can't think of anything better than to give a kick up the fundament to the present complacent lot of slogan-spouting bums-on-seats (in every sense of the expression). As I understand it, a few years ago the Cons were talking about a super-borough of Haringey merged with Enfield. I am not sure about that, quite honestly, but perhaps I could be convinced that *anything* is better than what we have. Then again, maybe if there were some way to block the opportunities for gerrymandering of which the Labour party have taken such shameless advantage, changes would be unnecessary. And perhaps some more checks on voting fraud--didn't I read something recently about ghosts in the (voting) machine in Haringey?
As for Mark Pack's comment that Labour 'only just' held on to their majority in 2010 by a margin of 907 votes--who does he think he is fooling? In Haringey, where such a small percentage of the population actually bother to vote at all, 907 is a HUGE majority -- and I am sure he knows that. I do hate it when these guys start playing numbers.
Around 100,000 people voted in the local elections in Haringey in 2010, so I don't think dismissing 907 as being "a HUGE majority" really follows. 907 in the context of 100,000 seems pretty small to me, not big (likewise in the key wards that just swung the election, the margins were tight - compared to the the total votes cast in those wards).
PS Sorry to play with numbers once again :)