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"It's worth remembering …" and short-memory syndrome

… however it’s worth remembering that the only reason our council finds itself in this financial crisis is because of your party’s support in power for crippling “austerity” and robbing Labour councils of vital funds. [1]

It is “worth remembering” things

However for many in Labour, there is a collective amnesia for events prior to the 2010 election.

It's often forgotten that slack banking regulation and the ensuing credit-fuelled spending spree, allowed the UK to be more vulnerable than it otherwise would have been, to the 2008 financial crisis—something that did not affect all countries equally.

The cost of the bank bail-out may never be known; here it's shown as half a trillion pounds; other estimates put it at £0.85 trillion and £1.5 trillion. The size of the bail-out tends to be forgotten.

To his credit, Jeremy Corbyn partly acknowledged the failure of the previous Labour Government to regulate banks properly.

However, the poor joke written as a note by the outgoing Secretary of the Treasury—and left on the desk of the incoming Secretary (Liberal Democrat)—is frequently forgotten by Labour supporters:

"I'm afraid there's no money left"

A great deal more true than funny.

It's often forgotten that the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) wheeze—begun by the Conservatives—was carried on by Labour with gusto: it's a form of financing that has brought our NHS to the brink of bankruptcy.

It's worth remembering that the public finances had been damaged even before the 2008 banking crisis.

Though it is denied by some in Haringey's Labour Cabinet, remember that there are striking similarities between PFI and the proposed HDV. 

Particularly, the clause guaranteeing exclusivity.

This means that, whatever happens LendLease will benefit: but there could be little or no profits left to share with a trusting, foolish Labour-run Council. One of the Tottenham-10 – a former Labour Cabinet member – said publicly that the HDV could bankrupt our Council and I'm afraid he's more right than wrong. The Labour Cabinet appear to have remembered little about the debilitating effects of PFI.

The collective amnesia on these and related matters may be convenient, but it's not helpful or accurate.

I was always in favour of the decision to go into a Coalition government, though not all LibDems agreed. As well as the positive things that LibDems achieved as minority partners in Government (such as the Pupil Premium), I'm increasingly proud of the thwarting—by Coalition Liberal Democrats—of the more extreme Conservative policies.

It seems to me that the pendulum-swings—between Labour and Conservatives—would benefit from more stabilising, LibDem presence.

Please feel free to go on supporting Labour, but remember that the Haringey Labour Cabinet is hell-bent on an HDV that could lead to yet further austerity, if not ruination, locally. Don't forget you are much freer to speak out about the HDV than are the Tottenham-10, whose brave stand I respect.

--

I've removed your email only, and I hope you might accept my replacement précis is fair.

Clive Carter
Liberal Democrat Councillor

Tags: Amnesia, Austerity, Coalition, Conservative, It's worth remembering, Labour, Liberal Democrat, PFI, intellectual dishonesty, memory, More…no money left, remember

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Clive, I’m not going to defend either the HDV or New Labour’s mistakes, but at least you recognise that Labour has changed under Corbyn – and the simple truth is that your party caused far more damage to Britain by putting Cameron into Downing St, which of course led to Brexit as well as the coalition’s cruel “austerity” measures.

On the emails, I’m glad you’ve finally conceded you were wrong to invade my privacy – though it took you a full two weeks (and no hint of apology). However, the way you’ve edited this now makes it superficially look even more like I leaked it to you! If you still refuse to take this down, at least have the decency to make it clear how you got your hands on these emails.

Charley,

at least have the decency to make it clear how you got your hands on these emails.

Certainly.

I know members of the Labour Party and some of them happen to be good friends of mine. Many of these ordinary members are sincere and decent people.

I can easily imagine that their basic decency makes them appalled and disgusted at the way the Labour Party's internal machinery—under Cllrs. Kober and Jogee—has been deployed:

  1. to criticise their fellow (Labour) Cllrs. who were doing no more than exercising their right of free speech: but more specifically, a right given under the Council Constitution; and
  2. to seek to punish them by Whip action

It is a measure of the chronic moral turpitude of local Labour Party apparatchiks.

I imagine those emails were and are in wide circulation locally. I expect that whoever forwarded me the emails is a Member of the Labour Party and who is unhappy with the justification offered to you by Cllr. Arthur.

This matter is covered in a decent, recent issue of the Local Government Chronicle (please note that a subscription may be needed).

You may know that I was one of the five signatories to the LibDem Call-in of the Cabinet Decision to go ahead with the risky and controversial Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV). Those 10 Labour Councillors called-in the same decision and that led to the Whip disciplinary action against them.

The indecent haste of the rush to an HDV against Scrutiny advice and the subsequent ham-fisted Whip action against those 10 Labour Councillors is a product of poor judgment and poor leadership.

I believe that all 15 of us—responsible Council Members—will be vindicated over the HDV.

I'm told that the ten Labour councillors who called-in the decision  on the HDV are now being required to sign an undertaking that they will in future discuss such action with the Labour Party whips.
This is despite the Labour Party's own rules stating explicitly that Scrutiny cannot be subject to the Party whip.


Your suggestion, Clive, of future vindication for the callers-in, will hardly give any satisfaction for people whose homes and businesses are targeted. Both to some extent currently blighted. And in future possibly lost if this disastrous Homes Destruction Viciousness goes ahead. 
But it seems to me that the accumulating evidence against the HDV scheme is so substantial that there should be more serious consequences for the councillors agreeing and voting to go ahead with the HDV.  Consequences which are personally significant as they will be for residents and traders whose homes are at risk.

Meanwhile does this latest twist in the story show ham-fisted action by the Labour whips? Sure. And poor judgement and poor leadership by them? I agree.
Though I also find it creepy that elected councillors face a demand that they sign a document which appears to imply a confession of guilt.  'You should have toed the Kober Party line. Not thought for yourselves and tried to do the right-thing'.

Where have we seen this sort of behaviour before? It's alright Ma. They're only whipping?.

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon

By saying that the callers-in would be vindicated, I merely meant to imply that—if the HDV goes ahead—the 10 Labour Councillors who Called-In the Cabinet Decision will be proved right and the Whip action, wrong.

However, as you imply, such vindication would be a disaster for the Borough. Not immediately, but the effects of the foolish terms that may be agreed to, would be revealed over time.

The Council is being trussed-up like a chicken and few see the oven ahead. In the words of one former Labour Cabinet Member, possible bankruptcy and for tenants and Leaseholders deep anxiety, financial loss and possible misery.

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