OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

Take a look at Doron (short fat hairy legs) and Strickland (the one with glasses) setting themselves up for joke in Cabinet, and see how much their Labour colleagues look forward to it.

Natan Doron asked -
"Before I was elected in Crouch End we had twelve years of Liberal Democrat councillors in Crouch End ward. Could Councillor Strickland remind the council what it is they achieved in twelve years in finding a viable solution for Hornsey Town Hall?"
 
Strickland answered -
"To the best of my knowledge, nothing..."
then mentions how stunningly wonderful the CE councillors are and how they've achieved success...
"... rather than standing outside with a banner saying do absolutely nothing"

And of course it's not true. The Lib Dem councillors fought tooth and nail to get something done but were frustrated by the attitude of the Labour majority. The Labour majority, which must by very definition be in charge of the process. So it was they themselves who did nothing.

And do you remember their totally unjust accusations against HTHAS (sorry my analysis is more than a bit long winded).

Given that the FEC application they love(d) so much now only gets their support contingent upon huge changes I do hope they realise that they have made asses of themselves.

Tags: HTHbaddeal, dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, ojeu, planning application, tax haven

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It seems to me there are parallels with some of Haringey's other unwise and bungled property deals, large and small.

Take for example the infamous proposed deal with Firoka at Alexandra Palace. Desperate to unload a loss-making building, the then "leading" councillors made a bad deal with a developer.  According to the independent Walklate Reports, between £1.5 and £2 million went down the drain. (Leading to the temporary suspension of Cllr Charles Adje and his "stepping down" as leader.)

To be fair, this was before the rise of Claire Kober. Though she knows in detail what happened because Cllr Kober was Council Leader when Cllr Adje was suspended.

Unfortunately Ally Pally and Hornsey Town Hall are not the only Haringey property deals when serious concerns were raised. The Council has "form".

Right now, the mother and father of all such risky deals is planned and just waiting to be signed by the Kobots. I refer of course to the Haringey Development Vehicle - HDV.  I prefer to call it the Homes Destruction Viciousness, though it will also blight and destroy not just homes but a number of local businesses, and community facilities. At least two schools and a Children's Centre for example.

The HDV is likely to be the largest, riskiest, most damaging such scheme ever attempted in the UK.

My doubts, incidentally, are in line with the views and evidence of a wide range of independent experts and by the Council's own Scrutiny Committee.  If they - and I - are right, it will make the Ally Pally £1.5 million fiasco seem like dropping some loose change in a bus. I imagine that developers who met Haringey's freeloading councillors at MIPIM in Cannes must have rubbed their eyes in disbelief. Before rubbing their hands in sheer delight.

Why don't the Kobots learn from these past mistakes and partial failures? It's impossible to say with any confidence. Many people offer theories. Some explanations attribute good intentions. Others suggest that right-wingers in Haringey joined the Labour Party because it was the only-game-in-town. They brought their Tory ideology: an almost religious belief and trust in the invisible hand of the market. And in the warm handshake and bright smiles of development "partners"; and a fantabulously famous and wealthy football club.

Among more esoteric explanations suggested, there’s "The Stockholm Syndrome". But also, simple and straightforward, the Dear Leader's control of the purse strings for dishing out Special Responsibility Allowances.

Whatever motivates them, I have a serious worry about Cllr Claire Kober and her right-wing chums. They appear unable to learn anything whatsoever from past mistakes and failed experiments - their own or other people's. They are fully operational and all their circuits are functioning perfectly. Everyone makes mistakes, of course. But the Kobots seem deeply incurious and lacking in self-awareness. Without the essential ability to "fail forward" they are unable to modify and change course.

Instead they and their colleagues pretend that failures or partial failures are really successes. Their overstuffed "Comms" (Propaganda) team acts as a cheerleading chorus. Our own Council Tax spent in persuading us that "all is for the best in the best of all possible" boroughs.

The right-wingers currently leading our Council may be clowns. But surely they are among the scariest clowns in Haringey.

I AGREE with most of this Alan, just a small correction about AP.

The taking on of AP in 1980—and fire the same year—led to LBH overspending around 1987 that made LBH one of the UK's most indebted Boroughs. Now, in 2017, a former Labour Cabinet Member said that the #HDV could bankrupt the Council.

The AP fiasco was more than a mere proposal. The Lease of the Mayor and Burghers of Haringey was signed, sealed and delivered —not that it was paid for.

More than that—as a result of a temporary Licence promoted by Cllr. AdjeFiroka (Alexandra Palace) Ltd.—was in actual occupation from May 2007.

(Cllr. Adje's Licence led to our cash-strapped Borough paying—by way of subsidy—a sum in the range you mention, to a company controlled by one of Britain's richest men).

However, a Judicial Review (sound familiar?) Heard on 5 October of the same year, saw a Judge quash the Lease and award costs against the Trustees (the Council). The High Court has great power.

The record of disposing—or attempting to dispose—of large public assets is one of much failure and waste. With each new bungle, there is surely learning. But not much, and not enough.

Many thanks for the correction, Clive.

And also for posting that revealing clip of childish mutual fawning between Natan Doron and Alan Strickland. It's a good example of the sort of self-important time-wasting games our "senior" councillors play.

But Clive, don't you think you're being a bit unfair on donkeys?

Alan, another small correction.

The revealing clip of childish mutual fawning between Natan Doron and Alan Strickland, was not posted by me. 

In fact, that revealing clip of childish mutual fawning between Natan Doron and Alan Strickland, was posted by none other than OpinioN8's Adrian Essex.

Although I confess that I'd thought of dredging it up myself, Adrian beat me to it.

It's a good example of the sort of self-important time-wasting games our "senior" councillors play.

Yes, I agree it is a good such example.

The implication of that nonsense exchange, is that Cllr. Doron believed that he and his colleagues had found a viable solution for Hornsey Town Hall.

Right up until last weekend, when someone spilled the beans.

Clive Carter has published a more sober analysis of this exchange. The exchange itself is a travesty of comedy, accuracy and political courtesy.

IN editing the insipid video, I boosted the hue saturation, improved the contrast and adjusted the white balance.

I enhanced the audio so as to make louder and clearer, the voices of Crouch End Cllr. Natan Doron and leading Cabinet #HDV-promoter Cllr. Alan Strickland.

However there was nothing I could do, unfortunately, to increase the quality of the recorded remarks; they speak for themselves.

Next May, perhaps every new councillor should be shown the Doron/Strickland clip. With a warning:
"This is how smug twerps behave.
It's probably one reason turnout in local elections is low.
Contempt is earned and deserved."

One of my dreams is that the new Council jettisons the whole culture of ignorant, inanity. Where supposedly intelligent "leading" elected councillors think it's clever and witty to go to Council meetings - which cost a lot of public cash to stage - and behave as pathetic clots scoring points at other parties.

Why do they do it? Maybe they've wasted too much time watching Prime Minister's Questions? Or perhaps their model is the pointless bad-tempered exchanges on BBC's Question Time? Wherever it comes from this model doesn't work. And it isn't as though there are no better examples. Scrutiny Committees are usually at least a couple of notches higher in adult discussion and productive debate with a sensible outcome for local services.

Typing this comment I originally used words like 'childish' and 'juvenile'. Then I thought of our two small granddaughters who are far more serious, focused, measured, and curious to learn than Strickland, Doron and Co appear to be.  Except of course when they are very hungry; or ratty though tiredness; or - the youngest - needing her nappy changed.

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