Signing in

I spent the day at City Hall, meeting colleagues, being shown around the building and being formally signed in.

The mood was interesting. Lots of smiles and handshakes and promises of good working relationships in the future, and that was from the other parties. The members of the Conservative group were upbeat but it is clear that the focus will be on getting the job done rather than patting each other on the back. That said I had lots of congratulations from a range of Assembly Members for the scale of the win in Bexley and Bromley.

Boris’ signing in speech showed the humour that we have come to expect but he also made the serious point that we need to make good on our election commitments and put political prejudice aside for the good of London. He also made it clear that he wouldn’t tolerate and “dogs in the manger”. On an unrelated note I noticed that Sir Iain Blair didn’t clap at the end of the speech.

Seeing members of the BNP milling around the building put a downer on the day. You can thank proportional representation and the collapse of the Lib Dem for that.

UPDATE: To be fair the almost complete lack of UKIP campaign also was a contributing factor. The main culprit was PR, it is why I am so against it.

30 responses to “Signing in

  1. <>Seeing members of the BNP milling around the building put a downer on the day. You can thank proportional representation and the collapse of the Lib Dem for that.<>Don’t be an idiot, it’s far more complex than that…

  2. <>Seeing members of the BNP milling around the building put a downer on the day. You can thank proportional representation and the collapse of the Lib Dem for that.<>Don’t be an idiot, it’s far more complex than that…

  3. JamesCongratulations on your election.Don’t think you can really blame the Lib Dems or the voting system for the BNP’s success though! It’s highly tempting to blame the 130,714 people who voted for the BNP (not to mention the many thousands who voted for the I National Front) of course, but I think the new Mayor (and the government) really need to look at some of the underlying frustations that have led so many people to vote BNP, and I would think the lack of social housing would figure pretty highly on the list of factors. So I look forward to seeing the new Mayor delivering on his pledge to provide 50,000 more affordable homes by 2011 and to bring many of the 80,000 empty properties in London back into use. I would like to see developers have a quota on affordable housing in larger developments though.

  4. JamesCongratulations on your election.Don’t think you can really blame the Lib Dems or the voting system for the BNP’s success though! It’s highly tempting to blame the 130,714 people who voted for the BNP (not to mention the many thousands who voted for the I National Front) of course, but I think the new Mayor (and the government) really need to look at some of the underlying frustations that have led so many people to vote BNP, and I would think the lack of social housing would figure pretty highly on the list of factors. So I look forward to seeing the new Mayor delivering on his pledge to provide 50,000 more affordable homes by 2011 and to bring many of the 80,000 empty properties in London back into use. I would like to see developers have a quota on affordable housing in larger developments though.

  5. It was the collapse of UKIP that really helped the BNP. The Consevatives took votes from the Lib Dems and from UKIP, but it seems safe to assume that the UKIP vote went to the BNP. Had it not been for UKIP in 2004 the BNP would have already had an assembly member.What is sad is that the Conservative Party chose as their mayoral candidate a clown whose past statements have normalised the language of casual racism, making the BNP seem less extreme. I am less worried about a single powerless Assembly member from the BNP than a mayor who does not understand what racism is.Richard Barnbrook in referring to his fiancee (when she was in a relationship with another man, the father of her son): <>“I’m not opposed to mixed marriages but their children are washing out the identity of this country’s indigenous people”<>This man should be banned from going anywhere near his future step son, who is mixed race, just like so many other Great British people. His views are vile and he is unfit to be a father to this boy.

  6. It was the collapse of UKIP that really helped the BNP. The Consevatives took votes from the Lib Dems and from UKIP, but it seems safe to assume that the UKIP vote went to the BNP. Had it not been for UKIP in 2004 the BNP would have already had an assembly member.What is sad is that the Conservative Party chose as their mayoral candidate a clown whose past statements have normalised the language of casual racism, making the BNP seem less extreme. I am less worried about a single powerless Assembly member from the BNP than a mayor who does not understand what racism is.Richard Barnbrook in referring to his fiancee (when she was in a relationship with another man, the father of her son): <>“I’m not opposed to mixed marriages but their children are washing out the identity of this country’s indigenous people”<>This man should be banned from going anywhere near his future step son, who is mixed race, just like so many other Great British people. His views are vile and he is unfit to be a father to this boy.

  7. James,Many congratulations!Jimmy,You’ve been saying Boris is a clown for months. Neither that nor your constant accusation of racism stands up and both have been discussed ad nauseam during the campaign. I for one don’t think James would have any time for Boris at all if he really was guilty of either. Six months of intense media scrutiny have provided London electors with plenty of opportunity to decide which candidate we preferred and we chose Boris. Unless you are a believer some left wing ideology about ‘false consciousness’ you must give us, your fellow Londoners, the credit for actually thinking about the issues involved before voting.If Boris cocks up, we will most certainly choose someone else next time but I don’t think he will.Another small point, when you say ‘the Conservative Party chose as their candidate’ remember, it wasn’t a small cabal in Cameron’s office who chose him, it was an open primary.Henry

  8. James,Many congratulations!Jimmy,You’ve been saying Boris is a clown for months. Neither that nor your constant accusation of racism stands up and both have been discussed ad nauseam during the campaign. I for one don’t think James would have any time for Boris at all if he really was guilty of either. Six months of intense media scrutiny have provided London electors with plenty of opportunity to decide which candidate we preferred and we chose Boris. Unless you are a believer some left wing ideology about ‘false consciousness’ you must give us, your fellow Londoners, the credit for actually thinking about the issues involved before voting.If Boris cocks up, we will most certainly choose someone else next time but I don’t think he will.Another small point, when you say ‘the Conservative Party chose as their candidate’ remember, it wasn’t a small cabal in Cameron’s office who chose him, it was an open primary.Henry

  9. Although I am a Conservative, and not at all an advocate of the BNP’s policies, is it such a bad thing they have a seat?Of course, they’ll dispute everything and make City Hall a nightmare to work in, and they’ll probably say something stupid, but they appear to have become and semi-plausible party in Barking Council (admittidly, they have no control over immigration there).They might be a bunch of racists, but they are representing the views of a number of British voters, however misguided they are, and who are we to judge the views of the public without responding to them?Clearly there is work to be done in Government at all levels that will eventually result in the appeasal of the general public and the return of their support for more mainstream less extreme parties. I do believe this is just democracy at work and it shows that the system is working and AMS is the future of the British electoral system, a way of restoring faith in voting.It may not be proportional representation (of which I am a great advocate) but it’s getting there and it will appeal to the British mindset. I wish democracy all the best in developing and reforming and enhancing representation of the British people and restoring their faith in our governing bodies, even if this must be done through the means of having the BNP gain an Assembly seat for 4 years.When Boris delivers on his pledges, we should not have this problem. When the Labour Government delivers on its pledge from the 1997 manifesto of reform to the Westminster electoral system, we shall see the extent of the problem and may one day be able to remedy it. A spoon full of sugar…I do hope you realise, Jimmy, that Boris was elected by the largest popular mandate in any British election? There is no other election where more people vote for a single representative in this country, and this has had the highest turnout and the highest number of votes for the Mayor. Boris is therefore more accountable and representative than any Member of Parliament or any other governing body.The party did not choose a clown, they chose a man who has learnt from the many cultures he’s been brought up in, understands world issues which are important to London, has a great political passion, is of vast intelligence (attending a Camden primary then winning scholarships to Eton and Oxford) and is a very real person. He has flaws, but so do the rest of us, and that’s what makes him a great representative and a great politician, he shows his flaws and connects with the voters. He is a real person, not removed from society like many politians, and is a friend of the people of London.

  10. Although I am a Conservative, and not at all an advocate of the BNP’s policies, is it such a bad thing they have a seat?Of course, they’ll dispute everything and make City Hall a nightmare to work in, and they’ll probably say something stupid, but they appear to have become and semi-plausible party in Barking Council (admittidly, they have no control over immigration there).They might be a bunch of racists, but they are representing the views of a number of British voters, however misguided they are, and who are we to judge the views of the public without responding to them?Clearly there is work to be done in Government at all levels that will eventually result in the appeasal of the general public and the return of their support for more mainstream less extreme parties. I do believe this is just democracy at work and it shows that the system is working and AMS is the future of the British electoral system, a way of restoring faith in voting.It may not be proportional representation (of which I am a great advocate) but it’s getting there and it will appeal to the British mindset. I wish democracy all the best in developing and reforming and enhancing representation of the British people and restoring their faith in our governing bodies, even if this must be done through the means of having the BNP gain an Assembly seat for 4 years.When Boris delivers on his pledges, we should not have this problem. When the Labour Government delivers on its pledge from the 1997 manifesto of reform to the Westminster electoral system, we shall see the extent of the problem and may one day be able to remedy it. A spoon full of sugar…I do hope you realise, Jimmy, that Boris was elected by the largest popular mandate in any British election? There is no other election where more people vote for a single representative in this country, and this has had the highest turnout and the highest number of votes for the Mayor. Boris is therefore more accountable and representative than any Member of Parliament or any other governing body.The party did not choose a clown, they chose a man who has learnt from the many cultures he’s been brought up in, understands world issues which are important to London, has a great political passion, is of vast intelligence (attending a Camden primary then winning scholarships to Eton and Oxford) and is a very real person. He has flaws, but so do the rest of us, and that’s what makes him a great representative and a great politician, he shows his flaws and connects with the voters. He is a real person, not removed from society like many politians, and is a friend of the people of London.

  11. “the tax grab ” well said, it the first time I have heard it called that.‘Jimmy’ … “your fired”!

  12. “the tax grab ” well said, it the first time I have heard it called that.‘Jimmy’ … “your fired”!

  13. Henry,It was not long ago that the people of Hartlepool elected a monkey as their mayor. Fortunately for them a monkey cannot do much harm, especially in a town as small and insignificant as Hartlepool. But London is another matter. Boris has the chance to make a real difference and revitalise the Conservative party more than Cameron has done in the last few year, alternatively if he sacks the people who know how London works and wastes money on knife scanners for the tube (I haven’t noticed stabbings being a big problem on the tube) and replacing half the bus fleet at a cost of £100m, then he will waste more taxpayers money than Ken Livingstone.The people have put their trust in Boris and he must show that this trust is not completely misplaced. But while you are waiting for four years to see if he is any good, and to see if Big Brother politics is the way to pick the cities leaders, he could completely wreak London in the run up to the Olympics. London could become the Boris of world cities – great for comedy value, but a complete waste of space.But we should not forget that Blair warned us that Ken would be a disaster for London. After 4 years in office it was Blair who was proved wrong and I hope to be equally wrong about Boris in four years time.Let us hope that it is Boris that will change, not London.

  14. Henry,It was not long ago that the people of Hartlepool elected a monkey as their mayor. Fortunately for them a monkey cannot do much harm, especially in a town as small and insignificant as Hartlepool. But London is another matter. Boris has the chance to make a real difference and revitalise the Conservative party more than Cameron has done in the last few year, alternatively if he sacks the people who know how London works and wastes money on knife scanners for the tube (I haven’t noticed stabbings being a big problem on the tube) and replacing half the bus fleet at a cost of £100m, then he will waste more taxpayers money than Ken Livingstone.The people have put their trust in Boris and he must show that this trust is not completely misplaced. But while you are waiting for four years to see if he is any good, and to see if Big Brother politics is the way to pick the cities leaders, he could completely wreak London in the run up to the Olympics. London could become the Boris of world cities – great for comedy value, but a complete waste of space.But we should not forget that Blair warned us that Ken would be a disaster for London. After 4 years in office it was Blair who was proved wrong and I hope to be equally wrong about Boris in four years time.Let us hope that it is Boris that will change, not London.

  15. Jimmy,Sore loser alert! I don’t know Hartlepool at first hand but although I was born in what is now London (to be precise Wanstead, then in Essex) I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to refer to a town outside London as insignificant even if it is rather obviously smaller than our city. I have no doubt that voters there are just as capable of deciding what they want for their home town as anyone in any other place and correcting their choice if they decide they have erred. But essentially it is for them to judge.I don’t know how much time you have spent observing the behaviour of other primates. While I’m not claiming to be an expert since I’m a Land Surveyor not a zoologist, I’ve seen enough of apes and monkeys in the wild to be a great admirer of the way they adapt to the many environments in which they thrive. So I certainly wouldn’t consider malicious jokes like yours about monkeys to be appropriate. I’d even go so far as to suggest that speciesism is a sign of exactly the same superficial approach to the environment which we all share as racism is amongst humans. Motes and beams in fact!If you are in Central London much and don’t think bendy buses are a complete nonsense with the street pattern we happen to have you need to pay more attention. If you don’t think discouraging people from going around with knives is a rather good idea you might like to have another think, preferably before too many other youngsters come to harm or harm others.The essence of democracy is that we make our choices, assess the results and adapt to what happens. Four years in the history of a great city is no more than the blink of an eye. I’m sure that the New Labour Experience, and Ken’s slightly different approach to London will be assessed, in due course, on their merits. Meanwhile anyone who is currently on the opposite side to the majority needs to have a long hard think about why they lost. We Tories did, it’s quite salutary. Like most people, Ken did some things which made sense and others which did not. Nobody is right all the time. Neither the Manifesto or Capital nor, dare I say it, any religious text, contains all the truth about everything. Meanwhile a substantial majority, on a turnout which was high for local government elections, decided that Boris would be a better choice than four more years of Ken. If you can’t live with that you really need to ask yourself whether you really believe in democracy anyway and then say so.

  16. Jimmy,Sore loser alert! I don’t know Hartlepool at first hand but although I was born in what is now London (to be precise Wanstead, then in Essex) I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to refer to a town outside London as insignificant even if it is rather obviously smaller than our city. I have no doubt that voters there are just as capable of deciding what they want for their home town as anyone in any other place and correcting their choice if they decide they have erred. But essentially it is for them to judge.I don’t know how much time you have spent observing the behaviour of other primates. While I’m not claiming to be an expert since I’m a Land Surveyor not a zoologist, I’ve seen enough of apes and monkeys in the wild to be a great admirer of the way they adapt to the many environments in which they thrive. So I certainly wouldn’t consider malicious jokes like yours about monkeys to be appropriate. I’d even go so far as to suggest that speciesism is a sign of exactly the same superficial approach to the environment which we all share as racism is amongst humans. Motes and beams in fact!If you are in Central London much and don’t think bendy buses are a complete nonsense with the street pattern we happen to have you need to pay more attention. If you don’t think discouraging people from going around with knives is a rather good idea you might like to have another think, preferably before too many other youngsters come to harm or harm others.The essence of democracy is that we make our choices, assess the results and adapt to what happens. Four years in the history of a great city is no more than the blink of an eye. I’m sure that the New Labour Experience, and Ken’s slightly different approach to London will be assessed, in due course, on their merits. Meanwhile anyone who is currently on the opposite side to the majority needs to have a long hard think about why they lost. We Tories did, it’s quite salutary. Like most people, Ken did some things which made sense and others which did not. Nobody is right all the time. Neither the Manifesto or Capital nor, dare I say it, any religious text, contains all the truth about everything. Meanwhile a substantial majority, on a turnout which was high for local government elections, decided that Boris would be a better choice than four more years of Ken. If you can’t live with that you really need to ask yourself whether you really believe in democracy anyway and then say so.

  17. Hear, hear. I do declare Henry to be a sound gentlemen of considerable sense.And Jimmy, I bid good day to thee sir!(Have just been watching 19th Century period dramas on Sky)

  18. Hear, hear. I do declare Henry to be a sound gentlemen of considerable sense.And Jimmy, I bid good day to thee sir!(Have just been watching 19th Century period dramas on Sky)

  19. Speciesism is a perfectly acceptable approach to life. Look at all these American grey squirels coming to our country and chasing away our beloved red squirels. And why is it that chickens refuse to integrate into British society? Despite all these environmentalists campaigning for ‘free range’, we still don’t know why they cross roads without waiting for the green chicken.I use bendy buses every day and find them much better than other buses. Three wide entrances/exits makes them wait less time at bus stops and because they cannot get round sharp corners, their routes are more sensible (compare 521 with 17 between London Bridge and Holborn, and in the other direction the 521 can use the Kingsway underpass, unlike the double deckers). Double deckers mean that people have to go up and down a flight of stairs to find a seat (with no indication if there are any free seats or a knife welding maniac on the top floor). The routemasters were dangerous with more people were injured falling off the back than have been injured by bendy buses (no statistics to support this, but feel justified to make the statement until somebody can prove me wrong).Many European cities have bendy buses, including Amsterdam which is no more suitable than London in terms of road layout. I really do not understand this hatred of bendy buses except when it comes from selfish cyclists who try to undertake them or who are too busy on their phone to pay any attention.Knives are a problem on buses (especially double deckers) not on the tube. This is why I challenge this particular policy. If it was serious attempt to protect young people it would be in schools not tubes.As for democracy, it is still the right of the minority to hold differing views to the majority and to challenge the wisdom of our representatives. Or did Labour abolish this aspect of democracy when I was not looking?

  20. Speciesism is a perfectly acceptable approach to life. Look at all these American grey squirels coming to our country and chasing away our beloved red squirels. And why is it that chickens refuse to integrate into British society? Despite all these environmentalists campaigning for ‘free range’, we still don’t know why they cross roads without waiting for the green chicken.I use bendy buses every day and find them much better than other buses. Three wide entrances/exits makes them wait less time at bus stops and because they cannot get round sharp corners, their routes are more sensible (compare 521 with 17 between London Bridge and Holborn, and in the other direction the 521 can use the Kingsway underpass, unlike the double deckers). Double deckers mean that people have to go up and down a flight of stairs to find a seat (with no indication if there are any free seats or a knife welding maniac on the top floor). The routemasters were dangerous with more people were injured falling off the back than have been injured by bendy buses (no statistics to support this, but feel justified to make the statement until somebody can prove me wrong).Many European cities have bendy buses, including Amsterdam which is no more suitable than London in terms of road layout. I really do not understand this hatred of bendy buses except when it comes from selfish cyclists who try to undertake them or who are too busy on their phone to pay any attention.Knives are a problem on buses (especially double deckers) not on the tube. This is why I challenge this particular policy. If it was serious attempt to protect young people it would be in schools not tubes.As for democracy, it is still the right of the minority to hold differing views to the majority and to challenge the wisdom of our representatives. Or did Labour abolish this aspect of democracy when I was not looking?

  21. Jimmy,Implying that politicians with whom you disagree are like monkeys, which you did, is not a good idea. Grey squirrels have nothing to do with the case, and well you know it!Those of us who are on the losing side in elections do well to accept it with a lot better grace than you have done then ask ourselves why, and where we went wrong. We’ve all been there; it isn’t because the electorate is too stupid to know any better, it’s because the electorate wants things done differently. But I think you probably know that too!

  22. Jimmy,Implying that politicians with whom you disagree are like monkeys, which you did, is not a good idea. Grey squirrels have nothing to do with the case, and well you know it!Those of us who are on the losing side in elections do well to accept it with a lot better grace than you have done then ask ourselves why, and where we went wrong. We’ve all been there; it isn’t because the electorate is too stupid to know any better, it’s because the electorate wants things done differently. But I think you probably know that too!

  23. “You can thank proportional representation …”As a democrat you should realise that the BNP are representing people. You should be angry that such people exist in London, but you should not want to hide their representation.Cure the cause, not the symptom.

  24. “You can thank proportional representation …”As a democrat you should realise that the BNP are representing people. You should be angry that such people exist in London, but you should not want to hide their representation.Cure the cause, not the symptom.

  25. “You can thank proportional representation …”For the 50 plus BNP councillors elected by FPTP?

  26. “You can thank proportional representation …”For the 50 plus BNP councillors elected by FPTP?

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