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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

This year's General Election, it could be argued, gave comfort to supporters of all the parties - except, mercifully, UKIP. Labour supporters' morale was boosted by seat and vote share gains. Tories were pleased that their party remained the largest part in Parliament and, with the support of the ghastly DUP, were able to remain in office. The LibDems, despite being heavily squeezed, made net gains and the Greens' Caroline Lucas kept her Brighton seat.

Looking at the two Parliamentary constituencies in Haringey, Labour vote shares in both Hornsey and Wood Green and Tottenham soared to silly levels (eg 82.2% in Tottenham). Having seen the breakdown by individual wards in both constituencies, Labour won every single one of them (19 wards) - and by a landslide.

There are currently just 8 opposition councillors - all Lib Dems - on Haringey Council representing wards west of the borough (there isn't a single opposition councillor anywhere in the Tottenham constituency). Despite being small in number, Lib Dem councillors have had some very notable successes of late - including 'calling-in' the controversial and flawed HDV plan.

However, if this year's General Election is anything to go by, May's council's elections will produce a council that is 100% made up by one party (ie Labour). Two London boroughs - Barking and Dagenham and Newham - are already one-party states. Haringey could well be next. Not only will this be terrible for democracy but, I suspect, the ruling Labour Party too.

Every democrat should be alarmed at the prospect of a one-party state here in Haringey. Even if you're a Labour supporter, perhaps you should loan your vote to another party - for democracy's sake?


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Well of course a "clean sweep" for labour in Haringey at the next election is entirely possible. But perhaps not as certain as the poster might imply. People dont always vote the same way at local as in parliamentary elections. For a start, unless next year's borough election coincides with another Westminster election, we can expect the per centage poll to be lower, and all other things being the same, a reduction in the Labour vote, as a general election tends to get more Labour voters out.

Of course what London Boroughs need is for their elections to be held by STV Proportional Representation....

Not sure about STV -- full PR would be preferable. 

What do you mean by "full" PR -I suppose in a way I am asking in what sense STV in multi member constituencies is not?

The Labour Party (and the Tories) has its own inbuilt opposition.

The selection process for 2018 councillors is beginning now.  As Haringey has thousands of new LP members, expect the flavour of the new batch of councillors to change a lot.  Some wards are already stitched up by some smart recruiting done at the end of last year, but the grasp on power by this hand-picked cabinet will be gone within months.  Sadly it could be too late to stop the damage done by signing the HDV deal if a Judicial Review can't delay it, but much else could change next year.


Even as somebody who supports a progressive programme of social democratic reform - and am largely in support of the national Labour party - I find the the behaviour of this Labour council arrogant and shocking.

The Haringey Development Vehicle, the way the Town Hall's been sold off purely to profit developers with no social housing provision, the greenlight for that immense towerblock at Hampden Rd, the 200K wasted on a traffic consultation in which all the best ideas came from residents and then nothing was done, the 120K wasted on that rubbish logo - whilst they seem content to cut back on essential services such as sure start centres and the collection of rubbish, the fact that many of the councillors seem 'under the influence' of the powerful Green Lanes Trader lobby...the list goes on. 

It's a fundamental mistake to see our reps as not belonging to us.  It propagates the idea that local government has no concern for residents, is all decided centrally by people out of our control - 'whoever you vote for the government gets in'. 

Every constituency is, in that tired, tired phrase a 'one party state' - all have one single party representing them. This attack is a thinly disguised insult aimed at the left wing, implying totalitarianism when we're the most plural a society that we've ever been, further away from dictatorship than ever. It's pure sour grapes from those that long for power and can't gain it by convincing voters to turn out for them.

Let's grow up a bit and not see our Cllrs as in loco parentis, let's see them for what they actually are - our representatives, spending our money, making decisions on our behalf, in our name, according to the rigid constraints we as a nation put on them all - grabbing the tiny bit of local autonomy central government allows.

Who is responsible for any Council misbehaviour? We are - the perpetrators are to blame, but we elected them, so we carry the can - it's our foot we shoot.  We have the government we deserve.

The truth that is being masked here is that most local people accept our Council as is - oftentimes almost 80% of our voters in local elections don't even cast their vote, so content are they with the state of affairs, very glad indeed they don't have to come down to the Civic Centre and do any of this tough stuff themselves.  

Who here wants the job of slashing the budget by a vicious, ideologically-motivated 70% - who wants to look the poor and disadvantaged in the eye, knowing that these cuts punish them directly for no good reason (austerity did not work - it was a lie) because Cllrs have little choice, forced to sit idly by, powerlessly observing the many unintended consequences of their actions, done in good faith, that so often do more harm than good. Who wants to be hated by the can't-please-all-of-the-people-all-of-the time reality that being a Cllr means lots of nobodies with no mandate crawling out of the woodwork to pour excrement over your head, question your parentage and fill pages like these with unconscionable bile as if they'd ever met you and knew what you were like (which they haven't and don't).

How should Cllrs react to the pressure, often self-imposed, to better execute their duties? Consult more?  Think more deeply? Change political affiliation?  The system they operate deploys everything in its power to include residents, to balance judgments, to weight fairly.  Why do they fail so often?  Because governing any eclectic group of 250,000 people is hard - herding cats is easy, acting in our best interests, almost impossible - why can't we acknowledge that?

Near me there's a clock tower crowdfunded in 1898 by grateful residents to a Council Leader - aren't you unhappy that the chances of a contemporary one are zero?  Is that a victory for us, or a defeat? 

So let's put all those who disagree with the Council to the test - make your points, argue your case and when, inevitably, you fail to 'win' (nobody likes you, you simply don't have enough supporters), have the courage to accept that verdict and button it! It does nobody any good to burden us all with howls of anxiety.  Yes, there is a lot wrong but unless you are part of the solution, you are part of the problem - people actively want to trust Cllrs, so if you must do something, help make that more possible, not less.

Either you accept the democratic process and the collective responsibility that goes along with it, or you are an anarchist with parenting issues and thus beyond the pale, deserving of ignorance.

The 23 storeys of Apex House have already been renamed FagPacket Tower, so that can't be KoberTower. 

Should we crowdfund a statue instead?

Justin, didn't know you and the other Tories were still around Why not join the Green Party instead?



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