Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

How can we get our local politicians and other public servants to post regularly in this forum?

I've been asked by a shyer member to put up this topic in the hope that more people will contribute their ideas and strategies, inspired by Michael Andersen's post:

Why do so few HoL members post on this site?

I think many of us want to be able to ask them stuff directly on this site (a sort of 'virtual surgery') and get a timely reply.  I'd extend that to Council Officers too. For the politicians, I suppose there are two sorts of posts we might want to make:

a) 'Business' questions/comments about things like why everyday services are not up to scratch etc.  We might have to ban things that really ought to be reported using the Councils reporting facilities, because they can't have an official and an unofficial system for dealing with litter or whatever is counter-productive. Politicians are supposed to be a conduit to power though and if we get together and press for things here and they are 'on duty' then we as a band of locals can work for beneficial change more effectively online than anywhere else. Hugh's Cash Mob for instance is an example of direct, local action that surely Cllrs want to and should be involved in - HoL discussions can create actual local change:

b) 'Political' questions about wider issues like going to war - should that be limited to our MP's though?  Do you want to read non-ward-specific views from your ward Councillor over matters they have no real control over?  The Council can declare the borough a 'Frack-Free Zone' which is an international issue, so it's not as if they are powerless but you know what I mean.

Issues like whether or not there should be cuts or could we not use our savings and borrow against our future wealth as it's so expensive and damaging to cut, cut, cut are relevant to local issues. With so little money and so many in poverty in the East - how can the rich West expect political support for even a single penny? Some Cllrs in the past have, for instance, refused to enact central government cuts and as far as I recall went to prison for it, provoking a law that means they can't simply refuse what Whitehall orders. The Chief Exec of Barnet has now moved jobs to be the Chief Exec of Haringey - do we want to create content that makes local political points as a spur to action?:

So, are those the sorts of discussions we want to have here with our reps and between ourselves?


Some UK politicians are very 'internet-savvy'. So as to try to take the measure of our politicians, here are some Councillors who are digital award winners:

Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Westminster City Council was the driving force behind the Tri-Borough’s Customer Led Transformation Programme. This encouraged the adoption of new technologies internally, such as interactive and collaborative meeting room tools and the incorporation of mobile and tablet devices into council work, saving over £1m across the council 

Cllr Muhammed Butt, London Borough of Brent led a transformation of the way that Brent Council operates, incorporating social media into its communications, along with live-streaming of council meetings. By making digital innovation central to the council’s activity, Cllr Butt has helped to ensure that technology is utilized to protect and enhance essential services.

Cllr Stephen Canning, Braintree District Council developed and supported the concept of ‘Braintree hour’ on twitter, which encourages the promotion of local businesses to the community, as well as building community cohesion. The scheme has spread to other council throughout the region.

Cllr Theo Blackwell, London Borough of Camden lead LB Camden’s first digital strategy, encouraging collaboration and new thinking across the council, as well as building partnerships with business. Innovations at the council include coding of after school clubs, expanded public wi-fi access, peer-to-peer lending schemes, and digital inclusion work in social housing.

Cllr Tom Sleigh, City of London Council ran a successful online campaign to reinstate rubbish bins in the City of London, twenty years after they were removed following terrorist activity. He launched a similar campaign to reduce speed limits to 20Mph across the City, using social media, surveys, and innovative methods of sharing information.


Salford Council has put HoL-like facilities on their own website - would things like this not be better:

Current discussion forums on this website:

As we know that our local politicians don't post here, I'd like to simulate what our councillors/politicians might argue if they did actually post here:

1) It is a relatively low-paid job (starting salary £10,500) and there are literally thousands of meetings to go to - each ward in Haringey, for instance, has loads of community events (many in the evenings) which local Cllrs feel obliged to attend.  Apart from the work of attending numerous policy meetings and dealing with people's problems by chasing Council Officials, most Cllrs put in way more hours than they're supposed to - most have second jobs too I think, some full-time.  So, time spent HoL-typing is a dereliction of their duty to put themselves in front of local people and listen, then take up the issues raised by the face-to-face contacts they say are the only way to do 'real' politics. Be good to see a breakdown of how they spend their time on our behalf.

2) Politicians are 'people people' - all the way up the chain the paramount interaction is always stressed as being 'talking to people', even Cabinet Ministers regularly knock on doors apparently. I think this is an excuse and simply untrue today anyway. Many of the older ones just don't 'get' the internet. Claiming to be 'in touch' with the electorate gives them the chance that they often take to say 'people tell me' or 'my constituents think' when the human truth is that most politicians hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest. Ask them what the main issues are in their wards and they cite things that others would prioritise differently - it's a matter of opinion - they are not accurate surveyors - they could be better at quantifying views. Considering the main things they ignore specifically:

  • Facebook: they don't consider it worth posting to Facebook for instance whereas many here would probably think they ought to. What would be better on Facebook here than there?  Many have the problem that they've already got a 'personal' Facebook page so are stuck with converting it to a 'public' page, which exposes their 'real' friends to a wider exposure than they signed up for.  Almost none of them know how to post in one place and have it 'syndicated' - they are not generally techophiles.
  • Twitter: many councillors do tweet, with the result that we are drowning in Tweets that nobody really looks at and no-one outside their circle ever responds to, so this is proof in their eyes that digital is only for people with time on their hands. We could tweet our Cllrs and they would probably react, but why don't we do that? From a Cllrs point of view, trying to plan how you spend your time must be close to impossible as residents can pop up at any time 24hrs a day with an issue you need to respond to.
  • Blogs: lots of work for very little measurable return. You try writing even one paragraph of political comment - it could take you all afternoon,  Risk that what you wrote might accidentally come back to haunt you or worse, that nobody at all would even bother to read it. Fierce competition from great political bloggers could make yours look pathetic.  You're imposing a liability on future Cllrs to match your output - they won't thank you for that.
  • Newsfeeds - how would it be if a Cllrs auto-posted a newsfeed of all their activities on HoL (say auto-posting their tweets for instance) - do we want that? Wouldn't it be seen as a cynical bit of advertising? Would anyone subscribe to it?

4) Political posts on HoL attract 'history's greatest monster' type vitriol - people make virulent, unsubstantiated personal attacks on the character of local politicians they've never met, often barging into a topic and steering it towards hatred, racism etc.  Any politician who posts here risks a shed-load of this sort of horrible stuff from us - what's in it for the politician?  They'd need an army of clerical help to unpick each accusation and debunk it and none have that resource - if they had they'd spend it otherwise.

5) Geographically HoL is limited to Harringay. Bounds Green has an excellent HoL-type forum for example, so why would anyone from round there post here? We all know that this site reaches all of Haringey (alright, there's better coverage of the West of the borough, but it could have a lot more Eastern stuff if people would bother) but they will say the clue's in the name. There is no one forum for the whole of Haringey and why should there be?  There are no politicians who represent the whole of Haringey (discounting the 'ruling' party on the Council) - it's split by two MP's and lots of ward councillors. So, how would it work, a 'Tottenham' section on HoL for instance?


To remind you, our local politicians are:

Tottenham: Incumbent: David Lammy MP(Labour)

prospective: any?

Hornsey and Wood Green: Incumbent: Lynne Featherstone MP(Liberal Democrat) 

Prospective: Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green,Labour):

any others?

Haringey Councillors:

Political party
photo of Councillor David Beacham

Councillor David Beacham

Work mobile: 07528 443838

Work: david.beacham@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Alexandra
photo of Councillor Liz McShane

Councillor Liz McShane

Work mobile: 07812 677729

Work: liz.mcshane@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Alexandra
photo of Councillor James Patterson

Councillor James Patterson

Work mobile: 07812 677720

Work: james.patterson@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Alexandra
photo of Councillor Clare Bull

Councillor Clare Bull

Work mobile: 07812 677743

Work: clare.bull@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Bounds Green
photo of Councillor Joanna Christophides

Councillor Joanna Christophides

Work mobile: 07854 544697

Work: joanna.christophides@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Bounds Green
photo of Councillor Ali Demirci

Councillor Ali Demirci

Cabinet Member for Planning

Work: 020 8489 2964 (office)

Work mobile: 075408 54293

Work: ali.demirci@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Bounds Green
photo of Councillor Joseph Ejiofor

Councillor Joseph Ejiofor

Work mobile: 07940 005507

Work: joseph.ejiofor@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Bruce Grove
photo of Councillor Stuart McNamara

Councillor Stuart McNamara

Cabinet Member for Environment

Work: 020 8489 2687 (office)

Work mobile: 07854 544696

Work: stuart.mcnamara@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Bruce Grove
photo of Councillor Felicia Opoku

Councillor Felicia Opoku

Work mobile: 07812 677717

Work: felicia.opoku@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Bruce Grove
photo of Councillor Jason Arthur

Councillor Jason Arthur

Cabinet Member for Resources and Culture

Work: 020 8489 2964 (office)

Work mobile: 07812 677736

Work: jason.arthur@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Crouch End
photo of Councillor Natan Doron

Councillor Natan Doron

Work mobile: 07815 700588

Work: natan.doron@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Crouch End
photo of Councillor Sarah Elliott

Councillor Sarah Elliott

Leader of the Opposition

Work mobile: 07812 677730

Work: sarah.elliott@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Crouch End
photo of Councillor Patrick Berryman

Councillor Patrick Berryman

Work mobile: 07812 677741

Work: patrick.berryman@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Fortis Green
photo of Councillor Martin Newton

Councillor Martin Newton

Home: 020 8489 4005

Work: martin.newton@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Fortis Green
photo of Councillor Viv Ross

Councillor Viv Ross

Work: 0208 444 9516

Work: viv.ross@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Fortis Green
photo of Councillor Gina Adamou

Councillor Gina Adamou

Work: gina.adamou@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Harringay
photo of Councillor Emine Ibrahim

Councillor Emine Ibrahim

Work mobile: 07812 677724

Work: emine.ibrahim@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Harringay
photo of Councillor James Ryan

Councillor James Ryan

Work mobile: 07812 677710

Work: james.ryan@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Harringay
photo of Councillor Clive Carter

Councillor Clive Carter

Work mobile: 07812 677737

Work: clive.carter@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Highgate
photo of Councillor Bob Hare

Councillor Bob Hare

Home: 020 8348 2710

Work mobile: 07870 157703

Work: bob.hare@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Highgate
photo of Councillor Liz Morris

Councillor Liz Morris

Work mobile: 07818 094573

Work: liz.morris@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Highgate
photo of Councillor Adam Jogee

Councillor Adam Jogee

Work mobile: 07812 677723

Work: adam.jogee@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Hornsey
photo of Councillor Jennifer Mann

Councillor Jennifer Mann

Work mobile: 07812 677727

Work: jennifer.mann@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Hornsey
photo of Councillor Elin Weston

Councillor Elin Weston

Work mobile: 07812 677 711

Work: elin.weston@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Hornsey
photo of Councillor Mark Blake

Councillor Mark Blake

Work mobile: 07812 677738

Work: mark.blake@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Muswell Hill
photo of Councillor Pippa Connor

Councillor Pippa Connor

Chair of Adults and Health Scrutiny Panel

Work mobile: 07812 677734

Work: pippa.connor@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Muswell Hill
photo of Councillor Gail Engert

Councillor Gail Engert

Home: 020 8489 4005

Work: gail.engert@haringey.gov.uk

Liberal Democrats Muswell Hill
photo of Councillor Peray Ahmet

Councillor Peray Ahmet

Work mobile: 07812 677735

Work: peray.ahmet@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Noel Park
photo of Councillor Denise Marshall

Councillor Denise Marshall

Work mobile: 07812 677721

Work: denise.marshall@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Noel Park
photo of Councillor Alan Strickland

Councillor Alan Strickland

Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration

Work: 020 8489 2964 (office)

Work mobile: 07854 481050

Work: alan.strickland@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Noel Park
photo of Councillor Kaushika Amin

Councillor Kaushika Amin

Mayor of Haringey

Work mobile: 07977 562105

Work: kaushika.amin@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Northumberland Park
photo of Councillor John Bevan

Councillor John Bevan

Work mobile: 07967 336448

Work: john.bevan@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Northumberland Park
photo of Councillor Sheila Peacock

Councillor Sheila Peacock

Work mobile: 07967 336234

Work: sheila.peacock@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Northumberland Park
photo of Councillor Dhiren Basu

Councillor Dhiren Basu

Work mobile: 07971 804722

Work: dhiren.basu@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Seven Sisters
photo of Councillor Joe Goldberg

Councillor Joe Goldberg

Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Social Inclusion and Sustainability

Work: 020 8489 2687 (office)

Work mobile: 07794 218566

Work: joe.goldberg@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Seven Sisters
photo of Councillor Claire Kober

Councillor Claire Kober

Leader of the Council

Work: 020 8489 2241

Work: claire.kober@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Seven Sisters
photo of Councillor Barbara Blake

Councillor Barbara Blake

Chair of Environment and Community Safety Scrutiny Panel

Work mobile: 078126 77740

Work: barbara.blake@haringey.gov.uk

Labour St Ann's
photo of Councillor Peter Morton

Councillor Peter Morton

Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing

Work: 020 8489 2964 (office)

Work mobile: 07812 677713

Work: peter.morton@haringey.gov.uk

Labour St Ann's
photo of Councillor Ali Gul Ozbek

Councillor Ali Gul Ozbek

Work mobile: 07812 677716

Work: aligul.ozbek@haringey.gov.uk

Labour St Ann's
photo of Councillor Tim Gallagher

Councillor Tim Gallagher

Work mobile: 07812 677728

Work: tim.gallagher@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Stroud Green
photo of Councillor Kirsten Hearn

Councillor Kirsten Hearn

Chair of Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel

Work mobile: 07583 119123

Work: kirsten.hearn@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Stroud Green
photo of Councillor Raj Sahota

Councillor Raj Sahota

Work mobile: 07812 677709

Work: raj.sahota@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Stroud Green
photo of Councillor Isidoros Diakides

Councillor Isidoros Diakides

Home: 020 8340 8477

Work: isidoros.diakides@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Tottenham Green
photo of Councillor Makbule Gunes

Councillor Makbule Gunes

Work mobile: 07812 677722

Work: makbule.gunes@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Tottenham Green
photo of Councillor Bernice Vanier

Councillor Bernice Vanier

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities

Work: 020 8489 2241 (office)

Work mobile: 07817 954961

Work: bernice.vanier@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Tottenham Green
photo of Councillor Vincent Carroll

Councillor Vincent Carroll

Work mobile: 07812 677739

Work: vincent.carroll@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Tottenham Hale
photo of Councillor Lorna Reith

Councillor Lorna Reith

Home: 020 8376 2310

Work: lorna.reith@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Tottenham Hale
photo of Councillor Reg Rice

Councillor Reg Rice

Work mobile: 07854 002078

Work: reg.rice@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Tottenham Hale
photo of Councillor Eugene Akwasi-Ayisi

Councillor Eugene Akwasi-Ayisi

Work mobile: 07812 677732

Work: eugene.akwasi-Ayisi@haringey.gov.uk

Labour West Green
photo of Councillor Eddie Griffith

Councillor Eddie Griffith

Work mobile: 07870 157701

Work: eddie.griffith@haringey.gov.uk

Labour West Green
photo of Councillor Toni Mallett

Councillor Toni Mallett

Work mobile: 07870 157883

Work: toni.mallett@haringey.gov.uk

Labour West Green
photo of Councillor Charles Adje

Councillor Charles Adje

Chair of Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel

Home: 020 8800 7658

Work: charles.adje@haringey.gov.uk

Labour White Hart Lane
photo of Councillor Gideon Bull

Councillor Gideon Bull

Chair Overview & Scrutiny Committee

Work mobile: 077995 86111

Work: whl@gideonbull.co.uk

Labour White Hart Lane
photo of Councillor Anne Stennett

Councillor Anne Stennett

Work: public no - 020 8815 9208

Work mobile: 07854 002675

Work: anne.stennett@haringey.gov.uk

Labour White Hart Lane
photo of Councillor George Meehan

Councillor George Meehan

Work mobile: 07967 336120

Work: george.meehan@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Woodside
photo of Councillor Ann Waters

Councillor Ann Waters

Cabinet Member for Children and Families

Work: 020 8489 2687(office)

Work mobile: 07854 002470

Work: ann.waters@haringey.gov.uk

Labour Woodside


Please, please don't make personal comments about their views, conduct, strengths, failing etc - this is a discussion about how and why we can get them to be active participants on HoL, not a chance to lambaste/praise them.

Tags for Forum Posts: Catherine West, David Lammy, Lynne Featherstone, MP, democracy, engagement, involvement, local politics

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Replies to This Discussion

By not voting labour in the next local elections.

One thing we know for sure is that people in Haringey vote Labour and have voted Labour consistently for decades.  'Not voting Labour' will have no effect at all. 20% of us did that, but 20% of us did vote Labour - the rest didn't even vote.

You need to be the change you want to see, not run away and hide.  Labour are in power at least for the next three years - do local stuff that shows what your values and principles are. People elect those who they believe in.  If you can't do that, you're wrong.

There are very few people who 'believe' in Labour. Labour don't even know what they believe in any more. The opinion polls show a drop in support for them after Conference! Milibean is so awful that it would be better if he never spoke! 

As Prospective Parliamentary Candidate of the Green Party for Hornsey and Wood Green, I am happy tp post on this forum.

One bit of immediate news is Greens coming third in Woodside ward by-election yesterday, still  behind Lib Dems here but catching them up fast [as nationally polling at about same on 8% mark] and Woodside probably our weakest ward. Offering alternative to the mainstream austerity and cynicism, and at same time squeezing out the right, Tories and UKIP, in Haringey

Thanks Gordon!

Can you say why it is worth your while to post here?

I see the Woodside result posted on http://voting.haringey.gov.uk/woodside-by-election-2014/ :

Candidate Party Votes
Charles Wright Labour 1,331
Dawn Barnes Liberal Democrat 482
Tom Davidson Green Party 191
Andrew Robert Price UKIP 161
Scott Green Conservative 140
Vivek Lehal TUSC 35
Pauline Gibson Independent 23

Percentage turnout: 25.03%

The byelection was caused by the sad death of Cllr Egan - the results from this ward in May 2014, five months ago were:

Name of Candidate Party Votes Elected
ADAN Bee Independent 61
ALLAN Kirsty Liberal Democrats 361
BROWN Craig Liberal Democrats 418
DEAN Kathryn Green Party 406
EGAN Patrick Alphonsus Labour Party 1,947 Yes
GAUTAMI Jack Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 100
GRAVETT Jodie Louise UK Independence Party (UKIP) 259
MEEHAN George Francis Labour Party 2,018 Yes
NOBLE David Conservative Party 271
PEARCE Laurence Conservative Party 244
RENNIE David Green Party 342
SHAUGHNESSY Mike Green Party 254
SHEEN David Conservative Party 207
SQUIRE Roxanne Liberal Democrats 393
WATERS Ann Margaret Labour Party 1,865 Yes

Percentage turnout: 35.30%


Was any aspect of the campaign affected by the internet, do you think?

Can there be question more relevant to the crisis in our public life today? I have no idea of the ideas and attitudes of our local or national politicians other than bland soundbites. It is part of the great 'disconnect' where there is a wholesale transitioning of public policy and decision making into the private sector while our politicians stand idly by, scratching their arses. Nothing epitomises this more than David Lammy. He debates with nobody. He doesn't reply to emails or letters. Now he wants to run for Mayor or London. However, he still plans to stand as MP in the next election, but only resign if he fails to win! So if he wins, it will force a byelection, and if he loses, he keeps his overpaid job. Hardly a ringing endorsement of his commitment to the people of Tottenham. He has recently called for the lifting of the sanctions on the borrowing by local authorities of funds to build council houses, a move brought in by Thatcher. However, it could have been overturned by the last Labour governent, of which Lammy was a member, but the silence from him then was deafening. 

Do you not like David Lammy then :)

I don't see how you can complain about him when he is not doing anything wrong.  He is perfectly at liberty to conduct himself as he wishes and all MPs must be being particularly well-behaved as scrutiny of their every private move is more intense than it's ever been.

You seem to have a personal grudge against him because he is doing things you don't like - that's crazy. You live here, follow the rules - our reps are allowed to do more or less whatever they want - respect that. What you should not do is:

a) Speak for the people of Tottenham - you don't have the cohones to stand up for election and even if you did, you wouldn't get in, so who are you to pronounce as to what the poeple of Tottenham want, like, should or should not do?

b) Make unprovable grandiose generalisations and state them as facts. What you have is a personal opinion.  Assuming you are not a professional politician, you have no claim whatsoever that anyone should even consider what you say, let alone respond to it.

c) Make accusations that are patently false and expect to be believed. You wrote:

>>He doesn't reply to emails or letters. 

Oh come on Philip - enough with the stuff and nonsense! You want him to reply to you with your nasty opinions and obvious dislike for the guy rather than deal with those in real need? You can get him to do what you want, if what you want is what he wants.  He is elected to represent us and has been a Cabinet Minister as far as I recall.  He seems like a perfectly capable politician to me - I don't agree with the other David (Cameron) but I respect and support his right to ram whatever he wants down our throats. I hate war but he's gone to war on my behalf - I take responsibility for that.

You don't seem to and seem to live in a fantasy world where shouting abuse means something - it doesn't.

After a few back & forths with David Lammy (well, his office), the summary of my experience is:

- Bet hedging: I've yet to receive an answer from him where he takes an an actual position on anything. Philip Foxe's point on running for Mayor / MP, adds to this.

- Glory hound: When asked why he wasn't supporting an Early Days Motion by (Tom Watson, Labour. I received this:

".... However, David prefers to focus his time on leading parliamentary activity and policy on his key issues rather than dividing his time across hundreds of issues. Naturally, he cares about this important issue of... ". 

Plenty other MPs, cross party, signed the EDM, he's clearly doesn't care enough if there's no glory to be had.

- Whipped: Tows the Labour party line. "He will of course, support his Labour colleagues who are calling for reform on the very issues you have raised by voting with his party, so as long as it consistent with his conscience. " (Notice the non-committal stance)  Said EDM was followed by a vote on a directly related issue, where he just towed the party line, despite  'caring' and 'supporting'.

So, either David isn't like this and his office does a bad job articulating his position/actions - or he's just one of those carreer politicians that weasels his way up the political ladder.   Actions speak louder than words, so I'm going with the latter.

"I hate war but he's gone to war on my behalf - I take responsibility for that." 

Why? If you didn't vote for Cameron, what more could you do other than write a letter that gets promptly dismissed? In this profoundly broken first-past the post pretend democratic system you have no responsibilty for the actions of the clowns at the top. 

Please don't post rubbish - your opinion really, really doesn't matter- it's what you do about it that counts.

>>Bet hedging

So, because he didn't answer he's hedging his bets?  This is fantasy - he does nothing that is in any way related to you or your thoughts about him. Do you really believe this judgement you've made about him is true for you and may be true for others?  

>>Glory hound

Again, your judgement is so poor as to be irrelevant - where are your supporters?  Who else agrees with you? Just flinging insults because your attempt to manipulate a senior politician failed doesn't make you right, it makes you weird.  Basically, you are unable to make a balanced judgement, you are blinded by your own prejudices but worse, if you were able to reach a balanced view, it would not matter one way or the other - he presents the view of the electorate whether you like it or not. If his representative view is not yours, that does not mean you have a right to supplant his democratic view - get over it.


All the major parties whip - look at what was written in response - that is precisely what every MP has the right to do - you, by refusing to accept the reality, make your views unworthy of a response.  Yet you got one, even though the responder knows it was a waste of their precious resource trying to influence you - I think that is a tribute to them.

You can go about campaigning to abolish the whip, but why do you think it is still in place after centuries?  Your MP is obliged to follow it as a condition for joining their party - what are MPs supposed to do?  Drop out and cross the house to sit as independents on day one? Is it because politicians are stupid and only you can see what ought to happen? If you were elected, say, to the Council, would you follow the whip, or not? If you don't follow the whip, you'll never get any responsibility and are cheating the party that selected you to band together with the other elected reps.

>> what more could you do other than write a letter

You miss the point - it's not so much what I think is right, it's accepting that I am not alone, but part of something I alone cannot control - it's done in my name because I have given up some of my rights.

By living here I accept the right of Cameron to decide to do things that I can be blamed for, even if I am dead against him - collective responsibility.   Think of the family who loses someone in an RAF drone strike abroad - do you think they will reason, "I blame Cameron but Chris on HoL objected, so he's excused?"

As to what you can do yourself, where to start? Karl Mark was a foreigner who lived in abject poverty with a big family in Clerkenwell and is buried in Highgate Cemetery. Orwell got many ideas for 1984 from the view of the UCL Senate he passed on the bus every day. Tony Benn gave up a peerage to devote his life to the people and is probably the most famous politician in our history. More recently Owen Jones wrote a simple book about ordinary people and has gained great respect for his views. Laurie Penny wrote a blog.  Jack Munroe lived in Southend on £10 per week for ages (with a small child to support) and wrote about how to get by. Then there are the people who organsie and participate in the many and varied forms of direct action - UK Uncut, Occupy etc etc, even the Greens. There are loads of them and they matter - they change things for the better in various demonstrable ways - you?

Changing things is incredibly difficult - you have to be a genius because we are all full of different opinions and ideas, yet people who try were mostly ordinary people when they began. You seem to think it's easy, just write whatever occurs to you - imagine the chaos 

I'll only dive into a couple of your points - there are too many straw men and other logical fallacies in your argumentation to address them all.

"part of something I alone cannot control - it's done in my name because I have given up some of my rights."

You didn't give up any rights, you never had that right - you were born into such a system and you never had say in the matter. Why would you accept any responsability for it, unless you perpetuate said system. It's equivalent to calling every German or Russian responsible for the atrocieties of their 20th century regimes.  Pars-pro toto fallacy.

"Think of the family who loses someone in an RAF drone strike abroad - do you think they will reason, "I blame Cameron but Chris on HoL objected, so he's excused?""

The halfwit-in-the-street may not have a nuanced view when attributing blame, but every individual is responsible for their own actions, so yes, you're excused :)

This is especially important when you're trying to build bridges in a conflict situation.  Most people, and politics & media in particular often reduce conflict to simplistic "us vs them"  arguments that perpetuates conflict and ignorance.  The detail, the individual matters.

"he presents the view of the electorate whether you like it or not."

Really? 35% of the electorate voted for him/the Labour candidate in the 2010 election, or 60% of those that could be bothered to vote. Which is a very solid result but still leaves 65% to 40% are stuck with a representative they didn't vote for. Being generous, he at best presents a bit more than half the electorates view, that still excludes a lot of people views. Do you think that's a good thing?

Of course I accept that he's my representative, just one that is not much use in changing things in a way sympathetic to my world view. In practice that doesn't make him much of a representative other than in name.

"They change things for the better in various demonstrable ways - you?"

'for the better', depends on your world-view (though I tend to align with the groups you listed). And yes, I do support & participate in various think-tanks, spanning topics from drug policy reform, civil & digital rights and power-concentration.

I'm a firm believer in the unrepresentativeness & oppressiveness of the large party-political system. The recent cross-party agreements, combined with the whip system puts power in the hands of party leaders and effectively disenfranchises all voters. It's a complete stichup, as Tom Watson MP called it.  The end of this way of governance cannot come soon enough.

Devolve & decentralize power. It's good for democracy, if not that, then at least it will be a bit representative.

I think you've tried to dismiss all my arguments as valueless, yet I think you agree with me. It would really help if you 'came clean' and used your real name - are you, in fact, a well-known pundit?

Assuming you vote in Harringay: when the opinion of the electorate is asked for in a debate on matters that affect them, Cllrs give that opinion on your behalf.

They don't give your opinion (say, on a 20mph speed limit). They give their own opinion based on whatever criteria they wish - they do not need to speak to a single voter if they don't want to, agreed? That is a matter of fact.

Now, if the 20mph limit turns out to do real damage to the borough and costs us money in some weird way I can't think of at the moment, we all, including you who may oppose it, have to pay for this mistaken policy implementation.

The central idea is that:

you have ceded rights to your representative, whilst remaining responsible for their actions.

I think you have , you think you haven't, right? 

I can guarantee I am not a well known pundit. I've never worked in media. For fun though, which one do you think I am?

We are agreed that councillor & politicians can do whatever the hell they want. I think the scope is limited to the platform they ran on, that's called the mandate.

You think you're responsible for their actions. I don't and I take none, unless I helped vote them into office.  I also don't I have ceded my rights. That was decided well before I showed up in this world.



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