Like wizened palm-readers sitting in gaudy tents by the seaside, Lambeth’s Liberal democrats like to claim they can predict the future. The problem is, they’re about as good at it as the fakers who ask you to cross their palms with silver to find out what the future holds.
Here’s a small selection of the predictions made by “Mystic” Ashley Lumsden and his Liberal democrat fortune-tellers that haven’t quite come to pass.
In the run-up to the council elections in 2006, the Liberal democrats predicted they would be re-elected. In fact, the Lambeth’s Liberal democrats went down to their party’s biggest defeat in the country as Labour won by a landslide.
Embittered Liberal democrat leader Councillor Ashley Lumsden forecast that the newly elected Labour Council Leader, Steve Reed, would be out of office by the time Tony Blair quit as Prime Minister. Blair went last year – Steve Reed’s still going strong.
They predicted there was no way Labour could rip up the profiteering Liberal democrat parking-fines contract because it still had two years to run. Six months later Labour had replaced the contract and removed the financial incentives that lay behind overzealous ticketing.
Liberal democrat Roger Geiss foretold that there was no way Labour could build a new school in Brixton’s Shakespeare Road if they dropped Liberal democrat plans to sell off a popular community sports centre at the Old Lilian Baylis School site in Kennington. The Brixton school’s now being built and the sports hub was removed from the auction list.
Liberal democrats predicted that tenants would vote ‘no’ in a ballot on putting the council’s underperforming housing service under resident control. Tenants voted ‘yes’.
They forecast there was no way the council would improve on the one-star performance rating Labour inherited from the Liberal democrats. The council’s just gone up from one star to three stars in one go.
Oh dear, it looks like the Liberal democrats are as good at predicting the future as they were at making the council’s finances add up. It’s back to the tea-leaves for Lambeth’s Liberal democrat fortune fakers!