I have heard that Lambeth town hall is buzzing with rumours that a current Liberal Democrat councillor once regularly performed on stage as a black and white minstrel. The Liberal Democrat have not denied the stories. The councillor, who cannot yet be named publicly, is believed to have a theatrical background. The black and white minstrels (pictured) were a troupe of white singers and dancers who covered their faces and hands with black make-up and sang songs in mock black accents. They also acted out scenes depicting black people as lazy and ignorant and in awe of their former white slave-owning ‘masters’. Unsurprisingly, the act was heavily criticised as a racist parody.
Questions have been raised in recent years about Lambeth Liberal Democrats’ commitment to diversity and equality. Despite being in power for four years between 2002 and 2006, they only nominated councillors from their own ranks who were white and male to sit on the council’s ruling Executive Committee. Shortly before the 2006 elections they were slammed by black groups for refusing to register voters missing from the electoral register despite having the worst voter registration rate in inner London. Most of the missing voters were black, and concerns were raised that the Liberal Democrats didn’t want to include them in case they voted against Liberal Democrat candidates in marginal wards.
Residents are asking whether it is appropriate for a councillor in one of the most diverse boroughs in the UK to have blacked up his face to sing songs like ‘Mammy’ in a stage act widely considered offensive to black people.
Lambeth Council recently planned an exhibition featuring pictures of all the black councillors who have been elected onto the council during its history. There was controversy when a white Liberal Democrat councillor insisted on being included. Her request was denied.
Equalities groups in the borough are expected to ask the Liberal Democrat leader to confirm whether one of his current councillors was a black and white minstrel.
The Liberal Democrats’ lacklustre national leader, Nick ‘Invisible Man’ Clegg, has accidentally dumped Lambeth’s Liberal Democrats in the mud. He’s just announced the Liberal Democrats are in favour of cutting taxes. Oops, let’s not mention how his fellow Liberal Democrats in Lambeth whacked council tax up 40% last time they got the chance – the biggest council tax hike in Lambeth’s history!
One thing they do agree on, though, is cutting services. Clegg’s just announced his party wants to slash £20 billion off public services – inevitably cutting services used by people right across Lambeth. That, at least, is in line with his local councillors. The Liberal Democrats slashed services in Lambeth while they were making us all pay more in council tax. Good to see they agree on something.
Clegg also announced a great new idea: he’s setting up a Credit Crunch Task Force! What a good idea. And what a shame he didn’t think of it first. Lambeth Council announced it was setting up a Credit Crunch Task Force at a public meeting of the Council’s Cabinet last week. Those Liberal Democrats sitting in the audience must have been straight onto their blackberries afterwards telling their leader to steal Lambeth’s idea and pretend it was his own. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time the Liberal Democrats had tried to take the credit for other people’s ideas, would it?
Posted in lib dems, liberal democrats
Tagged council tax, councillors, credit crunch task force, cutting taxes, lambeth liberal democrats, lib dem conference, lib dem leader, lib dems, Liberal Democrat, liberal democrat conference, nick clegg, nick clegg speech, public services, services
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!
Posted in lib dems, liberal democrats
Tagged ashley lumsden, council leader, Councillor Ashley Lumsde, kennington, lambeth council, lambeth liberal democrats, lilian baylis school, roger geiss, shakespeare road, steve reed
With people demanding more action in the fight against criminals, Lambeth’s Liberal Democrats have decided now is the time to start attacking the police! Lib Dem councillors in Streatham have been flooding letterboxes with alarmist leaflets claiming the local police station is due to be closed down without being replaced – a claim the Borough Police commander flatly denies. They continued their campaign despite knowing it’s not true because they think it’s a good way to con people into voting for them.
Streatham Liberal Democrat councillors Brian Palmer and Julian Heather have been heading up the fake campaign. They’re saying the police want to close Streatham Police Station and leave the area with no replacement. The Police say the current police station, built over 100 years ago, is full of health and safety hazards and doesn’t have the space the police need to do their job properly using modern-day technology and equipment. But they have given a cast-iron guarantee that NO decision has been taken to close the existing station – and no decision WILL EVER be taken to close it unless a superior replacement can be built in the town centre.
But the Liberal Democrats never let a few facts get in the way of a good smear. They know they are widely regarded as being soft on crime, so they think running a fake campaign twisting the truth about plans for the local police station will help turn their reputation round. So, while the police get on with fighting the criminals, Lambeth Liberal Democrats have decided to fight the police.
The super-rich Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Streatham seems to be having trouble working out where Streatham is. Perhaps current Labour MP Keith Hill would be kind enough to send him a map?
Liberal Democrat Chris Nicholson was previously leader of the council in leafy Surbiton. He also works as a highly-paid consultant to companies selling weapons of war and destruction. He doesn’t seem to have had much to do with Streatham before deciding it would be a good place to foist himself to further his personal ambitions to become an MP.
In order to make up some local credentials, Nicholson – who lives in an enormous house in Chessington – decided to buy a second home in Streatham. That way he hoped to fool his future electorate into believing that he’s a local man. Unconcerned by the cost, he went along to the estate agents and found a pleasant terraced house for sale in Eardley Road. Unfortunately for Nicholson, he hadn’t done his homework properly. Since he doesn’t know Streatham very well, he didn’t realise the house he was buying was in Tooting – the wrong side of the border from Streatham!
It’s lucky he’s so wealthy, because Nicholson’s house-buying bungle meant he now had to buy ANOTHER house inside the constituency he so desperately wants to represent. And that’s what he did. Although first he bought himself an office in Brixton Hill. A further visit to the estate agents (who must have been very pleased with all the business the Liberal Democrat candidate’s giving them!) turned up a place in Clapham that seemed to fit the bill. This time Nicholson – showing he’s one to learn – asked around and found out that the property was, in fact, in the right constituency.
And so at last, the proud owner of four properties and three homes, Chris Nicholson can write out to all the lucky residents of Streatham and claim that he lives here just like they do. We doubt he’ll be mentioning that his family still lives in Chessington, though. Or that he didn’t quite know where Streatham was the first time he tried to pull that particular stunt.
Lambeth’s shameless Liberal Democrats have done a deal with Conservative councillors that sees their leader’s allowances double. The 100% hike comes as Liberal Democrats criticise other councillors for rises way BELOW the increase they’ve fixed up for themselves.
The Lib Dems were put on the spot by being offered the chance to vote on their own allowances – limiting their chance to play their usual hypocritical games. They had the choice to vote to keep allowances frozen – or they could vote to hike them up despite public announcements they wouldn’t.
True to form, the Liberal Democrats came up with a two-faced wheeze that would allow them to pocket the money while claiming they hadn’t voted for it! The Liberal Democrats persuaded the Tories to vote for rises that included the Lib Dem leader’s 100% increase. Then, the Liberal Democrats returned the favour by voting through extra allowances for the Conservatives.
There’s nothing quite so repulsive to the public as seeing politicians twist and turn so they can make up stories while claiming they’re not quite lying. So, no one can claim the Liberal Democrats were in favour of their own massive pay rises because they didn’t vote for them! Clever isn’t it? Until the voters find out how you connived to deceive them of course!