It’s all in the stars for spaced-out Liberal democrats

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!   

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Liberal Democrats launch smear campaign against police

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.  

Welcome to Streatham! (Or is it Wandsworth?)

 

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 Liberal Democrats do deal with Conservatives to hike up their allowances

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!

Community comes together to fight poverty – but Lambeth Liberal Democrats say ‘don’t bother’

Lambeth is one of the poorest boroughs in Britain.  One in five adults of working age doesn’t have a job, and one in three children lives in a household on benefits.  Although there are plenty of wealthier areas, many people living on poorer estates are locked into poverty which locks them out of opportunity.

Most people understand that has a direct impact on high levels of crime, drug addiction and teenage pregnancy.  So when representatives from across the borough came together to decide what they wanted to achieve together over the coming years, they decided to try and reduce poverty by getting people back to work.  The action plan is built into a document called the Sustainable Community Strategy that is supported by the police, Lambeth NHS, the local college and universities, and representatives of voluntary and community groups.  

Liberal Democrat councillors had been involved in the consultation that led to the strategy being put in place and never uttered a word against it.  So there was astonishment when the Liberal Democrat leader stood up at the meeting and announced that Liberal Democrats would be voting NOT to tackle poverty and unemployment.  He claimed that was not an issue that mattered to Liberal Democrats and didn’t want to see action taken against it.  That outburst shouldn’t have surprised anyone because while he was in charge of the Council’s finances before their election defeat, he’d taken action to STOP resources going to areas suffering the highest levels of deprivation – no doubt because those areas don’t tend to vote Liberal Democrat. 

Working to reduce the opportunity gap matters to most people in Lambeth who care about fairness.  But for the Libercal Democrats fairness doesn’t come into it – it’s who you vote for that matters. 

Hey, big spender! Boastful Lumsden’s not quite up to date

Looks like Liberal Democrat opposition leader on Lambeth Council, Ashley Lumsden, hasn’t updated his ‘Friends Reunited’ profile for a while.  The councillor – who is not known for his modesty – is still claiming to be running Lambeth Council two years after voters booted him and his party out of office in a landslide defeat.

Lumsden, who updated his profile just hours after winning election in 2002, tells the world that he’s “a councillor on Lambeth Council representing Streatham Hill ward”.  So far, so good.  He continues: “following election wins in 2002 I’m now Executive Member for Finance in charge of a turnover of about one billion pounds.”  Well, there’s one in the eye for all those other schoolboys who gave Ashley such a rough time of it at school in Surrey! 

Quick though he was to boast about his newfound importance in 2002, Lumsden neglects to tell his old school chums how after putting council tax up 40% and losing £3 million in the biggest housing fraud case in British local government history, his cunning election strategy led the Liberal Democrats to their biggest defeat in the country in 2006.  Still, no point giving those rough boys from school any more ammunition, is there?   

Lambeth Liberal Democrats demands HIGHER fuel bills for council tenants!

As energy costs skyrocket across the world, Lambeth’s Liberal Democrats have come up with one of their craziest outbursts yet.  As Labour councillors debated ways to reduce fuel increases for hard-pressed tenants, Liberal Democrats ATTACKED fixed-price fuel contracts that have helped to keep residents’ bills low. 

People living on estates with shared heating systems pay for their heating at costs negotiated by the council from suppliers.  For the past three years, residents in Lambeth have benefited from prices fixed three years ago when prices were much lower than today.  The fixed-price contract expired this year, meaning big cost increases for tenants who were suddenly hit by the price hikes imposed by energy companies as a result of soaring prices in the global markets for oil and gas.  Other energy users have already been hit by the price hikes, but for tenants on affected estates are only just seeing the price rises come through. 

Residents at the town hall meeting were astonished to see the confused Liberal Democrat housing spokesman, Councillor Jeremy Clyne, denounce fixed-price deals and demand that tenants should not be allowed to benefit from them.  Observers were left asking if he was simply jealous that his own bills to heat his million-pound mansion overlooking leafy Tooting Common were so much higher.