Monday, May 21, 2007

Greenford to South Kenton

Only five and a half miles of the Capital Ring this Sunday, as I was feeling tired after Saturday night.

This is one of the hilliest sections of the ring with fine views from Horsenden Hill, followed by a long slog up to Harrow On The Hill. Was surprised to see that someone has dug up a section of the path on the Harrow School playing fields - let's hope they put it back. Also a bit confusing round the back of Northwick Park Hospital where a new golf course interrupts the route - some signs would not go amiss here, if anyone from TfL reads this.

Gordon Brown - Live

Last week I was invited to the CBI annual dinner where the guest speaker was Gordon Brown, soon to be Prime Minister. I hadn't seen him 'live' before and it provided an interesting opportunity to assess the new opponent. His speech broke into three sections:

First, some anecdotes to get the audience warmed up. GB seemed highly uncomfortable, although the material itself was sound, and there was a lot of touching the face and hair. Very closed and introverted hand gestures.

Second, the economic stuff, delivered in a long monologue without full stops, capital letters or any change of tone. This makes it difficult to follow his argument and sounds a bit like someone reading out the Yellow Pages. Some people clearly thought he must be very clever, because they couldn't understand what he was saying!

Finally, some stuff on training and raising skills, which he delivered with passion and commitment. Obviously this is the subject that motivates him and keeps him in politics. We can expect plenty more of this.

But on the whole, he appeared uncomfortable speaking to a large audience. This was not helped by his trademark decision to wear a lounge suit when we were all in black tie, as if he had some sort of 'statement' to make. Tony Blair or Ken Livingstone would have been more charismatic and engaging - I could have done it better myself....

I pointed this out to a fellow guest. He's a lot better than he was last time he spoke, was the response.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

MQT Alert

There was no Question Time in April and it seems like ages since we quizzed the Mayor, so there will be plenty to catch up on next week. Question Time will take place on Wednesday 23rd May at 10:00am.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


In the Chingford Green by election:

This was caused by the sad death of Cllr Derek Arnold, a good friend who was the group whip at Waltham Forest back in my days on the council. The new Cllr, Andrew Hemsted, is a great young guy and a tireless campaigner. We spent a most productive morning on the trail last Saturday and things looked very positive. The result was:

Conservative (Andrew Hemsted) 1694
Lib Dem (Graham Woolnough) 1022
Labour (?) 208
UKIP (Bob Brock) 143

Labour's vote collapsed which does not bode well for them on Thursday.

We are already looking forward to the next local by election, which will take place in St Andrew's Ward, Havering.

Congratulations Andy!!