London Borough Council Tax Changes

What do Kensington & Chelsea, The City of London and Tower Hamelets (home of Canary Wharf) and Lewisham have in common? They are the only inner London boroughs to have approved significant Council Tax increases for 2009 / 10.

Brockley Kate has rustled up a spreadsheet, which lists all of the London Borough's Band D Council Tax rates and 2009/10 increases.

Lewisham passed a 2 percent rise, but not to fund the Green New Deal. Green Ladywell will be blogging about what the money will get spent on instead shortly.

That 2% increase is significantly higher than the London average of 1.23% and way above the inner London average of only 0.34%.

It also secures Lewisham's position as the most expensive billing authority for Band D rate payers in inner London. The average Band D rate for inner London is £1,115, Lewisham's is £1,352, higher than the London-wide average of £1,308.

Given this, it ought not to be too much to hope for that we could find some investment for Coulgate Street.

The full list of billing authorities looks like this:

Local Authority / Band D increase / Band D average £

[Inner London]

City of London / 2.11% / 942.79
Camden / 0.00% / 1,331.58
Greenwich / 0.00% / 1,290.85
Hackney / 0.00% / 1,308.27
Hammersmith & Fulham / -2.21% / 1,146.71
Islington / 0.00% / 1,248.23
Kensington & Chelsea / 2.28% / 1,092.27
Lambeth / 0.00% / 1,235.11
Lewisham / 1.92% / 1,351.93
Southwark / 0.00% /1,221.96
Tower Hamlets / 1.69% / 1,195.34
Wandsworth / 0.00% / 687.07
Westminster / 0.01% / 687.84

[Outer London]

Barking & Dagenham / 0.00% / 1,326.22
Barnet / 2.19% / 1,423.02
Bexley /1.98% / 1,427.00
Brent / 1.92% /1,368.76
Bromley / 2.04% / 1,288.98
Croydon / 2.99% / 1,447.71
Ealing / 0.00% / 1,369.75
Enfield / 1.93% / 1,410.16
Haringey / 1.54% / 1,494.14
Harrow / 2.32% / 1,496.37
Havering / 1.89% /1,511.00
Hillingdon / 0.00% / 1,422.75
Hounslow / 0.00% / 1,400.47
Kingston-upon-Thames / 3.21% / 1,630.78
Merton / 1.95% / 1,432.16
Newham / 0.00% / 1,255.45
Redbridge / 2.12% / 1,405.35
Richmond-upon-Thames / 3.46% / 1,597.21
Sutton / 2.26% / 1,450.71
Waltham Forest / 1.49% / 1,462.03


Hugh said...

You are f*cking joking. 2% increase for more Stephen Lawrence centre-type nonsense?

BrockleyBiker said...

Maybe they will spend it on something useful like bringing all the roads up decent standard...

...or maybe not.

Anonymous said...

You'd hope. There's a huge whole on Tresillian near Hilly Fields Cresent that f**ked my car's ABS last week!

Anonymous said...

a huge 'whole' ?

BrockleyBiker said...

@ Anonymous 14:20

Yep I know the one you mean. It's ridiculous. I hope you charge the council for any repairs needed.

Anonymous said...

@ Hugh: I thought we'd already established that the Stephen Lawrence Centre is run by the Stephen Lawrence Foundation and was not funded by Lewisham Council. What's wrong with working with aspiring young architects and helping young people to follow their ambitions anyway?

Before anyone makes the 'all the Council ever does for me is empty my wheelie bin' comment, it is worth flagging up a rarely mentioned fact that a huge chunk of Council resources is spent on looking after vulnerable people, ie the elderly and those with disabilities. Government funding to local authorities has not kept pace with the increased costs in this area (more people living longer, more children with severe disabilities surviving etc). Assuming no one on this blog would seriously propose that we don't support vulnerable people, perhaps it's time the government responded to local authorites calls for a look at how these services are funded, and then there might actually be enough money left over to resurface more roads etc.

I agree that Tressillian Road in particular is in a right mess, and I've been told by Highways that it's 25th in the borough's prioritisation list, which means it should get resurfaced (and hopefully the footpath done too) within the next 12 months.

The Cat Man said...

Lewisham is a poor area - the councils philosophy is tax those who can afford it, and give it to those who cannot.

Its the main reason why lewisham will always be relatively poor - they spend the money on wasted gimmics to subsidse the armani wearing council tenant lifestyles instead of actually encouraging decent investment in infrastructure.

Just look at our pavements? our parks? our streets? its a complete disgrace.

Anonymous said...

@Catman: can you give a concrete example to back up what you are saying?!

The Cat Man said...

I wouldn't know where to start as there are so many things!!!

Here are a few pointers:

1. Lack of internal controls over the use and monitoring of contractors - take a look at Mantle rd flowerbeds for a very good example of 'recent improvements made by contractors now being re-done by Goldman Sachs'.

2. Political philosophy/the mindset of the councillors. They are labour/lib dem.

3. The electorate.

Hugh said...

Sue, I said 'type' nonsense. I.e. nonsense of that ilk, but carried on by the LBC.

Hugh said...

Sue, several council houses in my street have huge flat-screen TVs (you can see them through the window) and satellite dishes.

Explain, please.

jon s said...

Ah the veil of ingorance.

Imagine you don't know where you will be born in society. Now design a tax system that minimises social inequality and free riding!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is the same Hugh, he is saying the kind of thing Catman would normally say! Do I really need to state the obvious, ie plenty of people who live in council houses work and save up to buy nice things, the same as people in privately rented or owned accommodation? For goodness sake!

Catman: nothing you have said backs up your frankly crass and prejudiced assertion that LBL "subsidse the armani wearing council tenant lifestyles".

Hugh said...

Sue, ah, that's OK then. Just wanted it clarified.

Anonymous said...

there are also plenty of people in council houses who receive too generous housing and benefits and don't need to "save up" for nice things at all. they have enough spending power to just go out and get them.

fred vest said...

"Ah the veil of ingorance"

it's a sad state of affairs when even rawls seems more useful than the gibbersish that catman spouts

(sue i'd assumed hugh was taking the piss out of catman)

Anonymous said...

apologies Hugh if your irony went straight over my head then . . .

Anonymous said...

Hugh - you must live on my street.

I get to see Sky 1 every evening courtesy of the council tenants opposite without having to subscribe.

However, not quite the same with the sound off.

Hugh said...

Anon, I prefer watching their Sky for the footie. I suppose our tax is a form of wealth redistribution, after all. They're very generous about leaving the curtains open.

Anonymous said...

They may not of course be Council Tenants now, but people who have exercised their right to buy.

Having paid £10,000 for a flat now worth £200,000 they are free to remortgage and buy oodles of expensive things.

If they want to.

Anonymous said...

Yep - it was footie last night - although their nets get in the way at times.

Hugh said...

I particularly admire their Stark sofa and the wifi Bose system.

Cllr Dean Walton said...


I would have thought that as a chartered accountant catman would know that the Housing Revenue Account is ring-fenced - by which Lewisham's (dwindling) housing stock is paid for out of the rents and service charges from tenants and leaseholders. Some tenants will of course will be eligible for housing benefit - administered locally but founded by central government. Put bluntly it would be illegal for the Council Tax to subsidise housing costs in this way.

Looking at the suggestions at the further examples that catman proposes:

(1) Lack of internal controls - there will probably always be occasions where a large organisation like lewisham does not co-ordinate its activities properly resulting in losses - these do need to be minimised. It sounds very mich like the type of uncosted line trotted out by the Taxpayers Alliance/Conservatives to me - rather than a genuine attempt to critically analyse Lewisham's costings etc.

(2) The Lab/Lib council - I would agree with you on this issue - but I guess our preferred solution would be quite different.

(3) The electorate - I completely disagree with you on this. The electorate are, who they are and it is my role to listen, work with, influence etc and generally (I hate this word - it's jargonistic) 'engage' with and represent when necessary.

As it is, the general thrust of Monday's budget debate in Lewisham was whether you wanted a freeze on the Council tax along with a host of cuts in various services (the approach taken by Lib Dems, Conservatives and the Socialist Party) or whether you accept that the council tax should rise and how the extra money raised should be spent. In the event Labour proposed spending £2.1M on a range of vague projects (Cllrs were invited to a brieing that was held last night, ie after the budget had been agreed which would indicate a degree of vagueness about it); we proposed spending it on a range of definitive projects and initiatives (which confusingly the Socialist Party also supported). Here is not the place to go into detail - I am sure you will find that detail in another place (aka greenladywell blog!)

Monkeyboy said...

"Lewisham is a poor area - the councils philosophy is tax those who can afford it, and give it to those who cannot"

erm....OK. Redistributive tax systems are fairly standard. I don't use social services, hardly use the NHS, have no kids but I'm not offended by paying out more to help those who need it. It's not a new concept and one that all the mainstream parties go along with - even the LibDems you supposedly support.

We could go back to the good old days. Workhouses, debtors prison - that kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

is it not too much to ask that there should be a palpable improvement in lewisham in return for this rate rise? most people paying would struggle to see any improvement to their daily lives as they walk through lewisham's filthy streets or drive on its pot-holed roads. of course we live in a society that takes care of those in less fortunate positions, but that shouldn't exclude those paying the tax from palpable returns on it.
sue, you mention looking after vulnerable people. if lewisham has a way above average council tax, does this mean we have a way above average population of vulnerable people compared to other inner london boroughs? surely not.

Anonymous said...

We'd all be better off if the "vulnerable" pulled their socks up a bit.

Sammy said...

I love how the sick and vulnerable are made the focus, how many sick and vulnerable people could be looked after with the £16 million pounds that was given to one individual in the RBS part nationalisation.

This is a rich country, but it is being inefficiently managed, we have the physical infrastructure, roads, railways, harbours, we have the talent, the thousands of graduates each year, we just need people to start working together and stop being selfish.

We just need some galvanising event (not a war) to get people to think beyond themselves and their daily trivia and put country, ethics, being kind and considerate of others first.

There is so much division in our society and resentment, some of it justified (a la Fred Goodwin and his ilk) but we do need to come together, otherwise this country will sink.

Anonymous said...

The Council tendering system does introduce huge delays and has not done much about incompetence and just makes accountability more difficult. (Lovely phase on News Quiz last week that privatisation is incomptence linked with greed, while at least the public sector is well-meaning incompetence.) The Council also wastes huge amounts on internal back-slapping. Any networking or other event I have been to is usually totally over-catered for (with external caterers who presumably went through the tendering process but now have a cosy regular contract - one just hopes they are at least local). Often such events are arranged by external consultants, again for significant fees. And I know the Council itself is the largest single employer in the Borough - but does it need to produce a glossy magazine for it workers telling them what a wonderful thing it is to be working for LBL?

Tamsin said...

The scary thing about social care is not the cost of it but the plans in prospect to totally privatise it. Under the pretence of offering "clients" more "choice" the proposal is that each elderly person or other in need is to be given a "personal budget" and they will then be able to buy in the care they want from the private sector. Just the sort of people who can shop around for the best deal and cope with references, police checks etc.!
Similarly (although this is verging off onto the health service debate) the district nursing services are likely to be privatised with the current staff intially working as private contractors but after three years the work being open to tender and district nurses, occupational therapists and the like being expected to group together (as if you become a nurse because you want to run a business) to put in bids, or more likely to be out-bid by American style private health companies and then employed by them on rock-bottom wages.

Cllr Dean Walton said...


The following extract is taken from para 5.10.2(a) of the Public Accounts Committee Report and available here (I can email link to anyone who wants it if the link does not show up here)

"Discontinue The Works magazine in its current format and replace it with a new staff “ezine” to enable a much more interactive and modern
format, reduce our Carbon footprint and create less waste (£10.8k)."

This saving of £10.8k will now be implemented and was not opposed by any group on Lewisham.

All the other savings proposals considered and ultimately agreed by the Council are published in the same detailed report.

The Cat Man said...


1. Lack of internal controls over the use and monitoring of contractors

Unfortuantely, I was not speaking for a political viewpoint but from a professional viewpoint.

My dealing with the council over the lack of adequate provision for the Mantle Rd flowerbeds has been a nightmare. In 2008 the contractors 'planted' new plants in the grass triangle areas and a new tree. Having done this, half the plants were not planted properly and died shortly after. They were planted directly into the grass without established even a 'mud' flowerbed. The remaining plants look like weeds.

At the same time, the contractor dumped a hugh pile of what looks like wood chippings in the middle. Despite my phone calls, they never removed it. I posted a article on my blog with regard to the walls surrounding the grass areas also not being looked after.

Interestingly enough, I understand from the BCAG member who has organised Goldman Sachs to help that the banks representative, some sort of structual engineer, even beleived the walls were not even structually sound.

On a seperate instance, Conways dug up complete uncracked paving slabs from my road and replaced them with tarmac. When I challenged Conways, they put them back to 'do me a favour'. The paving slabs are still in place with no 'tilt' on the edges and remain flat. In case people didn't know, the contract lewisham signed with Conways, allow them to sell paving slabs they recover for profit.

I requested a copy of their contract with the council under the freedom of information act, and the council presented me with a contract that was 3 years out of date.

Despite me raising my concerns to the local councillors, both Robin Cross and Ian Page, these issues have not been addressed. Robin Cross admmitted to me directly that in some areas the contracts with Conways and the parks contractor need to be tightened.

Now to put it bluntly, I work as a Chartered Accountant who happens to audit large, publically known companies. If things like this happened in my clients it would certainly be documented in our communications to the audit committee and non-exec directors. In my opinion, based on the evidence that I have seen (which is limited), there is potentially material weakenesses in the internal controls and monitoring of contractors.

I have written far too much now, to keep people interested I will delay writing about my points 2 & 3!!

A big thank you to Dean Walton and Sue for contributing, it is always nice to see some of our elected officials 'engage' with us once in a while.

Cllr Dean Walton said...


I will draw your post to the attention of our member on the Public Accounts Committee, Cllr Ute Michel. That committee may be interested to review such contracts in some more detail and gather evidence that your experience is either widespread or, hopefully a one-off.



fred vest said...

"If things like this happened in my clients it would certainly be documented in our communications to the audit committee and non-exec directors."

What in the way that auditors, non-executives and various other oversight structures effectively documented and raised issues about the utter lack of controls around irresponsible risk taking within banks & insurance companies which has resulted in the mess we are now in? or in the way that auditors, non-executives and various other oversight structures effecitvely documented and raised issues about the utter lack of controls that led to huge corporate failures like enron, tyco, worldcom et all, or in the way that everyone in the private sector completely failed to pick up how ludcicrious it was that rating agencies, so called experts in risk, were able to gleefully assign junk debt tripple A credit ratings which fueled the bubble in the first place?

if only the public sector had more private sector experience in risk management eh

jon s said...


Haven't you heard the saying, no company is more public sector than BP.

As an accountant when you do an audit you are shuffled around the few examples of best practice as far as they go in a company and often the audit report does little to reflect reality. I'm assuming you've never worked in industry.

As someone who has done global outsourcing, divestment, disposal and acquisition as a consultant before I left to work on my startup I can assure you that most contracts are horribly out of date, misaligned with customer and business need and poorly documented.

Councils are no exception and we will continue to be this way until procurement departments evolve into sourcing departments. How do do this is to employ or outsource a service integrator, essentially a strategic function who's sole purpose is customer focused improvement of all outsourced services.

Anonymous said...

back to incompetence driven by greed and well-meaning incompetence and I know which I prefer.

Anonymous said...

and thanks, Dean, good to get such a postive response so quickly. (Although what about the years and years of wasting £10K annually!) The link did not work so I will e-mail you separately.

patrick1971 said...

"most people paying would struggle to see any improvement to their daily lives as they walk through lewisham's filthy streets or drive on its pot-holed roads. of course we live in a society that takes care of those in less fortunate positions, but that shouldn't exclude those paying the tax from palpable returns on it."

This is an interesting point, I think, and one of the reasons why the Greens' policy to give everyone, regardless of income, in the borough free loft insulation, etc. would have been such a winner.

You have to ensure that the people who pay the taxes get at least something back for their investment, otherwise political support for such taxes will be lost (as we can see in many posts on this blog). That was why removing free university tuition was such a mistake; it was the one clear area where the middle class got something tangible back for their taxation, and thus kept them supportive of the system.

Now (well, at least until the credit crunch), we have a situation where much of the middle class never touches or uses the systems for which their taxation pays, so it becomes ever harder to gain their necessary political support for the existing system.

Hugh said...

I've asked this before, but what does my Council Tax buy me beyond refuse collection?

Perhaps Sue could enlighten us.

Headhunter said...

I have to say there does seem to be a huge emphasis on needy people/social care and crime prevention in Lewisham, as per an article by Nick a few months back when Lewisham acknowledged that these were its 2 core priorities. There seems to be very little spent on much else judging by the state of road surfaces, upkeep of the conservation area etc.

Whilst I agree that wealth re-distribution is important, it is not the be all and end all and it would be nice to see some money spent on things that those shouldering huge council tax bills can appreciate. As Hugh says, I benefit from refuse collection and I guess policing. Other than that I am struggling to see where my money goes.

Anonymous said...

I love it how all the councillors come out of the woodwork when people quite rightly comlain aobut Lewisham's council tax going up 2%.

C'mon Greens - yu voted the budget and increase through when the Lib Dems wanted it frozen. We are all feeling the pinch here with no salary increases from our firms. TELL US - what are you spending the extra 2% on? Do you know? Or did you vote this through hoping to have your green proposals listened to - and then got shafted by the Labour maj?

Hugh said...

Not just the extra 2%. The 100% as well.

Anonymous said...

so long as its not going towards making up lewisham council's pension fund deficit.

drakefell debaser said...

I held back on my loft insulation in the hope the Greens would get their policy through. Having seen my gas bill double in the last year there is little choice but to fork out the £200 in the hope that I can bring my utilities under control.

Whilst I don’t mind the increase in council tax, as it is below inflation, I would also like to see more evidence that what I pay is being put to good use. That applies to income tax as well.

Headhunter said...

Must admit, the pension thought did cross my mind. Public sector workers have gold plated pension schemes and a lot of them have lost enormous amounts which now have to be made up through taxation.

I love the way the current government diverts attention from this by using Fred Goodwin and his pension as a scapegoat! Brown has run UK plc disastrously, huge operating loss, massive debts etc, yet he gets to keep his gold plated GBP100k+ pension as do Darling and others. Attention is diverted from this onto Fred Goodwin. Not that I think Goodwin has earned his pension, but have Brown, Darling et al??

Anonymous said...

@anon: No, Greens voted AGAINST the Labour budget because they didn't reverse the cuts to services we were concerned about and didn't accept our proposals re insulation etc. It squeeked through with the votes of the Labour members and the casting vote of the Tory chair, while the other two Tories abstained.

Hugh said...

The LBC site says C. Tax goes on:

* policing
* social care
* street maintenance
leisure centres
* adult education
fire services
* libraries
refuse collection
* schools
* consumer services
* children’s placements
* town planning
* managing homelessness.

I added the asterisks where I chortled audibly.

Anonymous said...

Let's put this on it's head...are all the boroughs with 0% increase no longer providing any care for the needy as a consequence?

Hasn't the Mayor been making 'savings' of about £10m each year since being elected?

Is it not true the areas where he has made the biggest savings have been those connected with those who are most vunerable in our society?

If Lewisham is a better place why did social service costs soar?

Why is it cheaper to live in surrounding boroughs, what marks out Lewisham from the rest?

It's leisure centres, schools, town centre, housing?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a response Sue; but you were for the 2% in principle if you could use it on your agenda?

Where is the acknowledgement that we are in difficult times for WORKING people, who do not need to see an extra 2% go to the council when we are all looking for how we can reduce our expenses. How about helping the WORKING, so there will be less of us claiming benefit and going on housing benefit later in the year? It would seem that in principle, the greens also wanted us to pay more taxes. These are increasingly difficult times.

Also can you tell us - as many are asking - what it the 2% for (or has the council not come up with anything more substantial, than 'the needy?

Anonymous said...


Or perhaps converting council canteens to run on fair trade organic.

Anonymous said...

Most people would agree that we have a duty to support the sick, old and the vulnerable. ie those who cannot work, through no fault of their own.

Once a free education system is offered to all, which it is in the UK, we do not have a duty to support anyone else.

Why for example, could British people not have got all the basic painting jobs and trained to be plumbers etc - we have been paying Eastern Europeans to work in our houses while we have 2mm unemployed.

It doesn't make economic or ethical sense.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree that there is insufficient help for the working poor.

and far too much for those who are non working but perfectly able to.

this is wrong and not sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Honestly this constant suspicion that there are hoards of scroungers living high on the hog off benefits is hundreads of years old. There are some, there always will. It's not a reason to demonise every bugger who needs state help. My 85 year old dad has suddenly needed all sorts of help at home, he spent years whining about rates/council tax - ironic really. Don't get inefficiency mixed up with the the alleged 'undeserving poor' two different issues.

Anonymous said...

Anon, please read previous posts wher it was clearly stated that the old, vulnerable and sick SHOULD be supported, including your 85 year old father!

those able to work MUST be incentivised to do this.

this is partly for the country's good as we simply cannot afford to support people who choose to do nothing. The number of immigrants to the UK who successfully find work and get on in life is a clear indicator that the jobs do exist.

THere's certainly no argument to pay able bodied people benefits for doing nothing when jobs exist.

Over the coming years, when jobs won't exist, maybe there's an argument..but not for the decade jsut gone.

Look at Tom Harris' postings on this - Labour MP.

Anonymous said...

Anon- don't think we are - think we are wondering why Lewisham, unlike most other London boroughs - didn't decide to give the working a break in the current climate. 2% may be less than inflation - but when workers aren't getting pay rises,a nd in some case are getting reductions or lossing their jobs, it is hard to see Lewisham's justification. Low rates of inflation also mean that Lewisham's costs should not have risen considerably too.

Anonymous said...

Anon: yes, we would have supported a 2% increase if it was being spent on reversing cuts to services that we felt were unacceptable, and investing in providing free insulation to every house in Lewisham that needed it, thereby saving the average family, whether in or out of work, far more on their annual fuel bills than they would have saved from having a freeze on council tax. It would also have created much-needed local jobs and significantly reduced our domestic carbon emissions in the borough, at a time when we so desperately need to take action to prevent runaway climate change.

Anonymous said...

Sue, you can claim many things (and your point on fuel bills is a valid point) but you can't claim it would have created much needed local jobs. The recent PFI works are being conducted by mainly East European workers, and workers from Essex and Kent. I don't mind either, but it is not right to suggest that locals only would have been employed to lay the insulation.

Additionally as many have home loft insulation, they would not benefit. I still do not feel that either the Greens, or Labour are looking at the situation we are in, on the day that the Bank of England cut interest rates to 0.5% (to help the worker) and instigated Qualatative Easing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, those Kent/Essex lot. Comming over here with their funny food.

Of course if you REALLY insist that all council work can only be carried out by those in Lewisham you kind of endorse the idea that Lewisham unemployed cannot travel north of the river to lay a few bricks. DOn't be so silly

Anonymous said...

Anon, 23.38, of course you are quite right.

Frankly Sue, the Greens are a nice litle party when we are in boom times and have the immense luxury to worry about C emissions.

Currently we are all worrying about our jobs, our mortgages and whether the disaster about to befall the UK is stagflation or hyper inflation.

We think about whether there will be widespread social unrest requiring desperate measures like the army stepping in, whether crime will soar, how to deal with the total breakdown in the family unit and the social consequences of generations on benefits. Also, whether we should all be moving to China/SE Asia where the main growth in the world will happen over the next 20 years while we and our children in the western world pay off the debts the Gov't has created.

Sue, you are well meaning, and intelligent, I think, from your postings but you know what? To win or maintain votes, you have to talk about things that are relevant to your voters and set against the current backdrop, switching off lights and putting in loft insurance simply don't register as issues.

Tressillian James said...

Anon @ 9.32 - you have missed the point. Anon @ 23.38 was challenging the claim from the Greens that their insulation work would have been undertaken by local people. When clearly that wouldn't, couldn't and probably shouldn't happen.

Headhunter said...

Anon 9.40am - The problem is that as we all worry about our mortgages, jobs, stagflation etc the bigger picture is that the world we live in is slowly collapsing as natural balances are destroyed. I wouldn't call looking after that "a luxury", in fact jobs, stagflation and the economy frankly pale into insignificance.

Anonymous said...

"I still do not feel that either the Greens, or Labour are looking at the situation we are in, on the day that the Bank of England cut interest rates to 0.5% (to help the worker) and instigated Qualatative Easing."

T/james, err I wouldn't be so rude as to suggest you have missed the point but pls see the above. it is EXACTLY this statement with which I am agreeing.

HH, maybe, maybe not, there's a lot of non scientific rubbish circulating about Green issues. They are after all just another political party that wants your vote.

My point is that with so many big term pressing concerns and worries, who is thinking about the long term furure of the planet. People just don't. It would be weird to, when there are so many immediate survival issues with which to deal.

Anonymous said...

Should have said "big SHORT term pressing concerns"

Headhunter said...

However without consideration for the long term future, these short term concerns are irrelevant. If in years to come we all have to live in little oxygen bubbles because we have destroyed the planet's natural support system then there will be no economy, no stagflation, no mortgages to worry about

Tamsin said...

Quite - politicians never look beyond the next election (or possibly two) humanity in general never beyond the next generation (or possibly two). That mindset has GOT to change.
Sue is right to continue to pursue green issues and the nation must not dump sustainable fuel projects because of the current very short-term crisis.

Tressillian James said...

Anon @ 10.02 - I was not suggesting you had missed the point, but the prvious Anon. Please get a moniker, it doesn't mean we can trace you - make up a new name if you like each time you post.

Too many Anons here make it confusing.

Anonymous said...

short-term and long-term concerns aren't mutually exclusive though.
the fact is times are tough, most inner london boroughs recognised this and did not raise council tax. lewisham chose to raise their tax inspite of the unprecedented economic environment we are all living in.
i paid to have my loft insulated a few months ago. now i am being made redundant from work. so are many other people. the council should recognise that it has a duty to all its residents in times like these, not just to those classed "vulnerable".

Anonymous said...


many point is not what SHOULD happen; rather it is what IS happening.

people don't care about long term things when immediate short term survivial strategies are needed.

that makes pefect sense for the human species or any other, we are completely right to approach life in this way. without short term survival there is no long term problem to fix!

Im intrigued to know what the Greens - nb who cannot apparently achieve council funding for better roads near me - would do to fix the global recession, and the imminent social disaster/upheaval/cratering that will involve.

you see my point?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1059

Sorry to hear and hope you find something soon.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the Greens, another idiotic act from a mung-bean protester

Headhunter said...

Short term survival - yes, but not at the complete expense of green policies as you (I think it was you - too many anons here...) suggested earlier. Loft insulation and direction of resources to green policies are not a luxury, they are a long term consideration.

Rather than humanity lurching from boom to bust and constantly rabitting on about mortgages and inflation, all man made problems, it would be nice to see some of our taxes directed at encouraging longer term views and outlooks. This is certainly increasingly happening, but otherwise, as Tamsin points out, humanity tends to jump from problem to problem, firefighting, be it the economy, terrorism or whatever.

We constantly react to frankly short term issues rather than sorting something out before it becomes a problem, which in the case of our planet is likely to irreversible.

Anonymous said...


Plane stupid says it all.

I have no time for Peter sorry lord Mandelson but he is an able individual. She should be charegd with assault, which it undoubtedly is.

Protesters at airfields should be charged with whatever offences they've committed too - criminal damage, breaches of security acts. Any civil offences should be followed up as well. There's a right to protest, thankfully, but also a protocol for doing it. Responsibilities as well as rights.

Headhunter said...

It's a shame but the usual channels of protest are usually routinely ignored by government. Petitioning your MP may or may not motivate him or her to do anything but it's unlikely he or she will manage to move Parliamentary opinion for you. Petitions often get nowhere as pointed out here several times.

Taking direct action makes an immediate effect. Whether you like it or not, this woman who threw slime all over Mandy has got her act splashed all over the press and the net. She would never have got that through writing a stern letter to the Daily Mail, or for that matter writing on a blog.

Arresting people like that just makes martyrs of them and attracts even more attention (for better or worse)

fabhat said...

Some of our civil rights have only come about through direct action -like women's suffrage and the end to US racial segregation. These all involved people who took to the streets and protested with both violent and non violent direct action when there was no other way of getting their message taken seriously. Personally I prefer the non violent approach, but without the actions of suffragettes I would have no vote and no public voice...

drakefell debaser said...

Good point, there are so many things we take for granted today that came about through protest.

Only a few weeks back the Guardian ran a cartoon with Mandelson getting something in splashed in his face (I don’t think the cartoon had custard so perhaps he is lucky). But as HH points out, the usual routes of protest are largely ignored and after all the government ignored the protests of a large population of West London when it agreed the 3rd runway, ignored a large population of the country when it dived into Iraq (millions marched against this) and ignored the warning signs with regards to the economy. Of course you can sit back and continue to be ignored and whinge at the telly or you can try and make your point heard as this protestor has done. If politicians listened then the direct action would be uncommon but this could in fact increase as people become more and more dissatisfied with their situation.

Tressillian James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

she makes a good point in her protest - mandelson is unelected, yet weilds an enormous amount of power over the government and MPs who were elected by the people. He faces no direct retribution or accountability to the electorate.

Tressillian James said...

...and I personally supported the guy who threw eggs at John Prescott. Can't remeber why he was doing it - but eggs at John Prescott and his reaction, it was comedy fried gold.

What I loved about this morning's gunking, apart from the way Mandy welcomed the protestor - thinking she looked like a nice middle class girl, was how the protestor really didn't know what to do after she had chucked the contents of her cup. She sort of stood there, and then walked away, presumably to go to work. A very British Protest.

I also love the fact that even protests come in Jumbo Cups now.

Sammy said...

What that inividual did was unacceptable. It was violent and regardless of the political motivations that was assault.

The likely consequence of this person did is to make political representatives more difficult to get to.

I think it's a measure of Mr Mandelson that he didn't react and retailiate a la John Prescott.

drakefell debaser said...

Er, it was a female protestor where as Prescott’s egg was chucked by a burly bloke. So it is not a measure of his character that he did not swing a punch but more a sign that he has sense.

sammy said...

Prescott said that he just reacted, he didn't know what was going on. Hence my saying what I did.

And honestly I don't really care about gender issues, people should not be violent to one another.

Anonymous said...

I have no time for Prescott but, equally, in an era of frequent terrorist outrages, I saw nothing wrong in his defensive reaction. Actually I was quite impressed/surprised by his reflexes.

This "Plain Stupid" girl is a silly little thing who should be arrested and charged with assualt.

Public figures, much hated though they are, should not have to put with that.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit of a bold step equating womens rights and racial seggregation with a few mungbean eaters in the home counties wanting to protect the polar bears and throwing custard at people.

Lock her up. Can't stand these fad protests.

Anonymous said...

Unknown Mouse,

Yes I agree. it's not in proportion.

I never thought I'd feel sorry for PM but he shouldn't have silly little girls throwing things at his face.

PS I'd sympathise if he decided to fire his security guys - it could have been acid.

drakefell debaser said...

Yeah, great idea. Let’s embrace fascism while we are it as well and lock up anyone with a free thinking mind.

And those that wear spectacles best be careful…too clever for their own good.

Sammy said...

Come off it! Would you like someone throwing stuff in your face, that is disgusting. These anti third runway people seem to be a bunch of fanactics who can't argue their case and so resort to silly pranks.

drakfell debaser said...

Fair enough but locking them up serves no purpose which is what I was referring to. Do you agree that a prison term is proportionate to the crime of throwing a pint of custard at someone?

Headhunter said...

Anon 14:42 - So you think that protests regarding women's suffrage and racial segregation are way more important than protests against a third runway which will be the source of millions of tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere further degrading our environment? Personally I think saving the planet on which we live ranks higher than any man made frivolities.

Do you not get it? We are destroying our own home, slowly and surely. Without a planet women, men, gay, straight, black, white, we're all shafted. Good on her. Mandy needed humiliating. I seriously believe that projects like this third runway and its consequential damage will be something future generations will look back on with disbelief. Just as nowadays we are starting to regret the savage Beeching cuts to our railways.

The Cat Man said...

If its a mung-bean eater or a dog-walker, then yes.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 14:42 - So you think that protests regarding women's suffrage and racial segregation are way more important than protests against a third runway which will be the source of millions of tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere further degrading our environment?"


Sammy said...

The prisons are full enough from what I've heard. The person's actions don't warrant prison, particularly as Mandelson doesn't appear to be unduly affected by it. However I don't think the act should be applauded.

We talk about things in this society, not chuck things at our opponents (or at least we did or should).

Brockley Nick said...

To the anon (GIVE YOURSELVES NAMES PEOPLE) who pondered whether they should flee to China to escape the inevitable social breakdown that would follow economic collapse, I think you need to read a newspaper other than the Daily Mail. China is suffering hugely from the collapse of their export markets (not to mention environmental destruction), which has already begun to result in severe social unrest among a populace which has accepted draconian rule in return for rapid economic growth.

If you want peace and quiet, you are better off in Brockley.

Anonymous said...

As long as you don't live above a restaurant or opposite a betting shop.

Headhunter said...

There was something on TV the other night about massive increases in unemployment in China and homelessness in major cities. Apparently young men who moved to the cities to make money roam the streets, sleeping rough with their possessions in a rucksack hunting for work during the day. It's basically like the US depression of the 30s.

Headhunter said...

....or near the nursery on Manor Ave...

fabhat said...

anon 14.42 - depends on how important you think all these things are doesn't it? I'm sure the same thing was said about both women's rights and segration by some poeple at the time...

Tamsin said...

As I said earlier the social fabric of China will be under very severe strain as the effects of their one child policy work through with middle aged women, who will be out-numbered anyway by middle aged men, try to live up to their long-standing cultural expectations of looking after two sets of aged parents.
A low-key, unsung disaster in the making.

Hugh said...

Wtf is a low-key, unsung disaster when it's at home?

jon s said...

The economy is not all doom and gloom, just going through creative destruction which happens approx every 22 years. Unfortunately during creative destruction people suffer.

At the end of a boom lending is always at daft levels and people are obsessed with investing, not creating wealth. Nice if it wasn't this way, but hey-ho, people are people!

The salvation is the new industries that are created adding efficiency to humanity. This time it will be green energy and mobile phone applications.

Of course the destruction will happen to many old guard corporations as well as many dot coms and service based industries that don't have viable business models, but as long as we can still get the goods and services we want after the depression, who cares!?!?

Kung Fu Hustle said...

"As I said earlier the social fabric of China will be under very severe strain as the effects of their one child policy work through with middle aged women, who will be out-numbered anyway by middle aged men, try to live up to their long-standing cultural expectations of looking after two sets of aged parents.
A low-key, unsung disaster in the making."

In China both male and female contribute to looking after their parents. It is not unusual for a son to look after his parents and do some of the caring. It is not left to women as perhaps it is in more chavinistic societies like Japan. The one child policy will have an effect though: there will not be enough siblings (if any) to share the burden. We are already seeing a change as care homes, which were not known in China, are starting to become more common place, and also sons and daughters employing others to come and help. Of course the real burden is on those in the country, the farmers, but they are allowed to have more than one child.

Anonymous said...

Brockley is always three artisan buns away from civil unrest, or at least a very sternly written letter to the local Green councillor.

Anonymous said...

1612, hilarious.

Brockley Nick, I don't presume to mind-read what paper you take so I'd be grateful if you didn't either. The quality of your normal contributions is above such low grade "argumentative" points. You are generally intellectually, grammatically and analytically superior to that sort of comment.

patrick1971 said...


Any chance of enforcing no "Anonymous" posts in the near future? Or would it be too much time overhead in moderating it?

"the social fabric of China will be under very severe strain as the effects of their one child policy work through with middle aged women, who will be out-numbered anyway by middle aged men, try to live up to their long-standing cultural expectations of looking after two sets of aged parents. A low-key, unsung disaster in the making."

Far better that their social fabric is put under a bit of stress and thus causes a cultural change, than that their environment is put under the enormous stress of unbridled population growth. The Chinese really have the right idea in this respect IMHO; severe disincentives to have more than one child. Something the rest of the world (ALL of the rest of the world, not just the non-white bits!) could learn from.

Tamsin said...

But it was too much and too fast. With those who choose not to or cannot procreate, and natural wastage, a population would stabilise and begin slowly to decline with a limit of two children per family without all the grief of individual tragedies and wasted lives (girls exposed at birth and boys who will never marry) that arise from the stricter ruling. Not to have siblings to support you with your ageing parents and not to have cousins is really sad. My uncle was killed in the war and he and my mother were very close so what that deprived me of was not only a steady stream of Christmas and birthday presents as I grew up but also the companionship of cousins forever.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon it was less a guess about your reading materials than a comment about the nihilistic editorials of the mail. Apologies for any offense caused.

But do pls choose a name for yourself, it's not like I or anyone else can track you down if you make up a silly name.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Whilst agreeing with Patrick, I have given up trying to convince people the world is vastly overpopulated.

It will in any event be self contolling, I am just glad I won't be around in two or three generations to see the resource wars over food, water and raw materials.

I suspect they will make the two great wars of the last century seem like a tea party.

Only my opinion of course...

brockley rocks said...

Nick, pax

Michael T, I'm afraid I agree with you. I think our post war generation has "never had it so good" and won't again.

All, did I imagine it or was Obama really mean wiuth his presents to Gordy? The Browns seem to ave all sorts of nice thoughtful stuff for the BOs and their children and got back an Airforce 1 helicopter and some DVDs. Honestly it's like Fred Goodwin coming to your house and bringing really bad wine.

now freddy - there's a topic.
maybe not ;-)

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the residents of Lewisham fork out an extra 2% in Council Tax and no one seems to know why?

Anonymous said...

mmm, it's all gone quiet from our councillors hasn't it?

Hugh said...

I haven't read the entire but the only answer we got from Sue seems to have been that council house tenants save up for those huge flat-screen TVs and satellite deals.

But no word on where the extra 2% Council Tax goes.

Yes I hate subsidising the lazy.

Anonymous said...

there is some explanation on the green ladywell site.
one interesting point listed there is that 17,000 households in lewisham receive 100% counctil tax rebate. astounding!

Anonymous said...

further to above ^ ute actually suggests those 17,000 households effectively not paying council tax were a reason NOT to freeze the tax this year - as such a freeze wouldn't have helped them anyway.
how's that for logic?

Headhunter said...

Poor old embattled Councillors. They can't be held responsible for everything at Lewisham BC, at least they put in an appearance here and talk things through with us. Other than our Councillors, Lewisham BC tends to appear to me as a large, faceless, inefficient, slow-moving dinosaur.

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