On our last post, we reported from hustings at St Johns, Notting Hill and the not very warm response that Victoria Borwick received. Now the next (final) round of hustings was yesterday at St Cuthbert’s in Earls Court. We might not live there, but it also is part of our borough and the unfortunate story of redevelopment of the famous exhibition centre is well known, so is the anger of a lot of the local residents there towards RBKC. Further information here:
And on : saveearlscourt.com
We expected more fireworks, but so did Lady Borwick and so she did not even bother to turn up to answer relevant questions from her constituents. Her excuse? A “school meeting” apparently. This must have been one major event of a school meeting for her to go to during an election! We noticed other absences; RBKC Tory councillors and couldn’t help wondering if they all conveniently had a school meeting to go to as well? It didn’t have anything to do with the fact that she was heckled, booed, jeered and laughed at last time? Surely not. Anyway, one RBKC Tory decided to stand in for her – Cllr Malcolm Spalding (we bet he later regretted that!)
The crowd was not a large one, but lots were concerned about Earls Court and only 14% affordable housing. All the other candidates – Lib Dem, Green, Green Socialist, two Independent candidates and our very own favourite Labour candidate Emma Dent Coad, all expressed similar views, with regards to providing adequate and genuinely affordable housing and the developers being in financial trouble But all Cllr Spalding, who in fact represents Earls Court, could do was pass the blame on to Hammersmith & Fulham – RBKC Earls Court residents were not about to let him forget about his council and responsibilities and he was roundly booed and jeered.
Another point that came up was lobbying and the scandal that caused the resignation of Lady Borwick’s predecessor Sir Malcolm Rifkind. All the other candidates gave their guarantees that constituents come first. Then, the hapless Cllr Spalding scored a spectacular own goal by mentioning Victoria Borwick’s (unpaid) role as president of the Antique Dealers’ Association – cue shouting from the audience of “ivory”!!
Later a desperate and floundering Spalding topped it all off by just trying to lay into the other parties. The most ridiculous smear he made was on Labour and the Iraq War – well Emma Dent Coad has never been in Parliament to vote on it and Jeremy Corbyn, as everyone well knows, has always opposed it – whoops! Also let it be for THINK to point out that Lady Borwick voted against an inquiry into the Iraq War – staggering!
We at THINK at least got some comedy value out of Cllr Spalding and his desperate attempts to make points culminating in him slipping on one banana skin too many.! THINK cannot decide whether the Tories just chickened out, sensing angry Earls Court residents and a hostile audience or whether they are just so smug and complacent from having been in power too long, that they completely disregard ordinary voters and the issues they wish to raise; it doesn’t paint a decent picture of them either which way you look at it!