Visit the Scout Park in Alexandra Ward with my colleague councillor Wayne Hoban and Ken (scout master) and John (architect adviser). What a fantastic site – like being in the wilds but in the middle of the constituency. Seriously in need of renovation to the buildings (scout hall, sleeping accommodation and various other buildings). Some have been condemned by Health and Safety – but no successful funding bids despite trying for several years – each year. And yet – here in our own territory is the answer to meeting the needs of not only the scouts – but outdoor activities for all the youngsters in the borough. Why, why, why has the Council not stepped into help fund and attract funding for this?
Of course, the probable cry is why not sell off a bit of the eight acres of prime development land. Well the answer is – NO! This is land paid for by the scout movement so that through generations to come this would be preserved so that youngsters would be able to learn about working together, fighting the elements, and community – and with councils everywhere selling off every bit of land and sports fields they can – more vital than ever to preserve this.
I am amazed that it has remained almost a secret – given its location. I will take this on. Who knows – just putting it in my blog will undoubtedly wake up various opponents to my intentions and hopefully they will be goaded into helping fund the necessary work! If they don’t – then if we take over Haringey Council in the May elections – I will be nagging my own side. I will also approach a couple of the funding agencies to see why the previous bids have failed. What an opportunity for the whole of Haringey – right under our noses and virtually untapped.
On the way into Parliament I slip in some shopping. I know – what am I doing Christmas shopping during the week? How dare I abscond for a couple of hours? Well – it’s in my diary. As I have no days, evenings or weekends free – I have to diarise Christmas shopping – as there is no normal time to do it. Looking at Christmas decorations, my pager goes off to inform me that Cameron has won the Tory leadership by two to one – no surprises there then!
Then I go on to my Parliamentary Office where a letter has arrived from Channel 4 saying I am one of 4 nominees for the Channel 4 Political Awards. I have been nominated as a ‘rising star’ along with two Labour and one Tory new kid! Nice to know you can be a rising star at my age! I am pleased – as this is one of the more serious political awards of the year.
Watch the news when I get home. Cameron anointed king of the Tories. Their faith in the newly anointed smacks of desperation – and they are right to be desperate because if they cannot change their fortunes – they are doomed. So in the Notting Hill Prince – are placed all their hopes and dreams. I guess his ‘overnight’ rise to fame and fortune is a measure of the Tory desire, not only to get their hands on power again – but to wash away their ‘nasty’ past. I am not sure this will do it but it will be interesting to watch. You can never tell whether when greatness is thrust upon someone whether they will rise to the occasion – and quite frankly the glare of leadership is harsh and unforgiving. Cameron will have his honeymoon – but then – his metal will be sorely tested and I think there is a 60% chance he will be found wanting! I think the problem is the Tory creed itself – and that’s much harder to change than the leader.