Labour dodges public on Alexandra Palace

Speech to Haringey Community Empowerment Network (HARCEN) this lunchtime. HARCEN is a Government-funded and last time I was here was to hand out money awarded to various voluntary and other community groups to help them develop in a variety of ways. This time I am there to speak about ‘building a local enterprise economy’. Given the needs in Haringey, there is no better empowerment than employment – and self-employment is a pretty good pathway.

Straight into Parliament for Home Office questions – where Nick Clegg, the new Lib Dem Shadow Home Secretary, tackles the Government proposals to go back to the voucher system for asylum seekers all over again. It caused a big stink last time they tried devaluing human beings this way – and we are there to make sure that they are exposed again. They were livid – and of course they said we were wrong – these vouchers weren’t like those vouchers. Yeah right!

Spent rest of day preparing for committee stage of a bill tomorrow.

Local major issue is the looming sell off of Ally Pally. And as ever – democracy in Haringey is done Labour style!

Imagine the scene. A group of residents want to lobby Haringey Council about the plans to hand over Alexandra Palace to the Firoka group.

What does Labour do? They say, no – you can’t lobby the full council meeting, you must go to the Palace Board meeting. And when is the next Board meeting they can go to … not until after the decision will have been made about whether to give Firoka the site!

You can have your say, but only when it’s too late with Haringey Labour!