Wednesday, November 08, 2006

X Factor reject (and Croydonian) wants to be Tory mayoral candidate

X Factor reject, former boxer, celebrity hat wearer and serial party joiner, Winston McKenzie, is after the Conservative nomination to face Ken in the 2008 London elections, today's Metro reports.

So here's Winston's story:

McKenzie's Thornton Heath pub, McKenzie Bros Bar & Grill, is almost shut down in September 2001, after "being caught several times by police serving alcohol after hours" leading police to oppose the retention of their license.

The bar is shut down in 2002 following police pressure after drugs and gun raids. So bad was the reputation of the pub, the building has now been disappeared without a trace.

In late 2002, Winston joins the Liberal Democrats, promising to actively campaign on issues including police stop-and search tactics and unemployment among ethnic minority groups, in his bid to be their candidate at the next election.

In February 2003, Winston said, "I'm still very involved with the Liberal Democrats and have every intention of standing for MP in the next election."

In September 2003, Winston stands against the Liberal Democrats in the Brent East by-election as an independent. He loses.

In July 2004, Winston hits headlines and loses financial support for the Croydon Youth Games over anti-immigration remarks on his website.

In February 2005, Winston joins Veritas, the vanity political party of Robert Kilyroy-Silk, calling for "a blanket ban on immigration and asylum for one year". He becomes the party's sports spokesman.

Winston becomes the Veritas candidate for Croydon North at the 2005 general election. He loses.

Two weeks after losing as the Veritas candidate at the 2005 general election, and three months after joinging the party, Winston resigns from Veritas, blaming old friend Kilroy-Silk for losing the election (in seventh place).

In July 2005, Winston rejoins Veritas after the resignation of Kilroy-Silk, just in time to stand in their leadership election. He loses.

Winston stands as an independent in the Fieldway by-election on Croydon Council in June 2005. He loses.

Winston is unable to go before Simon Cowell et al in the X Factor '05, when he is rejected despite havin released a charity single.

In October 2006, Winston brands Croydon's Conservative Council 'racist' in the fall-out from the poorly attended Croydon Youth Games he organised.

In November 2006, Winston unveils his campaign to be Conservative mayoral candidate, with his team of former heavyweight boxing champ Derek 'Sweet D' Williams and the ex-wife of a Conservative peer, saying "From the day David Cameron became leader of the Conservatives I felt he had so much to offer society."

So let's get this straight: he was an equalities advisor to the LibDems but leaves them to campaign for a blanket ban on immigration; he loses election after election; his business is opposed by the police; he is advised politically by a boxer and a former mayoress; and he brands the Tory Council racist, then a few weeks later wants to represent the Conservatives.

I don't see a problem, do you?

Fair enough

Croydon was London's first Fairtrade Borough, and I was pleased to be able to play a small part in achieving that a few years ago.

A major part of Croydon's commitment to Fairtrade has been the development of Fair Enough, a fairtrade shop just by Croydon Parish Church on Church Street. It has been set up by a small group of volunteers with the support of various churches and the Co-operative Group. On Monday I attended a meeting of the steering group to talk about how they could become a formal co-operative and better involve members of the public, their volunteers, faith groups and other activists. They are a really nice bunch of people, committed to their work and taking on board many issues in a professional way. It was striking to see how many (necessary) barriers are in their way - health and safety, marketing, start-up funding, premises management, leases, employment, etc, etc - and the cheerful and positive way they dealt with them.

So if you need cashews, chocolate, coffee, cotton clothing or Christmas decorations, pop down to Fair Enough and browse the shelves, content in the knowledge that you are doing a very good thing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Croydon Friends of the Earth

A Croydon Friends of the Earth group is being formed and is holding its first informal gathering on Wednesday 8 November at 1930. We'll be meeting in the bar of Unison Social Club, Chatsworth Hall Chatsworth Rd, Croydon CR0 1HE.

Just across the bar area will be Croydon Cycling Campaign, holding their regular meeting from 1945, so hopefully there'll be time for a comparing of notes after the meetings.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

B4L Metadata

Co-operative Group

Admin post - ignore!
Martin Tiedemann
* Gender: male
* Industry: Government
* Location: CR0 8HE : Croydon : Greater London : United Kingdom

About Me

Having been a Labour Co-operative councillor in Croydon for eight years, I 'retired' at the age of 30 and started a 'proper job', well one in politics, anyway. Still in Croydon though.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Tory scrooges attack Croydon's elderly and disabled

When the Conservatives took the Council in Croydon last May, many of us thought that the changes would be cosmetic. A well-performing council, commended by all the relevant authorities for financial and service management, with a strong team of officers. What would they really change? It was inevitable that they would make certain changes here and there to reprioritise and satsify their key constituencies. But what has actually happened is breathtaking.

First there were the terrible, short-sighted cuts to Croydon's culture. The Warehouse Theatre slapped in the face after 30 years service in the town. The new swimming pool for South Norwood, eagerly anticipated by local residents, downgraded to a simple refurb even though it may cost the Council more to cancel the contract.

Then they cut an amazing £16 million on services to children, the disabled and the elderly, the most vulnerable in the community, and least able to complain, to march, to picket, to petition.

And now it is reported that the remaining voluntary sector faces a 10% cut. Groups working with the most needy will face a run-up to Christmas uncertain of their future. The capacity of those groups doing so much to assist the Council and the state reduced, so that it will cost more in the long run. The users of those services left wondering where they can get the support they depend on. Fear and uncertainty the most heartless gifts this winter.

Croydon needs a better Council. Croydon needs a Labour Council.