The fairly regular sequence of appearances by Hounslow in Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs continues this edition with speculation that the Labour group are seeking to parachute in Mazhar Hayat Raja into a safe seat currently held by the consistently absent Balraj Sarai.Although there are undoubtedly some dubious political machinations in the borough, they seem very small beer compared to the going ons in other local authorities. The source quoted here is the Brentford TV Facebook page which is a brilliant source of gossip on Hounslow but it doesn't seem to me credible that Labour would appoint somebody who has served time as a tax cheat. This smells like a rumour spread by one of the rival factions in the party. It would be quite fun if they did though.
Jeremy Parkinson ● 95d5 Comments
I think we shall have to agree to disagree on your perception of things, way back then being an elected councillor was seen as a privilege, and you were an advocate for local people. The local press certainly kept members on their toes and people were not afraid to stick their heads over the parapet if a situation warranted it. The fact is that more people need to understand how local government works and ask awkward questions of those elected, that is our right.
Vanessa Smith ● 90d
Indeed, there were some really good very dedicated people who had a great sense of duty and were gradually undermined.And true that despite the stuff in the local papers it paled with what was going on in Brent and other London Boroughs and metropolitan authorities up and down the countryPoint is when all this started to creep in it was not nipped in the bud and dealt with. Just layer after layer of extra red tape and nothing achieved apart from making things harder to unravel and easier to hide behind.
Raymond Havelock ● 90d
Actually I beg to differ about your recollections of the 1980s. Hounslow had a reputation as one of the best boroughs in London and certainly was a leader in many fields, as I recall many of the longer serving councillors were (mainly) men of conviction and vast knowledge of local government, and the rules governing it. Giants compared with the pygmies we have today who understood what civic duty was.
Vanessa Smith ● 91d
Go back to the 1980s and the local Papers of which there were quite a few then were full of Bent Hounslow Councillors and Housing benefit and planning fiddles. Planning abnormalities and on all sides to the political spectrum and then a host of councillors of the old school who were completely sidelined and befuddled by what was going on.Problem is it was not nipped in the bud and we now have what we have.
Raymond Havelock ● 93d