Tag Archives: Robin Wales

Turn again, Robin Wales

15 Apr

Despite being on the verge of re-selection – unopposed, of course – as Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Newham in next year’s local elections, Sir Robin Wales wants to be mayor of London.

What’s interesting for Newham people – apart from the happy prospect of waving goodbye to the Dear Leader – is that the London elections are in 2016, exactly halfway through Sir Robin’s next term.

When Labour selected Ken Livingstone as candidate for the 2012 election it did so in the autumn of 2010, a full 21 months ahead of time. And this was following a 3-month campaign in which he defeated former Bethnal Green MP Oona King.

Assuming the London Labour party follows the same timetable, Sir Robin would start his campaign for the nomination barely a month after being re-elected in Newham. If he won that he’d face a long slog round London raising his profile among the voters of the other 31 boroughs.

How much time will he have left to do the job he’s being paid £81,000 a year by Newham council tax payers for?

If I were a Labour party member who’d just cast his vote in the ‘trigger’ ballots I’d be a bit pissed off to discover, just a few weeks later, that our candidate is no longer that interested in the job – that he hopes to serve just half his term before resigning in favour of something bigger and better. And that he’s unlikely to devote much of his time to Newham.

I might also wonder if we have to have an open process to select a candidate for the mayoral by-election in 2016, why not save ourselves the trouble and select someone now who will serve a full four years?


Wales will go on… and on

8 Apr

Wales will go on… and on

This month Newham Labour party is holding ‘trigger ballots’ to decide if they want to run a full, open selection process to pick their candidate in next year’s mayoral election. The alternative is simply to let Sir Robin run again.

The results thus far have been depressingly predictable. Sir Robin will not be challenged.

He will be Labour’s candidate next May and he will be mayor for another 4 years.

Sir Robin loves CCTV

18 Mar

Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, appeared on the BBC’s Sunday Politics on 17 March 2013 to explain why this borough – already the most spied on in the country – is investing in even more CCTV cameras.

There are already more CCTV cameras in Newham than in the cities of Birmingham and Liverpool combined. But the mayor is buying more and the risible ‘law enforcement officers’ (not to be confused with real police, as the BBC reporter helpfully points out) are being kitted out as mobile video units, secretly filming residents as they go about their business.

Sir Robin claims that “residents love CCTV” and admits – without even a hint of embarrassment – to cutting more than necessary on other services so he can invest in these extra cameras.

UPDATE: Mike Law has written a far more extensive analysis of the Mayor’s comments and CCTV-fanaticism. Well worth a read.