Gazette letters: Bunhill by-election, Conor McHugh and the blame game

Claudia Webbe will be Bunhill councillor for another year as by-election is postponed.

Claudia Webbe will be Bunhill councillor for another year as by-election is postponed. - Credit: Archant

That the people of Bunhill are to be denied their by-election for a year speaks volumes. (Coronavirus: Bunhill by-election to replace Cllr Claudia Webbe MP delayed until May 2020), writes Sebastian Sandys, full contact details supplied.

It speaks of Cllr Webbe’s over inflated sense of her ability. I have no doubt at all that she believes she can be an MP and a councillor and do both jobs well. Well, she can’t. Nobody could.

More importantly it speaks of the contempt in which the Labour Party in Islington have come to hold elections and the democratic process. Because they invariably win elections here they have come to regard them as an unncessary and expensive distraction from the real business of running our borough. That is a dangerous position for them to adopt and one that we the residents, whoever we vote for, need to challenge.

Following the publication of last week’s letter regarding the seven mature Dixon Clark Court trees, it is with the deepest sadness and regret that the signatories announce the sudden death of Conor McHugh, who loved the trees and started the campaign, writes Meg Howarth, Ellington Street, Islington.

As a former Islington conservation officer and signatory says: “One mature tree is worth 10 saplings.”

Thank you, Conor.

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When the hunt for scapegoats gets under way The People will be one target, write Mary Pimm and Nik Wood, Gore Road, Hackney.

The People who hoarded, who didn’t obey the muddled rules, who didn’t follow the changing scientific advice and who voted for the politicians who broke up the National Health Service into business units, burdened it with private debt and inflicted austerity levels of funding.

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For instance, we’ve seen in Victoria Park, since it was re-opened, a sensible rules system, backed by a big presence of well informed park staff, that is respected by the great majority of The People. Those few who are selfish, eg joggers hitting their personal targets while locked inside their headphones, are under control. The People are not to blame. Those who set the contradictory rules and imposed thoughtless restrictions are to blame.

Another target will be the taxpayer funded and democratically accountable model of the NHS. This is mainly because democratic accountability has been exercised by a political class that has let us all down at both national and local levels. The reason we are urged to “protect The NHS” is because for the best part of half a century our politicians haven’t.

For instance, here in South Hackney our borough council’s voluntary service is pursuing a project to involve local community organisations in the provision of caring services. The assumption behind it is that taxpayer funding and democratic accountability will never meet the needs of our communities and that the only option is for provision by unaccountable charities, commercial sponsors and private firms. It was to replace this patchwork of erratic provision that our whole welfare state was created.

So among all the things we will have to do afterwards – like restoring the economy and our civil liberties – we must reject the idea that our neighbours are to blame and the idea that privatisation mixed with charity is the solution.

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