Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Lord Glasman and the Secret City

Lord Glasman has had an interest in the City of London Corporation for some years. I first met him back in 2001, along with Ayesha Azad and William Taylor. This was at the time of my first entry in City politics.
The only prior elected position I had held, was as Cultural Affairs Officer of the University of Canterbury Students' Association. I also was appointed Orientation Controller for the University for Orientation '87, one of the only Orientation Festivals held at Canterbury on record that was within budget. But I digress....

Lord Glasman encouraged residents to stand in our ward. For this he must be thanked.  He was against outsiders muscling their way in, and thought that local residents should be standing for election - yet in Portsoken no local residents had stood for election for a number of years. Iris Samuel ruled the ward.

William Taylor and Maurice Glasman have remained closely associated, and frequently co-operate on projects. Their names often crop up together in articles and discussions about the City of London Corporation.

As an example of this, the anti City of London film by Michael Chanan and Lee Salter comes to mind. This short film features both Taylor and Glasman, as can be seen from the transcript, which can be read here.

As you can see, Taylor has, as Facebook would put it, a complicated relationship with the City Corporation. Now, the way I see it is this: Portsoken is already a thorn in the Corporation's side. We are a 'difficult ward' purely as a result of our demographics. We do not want to see that thorn mutate into a stake, thrust into the heart of the body politic of the Corporation of London.

Yes, the City needs reform. I agree with that  as a general proposition. However, the paramount needs of the residents of this ward cannot be sacrificed to that greater good. Should hypothetically Taylor be elected as our Common Councilman, he would have a massive hurdle of opposition from the sitting Councilmen  to clamber over, before he could even contemplate effective lobbying on our behalf at Guildhall. That is apart from his putting himself forward as a Party Political candidate in this election, which brings its own difficulties along with it, given the non party political nature of the City of London.

William Taylor was previously a Member of Common Council for our ward, from 2001 to 2003, and again from 2005 to 2008. As such, he swore the oaths required of a Common Councilman. In my view, that oath remains morally binding even after the end of the Councilman's period of office.  My question is, is gaining access to the City's private accounts, and then publishing them online, an action taken in accord with the spirit of the oath of a Common Councilman? I don't know the answer to that question, but upon it hinges more than a fine point of moral philosophy.

Here is the Occupy London page that talks about this action of Father Taylor's:  Father William Taylor claims to have no interest in Occupy. Occupy on the other hand, appears to have considerable interest in him.

Now whether you agree with Father Taylor or not in this action of publishing private City documents online, we here in PortsokenWard need to ask a narrower question:  Is any of this going to do us any good up at Guildhall?

Printed and promoted by Evan Philip Millner of 19b Petticoat Tower, Petticoat Square, City of London E1 7EF

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