At the end of last year Camden tenants said no to a sell off of their council houses. This was in spite of the council spending £500,000 of taxpayers money to get a yes vote. The council are now lashing out at their opponents.
Camden tried to privatise its council housing. £500,000 was spent by the council in a propaganda offensive. The opposition had nothing. They held meetings, leafleted, put up posters. The opposition won.
A few months later, Dame Jane Roberts, neo-Labour leader of Camden Council, addressed a meeting at Camden Town Hall. Such was her concern for what people had to say, she left as soon as she had cast her pearls to the swine. Labour councillors were noticeable by their absence.
Various suggestions were put forward, including that of tenants running their houses all by themselves. The one alternative that was not acceptable, was privatisation.
No matter how badly council run housing is, and it is bad, the alternative is far worse. Pavilion Housing Association was given as an example. The Audit Commission has now concurred, and has published a damning indictment on Pavilion.
Camden though are very poor losers. Especially when it is neo-Labour policy that is defeated
The council are pursuing (harassing may be a better word) one of the leaders of the No campaign through the courts for “placing posters on a bus shelter by means of sticky brown tape”. The poster, advertising an anti-ALMO meeting last November, might cost local resident and member of the local branch of Defend Council Housing Alan Walter £1,460 in fines and court costs if the council wins the case.
This case has be seen as yet another attack on community activists for daring to stick their heads above the barricades and criticise our corrupt politicians who have their heads stuck so far up the arse of Big Business that they are blind to the light of day let alone see what is going on in the communities they are allegedly elected to serve.
Recently we have seen, for example, ASBOs (anti-social behaviour orders) used to silence political dissent.
Inspection report: Pavilion Housing Association, Audit Commission, July 2004
Battle of the ALMO, SchNEWS, 23 July 2004
Keith Parkins, Social landlords are deviating from their intended purpose, Indymedia UK, 20 January 2004
Keith Parkins, Social housing landlords the new corporations, Corporate Watch newsletter No 17, January-February 2004
Keith Parkins, Camden council house transfer - Camden Town Hall meeting, Indymedia UK, 11 February 2004
Keith Parkins, Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, Indymedia UK, 28 June 2004
Keith Parkins, Misuse of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, Indymedia UK, 5 July 2004
Keith Parkins, Audit Commission savage Pavilion Housing Association, Indymedia UK, 27 July 2004
Sore Losers, Rotten Boroughs, Private Eye, 23 July – 5 August 2004