Labour easily won two bye-elections in the East of the Borough tonight (Tuesday 10th December) on a greatly reduced turnout. In both Wards Labour increased their majority, while getting a reduced vote. The only conclusion can be that voters are not impressed by Labour or any of the 4 parties who opposed them.
The new Labour councillor for Leabridge Ward, Ian Rathbone, has only just left the employment of Hackney Council, as head of their press and publicity unit. We have never had any illusions about the neutrality of this unit, but it is nice to be proved right. The unit is there to put Labour’s case forward, never mind the facts. Leading Labour councillor even recently described Hackney Today as resembling Pravda (in N16 Magazine).
Hackney IWCA (Hackney Independent as of summer 2004) members were amused recently to see a Council spokeswoman give her comments in a Hackney Gazette story where Hackney Independent members and tenants had complained about the Kingsland estate being covered in rubbish. Next to a photo of bin liners piled high across the estate, the Council spkeswoman was quoted as saying the bins were “full but not overflowing.” We never believed a word they were saying. We always said it was just Labour Party propoganda. Now with Councillor Rathbone’s elevation we have the proof.