"Test of Opinion": Deadline Extended: But Still No Real Choice

Hackney Housing Boss Jamie Carswell, (or as New Labour put it: Cabinet Member for Housing), wrote to all Hackney Tenants on the 24th of November to remind them about the Council’s “test of opinion” on whether we would like our homes privatised or left to rot.

He revealed that the deadline for responses had been pushed back to the 3rd of December (and we now hear it’s moved back even further to the 10th of December). Apparently some residents received their papers late, which shows the “test” is well up to the Council’s usual levels of efficiency.

But might there be other reasons?

Is it possible that the Council simply haven’t had enough responses to be able to justify the expense of writing to us all – twice over?

Or have they just not received the “right” kind of responses to what was already a completely loaded set of questions?

Certainly, the letter is at pains to mention “certain leaflets” which have been produced by Hackney Residents and indeed by Hackney Independent which show up the “consultation” for the charade it is.

But Big Jamie seems so single-minded in his pursuit of selling off our homes, that he’s even prepared to go against resolutions made at his own Party Conference. New Labour voted 8 to 1 recently for a “level playing field” for Council Housing – and Unions, Residents groups and other campaigners are all clear that the answer is direct investment in our homes and estates.

Jamie, on the other hand, insists that we don’t have the “luxury of time to debate options which aren’t on the table” – we must hurry towards a bright future of privatised housing… or else…

Event: Lobby of Hackney Council

Hackney Defend Council Housing, Hackney Unison and many Tenants Associations have called for a lobby of Hackney council to protest against their intention of privatising our homes.

The lobby takes place on Monday 13th of December at 6:00pm, Town Hall, Mare Street.

Vote NO to privatisation: Demand investment in council housing with no strings attached.

Hackney Council's "Test of Opinion" – other responses

In addition to our leaflet on Hackney Council’s “consultation” on privatising our homes (pdf), we have had reports of other residents, campaigning groups and Tenants Associations producing their own material to inform people of the truth behind this sham exercise. We reproduce some below. Please get in touch if you have seen other examples and we’ll put them up here.

Hackney Defend Council Housing leaflet (click to enlarge)



Rhodes Estate TRA leaflet (click to enlarge)

From Hackney IWCA To Hackney Independent

We were previously a branch of the Independent Working Class Association (IWCA).

At the IWCA AGM in October 2004 it became clear that there were a number of differences between us and the rest of the organisation in terms of strategy and the way forward. We have subsequently decided to leave the IWCA.

Both the IWCA and those of us in Hackney remain committed to working class community politics.

We will now be working under the “Hackney Independent” banner. This website will be updated accordingly in the next few weeks.

Hackney Independent will continue with its work on the ground and we have a number of initiatives going on right now. If anyone reading this lives in Hackney and likes what we do, then they are very welcome to get in touch and talk about getting involved. We are also interested in working with people from other areas who are involved in working class community politics – or would like to be.

We remain committed to the ideas of working class independence and working class rule in working class areas.