At the end of January I posted that issue no.1254 of Private Eye, had featured our corrupted local authority on the Rotten Boroughs page.

They are again gracing the pages of the esteemed organ:

'When four Cabinet members of Labour-controlled Waltham Forest council learnt they would break the law by not following EU procurement rules when they awarded a three-year extension of a recycling contract, worth 2.5m, to private company ECT, they did what any upstanding public servants would do in their shoes - they went ahead, then hushed it up.

The four - Cllrs Liaquat Ali, Keith Rayner, Chris Robbins and Clyde Loakes - decided it would "not be in the public interest" to disclose the truth. Just fancy that! Loakes, former leader of the council, is Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Northampton South at the general election. Robbins is the council's leader.

An inquiry by the council's anti-fraud team observed that "a request for a bank loan of 20,000 would require more justification than this". Investigators also noted that "it is difficult to understand how LBWF expects [others] to uphold the law when its own Cabinet deliberately breaks it". Indeed'

Private Eye, 19 March 2010, p.14action

This piece, has also been quoted by NT (who is an unsung hero in our midst most greatly deserving of a knighthood) in the comments section of today's Waltham Forest Guardian. This is about an article concerning the failing political career of Clyde Loakes. Loakes, one of the four named councillors who blatantly broke the law to give a contract to their pals at recycling company ECT and then tried to hide the fact, has admitted that he has no realistic prospect of winning the parliamentary seat of Northampton South for Labour. This is where he was reported to have benefitted from some appalling bullying of local activists and ordinary Labour Party members, (some of whom have now left the party), in order to become a candidate, if not a contender.

The seat is currently held by the Conservatives with a 4,419 majority. The ECT contract scandal which Private Eye is now highlighting is only one of many many embarrassing blemishes on this man's disasterous political career which contribute to the odds of his being elected in what used to be considered a target marginal for Labour at a poor 8/1.

The fact that he is still considered suitable as a candidate for any responsible public office in which he makes decisions involving public money is to me indicative of the generally rotten state of public life and the local Labour Party in particular in Waltham Forest.