Wolves In Sheep's Clothing

If anyone was in any doubt about the duplicitous nature of the Liberal Democrat Party they would do well to take a closer look at what it does with power, entrusted to them by a misguided and beguiled public, at local council level. In fact, events earlier this year which struck at the heart of the Liberal Democrat leadership, unmasked the backstabbing, disloyal trait of a political machine desperate to achieve tangible influence at Westminster and in the country, at any cost. Charles Kennedy, intoxicated with alcohol not overriding ambition, was forced to resign his post on 7 January 2006 as leader of the Liberal Democrat pack, after 25 of his MPs, including close cabinet colleagues, conspired against him. Present Party chief, Sir Menzies Campbell, was widely identified as the key architect of Kennedy's downfall. Campbell, who had previously worn the cloak of  'dignified elder statesman', was in actuality  'Ming The Impaler'. One can surmise that in his darkest hour Charles Kennedy would have thought deeply about issues of trust, honesty and betrayal.

Southwark council, which is run by the Liberal Democrats in an unholy union with the Conservatives, knows all about broken promises and intrigue. In Peckham, south east London, the council's preference for cosying-up to big business at the expense of hardworking, local traders was exposed by The-Latest in Businessman's Town Hall Nightmare and Southwark Council Sends In The Heavies (Community News). Murat Karabetca is still engaged in a brave battle to save his 13-year-old business, Jade Dry Cleaners, from closure. Murat accrued debts of  £115,000 after Southwark Council reneged on a deal for him to buy the freehold of his shop in favour of a controversial regeneration project, which includes the building of a new Tesco Metro store.

It was announced recently that the new Harris Boys Academy planned for East Dulwich, which was due to open in temporary buildings next September is unlikely to open until September 2009 when the permanent buildings are completed. The academy is being sponsored by millionaire entrepreneur Lord Harris of Peckham, Chairman of Carpetright. Southwark Council and its leader Nick Stanton have been lambasted by residents for breaking its pledge to find a suitable site. Indeed, Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and MP for Dulwich & West Norwood said:  "The handling of this shows the leadership of Southwark Council in a grubby light. The leader gave clear assurances at a meeting I organised with Lord Adonis (Schools Minister) earlier this year that he could  'deliver' a temporary site and, having failed, he now tries to blame everyone else".

People living in what was once a peaceful part of neighbouring Nunhead, have waged their own campaign to get Southwark council to adhere to its code of practice for dealing with nuisance noise. The-Latest has learnt that the council's Noise Team, responsible for stopping noise nuisance with a 24 hour service, have been besieged with calls from residents fed-up with the horrendously high volume of music being played at varying hours of the day and night from a notorious garage business premises near the railway track. Complaints have also been registered on Southwark's website www.southwark.gov.uk . Despite assurances made by local councillors that they would address this example of anti-social behaviour, residents are still experiencing sleepless nights.