This Mirror story made me smile…
A LABOUR MP has called on David Cameron and his millionaire ministers to do their Christmas shopping in Tottenham – to help boost trade after the riots.
David Lammy, MP for the North London borough since 2000, made his appeal in a speech to the Tottenham Traders Partnership.
Of the 29 ministers entitled to attend Cabinet meetings, 23 are believed to be worth more than £1million. Mr Lammy said: “This is a serious moment for Tottenham and it requires serious effort to get us out of here.”
Despite the hypocrisy of the local football club, which is still coveting the Olympic Stadium, there’s some impressive work going on in N17 to bring people’s confidence back to Tottenham. The I Love Tottenham campaign is an inspired way to help bring custom back to the area – getting local people involved, giving out bags and badges as well as putting up banners and flower baskets to deliver the message that this is a vibrant area that could have a bright future if everyone pulls together.
Yes, it helps to have the one of the country’s biggest football clubs on your doorstep, who can supply a much-loved name in Gary Mabbutt to lend a hand. But there’s clearly the will there to pull together and get the wider public involved, even if only by carrying an “I love Tottenham” bag.
I know a couple of people thought my comments on the Woolwich Back To Business week were a bit over the top – but nobody ever revived a district by barking orders at people, or trying to get them to believe in things that haven’t happened.
Tottenham’s been a battered-looking place for as long as I can remember, but Haringey Council’s campaign isn’t pretending things are brilliant – instead, it’s celebrating the people and putting its trust in them to sort things out.
This isn’t about the council getting the place “back to business”, it’s recognising that change can only come from the people. Because if they don’t buy into what you’re doing, you might as well give up.
Tottenham MP David Lammy, who joined Mr Mabbutt on a walk down the High Road to meet traders, said: “I love Tottenham’s vibrancy, its diversity and its sense of fun. We will rise again and I am proud to call Tottenham home.” (more)
In David Lammy, they are lucky enough to have a young (ish), articulate (very) champion for the area. You may not agree with his politics, and he does face some opposition locally, but there’s no doubting that he’s a brilliant advocate for an area he’s obviously passionate about.
If only local politicians in this area had his clout or passion. There’s so much in Woolwich to celebrate – and I suspect many of its residents know little about its history. Greenwich Council needs to let go and trust people, instead of trying to claim credit for everything. Woolwich desperately needs a David Lammy to beat the drum for it – someone who remembers that leading a community isn’t the same as telling it what to believe.