I have lived in Thamesmead since long before the disaster of 1986, the year when Blair’s Mum Thatcher bitchily scrapped the GLC. Our great town of Thamesmead, then still green and pleasant, was then ditched into the rubbish tip of parliamentary thinking, ending up having a “trust” imposed on it.
The carpetbaggers and the brown-nosers came running from far and wide, fat noses ready for the trough. After all, this was a whole new town, stretched vastly along the South side of what was to become, many years later, the “Thames Gateway”.
Well it was a surprise. Few outsiders expected the combined strengths of the council chambers of both Bexley and Greenwich to fall in line with its Thatcherism (can anyone now recall just how “red” Greenwich Council was, then?). The great and the good, leaders of the political and religious groupings, all assembled to join in the “big exploitation”. For their eventual gain.
But first the community had to have its strong and able neck wrung. As it disagreed with the Trust idea, the TCA and its paper Insight had to go. Even then, there were some who thought their local elected representatives would defend them, and care for their community institutions as did the GLC.
But look now. Of the many quangos that resulted here post-1986, which do not have a councillor representation from either of the two boroughs on their boards? Even the grandmummy of them all, Thamesmead Town Ltd*, which was supposed to be wound up but was kept, we were told, to “satisfy winding up of tax/pension matters”. Its use these days, inter alia, seems to be to maintain its delegatory powers to Trust Thamesmead …
Now they serve, these elected councillors, on quangos dealing with all manner of “weighty” matters – with a large number of these bodies sporting a title including the word “trust”.
So, do we have to do something extraordinarily effective – that is, beyond anything the New Labour Luvvies could do?
Like re-defining the word “trust” to mean the opposite of what they want you to accept. Because you can’t, any more.
Trust, that is.

* The company that fell into such disgrace after its board voted to submit itself to lie-detector tests. It’s true, it’s history – check the back-numbers of the NewsShopper and the archives of the Thamesmead People held on microfiche in Bexley libraries.

Explore posts in the same categories: community, respect

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