Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects

Kevin Meagher takes a look at the savage cuts being implemented by Tory-run Hammersmith Council, which faced protests from the Save EMA campaign today.

First we had Clint Eastwood hoping George Osborne would “make his day” by not scrapping the UK Film Council; now Hollywood icon Gabriel Byrne – Ireland’s first Ambassador for Culture – has described the plans of Conservative-controlled Hammersmith and Fulham Council to sell off the building housing the London Irish Cultural Centre as “a devastation for Irish culture in Britain”.

The council, recently described by communities secretary Eric Pickles as “the apple of my eye”, decided at last week’s budget meeting to put the building that houses the centre up for sale as part of its £130 million package of spending cuts. Just last year the council extended the centre’s lease until 2017 but has now reneged on its promise despite hundreds of protestors, many playing traditional Irish instruments, descending on the meeting to make their melodious voices of protest heard.

Former Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, has also lent his voice to the campaign, lauding the centre’s “outstanding work” in providing an Irish community hub and welfare service and calling for the centre’s management to be given “time and space” to mount a fundraising appeal to buy the property outright. To no avail. The centre’s lease will now expire next March, leaving the local Irish community with just 12 months – during an economic downturn – to raise the £2 million needed.

The Irish are not alone. Other council-owned buildings are to be sold off which will close a homelessness shelter and a youth centre. Funding for 10 of the borough’s 16 Sure Start centres will be slashed too. Council leader Stephen Greenhalgh has clearly now mastered the art of cutting the ground from beneath community groups’ feet after previously complaining how hard it is to “get rid of people”.

Byrne, star of the acclaimed thriller The Usual Suspects, lends star wattage to an issue that is being replicated across the country as vital community groups discover the hollowness of David Cameron’s Big Society rhetoric, with harsh and immediate funding cuts sending many groups to the wall.

But Hammersmith and Fulham’s right-wing Tory council has particular form. Two years ago they hit the headlines after plans were revealed to demolish 3,500 run-down council homes in the borough without replacing them with equivalent social housing on the same terms; although there are 10,000 people on the local housing waiting list.

Despite their faltering attempts to detoxify their brand, Hammersmith and Fulham’s Tories show that when it comes to cutting frontline services that affect the poor and needy most, the Conservatives remain The Usual Suspects.

Boris Johnson launched his campaign for London Mayor at the London Tory conference in Hammersmith today, where he was faced by protesters from the Save EMA campaign; for a detailed briefing on the true horrors of Tory-run Hammersmith, described by David Cameron as his “favourite council”, click here.

49 Responses to “Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects”

  1. sean gittins

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects: //bit.ly/fzzg82 @SaveEMA @UKUncut

  2. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects: //bit.ly/fzzg82 @SaveEMA @UKUncut

  3. alindub2u

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects: //bit.ly/fzzg82 @SaveEMA @UKUncut

  4. Laila Valente

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects //bit.ly/eGNixR #gabrielbyrne

  5. jbw

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects: //bit.ly/fzzg82 @SaveEMA @UKUncut

  6. Gadfly Girl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects: //bit.ly/fzzg82 @SaveEMA @UKUncut

  7. AltGovUK

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects: //bit.ly/fzzg82 @SaveEMA @UKUncut

  8. John Dilworth

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects //bit.ly/eGNixR

  9. Save EMA

    RT @AltGovUK: RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects: //bit.ly/fzzg82 @SaveEMA @UKUncut

  10. Save EMA

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects: //bit.ly/fzzg82 @SaveEMA @UKUncut

  11. blogs of the world

    Kevin Meagher takes a look at the savage cuts being implemented by Tory-run Hammersmith Co… //reduce.li/igacq7 #usual

  12. paulclift01

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects //bit.ly/eGNixR

  13. June Helm

    Did the people of Hammersmith and Fulham think they would get a free ride and not have anything cut (Unlike labour councils) Has it not sunk in yet that the Tories want to get the working classes out of London

  14. Broken OfBritain

    the horror of Tory-run Hammersmith //fb.me/VpZVkXnA

  15. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects //bit.ly/eGNixR

  16. Anon E Mouse

    “Hammersmith horror” – Please.

    Grow up Kevin Meagher and stop being an apologist for the IRA…

  17. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @BrokenOfBritain: the horror of Tory-run Hammersmith //fb.me/VpZVkXnA

  18. David Mullen

    Explain how the artcile is in any way apologist for the IRA. I suppose you think that all black people carry knives as well.

  19. Anon E Mouse

    David Mullen – The remark was about the pathetic nature of this article so please don’t put words in my mouth. It is clear that you know nothing about the writer of this piece and his views on proscribed terrorist organisations.

    It is also clear the comments are directed at him so the substance in the article has nothing to do with the remark. Or you David.

    I suggest you should check your facts before accusing people of racist views.

    That is typical Labour smearing so I’m not surprised considering the way Peter Watt and Alistair Darling were attacked by their own side/

    Try this: //www.leftfootforward.org/2011/01/gerry-adams-david-cameron-departure-from-commons/

  20. Nick H.

    RT @BrokenOfBritain: the horror of Tory-run Hammersmith //fb.me/VpZVkXnA

  21. Stephen W

    Are you seriously telling me that a former Irish Prime Minister and a “hollywood legend” and the entire Irish community of London can’t raise £2 million between them? What a load of rubbish. There’s like 150,000 Irish in London. My village managed to raise £0.6 million to repair a community centre.

  22. Anon E Mouse

    Stephen W – You make a very valid point about Ahern. He got £58k in “donations” and “presents” frpm just 25 “friends” in Manchester in the 90’s.

    To suggest the money can’t be raised is complete nonsense and a typical pile of drivel from this author.

    I’d be interested to know who is paying this individual for his posts and when he uses such language as “horrors” to describe necessary funding cuts what words would he use to describe the deaths of woman and children in Iraq from British and American bombs?

  23. James Doheny

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hammersmith horror: Community funding cuts from The Usual Suspects //bit.ly/eGNixR

  24. Henry

    Blimey, the pic of that bunch of weirdos shouuld be enough to turn people off voting Tory…

  25. David Mullen

    Anon E Mouse. I think you should get a grasp of the basic tenets of logic Why post a comment just for the sake of having a go at the writer but not actually appearing to show any interest in the content of the article itself.

    Secondly your comments equating celebrating with supporting the IRA can be construed as offensive particularly to people of Irish heritage. I was not accusing you either of being a racist or having racist views. The reason I used was to highlight the ignorant nature of stereotypical views.

    You’re right I know nothing of the Writer or his background, but that is the case for a lot of commentators on both the left and the right of the political spectrum.

    Finally where you get the idea that I am either a labour party member or supporter is a mystery. I have no problems describing myself either as a socialist or yes even a communist. But your use of stereotypical assumptions shows lazy thinking on your part.

  26. David Mullen

    I apologise for stereotyping but why do so many senior tories look like sexual deviants?

  27. Mr. Sensible

    Tories do what Tories do best…

  28. Anon E Mouse

    David Mullen – Being half Southern Irish catholic myself I feel I am fully qualified to have an opinion on the author of this article and since he was a SPAD to the Northern Ireland secretary, paid for whilst the Labour Party governed our country, I feel he is therefore open to comment, favourable or otherwise. My taxes paid his wages – I am entitled to criticise him if I wish.

    He of course is entitled to respond as he wishes – as he demonstrated in my last link, where he refused to call the murderous terrorist organisation the IRA, anything but. Despite the Labour government’s own proscription of that bunch and despite my comments regarding innocent children blown up on the UK mainland.

    This article itself has no merit – it is simply a weak excuse to be partisan and tribal and does not deserve further comment. It is designed simply to either earn money (it is so weak an opinion it surely cannot be posted for any other reason) or gain some kind of kudos, although in view of current standing of the Labour Party I feel that is unlikely.

    I apologise for describing you as a Labour Party member David but my “use of stereotypical assumptions” is based on your typical smearing style response at my post.

    Regarding your own description of yourself as communist, may I politely suggest that since the whole world has rejected that style of governance perhaps you should finesse your position and grow up.

    No offence…

  29. Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – I’m still awaiting your response on the deliberate tax avoidance of The Guardian newspaper. You remember where they made tax avoiding profits of £40million and the Daily Mail, Gordon Brown’s favourite newspaper, paid all the taxes it was supposed to.

    In case you’ve forgotten the article:


    I’m sure it’s just an oversight on your part so go on then…

  30. David Mullen

    Anon E Mouse. It still doesn’t justify your equating of celebrating irish culture with support for the IRA. You still haven’t provided any evidence as to how either article is in any way pro IRA please do so I’m dying to know.You also fail to mention the fact that loyalist paramilitaries actually killed more people than the republicans during the troubles and were(allegedly) in some cases aided and abetted by the British state.

    On to the article itself as it is a left wing blog of course it is going to be partisan and tribal as political blogs whether left right or centre are going to be.

    I will reiterate that I was not smearing merely highlighting the stupidity of the opinion you expressed, if you post right wing views on a left wing blog you are bound to have your opinions challenged.

    Why should I change my views I don’t go telling you to stop being a tory supporter.

  31. Anon E Mouse

    David Mullen – I am not trying to equate celebrating Irish culture with anything. The author of this article calls the tactics of the IRA “Guerilla Warfare” – I don’t do that. He does. Ask him why please – I don’t know.

    I don’t care how many people were killed by either terrorist organisation – to me the murder of innocent people is just wrong irrespective of which side they’re on.

    I disagree that left wing blogs have to be as tribal as this one – Liberal Conspiracy certainly isn’t and in any case this article certainly doesn’t deserve the time you and I are spending discussing it.

    Finally I want to have my views challenged and I misunderstood your comments on race although considering the way Labour have behaved in the last few years I’m sure you’ll find that understandable.

    PS – I’m now a Lib Dem Nick Clegg fan not a Tory…

    (The time here is 23:13. Why aren’t you in bed yet in the UK?

  32. Anon E Mouse


  33. Kevin

    Dear Mr Mouse – given I have the hide of a rhino, your repeated attempts to misrepresent my views are a cause of bemusement rather than offence. Frankly, i’m slightly flattered you take the time to bother.

    Interested to hear you’re a Nick Clegg fan. a quixotic move, but I’m sure you’ll be very happy together.

    But I do concern myself with the welfare of my correspondents. Why are you up at 4 in the morning posting your angry messages?

    As my Number One Fan, you’ll know that my personal best in the comments section is 56. We’re currently on 33. Please feel free to make up the difference in your own inimitable way. X

  34. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin Meagher – You have described the actions of the IRA as “Guerilla Warfare” and even linked to Wikipedia to reinforce your position. Which it didn’t. Quite the reverse in fact.

    Instead of simply admitting a mistake in your article you continue to claim the same, which would fairly lead anyone to assume you do actually believe blowing up children in Warrington was, as you describe, “Guerilla Warfare”.

    Well Kevin I don’t. I think the murder of innocent people is what most fair people would consider to be an act of Terrorism and indeed Labour proscribed the IRA as such in 2000.

    What is more worrying is that you claimed to have been a SPAD to the Labour government’s Northern Ireland secretary at the time and considering Labour’s position over terrorism recently I am surprised you haven’t immediately jumped up to clarify your position regarding the IRA.

    Let’s keep it simple Kevin. Do you consider the IRA were a terrorist organisation or not? Were the actions of murdering innocent woman and children terrorist acts or “Guerilla Warfare”?

    (As for posting “angry messages” I’m working on software in the Florida Keys / Miami and the time was a far more reasonable 23.15…)

    Finally I’m probably Ben Fox’s or Joss Garman’s biggest fan. (Sorry sweetheart) From their posts it is clear they should be writing fairy tales and children’s stories…

  35. Kevin

    Come on: 22 short of a personal best

  36. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin – (Smiling) but you still refuse to answer the question… let’s try again and see if you are prepared to back up the points in articles you print here…

    Do you consider the IRA were a terrorist organisation or not? Were the actions of murdering innocent woman and children terrorist acts or “Guerilla Warfare”?

    You printed the article Kevin and you either stand by it or you don’t. Everyone reading this knows Kevin.

    Now man up and give a response…

  37. Kevin


  38. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin – (Laughing) – Your silence speaks volumes – my opinion of Labour supporters is the correct one.


  39. Kevin

    19 to go…

  40. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin – Your silence still speaks volumes…

    (18 to go…)

  41. Kevin

    Actually, 17

  42. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin – (Belly laughing now) Another day. Another lack of commitment by yourself. Why don’t you man up and just admit I’m right?

    Everyone reading this can see you do not have the courage to defend your position of excusing terrorism but let’s keep going here.

    You claim I am misrepresenting your position yet refuse to state which part of my remarks are incorrect.

    Grow some balls and defend yourself man. People are watching you Kevin…

  43. Kevin

    Poor lamb. Sounds like you’re finally losing it.

    Best to wrap some more tinfoil around your head and lie down.

    15 to go…

  44. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin – (Dying of laughter now!) – You just can’t stop can you! I couldn’t pay for this much fun!!

    Everyone can see you have not once defended your position of excusing terrorism although in fairness you haven’t said I’m not telling the truth which shows at least some honesty on your part.

    Is this because if the public knew a special advisor to the last Labour government’s Northern Ireland Secretary, Shaun Woodward, refuses to condemn the actions of the IRA they may not like it?

    Do the current Labour leadership share your views I wonder?

    You keep digging Kevin and I’ll keep saving copies of this webpage. Who knows when they might be needed?

    Is that 14 to go now?

  45. Kevin Meagher

    You’re keeping a scrapbook. Wow. Only Grannies and serial killers do that.

    As my own personal stalker, might I suggest you:
    a. Start taking your proper dosage, or
    b. Find yourself a nice girlfriend to pester

    If it would help, I will send you a signed picture to rant at, but i’m afraid I can’t stretch to a laminated wipe-proof copy for you.

    Oh, and its 12. No wonder your down on your dosage…

  46. Kevin Meagher

    My profound apologies for the last post. That should of course read:’No wonder you’re down on your dosage.’

  47. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin – (Collapsed on the floor uncontrollably now!) Let me get this straight so we are all clear.

    A special advisor to the last Labour government’s Northern Ireland Secretary, Shaun Woodward, has called someone who asks him to clarify his position regarding the terrorist activities of the IRA (including the murdering of two innocent young boys in Warrington) a “serial killer”. Are you serious Kevin?

    Instead of condemning the IRA’s actions, as any decent right minded person would, you actually seem unable to do so and instead resort to personal attacks?

    I simply cannot believe that the Labour Party leadership are aware of your views and if they are then the general public certainly are not. The founder of this site is a chap called Will Straw, the son of the last Labour government’s home secretary. Is Will Straw aware of this thread and your failure to condemn murder of innocent woman and children irrespective of the cause?

    My family is half Southern Irish catholic from Tip and I can assure you they would never support any killing of innocent people irrespective of the territorial claims they may believe they would have.

    Your actions genuinely shock me – especially in view of the Labour Party and the (maybe supposed) stance they take on terrorism of any kind and regarding the copies of this webpage no one would believe your response to my questions if I didn’t…

    (btw Kevin your Maths must be as bad as your English -if this is post 30 then surely there must be 27 to go to beat a best of 56 replies?)

  48. Kevin Meagher

    Oh dear, I hardly have the heart to tell you: the trackbacks and tweets are included (check the counter at the foot of the piece). Sorry if pointing that out makes you feel a little bit silly. Try not to be cross…

    This post should make the total 48. So 8 to go…

  49. Anon E Mouse

    Kevin – Never get cross – just too cool for that, always been the same – I’m described as being so laid back I’m horizontal. Bet no one has ever accused you of the same eh Kev!

    Anyway you seem to be continuing to ignore my question regarding your reclassifying the actions of the IRA as something other than terrorism and the killing of innocent women and children as acts of “Guerilla Warfare” even though your link to justify that answer at Wikipedia categorically states otherwise.

    Care to finally clarify your position now Kevin?

    If I was accused of something not true I wouldn’t waste a second setting the record straight and as (according to you but that can be easily checked I suppose) a special advisor to the Labour Northern Ireland office I really think tax payers and electors in this country have a right to know your stance on this matter.

    Well Kevin? Terrorism or acts of Guerilla Warfare…

    Don’t worry about reaching your target Kevin. Somehow, things being what they are in the blogosphere, I’m sure the number will increase beyond your wishes…

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