Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Went to Cinderella at the weekend. Yet another Hackney Empire Panto triumph.

Lotte Collette "You only boo me cos i'm boo-tiful" was a brilliant evil stepmother. Donna Steele as Cinderella was gorgeous and the choreography and singing were first rate. The routine they put together to the Scissor Sisters "I don;t feel like dancing" was genius and worth the entrance fee alone.

I really urge you to go even if you don;t normally got to pantos - go on a Saturday at 5pm and you have the rest of the evening to play with.

Cllr McShane

Monday, December 04, 2006

Haggerston Pool

The people behind the campaign to reopen Haggerston Pool will be bringing a deputation to Council in the new year with the backing of Councillors from Haggerston and neighbouring Queensbridge.

The Council has been working on plans to reopen the pool and good progress is being made. Asbestos is being carefully removed so a full structural survey can be carried out. Only then will we have a really clear idea what the options and the associated costs are.

Haggerston is changing all the time and it needs a focal point for the community more than ever. Hopefully a reopened Haggerston Pool, with a range of additonal facilities and services hosted in the same building can provide it.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Socialist Worker Vandals at it Again

Hackney South Socialist Worker are at it again. Vandalising large parts of Hackney with posters for their latest meeting - which sounds like a riot...

Putting "Not to be Flyposted" in tiny letters at the bottom is not much use if you send your foot soldiers out with a paintbrush and a bucket of paste.

If the people behind the organisation contact me through the site I'll happily buy them some blu tack as a Christmas present and a gesture of solidarity between parties of the left in Hackney.

In the meantime, expect another call from Hackney Council whose officers rightly take a dim view of vandals.

Cllr McShane

Cinderella at the Empire

Cinderella opened at the Hackney Empire yesterday. As a young boy growing up in Glasgow I was forced to endure school trips to worthy but incredibly dull pantos put on by the likes of the 7:84 theatre company. No sweets thrown into the audience, no singalongs, no "he's behind you" but unsubtle allegories about nuclear war or racism. Hackney Empire, by contrast, consistently puts on the perfect Christmas show. Great acting, great music and choreography, loads of lame jokes about Hackney. Most importantly their pantos are written in a way that appeals to kids and the adults in the audience at the same time.

Last year's show was described as "Better than Prozac" by the Evening Standard and the Financial Times said the Empire's pantos "have been the most reliably raucous seasonal fun in London"

I urge you to go.

Cllr McShane

Wrong Target

Just how wrong can the brave class warrior who created this piece of vandalism be? There are a number of serious arguments we can have about 'gentrification' and developments of private flats in Haggerston but they've picked the wrong target here.

Just who are the profiteers here? Is it Community Housing Group - the not for profit organisation behind this development?

Tatty flats? They look quite nice to me.

Suckers? That'll be the key workers who are the only people eligible for the houses here.

And just how many private flats are there in this exercise in gentrification and social cleansing? That's right. Zero.

Loads of flats and space for local businesses on the ground floor to create job opportunities for local people.

Cllr McShane