A Labour councillor has been declared Mayor of Hackney, replacing the last one who was forced to resign, in shame.

In last week’s election, the councillor received just over 18,000 votes, a staggering 50 per cent drop in support for Labour from a year ago. Out of an electorate of around 180,000, almost 90% did not vote for her.

Some eighty per cent of electors in Hackney did not vote at all. In short, the new mayor has no mandate and no legitimacy. Still, this councillor holds executive power and plans to use it.

So what does this new mayor stand for, if anything?  She refused to attend all three of the election hustings debates so it’s safe to say she’s not interested in explaining or debating her ideas with the electors of Hackney.

In an interview conducted in the ‘presence of Labour press officer’, the councillor explained proudly to Hackney Citizen that she “learnt how to become a cabinet member” during Lockdown – i.e. when our democratic rights and freedoms were suspended. So, she has plenty of experience of riding roughshod over the views of the electorate.

She freely admitted also that the imposition of LTNs Hackney were “brutal”, but offered the explanation that “something had to be done”. Forget evidence, stats, congestion, air pollution, forget democracy, consultation and due process. Something had to be done!

She’s right about one thing, something does have to be done, that is something has to be done about the poor excuse for democracy and leadership in our town hall. A referendum on abolishing the post of Mayor would be a good start, but we need a revamp of how we run things and who is in control. At the moment it sure isn’t us and it doesn’t look much like a heathy democracy.

Come the next election we need to have figured out how to convince our fellow citizens that we can get rid of them and replace them with something better.

To borrow Peter Smorthit’s campaign slogan…