Monday, 31 October 2011

The Mayor, The University and the Mentors - A Tale of Woe - by Paul Lawrence

Last year summer I reluctantly attended a public meeting held in City Hall by Boris Johnson and his team. The meeting were meant (or so I was told) as an information/consultation meeting to gauge the black communities feelings towards the Mayor’s proposed mentoring program.

The programs remit was clear. 1000 Black men to mentor 1000 black boys. Seven London Boroughs were chosen by virtue of their black crime statistics. Funding of £1.4m was secured and the Mayor claimed he wanted this to be a community led program. He claimed he and his team understood the need for experienced trusted organisations to lead and deliver the program. I know this because I, among others asked the question repeatedly and that was the answer given.

I remember clearly during one such City Hall meeting several brothers expressed deep concerns about working with City Hall and sadly I defending City Hall, by saying that irrespective of their past behaviour toward Blacks in London and irrespective of whether this was purely a political move by Boris to curry favour with the black community (after all he has done nothing else for us) we as black men should seize the opportunity take their money and make a change in our community. For ALL our communities.

So, can anyone explain to me how The University of East London, London Action Trust and some unknown group called Ethos ended up been awarded the program? It is reported that the actual winners of the Mayors selection process, a black consortium containing without questions London’s finest black mentoring organisation and training organisation, were not awarded the contract because they ‘failed on the financial due diligence’ ……….. Well, all the companies in the black consortium continue to trade, but London Action Trust I understand have gone bust and Ethos have disappeared back to the land of nod. Leaving UEL to scrounge around for community partners.

City Hall claim 2100 mentors (note the words black and men have disappeared) have signed up for the program. A program which they would have us believe is on schedule to deliver 1,000 relationships. Now they began in July, that’s 4 months ago and yet only 21 relationships started. I am pretty good at maths so you can trust the following figures. If for every four-month period they double the amount of mentors working it will take them almost 2 years to get to their 1000 target and at least a year more for the last relationship to end. And this figure does not take into account the dropouts. Do you think UEL knows this? Speed of take up of such a program requires thing UEL just does not have, community credibility and community access. Not their fault, just the facts.

Now since the Mayor and his team were warned could we say this was purely as an incompetent selection process, that they had no one better to choose from or is there something else going on?

An emerging viewpoint among the better informed than I, is that this program was never meant to work. Yep you read right. The collapse of London Action Trust was the first sign. City Hall employers are said to have close links to LAT so surely they knew of the state of the organisation. Next the fact that UEL came third…..not second, third, after the interviews, so why choose them, if as you say you want the program to work?

If I didn’t know better I would say UEL were handed a poison chalice. If they fail it is their failure, if they succeed then our Boy Boris has a huge public success on his record.
But let’s drill a little further on this “they never wanted it to work” theory. The white middle classes have been feed a constant diet of tripe pointing all social ills to black kids, our boys in particular. An effective mentoring program targeting 1000 boys would make a huge difference. I suspect Boris and crew don’t what that difference to happen. Why?

Let me tell you why and even I can’t believe I am typing this.
a)    If black boys cleanup their act city hall and UK politicians will have to face the truth, Which is that the UK underclass are the true source of the UKs issue and they my friends are from all races, poor uneducated and living with out hope or opportunity

b)   The huge industry which feeds off our boys would collapse. The prison service, security firms, probation officers, CCTV etc. All scaled back or now focussed on white kids

c)    The Daily Mail having to find some one else to blame for every ill in the UK.

Guys I hope I am wrong, but understand that if I am, then it means that the City Hall selection team are grossly incompetent and merely choose the wrong team and then I must ask, could anyone be that dumb?
Watch this space. This does not end here. Next year is an election year and already Boris is listing this program as one of his successes (yes, I did visit his re-election page).

If you are white, reading this and wondering what this has to do with you, then perhaps you too should be concerned, as YOUR money has just been wasted too. This is not a black issue. Remember what David Starky said, your innocent white kids are corrupted by these black kids, so fixing them is in your interest too. LOL

Paul Lawrence
(Originally published at:!/notes/paul-lawrence/the-mayor-the-university-and-the-mentors-a-tale-of-woe/10150344200282607)

Paul Lawrence
Paul lawrence

City Hall Public Meeting of the Mayors Mentors Scheme "Time for Action"
03 November · 14:00 - 17:00
Venue: Committee Room 5, City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2AA. View directions
The Time for Action Panel’s question␣and answer session with
Cllr Steve␣Reed London␣Council Executive Member for Children’s␣
Services␣and Skills and Employment;
Lizzie Noel Mayor’s Adviser␣ Social␣Action and Volunteering;␣
Roger Hadwen Senior␣Policy and Project Officer Community Safety and Ray Lewis Mayor’s Champion for Mentoring.
Please spread the word and attend this important event. This is about our young people's future.
Lee Jasper.