A Secret Mission to Silverstone with a Possibly Fake Keir Starmer

Brentford West councillor Guy Lambert reports back

Cllr Guy Lambert
Cllr Guy Lambert

December 15, 2023


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Well, my friend made it and I found her somewhere to park, always a challenge in Brentford. A good social weekend for me including a very rare beast, a party including dancing and me experimenting with dancing without moving a foot (because of plantar fasciitis) or an arm (due to a dodgy shoulder). To be fair, I was never Fred Astaire.

During the day we visited the Museum of Water and Steam and it was lovely that my friend was fascinating about what’s going on there. I have been many times but there’s lots to see and this caught my attention. I remembered this character, as well as being a good England fast bowler in the 1960s and 1970s it turns out he also conquered the London cholera outbreak in 1854 so he must have been a ripe old age when he got famous for cricket.

Come Sunday lunchtime, Karen had headed off for Totnes and I could join my council chums at the Digital Dock for our monthly surgery. As it turned out, I had missed the single resident who visited, who I understand didn’t hail from any of our 3 wards, but we’re very inclusive.

On Monday morning I spent a couple of hours in Hounslow House at a meeting led by Katherine Dunne and involving a load of secondary school students having a very interesting debate about matters of interest to COP28. Each school represented a country (or in one case the EU) and made some powerful points. It wasn’t particularly straightforward to represent the UAE, or China. Or the UK, obviously. Lots of positive challenges and a decent debate, and it will advance people (the children and their families I’ll wager). It didn’t remind me of Question Time on the BBC, or of the House of Commons for that matter, far too mature.

I think they were very pleased to get Uganda. Sadly, Rwanda were not represented.

Then I visited a local couple (with a lovely and very enthusiastic pooch) who were having problems with a proposed extension to their house. I suggested a plan to come up with an idea that would satisfy the planners (and planning law) and I hope they can come to a satisfactory compromise.

In the evening it was back to Hounslow House for the Mayor’s Festive Reception including the always popular with most (but not all) councillors annual council photograph. Tragically I don’t seem to have a copy of this as yet. There was a bit of scoff available and a bit of wine too and some good conversations.

During the day I had a call from the Leader saying I was needed for a top secret mission tomorrow (ie Tuesday). Wearing a disguise – I chose to wear a suit, very untypical – I drove to an address in Wembley. It turned out to be the road that goes around the stadium. I wandered a bit and then spotted a confrere (or should it be a consoeur as it was a woman of the female tendency) and between us we found the rest of our cell who were clustered around a secret transport solution disguised as a small Mercedes bus. We mounted it and it emerged that the objective for us to invade was at a place called ‘Silverstone’ which turned out to be a warehouse in Northamptonshire. Looking cautiously to ensure we were not being followed, we entered the warehouse and some officials from the Labour party took our particulars and let us in. A little later a distinguished man disguised as Sir Keir Starmer appeared at the start, gave a (genuinely inspiring) speech and was asked questions by people claiming to be reporters from the like of Sky News and the Daily Mail.

I thought I could show you a picture of this imposter but I can’t work how to save a still from a video, despite an American telling me it was easy. So you’ll have to settle for this one (not my own work) and this might be the real Sir Keir rather than the one I saw,

After all this excitement (I was interested in these electric trucks) which are recycled from diesel ones. I wonder if the economics work (normal electric trucks cost eye-watering amounts).

Well, after all that excitement, I had a cabinet meeting, followed by an informal discussion about other matters of interest to those of us who spend a lot of our life in a cupboard (known as a cabinet).

After getting home at about 10.30 after some lively debates (!) I went to bed. Also not exciting, but up earlyish for an update with the Chair/CEO of Lampton Group, something I do every few weeks just to keep up with what’s going on. Later in the morning I had another update, this time with Victoria Lawson. She has been my most important officer in the council and we had a very constructive partnership but now, the louse, she’s off to the LB of Islington where she will be CEO (as Rajawat observed, a smaller council). Seriously, I will miss her a lot, an excellent officer, very helpful and good fun. Next month’s update will be quite different but I hope we have put things on an upward slope.

Then it was Thursday, normally the day when, like Shakespeare, I turn my hand to literary genius. Occasionally the muse doesn’t call until Friday but here it is, and it’s Thursday evening, Needed to because I spent the morning in Charing Cross where a nice young lady introduced me to Exogen, which apparently is a self-administered ultrasound treatment which helps my horrid old collar bone end to rekindle its love for the other bit. Time will tell, but I have a natty-looking piece of gear sitting on my kitchen table.

No, that is not the natty machine, but even a humble crutch recycling bin has its own beauty, as we all do, even Donald Trump.

Then a Teams meeting – first of several – to look at an anniversary celebration, for the Golden Mile (not at Blackpool but Brentford, though Tony Louki claims a portion for Osterley). Then it’s some bloke who flatters me on the basis I could be the next Chair of IBM or at least a newsagent in Pinner and wants some £££ off me to put in an application. Why did I agree to talk to him?

Then a briefing from Lampton Group who are busy with their new Business Plan, then an update about the Health/Social Care integration plan and finally something about having Brentford adopted as a Heritage Harbour. That is actually quite exciting and an excellent way to end a busy day.

A couple of fun things: a robin who no longer tweets but only says X, with a musky aroma (courtesy of one of my Christmas cards from a top-notch Brentonian)

And proof that Brentford is the capital for damp reindeer.

I love living in this quirky town


Councillor Guy Lambert


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