Brent Liberal Democrat Meltdown

bird downThe Willesden and Brent Times is reporting that a whopping seven out of their 16 Councillors plan to step down at the next local elections – LINK

The Party locally looks to be in complete meltdown as the Independent reported  in their article titled “Lib Dems suffer plunge in party membership” (LINK) that the largest drop in membership of the Liberal Democrats came in Brent where they “saw 42 per cent of activists quit in the space of 12 months.”

The Times article also says that my Co Councillor of the Liberal Democrats, David Clues, who has been living in Brighton since December 2011 will not be putting himself up for election in 2014 in Brent. He still refuses to resign despite this scandal!

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When words can be twisted and manipulated to infer something that isn’t the case

I have noticed that an attack piece has been put out by the Willesden and Brent Times about Brent Council not campaigning against the proposal to close A&E permanently at Central Middlesex Hospital. This is the quote that was supplied to the local paper when they contacted the Group on the issue:

“Brent Labour has given its full support to the campaign against the Coalition’s plans. Labour Councillors condemned the plans in the Council Chamber and have been working with the community to raise awareness of the issue, including writing to Andrew Lansley, raising the issue with residents on the doorstep and we agreed to meet campaigners weeks ago. Both Cllr Butt and myself will address the march against the closures on 15th September. However, it is difficult to use Brent Council resources to back campaign is because unlike in Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham, there is no cross party support for the campaign. Both the Lib Dems and Conservatives in Brent have refused to criticise the plans put forward by their own Government. We will continue to campaign on this issue as a wider Brent Labour Party.”

This was what the Willesden and Brent Times printed;

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Brent Council’s lead member for adults and health, claimed it was “difficult” to back the campaign as there is no cross-party support.

He added: “Both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in Brent have refused to criticise the plans put forward by their own Government.

“We will continue to campaign on this issue as Brent Labour Party.

The changing of one sentence  (highlighted in bold) and manipulating the term “difficult” used in my sentence by the paper means that it could be read that Labour Councillors are not supporting campaigners. The issue is not whether Brent Labour supports the campaign or not, we do.

The issue is whether we use taxpayer resources, or Labour Party resources. So far, we have opted to use Labour Party resources. This is because it is difficult to justify using Council resources to campaign in cases where there is not cross party agreement.

Otherwise, the Labour Party could just abuse its position as the leading party in Brent and use taxpayer money to campaign on other issues that we believe are damaging the prospects of people in Brent, like for example, the trebling of tuition fees and the Government’s deficit reduction plan.

Calls for Brent Lib Dem Councillor who lives in Brighton to resign (again!)

Brighton beach October 2002
Brighton beach (Photo credit: What’s the rush)

The local paper’s website is once again reporting on the fact that Lib Dem Councillor for Dudden Hill Ward David Clues is living in Brighton and is inaccessible to local residents. You can read the article here – LINK

Calling a by-election is totally out of our hands so Dudden Hill Labour will continue to work hard for our residents as we have been doing since even before we had elected Councillors in the ward.

Dudden Hill Lib Dem Councillor moves to Brighton, but it’s business as usual for Dudden Hill Labour

The Willesden and Brent Times has reported that one of my co-Dudden Hill Councillors, David Clues is living in Brighton.

A statement from Cllr Clues can be found here (LINK). If he is genuinely moving in transition and moving to and from Dudden Hill and Brighton, making appointments to see residents and available to contact through phone email and post and can make it work, then fair play to him.

After coming a miserable fourth in the Kenton by-election (behind even an independent candidate) and seeing their vote collapse in the marginal Wembley Central by-election less than a month ago, I’d be surprised if the Brent Liberal Democrats called a by-election. Instead they will be sweating away if it gets close to six months and Dudden Hill Lib Dem Councillor, David Clues has not attended a Council meeting, which is the minimum requirement for him to keep his seat.

Residents have been raising this to me for a while but I was personally uncertain of his whereabouts. I’ve just gone about my own business in representing my people in the way that I best see fit and not bothered to worry about the Brent Liberal Democrats and I will continue to do so. Calling a by-election is in the hands of Lib Dem hierarchy and Cllr Clues, so Aslam and I will go about our own business.

In October 2011, a Dudden Hill resident approached me and said “Looks like we’ll have a by-election in the area soon”. “No I said”. He was shocked when I told him, as long as he turns up to a Council meeting every six months, he can keep his seat.

Dudden Hill residents on Twitter said:

“This is ridiculous. Where are his loyalties?”

“This is disgusting. What, if anything, can be done to oust him?”

“I think it’s shocking to be honest”

Another tweeted:

“He’s pocketing 7K which he will of course pay back… #Git”

I recently spoke to an ex-Councillor who once represented the Neasden area who said that David is a ‘left’ thinker and will probably in the inside be dismayed at what the Liberals are doing in Government. I predict that after he ceases to be a Brent Councillor (that is if he doesn’t run for election again in 2014), he will not be renewing his Liberal Democrat membership in Brighton.

Sentences handed to ChurchEnd dealers

The Willesden and Brent Times is reporting that seven drug dealers, who plied their trade on a notorious street have been sentenced in court. The dealers were arrested as part of Operation Soto which involved an 18-month long undercover operation that targeted drug dealing in Church Road, which is in Dudden Hill Ward. I first raised the issue on my blog in 2009 LINK.

Will Brent Labour see any changes with Ed Miliband in power?

Following the Labour Leadership result, the Willesden and Brent Times contacted me for my thoughts on Ed Miliband being elected new leader of the Labour Party. They did not publish them, so the comments may as well go to use some place, so I have been publishing my responses to their questions on my blog. This is the final question and response in this series.

Do you think Brent Labour will see any changes with Ed Miliband in power, if so what?

I think that the Labour Party groups all around the Country are already reaping the benefits of having Ed as our leader and we will in Brent too. Within the first 24 hours of Ed becoming leader, a new member was signing up to the Labour Party once every 1 min 48 secs; boosting membership by 726.

As one of the youngest Councillors in the UK, his core message in his Leader’s speech to Party conference indicating that he would lead a new generation for change, struck a chord with me personally, and I think it’s no surprise that 214 of those new party members are under the age of 27. The people are hungry for change in our politics and Ed is the right leader to bring about that change.

What I’m looking forward to under Ed’s Leadership

Following the Labour Leadership result, the Willesden and Brent Times contacted me for my thoughts on Ed Miliband being elected new leader of the Labour Party. They did not publish them, so the comments may as well go to use some place, so I have been publishing my responses to their questions on my blog.

It must be a relief to the party to finally have a new leader and more direction, what are you looking forward to now he is in power?

I’m impressed with his style of leadership already and the honesty he has indicated in his message so far, saying that we must accept decisions from this coalition government when they are right, oppose them fiercely when they are wrong, and admit to where New Labour went wrong in Government, as be proud about the many successes that 13 years of Labour Government achieved in this country.

Was it a surprise Ed Miliband stood as a candidate in the first place?

Following the Labour Leadership result, the Willesden and Brent Times contacted me for my thoughts on Ed Miliband being elected new leader of the Labour Party. They did not publish them, so the comments may as well go to use some place, so I have been publishing my responses to their questions on my blog.

Did you expect Ed to put himself forward after David Miliband had done?

I couldn’t see why not. I think it’s a strong testament to the talent that we have in the Party that we were able to field 5 really good candidates.

Does the battle between the brothers undermine Ed as leader?

Following the Labour Leadership result, the Willesden and Brent Times contacted me for my thoughts on Ed Miliband being elected new leader of the Labour Party. They did not publish them, so the comments may as well go to use some place, so I have been publishing my responses to their questions on my blog.

Do you think the battle between the brothers undermines Ed as leader?

I think it makes him stronger. David has gracefully accepted the result and come out in full support for his brother as leader and I’m sure that those who supported David will also accept the final result and unite behind Ed.

Response to critics who say that Ed is tied to the Unions

Following the Labour Leadership result, the Willesden and Brent Times contacted me for my thoughts on Ed Miliband being elected new leader of the Labour Party. They did not publish them, so the comments may as well go to use some place, so I will be publishing my responses to their questions on my blog.

What are your views on critics saying that Ed is tied to the Unions?

I think what the ‘tied to the Union claim’ is over exaggerated. It’s worth noting that in the affiliate members section of the Labour Party are not solely from Unions, but votes from BAME Labour, Labour Party Disabled Members’ Group and SERA (Labour’s environment campaign group), also contributed to total votes.

What his vote share amongst the affiliate groups represents is a strong mandate. Union member votes are no longer allocated on a block vote basis. It was therefore individual decisions of tens of thousands of the working men and women, teachers, doctors, nurses, disabled people, ethnic minorities, Labour members as well as Labour elected representatives that took part in this selection process, meaning that more people chose Ed to be leader of the Labour Party than voted for David Cameron to head the Tories or Nick Clegg to lead the Lib Dems. That represents a stronger mandate than any Party leader in the UK can claim.