Local Elections in Birmingham, 2006

Following my descriptions of the way the Labour Party in Birmingham has been hi-jacked by a group who have never previously had much to do with it, I get barmy comments posted saying I’m working with the Tories. Arjan Singh (alias Parmjit) was selected by the group two years back. Because of his track record the Regional Office stopped him standing again, so he immediately walked across to the Tories. Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, welcomed him with open arms. He stood against me and now I’m supposed to be working with him. I didn’t bring him in, but the group who did have now supplied another candidate. Are we supposed to believe she will be any better? She had been a member of the Labour Party for a full seven months when selected. And the guy who was outside the door ensuring attendance of their supporters was the same who brought forward Parmjit Arjan. Have they no shame? It’s going to be interesting though because mark 1 and mark 2 are up against each other!
Far from working with the Tories I have been Labour agent for Stewart Stacey, formerly Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council in Kings Norton. This was until I had to enter hospital for an operation.
My track record as Councillor has been on the left of the party – old rather than new Labour I’m afraid. It shows that this new bunch know precious little about socialism. They know little about conducting an election campaign either judging by the appearance of their posters on any old road sign and outside the ward boundary.

Handsworth Wood Ward has for the first time a BNP candidate. Usually there is a good choice of left wing candidates, but the only other choices this time were LIb-Dem and Green.
In Kings Norton I came across a number of former Labour voters intending to support the BNP, some for very strange reasons. One said he was going there because he didn’t like Blair being so close to the U.S. and he didn’t support the war in Iraq. This seemed quite original. Another thought that they could be trusted to do what Charles Clarke failed in deporting foreign nationals who had offended.
It turns out that Narinder Kaur Kooner won in Handsworth Wood quite convincingly so mark 1 of the New Labour Project has gone.
There was an announcement that the BNP had won a seat in KIndstanding, but it now appears that this was a mistake and Labour candidates were returned in the two seats being contested. Salma Yaqoob won quite convincingly for Respect. This is the kind of candidate Labour should have been attracting. Yaqoob has shown her abilities to debate nationally, an ability which quite eluded the local Labour candidate, now councillor, at her selection. While there had been serious intercommunal strife in the area as a knock on from the nationally covered incident in Perry Barr, she failed to even mention it while both opposing candidates addressed the issue as fundamental to what needed to happen in the area. What we have is another opportunist take over without roots in socialism or traditonal Labour values. Deeply worrying.

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