To be quite honest I have found the debate on the Ladywood selection by New Labour tedious in the extreme. How could any one of the candidates bear comparison with Clare Short? The problem is New Labour don’t want anyone who is likely to criticise or interfere with their reactionary Tory policies. The candidates may or may not have held office, but when have you read about them and their achievements? The question is how you run a country with the non-entities New Labour is enlisting up and down the country. Their merits as far as New Labour is concerned that when they are told to “jump” they are likely to answer “how high?”
The chosen candidate is not known for herself, but her father is chair of the recently revived Birmingham Labour Party. This was run down a few years ago because Ian Reilly, Commander of West Midlands New Labour, didn’t like some of us. Dad was agent to all three Bordesley Green (Birmingham) councillors ousted for postal vote fraud. How come none of the mud stuck here? Hope daughter doesn’t follow his example! Reilly has consistently championed such people and smoothed their way into New Labour while systematically pushing out anyone with the faintest trace of being progressive. New Labour is suffering but Reilly keeps power and unaccountability to ordinary New Labour members. He clearly has his support in high places. No wonder they’re in deep, deep trouble.
There is a politician in Birmingham today who is regular heard of both locally and nationally and that is Salma Yaqoob. The problem is even if New Labour wanted her to stand for them she would refuse to endorse their wars, their privatisations, their curtailment of human rights and their general inhumanity. Consequently they have to scrape the barrel. Salma has demanded and end to the postal voting system which continues to be problematic and abused systematically, This is not least because women have lost their vote when others have used their names for postal votes and proceeded to fill them in themselves. Clearly Mahmood Ahmed knows all about this and one wonders if his daughter, Shabana, the Ladywood candidate caste her own vote.
The big problem is that New Labour looks like the other main contenders for political office following a root which puts consumerism and markets above human need. Those who have spectacularly failed are hugely rewarded, those who run the banks and large enterprises, while those who have lost out, ourselves, the rank and file take the consequences: a massive rise in the cost of essentials while our assets drop in value. But who will come to the rescue when all are singing from the same hymn sheet. Vote Tory you’ll get more of the same, vote Lib-Dem you get Tories. What a mess!
Do most of us know what the candidates for New Labour think and plan to do about these crucial issues. I haven’t got a clue, yet one of them is about to be set on the residents of Ladywood with the possibility of actually becoming their M.P.