Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Labour backs Talib Hussain

As Zoe Hopkins points out, Cllr Talib Hussain has rounded off his dismissal from the City Council Cabinet by resigning from the Liberal Democrats. Anyone sent him one one of these yet? Rumours suggest that they have. Watch this space.

Albert Bore has referred the whole grimy affair to the Standards Board
'If the Lib Dems are going to instruct officers of this council to make taxpayers' money available to organisations because of the electoral impact of those decisions, then these actions are a matter for the Standards Board'
Not only that, but Cllr Hussain says that his clinically cold removal was instigated because of racism in the Liberal Democrats
'I feel I have been sacked because I am an Asian'

It is noticeable that whatever the result of the Liberal Democrat election for the vacant cabinet post, the new member will be white (unless somebody else stands).

The Post also reveals that not only did he offend sensibilities by refusing to authorise a grant to a Bangladeshi group (chaired by a Lib Dem councillor) that had failed to submit accounts, he also refused a £30,000 grant to start a Citizens' Advice Bureau service in The Peoples' Democratic Republic of Sutton Coldfield, thus offending the Tories who own the town. I should point out that one of the immovable conditions of City Council funding for community groups is that they submit proper accounts, otherwise the money does not come.

According to the Post, he faced a charge sheet as long as your arm, guv - some 36 offences against the state.
'Haughty conduct, failing to consult, bringing the party into disrepute, conspiring to build an internal faction and being too friendly with someone thought to be a Labour supporter'
Is this from the same party claiming to be defending our civil liberties? Since when has it been an offence to be friendly with a political opponent? Sometimes it is easier than being friends with members of your own party with whom you may be in direct competition for power. These are thought crimes worthy of a Stalinist state, not reasons to sack somebody. Bringing the party into disrepute is the sign of desperation - it is an absolute catch-all charge and fairly hard to justify in most cases as a specific issue. The odds are that if you have dragged the party through the mud, you've probably done something fairly specific wrong.

The man may have his faults (he's never struck me as being the sharpest knife in the drawer, but then if you look at the Lib Dem cutlery drawer, there's not much competition), but from the outside, it smells like a nasty, dirty little stitch-up for blatantly political reasons (something that the Liberal Democrats have always claimed to be above). That's not good for the Liberal Democrats and some of those cracks in the Hemming-inspired edifice are starting to show - which can't help but cheer up those of us despairing at the serial incompetence of the current administration. More seriously, it isn't good for democracy in our city. People here are already disillusioned enough with our political leaders and sideshows like this pollute the water still further. Stop behaving like toddlers and start worrying about leading my city.

I get the feeling that there may be more dirty laundry to be washed yet.


Anonymous said...

Let's not forget this little episode reported on Lib Dem Watch last year at the time of the Hodge Hill by-election:

"...there could be expulsions ahead for Lib Dem members who took part in protests against Nicola Davies during the election.

Birmingham Lib Dem Councillor Martin Mullaney e-mailed colleagues the day before the Hodge Hill by-election:

Can we ensure that we take photos of all those that attend the 'wake' on Thursday. This is so we have enough evidence to expel any Liberal Democrat member that attends it.
I personally won't be able to take any photos, since I'll be at Developement Control Committee, BUT will bring my camera for later on in the day."

You barely have to scratch the surface of this lot.

Elephunt said...

Blimey, not quite the Birmingham Post's usual honeyed words when it comes to reporting the local LD's.

Let the games begin.

Anonymous said...

I'm told that Cllr Hussain was formerly a Labour member who failed to get on their panel of candidates - hence the switch to the Lib Dems in time for the 2003 elections.

Anonymous said...

A fifth columnist eh? That takes the shine off the story PH.

Anonymous said...

However the Lib Dems were obviously so keen on him they put him up as their Parliamentry Candidate against Roger Godsiff in Sparkbrook. I seem to recall that John Hemming couldn't speak highly enough of him during the General Election...

john said...

Rumours are that he is off to Respect.

Anonymous said...

i personally think that Talib Hussain did a very good job while in post, i personally think it was unfair the way he was dismissed, under what grounds???????????????