Friday, April 13, 2007

Five Years Ago

Where were you?

Apparently, Labour's current candidate in Moseley, Bill Lees was posting a throwaway comment on a messageboard about mingers from Kings Heath. The Lib Dems, electronically aware as always, have found that Google searching reveals much. Guys - it was a single comment five years ago. If we were to go digging into the cyber backgrounds of some Lib Dem candidates and councillors, do you think that they'd have done anything to offend their voters online? The outraged resident quoted in The Stirrer is a former Lib Dem candidate and us politicians can do outrage on demand - especially if there's a journalist about willing to swallow our latest story.

Bill comments on the Stirrer message board

I had no recollection whatever of having said anything of the kind, but after a little investigation, I discovered that it is lifted from a message board that no longer exists, on a website that no longer exists, and was supposedly posted more than 5 years ago. The website in question, Eye on Moseley, was, as anyone who remembers it will recognise, in its entirety satirical in tone and intent. One of the things that it satirised was an alleged tendency of Moseley people to look down on their neighbours in King's Heath, and my recollection of the quote that Martin Mullaney and Ian Galloway have presumably been keeping stashed away somewhere is that it was part of a contribution to that particular strand of satire. An out-of-context quote from a fragment of cyber-space dug up from more than 5 years ago can in no way be said to be representative of my views....

The people of King's Heath should be and will be rather more concerned about the shameful way in which Liberal Democrat Councillors have actively colluded with their chums the Tories for the past 3 years in diverting cash away from areas like Moseley & King's Heath to well-off areas of Sutton Coldfield. Emily Cox must be worried indeed if she is prompting her colleagues to attempt smears such as this one.

Besides, if we're digging up skeletons about candidates, what about the lovely Emily's own (more recent) history?

Speaking of Mingers - for the Lib Dems are all loyal Mingers now, since dumping on Charlie K - here's another story from history. Five years ago, Naim Ahmed was a Labour candidate for the Aston ward in Birmingham and seemingly a safe bet to win a council seat. Then the party discovered some question marks over his receipt of disability grant money and dropped him like a hot potato. One election petition against the eventual Labour victor later - which was unceremoniously thrown out of court - and Naim Ahmed starts his waltz between parties in search of a seat. First he went to the PJP and then he joined the Liberal Democrats - ever the home of the opportunist. Now, he's resurfaced as their candidate in Aston this year and his determination to win is such that he's returned to the lawyers and had his name changed to ensure that his is the first name on the ballot paper - worth an extra few votes. In Australia, where voting is compulsory, being atop the paper is a bonus because of the 'donkey vote,' where people go in and vote for the first person on the paper just to discharge their legal duty.

Meet Saeed Aehmed, who denies that this is a cynical ploy

'It is not true that this is all a trick... I changed my name by deed poll more than a month ago and Saeed Aehmed is the proper spelling. It is the name I am always known by.'

Now we know that isn't true, don't we? Even the electoral roll doesn't agree with him.

Allegations of cheap tactics and mudslinging were denied by John Aardvark-Hemming.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have discovered that people who appear to have assented to the nomination of BNP candidates don't remember doing so. Remarkably, a black woman and a Muslim seem to have signed up to back a party actively opposed to their very existence in this country.


Praguetory said...

Are you ruling out a coalition with the Lib Dems?

Richard said...

As a Sutton Coldfield I was intrigued to read about money being diverted our way - and only to the well off areas. Where is this money I wonder? What has it been spent on? (And, yes I know about the Town Hall tower. Anything else?).

Simon said...

Besides, if we're digging up skeletons about candidates, what about the lovely Emily's own (more recent) history?

Unlike Bill Lees's opinion of 50% of his prospective constituents, it isn't relevant to her council duties.

And yes, it's disgraceful about Mr Aehmed (sic), isn't it? But not quite as disgraceful as the fact that the Labour candidate in the same ward is one of the councillors who was disqualified for postal vote fraud.

Simon said...

OK, here's the original context:

Make of it what you will.

PoliticalHack said...

PT: Not being the leader of Birmingham Labour Party (despite rumours to the contrary from your sidekick in the City), I can't rule anything out or in. Currently, I think it is most unlikely that the present leadership of either party would consider it. In the future? Who knows?

Simon: The candidate in Aston was later cleared and the disqualification withdrawn.

Praguetory said...

I like the Aardvark-Hemming line. Don't fancy your prospects in Moseley much anyway. Shouldn't you be working harder in Springfield? That's a more realistic target ward for Labour.

john said...

Aehmed is a known and correct (but not frequent) transliteration from the Arabic (remember his name is originally Arabic as are all Muslim names).

On the other hand Aardvark-Hemming is merely a ploy to get up the ballot paper :-)

The disqualification was 12 months for being associated with General Corruption. The standard of proof for personal corruption was not deemed to be met (notwithstanding the identification by the police officer in the court room (BMI)). Hence Afzal's period of suspension was less than the others.

Norfolk Blogger said...

And it wouldn't be like Labour at all to take a comment and twist it to suit their political purposes ? What about the way that the Lib Dem's comments in the Harltepool election were re-preinted from her blog, taken out of context and then used against her by Labour ?

Ah, that would be different wouldn't it !