Even as the Liberal Democrats launched another one of their election petitions - this time whinging about how their poor candidate in Aston was treated (they really aren't good losers), a bitter little campaign is being waged over on The Stirrer's message boards.
In the real world, Cllr Hemming's whinging that Labour activists were wandering about claiming that the Lib Dem candidate, the man who changes his name and party with equal haste, Saeed Aehmed, had been arrested. I do hope that there's some evidence to back this up and not just the usual hearsay from Hemming and his motley crew. Of course, the irony is that only a few years back, it was the Lib Dems who ended up settling a libel action after one of their leaflets referred to a prominent Labour councillor as a 'whoremaster.'
Mr Hemming said he was also considering whether to inform prosecutors about other matters relating to the election. He claimed presiding officers in an inner city ward were telling voters to back Labour candidates...
Why is he merely 'considering' this? Shouldn't he have already reported this serious allegation to the authorities?
Meanwhile, Hemming, Mullaney and Jon Hunt are putting the boot into Cllr Muhammed Afzal with their own interesting interpretations of the legal process (Cllr Afzal was found to have been involved in the electoral fraud in Aston and Bordesley Green in 2004, but later cleared on appeal - a fact dealt with in great detail in an earlier post here.
Cllr Hunt shows his grasp of legal technicalities:
'In Scottish terms, the case against Cllr Afzal remains unproven. The appeal decided he had not had a fair trial, not that the allegations against him were untrue.'
Errrm. Jon - we're not IN Scotland. I've checked and note the distinct lack of deep fried Mars bars and other ethnic typecasting. What Jon is saying is that if we had a different legal system in England and Wales, then we might have had a different answer. Sadly, even that is wrong, as Cllr Afzal was cleared on appeal. How often do I have to repeat this?
The Liberal Democrats may hate him and may believe him to be guilty - they are entitled to their beliefs - but the fact remains that if you win an appeal and have your conviction quashed, no matter how technical the grounds may be - you are therefore innocent of the charges for which you were convicted. That's a fairly clear legal statement, I would say.
Here we have the Liberal Democrats once again hiding behind their millionaire leader - happy to libel someone in the sure knowledge that he can't afford to take on their crack legal team of Hemming and Cllr Ayoub Khan.
Cllr Khan has just been appointed to the Cabinet with responsibility for local services and community safety and I'm sure he'll remember the rapid ejection of the last Asian councillor to hold that post when he failed to do what the bosses demanded. According to the Mail, Cllr Khan has put his legal studies on hold for a year to do the Cabinet job - well aware that he'll only be in post until May 2008, when Labour removes the sole remaining Liberal Democrat from his Aston seat. Until then, Aston ward meetings could be rather good entertainment value, as Cllr Afzal sits beside his tormentor, Cllr Khan.