Thursday, 11 November 2010

the judgment of the electorate must prevail

two members of Reading Labour's executive committee
indeed it should, but it is not always permitted to.  I am indebted to someone commenting on a previous post for alerting me to a post by former Cllr John Howarth, prop. Public Impact Limited (remember "Your Better Off With Labour"?).  I shall give parts of it a little light fisking, below.  It is not surprising that Howarth supports Phil Woolas, as his boyfriend Mr Salter did, but look at what he says:

... the Phil Woolas story is even by the standards of modern politics something quite unique. For the first time since universal suffrage came about an ‘election court’ - an anachronism of a legislative system littered with detritus dating back to Cromwell and beyond overturns the judgement of the electorate. No.  Courts have overturned election results before, in Newark, in Winchester as Howarth says himself, and there have been others.Two judges, no jury, sitting with a range of powers designed in another age when politicians were all of independent means.

There is almost certainly what do you mean "almost"?  fan of fraudulent elections are you John?  Oh.  a place in the system for some form of ‘long stop’ where a defective election may be contested on a variety of grounds. Whether or not it is wise for candidates to do so is a moot point. Gerry Malone, the former Conservative MP for Winchester, who lost by two votes at the 1997 election and successfully petitioned against the spoilt papers found himself trashed by 21,556 at the re-run. The British don’t like bad losers... The right to remove an elected representative, unless that person is convicted of criminal offences, should rest solely with the electorate. oh yeah?  but not in Reading East So while there could be a case for ordering a re-run of an election, there is no justification for not allowing the electorate of Oldham East and Saddleworth to determine whether or not they wish Phil Woolas to represent them. The essential principle is that in a modern democracy the final sanction should lie with the electorate. or in the case of Reading Labour a small group of men
... While it is easy to understand the political logic in Labour’s suspension of Phil Woolas it is distasteful and piles one injustice on top of another. Phil Woolas was one of Labour’s most loyal, never voting against the Labour Government or the party whip, a member over 35 years and someone who never worked for anything other than Labour success.Tso obviously he had to go, eh John, by the logic of your own performance and activities ... He dosen’t sic deserve it. Phil Woolas is, as things stand, barred from the Commons, so his status as a Labour member is relevant only to him personally - he is no longer a public representative, there is no whip to withdraw. Pointless though the suspension is, the control freaks of the Labour establishment may wish to use this unfortunate incident as a pretext to impose another set of heavy-handed restrictions on local parties I only wish they would, the executive committees of most CLPs are packed with dangerous lunatics while handily taking attention from their own manifest failings in this case...

a period of silence on Mr Howarth's part would be most welcome.  While these barely literate doublethink ramblings can be entertaining, every paragraph he writes reminds the Reading electorate of what they have only just got rid of.  A bunch of corrupt scumbags who hold the electorate in contempt.  
Thanks John.


Anonymous said...

The point he seems to miss is that Woolas was found guilty of lying, in his personal capacity, about the activities of another candidate. The best parallel was the case in Waltham Forest a couple of years ago where a candidate said that her opponent was a paed0phile. He wasn't, she knew he wasn't, but she said so anyway, and was disqualified.

Curiously, the only thing this court case did was to cause the election to be set aside. There is still the possibility of proceedings being brought against either the candidate or his agent, either for defamation and/or for inciting racial hatred in a town where there were race riots only 10years ago.

Phil may be a good bloke, and have lots of loyal friends: I hope so, and I hope they rally round him, but "Free the Old & Sad One" is not a cause which the Labour Party ought to campaign on. He got caught, and wil have to pay the price. The Labour Party must regroup around a new (better?) candidate.

Anonymous said...

The activists of Oldham want shot of him ( Labour activists) and have instructed the NEC accordingly.

Believe me, I know.

St Martin S, Reading said...


How many times? I'm not banging the badger!

Was said...

If only there was someone around to walk me expertly through the corridors of power.

However, since there isn't, perhaps John Howarth could shed some light on why the RBC transport department suddenly took it upon themselves to pay an unbudgeted £10,000 of council tax payers money towards the contract for taxi marshals when the Reading Taxi Association unilaterally decided to stop paying for them in 2007?

Anonymous said...

Can you say why, Anonymous at 15:36? Is this recent, i.e. since the Election, or has it been rumbling for a while?

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Well. Woolas has raised over £30,000 in 24 hours for his fighting fund and his request for a Judicial Review will be heard next Tuesday. Fair enough Phil ( Not Fair Deal Phil, I rush to assert).
But what a little tycoon we have here.

If continuing as an MP doesn't come off, Phil, just be the next Alan Sugar. You know you can! Or do ballroom dancing or go on I'm a Celebrity Get me out of Here like Lembit.

You won't be hard up for a penny or two anyway. So what the hell does it matter?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us this little gem.

"The right to remove an elected representative, unless that person is convicted of criminal offences, should rest solely with the electorate."

Is that unless they're a girly showing up your boyfriend, you had naked conversations with every morning, in Reading West? And then replace them with a loser? Oh dear John. Or as the folk song put it better:

Oh No John, No John, No John, No.

John Howarth (57) is the owner of Public Impact who got a number of contracts from Reading Borough Council when it was Labour. Looking after their own.

St Martin S, Reading said...

theflashingblade, I will repeat this once again for your benefit.

I am not banging the Badger. I have never banged the Badger. I have no plans to bang the Badger in the near-future.

I hope that's clear.