Saturday 21 April 2012

the headless man!

headless man flyer
perhaps I have a nasty mind, or a long memory, but putting out a picture of a headless man* is a little, er, insinuatory, hein?  Even if they are too callow or stupid to have meant that - and I do not think Messrs Salter and Howarth are either thing -  the fact that they did not want even to attempt a representation of the man they are talking about speaks volumes in itself.  I remember in John O'Farrell's very amusing book Things Can Only Get Better, about growing up a Labour supporter in the 1980s, he refers to the humourlessness of the time - no cartoon or picture could be created of any non-white person, because that would be racist.  Of course, he and his friends did not personally know anyone who was not white and middle class.  The 1980s is the decade Messrs Salter and Howarth have never left, politically and in other ways.  Fortunately, others have moved on, even in Reading politics.  Now, let's get factual on yo asses: I worked with Azam Janjua for several years, when he was a Labour councillor and I was a Labour MP.  He used to join me at surgeries in the ward, which the other two councillors could not be bothered to do, and I saw him hard at work there all the time.  I remember one time a woman came in to see me, and when she saw Azam Janjua was there, she said to me "Oh, it's OK, I'll talk to the councillor, he knows how to get things done."  Back when Church ward was Labour the other two councillors were Christine Grieve and Chris Goodall.  Despite his reputation Goodall did come out with me on occasion, and he did do some work when approached by residents.  Grieve however could not be bothered.  She was usually at choir practice in Caversham when anything needed doing.  Well, Grieve is history, I am glad to say.  The residents think so too.  "Stuck-up cow" and "bossy-boots" were some of the nicer things they had to say about her.

For the record, Azam Janjua worked hard for the people of Church ward for many years.  He treated people with courtesy and respect at all times, and they voted for him, and have continued to do so, as a result. I watched him work, and he was not a big fan of paperwork.  He was still working as a taxi driver then, long hours, and he used to say that time spent filling in forms was time he couldn't spend talking to people and trying to help sort out their problems.  The only criticism Messrs Salter and Howarth can find is that he doesn't fill in enough forms.  And as for changing parties, why then is it OK for their candidate in Redlands ward, Tony Jones, to go from Labour to Independent and back again when it suits him, but not for anyone else to change parties?

The insinuations being made are gross, disgusting and backed up by NOTHING.  If there is evidence then let it be made public.  Nothing ever has been.  These therefore are filthy slurs.  I don't know the Labour candidate in Church ward.  I do know she didn't write this stuff.  She has made a mistake in standing, because this filth is being sent out in her name.  She deserves to lose, and, win or lose, she will have a lot of ground to make up with decent people in south Reading and elsewhere.

*headless man: code for sexual misdemeanours.  There is or was a famous photograph of a man whose head could not be seen,  I'll spare you the rest.  The Guardian won't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Labour in Reading have no morals or shame. I hope other residents reject them too