selection contest for Glasgow South West has turned into a rather nasty and
squalid affair. Westminster
It is a contest between Team Sarwar led by Anas Sarwar who is working to build his ‘empire’ in Glasgow and Team Leonard who is backed by Scottish Momentum, the Campaign for Socialism’. The Muslim candidate, Asim Khan is facing an uphill struggle in his attempt to secure the seat, although he can get votes of certain members, it seems everything is being done to remove him from this contest.
The last day, I worked with him was Sunday 9th Oct 2016, most people might say that they are surprised that I am so accurate, but the reality is when I am in a political party, I record all workdays. We had arranged to meet at the Glasgow Labour Pollok Rooms beside the Cardonald Library, the purpose to drop off letters to Labour members about encourage them to attend an AGM.
So, how many Labour members other than Asim Khan and me turned up to do the work?
I am interested that 120 people have signed an online petition demanding he be removed from the current selection contest.
This mob said:
“We will not stand for the founding values of our party to be undermined, and we cannot support our party in their decision to overlook this candidate's track record.”
Where were these 120 diehard Labour members on Sunday 9th Oct 2016, who seem to have the founding values of our party at heart?
You could also ask where these 120 diehard Labour members were in 2016 during the work to cover the Govan ward on the Pollok side for Holyrood?
None of them turned up again.
In fact for the Holyrood 2016, this campaign could be characterised for the fact that the majority of the Pollok Labour membership didn’t turn up. Most days, you would be lucky if six people turn in to support Johann Lamont, and it was noticeable to me that it wasn’t till the last week of the campaign that the Labour Cllrs turned up more regularly.
The online petition which has already got 120 people signed up in opposition to Asim Khan is all about stopping a ‘fair and free process’, so Scottish Labour is under pressure, the protestors seem to bank on the fact that a judge once described Asim Khan as “evasive” and “untruthful”.
What should be pointed out is that this is just an opinion by the judge, Asim Khan wasn’t the subject of the tribunal, he was the chair of the now-dissolved Roshni charity which set up to help ethnic minority survivors of sexual abuse.
Female Scottish Labour activists have previously signed a letter to the party’s leadership raising concerns and we already know that that a female office bearer in Labour’s local party in Pollok has submitted a formal complaint. Alison Campbell Glass didn’t like Khan’s alleged failure to tell the party about the tribunal judgement.
Given he wasn’t the subject of the tribunal, I don’t see the conflict, as to the opinion of the judge, that is just an opinion which Asim Khan has already said he gave his evidence to the best of his knowledge at the time.
I don’t see the formal complaint going anywhere because to me, it doesn’t cross what I would consider to be a threshold to remove him as a candidate. If anything in this case should embarrass the Labour Party, it is the nature in which this selection is being carried out, it is being to look like a witch hunt.
Asim Khan has already successfully challenged an internal ruling which resulted in around 80 local members including me not being eligible to vote in the selection process for Glasgow South West. Of course, I would say that if you pay the membership then you should get the same voting rights as everyone else.
Asim Khan responding to the petition said:
“The court judgement recognised an illegal attempt to manipulate the selection process. I am now focused on having an open, transparent and democratic selection process.”
You have to wonder how Team Kerr is feeling at this time now that 80 members many of whom are from ethic backgrounds are going to be getting their voting rights, if Labour Cllr Matt Kerr wins, will they come out and be activists for him for the next 4 years until the next Westminster election?
Whoever wins, they may think that as the majority vote which held this seat is only 60 votes that they are a racing certainty to get elected to Westminster next time; this is wishful thinking on their part because Labour will have to work the area very hard between now and polling day.
As someone who has seen what goes on in Pollok CLP regards to work ethic, organisation and attendance, I wouldn’t be sure of a Labour win. Pollok returned the largest vote in the City of
in 2014; the SNP won the Westminster seat 2015, held
seat 2017, and currently hold the Holyrood seat in Pollok. Westminster
These 120 diehard Labour members and their little online petition, I have heard a peep about this from anyone in the Pollok CLP, isn’t that rather strange, well I think it is.
Finally, one thing missing from the ‘witch hunt’ against Asim Khan is balance, which is why I am including the workday of Sunday 9th Oct 2016, the event ended up being cancelled due to lack of support by others at the CLP. At the meeting to arrange this event; some members expressed a desire to get out and work, to turn this CLP around, but then didn’t turn up.
The Campaign for Human Rights at