Monday, May 21, 2018

The Battle for £77,000k a year, Pollok version, Labour Row over Westminster candidate selection heats up as Pollok Office holder Alison Campbell Glass lodges a formal complaint against Asim Khan asking Labour General Sec Brian Roy to investigate his fitness to remain a candidate, Anas Sarwar’s preferred candidate under pressure

Dear All

There is an old saying, it never rains but it pours, I am a member of Pollok CLP, that’s the Labour Party which covers Glasgow South West. Recently, as a member I was told that I wasn’t to be allowed a vote in the selection of the Glasgow South West candidate for the next Westminster election.

When I rejoined the Labour Party last October, I wasn’t allowed to attend party meetings for the first four months of my membership despite the rules saying I was entitled to.

I read once that the Pollok CLP was been described as the ‘worst’ Labour CLP in Scotland. During my time as a member, the CLP was badly organised, which led former Labour Cllr Alistair Watson to say at a meeting that the party had forgotten ‘how to campaign’.

In 2016, I did something unusual, I did only the Labour campaign in Pollok, in fact when it came to doing the Govan part which resides in the Pollok part, I did this myself. No one came out with me to help attempt to elect ex Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont.

No one!

Her election was a complete shambles; believe me I have seen some shit run election campaigns in my time. The old saying the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing was an understatement. During the campaign, the election agent, Kevin O’Donnell disappeared to a job in London which helped as he couldn’t a piss up in a brewery. As that campaign ran, what struck me was the lack of people turning up to help Johann Lamont.

What happened in Pollok was the CLP was run into the ground; there was no work ethic, no loyalty, no team spirit, no objectives, no real campaigning on local issues which party members could be engaged in beyond leafleting.

One senior Labour person said to me that it is amazing how people come out of the woodwork when a candidacy is going but are never really seen when it comes to the workdays. Since the start of this year, the Pollok CLP hasn’t done much, in fact, other than the national workdays; I haven’t been notified that any activity was taking place.

I haven’t done a single day of activism for the Labour Party, this year, what was demonstrated to me during the campaign of Johann Lamont was the utter contempt that I was held in. Needless to say if Pollok CLP ever has Johann Lamont as a candidate, I will not under any circumstances work for her.    
In my first stint of Labour membership Asim Khan was an office holder, I rarely worked with him, despite doing a lot of activism during the Lamont campaign. He is a member of the Sarwar camp. Now, he finds himself in a spot of bother as the potential Labour candidate following a formal complaint to Labour’s general secretary Brian Roy.

Someone, I have never heard of called Alison Campbell Glass has written to the Labour general secretary to complain, she is an office bearer in local party in Pollok. It appears her complaint is that Asim Khan failed to tell the party about a 2016 employment tribunal in which a judge criticised him.

In light of this evidence, she also felt to egg her ‘pudding’ that she should add in:

“I would ask that you immediately investigate both Asim Khan’s non-disclosure and his actions in this case, with a view to determining whether he is a fit and proper person to be a Labour candidate.”

She also raised the judge’s comments:

“The complete quotes, and others that may be in the full record of this case, would be absolutely devastating if used in leaflets and other media by our political opponents.”

So, to break this down, Asim Khan hasn’t been charged with anything, and given the other shit surrounding the Labour Party such as racism, anti-Semitism and bad policies, someone saying they didn’t like Asim Khan’s evidence is hardly going to rate as a deal breaker with the public. 

If I was to hedge a bet, I would say that the problem for the winning candidate will be trying to get people to work for them at the Pollok CLP, it is a long time before the next General Election.

Historically, despite a large Asian Muslim membership in Pollok, next to no Asians attend regular work days on a weekly basis. If Matt Kerr wins, I doubt any Asian Muslims will turn up at Pollok for the long campaign and my experience of the short campaign is that that will pretty much non existent.

If, I had any issue with Asim Khan, it would be when he was mentioned in the ruling by the judge who described as his “complete failure” to take steps to protect the claimant in his role as chair.

At present, Asim Khan is currently taking Labour to court amid claims of racism after an internal ruling resulted in around 80 local members not being eligible to vote in the selection process for Glasgow South West. Given this contest was even thought of at the time that people signed up to the party, this doesn’t look like natural justice to me.

I am also affected by this ruling as well.

Many of the people not getting a vote are from ethnic minority backgrounds, I am white, however; this ruling seems to favour Labour Cllr Matt Kerr. The practice of signing up Muslims to get a Muslim candidate isn’t new, but no one wants to talk about it in the Labour Party. Asim Khan wants a judicial review of the freeze date put in place by Labour’s governing Scottish Executive Committee, with his Court of Session petition branding the decision “irrational, unreasonable, illegal and ultra vires”. If he wins, he could get enough Muslim votes to become the candidate.

That however doesn’t get Asim Khan out of the woods, then he has to find people willing to be activists for him, as I mentioned there is a lack of Muslims willing to do activism in Pollok CLP; however they turn up in droves to vote a Muslim candidate in, then disappear.

Finally, one of the campaign co-ordinators of Pollok has emailed members to ask:

“Please, take a couple of minutes to fill in the survey, this will enable the CLP to know what you wish to campaign on and what you will like to get involved in within the CLP”.

I found this in my junk mail folder!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

George you are wasted there come join us in the Tories


Anonymous said...

If I was you George, I would personally wouldn't have anything to do with these people, they aren't worth your time or energy.

Tommy Aitchison said...

Oh for gods sake not this again in Pollok. Were sick to the bag teeth of this carry on. They should be argueing this out in private before the tartan Tories get to hear of it and give us another doing. God almighty!