Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Harringay Hustings last night at North Harringay School. From left to right: David Kaplan (TUSC), Emine Ibrahim (Labour), Lydia Rivlin (Conservative), Richard Godwin (Chair - Harringay Resident & Evening Standard Journalist), Matt Cuthbert (Green), David Schmitz (Lib Dem)

Last night saw Harringay's first hustings event for many years. An audience of about 50 turned out to hear what the parties standing in the local elections thought about questions raised by local people both before and during the event.

Local resident and Evening Standard journalist did a masterful job chairing the event (and winning a few ladies' hearts by all accounts!). So our profuse thanks to Richard for pitching in.

Thanks also to all the panellists, all of whom did a good job and gave a fair accounting of themselves and their parties' policies. From here on,  all parties have the chance to share their views with you on a single HoL posting per party (See panel at the top of the main page).

A member of the audience videoed the whole event. So, should you be so minded, you will be able to see the event once his video is posted.

Was there a man of the match? I don't know, that's for those who attended to say. I've had good feedback on all the panelists, but perhaps a nose ahead on informal feedback on the performance on the night, from an audience who probably weren't in the main natural TUSC voters, was TUSC outsider David Kaplan.

David Kaplan (TUSC) - Last night's man of the match?

Tags for Forum Posts: 2014 elections

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About St Ann's, Priya, I wish there was a simple and direct answer. As you might imagine, some of us in the Labour Party and many others outside it have been pondering on this since last September.

There still are many honourable and decent people in the local Labour Party. Many of them were sickened by these events and said that candidate selection in St Ann’s should have been re-run.

We heard that a re-run happened in wards in other boroughs where there were strong and serious doubts about the process. Though, ironically, not as strong as flagrantly joining-up people who did not reside in St Ann's Ward and in some cases who live outside Haringey.

A re-run of the selection - limited to members actually resident in St Ann's ward - was the sensible and obvious solution. Had the three selected candidates - Barbara Blake, Peter Morton and Ali Gul Ozbek - been confident of the support of ward branch members they would themselves have called for this. They would have gained the trust and respect of members and may well have won the vote legitimately.  I am reasonably confident that everyone concerned would have accepted this outcome as fair, and united to support and campaign for them as candidates.

Instead they have these events as a permanent stigma; a symbolic "albatross" which they will carry whenever and wherever they present themselves for public office.

The two Haringey Labour Parties (Tottenham & Hornsey, Wood Green) have a completely avoidable, self-inflicted wound which damages the local Party's reputation and perhaps the reputation of all its candidates.

However, what I personally found astounding was the failure by members of Labour's National Executive Committee to intervene and take action. They did not even insist on a proper and full investigation where all the people complaining were interviewed and their evidence considered.

Using publicly available internet sources, Cllr David Browne provided the London Region and National Labour Party with detailed evidence of the "members" he believed had joined St Ann's ward, with their home addresses elsewhere. As far as I know the Labour Party never replied to David Browne's complaint, nor even sent him an acknowledgement.

You probably remember that these events took place at the time when the Daily Mail attacked the reputation of Ed Miliband’s late father. Ed called on Labour Party members to "Speak up for decency in British politics". I got emails asking me to support Ed Miliband from the Labour Party officials who were given the task of investigating complaints about St Ann's candidate selection. I even got an email from Ed Miliband himself and I added my name to those who "spoke up for decency".

If you haven’t already seen it, can I suggest you read Zena’s recent comment posted here.

(Tottenham Hale ward councillor)

Yes, Ali Gul Ozbek is a big donor to the Labour Party who need their coffers full to fight a general election next year.

A current Labour candidate in Haringey is under investigation for money laundering by the police and may be asked to stand down if elected.

Either the police are going to back down on the harassment notice or a local parent involved in politics is going to to jail.

Thanks for replying Alan and John.

From John's mammoth thread I got the notion that this is about more than just a few pounds in Party coffers. It's about securing obedient candidates. Candidates that represent Council views to residents. Rather than candidates who take residents' views to the Council. Is that a fair assessment?

And who should I vote for to keep Labour out? (Good grief, don't tell my parents I wrote that!)

"It's about securing obedient candidates" <- BINGO!!!!!

being right is not usually this depressing!

Hi Priya

Just to say how well you (and the subsequent discussion) have summed up how I feel about what has happened to the Labour Party in St Ann's. There were a number of points at which they could have stopped and acknowledged where they had gone wrong - but didn't.

I have thought a lot about who I'm going to vote for (I live in Harringay not St Ann's) and the only thing I'm certain about is that I'm not voting Labour, a party for whom I've voted most of my adult life. I don't know anything about the 3 councillors standing in St Ann's, but they should be ashamed to have participated in something so rotten and untransparent. I am fairly sure that their lack of engagement on this site (note that they still haven't posted anything about what they stand for on the St Ann's thread) is an attempt not to have to deal with any of this and just pretend it hasn't happened. And perhaps that will work for them - perhaps there are enough obedient Labour voters who will trot down to the polling station tomorrow and put a cross by their names. But I really really hope that isn't the case.

Priya-- simple: vote Conservative. Why? Not only are our candidates good local residents but the election of a couple of Conservatives would give Labour a massive shock and wake-up call.  The LibDems are in for a pasting. Besides, Labour isn't too worried about them as their councillors were lacklustre. The Greens? That's the 'trendy' but not serious option. TUSC? The only thing they have proved good at during this campaign is illegal fly-posting. Justin Hinchcliffe (Conservative Agent)

You can feel confident that the Greens are qualified and credible, I lived in St Ann's and have many good friends there, I will do all I can to support St Ann's Greens, producing an urban design framework for St Ann's Hospital with local practitioners. Thank you for the compliment. Go Greens!

Justin

'Trendy' isn't that a word used by tabloid journalists to avoid examining real policies? Oh right, that's what you're doing! Either way, they sure kicked your ****!

The only bias seemed to be against fair treatment of the previous St ann's candidate's, (by fellow comrades,) if the meeting had been conducted following correct procedure, rather than manipulation, everyone would have accepted the outcome.

I wrote to the Guardian as a resident, providing links to discussions on HoL, but no particular follow up, everyone is aware, but there is silence or compliance. At the time I was concerned, as many were with the internal wrangling within politics in St Ann's, and drew a parallel with the leadership challenges in the Australian Labor Party at the time. In closing I suggested that it may be endemic of any major political party, (how nasty things can get if it is allowed.)
So what can we do Hugh? Who can I talk to; how can I get answers?
Thanks
Priya

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