Below is a blog post that was written by someone who attended the Labour Party meeting where they selected their candidate for Noel Park.
It strikes me that many Labour members do not want Kober as Leader but she has subverted democracy ensuring only people supportive to her retaining power will be allowed to have a vote on her future. This does sound like a dictatorship.
Is this something we should accept as residents. What if there are better people out there to run our council and be our Leader but this is not being allowed? Surely democracy is vital? It sounds like Tower Hamlets.
Disclaimer: I am not a member of the labour party (because of antics below). I do not know Seema, although I had the pleasure of watching her in action at a council meeting and she ran rings around them, whilst still being calm and funny. I can see why Noel Park Labour wanted her.
ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM, SEXISM, FIXING AND DICTATORSHIP FLY IN STORMY WOOD GREEN LABOUR PARTY MEETING
Following the resignation of Cllr Marshall in Noel Park ward, the Labour party started the process to select a new candidate to contest the by-election to be held on Sept 17th.
The two applicants for the role were Stephen Mann (husband of Haringey Mayor, Jennifer Mann) and Seema Chandwani.
Suspicion began when Mann started contacting members of the Noel Park branch of the Labour Party from mid-July. Ordinary members, unaware of the process were somewhat surprised a few weeks later to see an email sent on the 6th Aug 2015 to formally open the process with a closing date of 12th Aug. Ms Chandwani who had applied, had only been able to contact members from the evening of the closing date.
Both candidates were subject to an interview prior to Noel Park members voting on who they wished to select. The interviews were scheduled on Sat 15th Aug, however Mann already had his interview the previous weekend, before the deadline closed. On both of the interview panels was Cllr Elin Weston, the Councillor in Hornsey with Mann’s wife and also the chair of the Labour group, who herself would require votes from the new Noel Park Councillor to retain that position. Mann, a Hornsey resident would also be eligible to vote for Weston for her reselection in 2018.
Ms Chandwani was informed on Sun afternoon that she was not successful but was able to appeal; her appeal was rejected and she was only informed hours before the selection meeting.
Members of the Noel Park branch, unaware of the situation, turned up to cast their votes and were surprised not to see Ms Chandwani on the list of candidates. Many members were holding her leaflet and began to ask where she was. It was obvious as the discussion of her absence progressed that the majority had come to vote for her. If she was not rejected – she would have won.
Steve Hart, who was embroiled in the Falkirk election scandal, struggled to keep control of the meeting as concerns of racism, sexism and accusations of fixing in favour of Mann were made. Ms Chandwani was the only ethnic and woman candidate.
Members wanted to know the reasons of her being rejected as many did not believe from her literature and meetings they had with her that she was incapable. Ms Chandwani is currently the Secretary of the Tottenham Labour Party, one of the most senior positions in the party, members were bemused how someone in such a position could be unsuccessful. Tensions grew as Hart could not give any responses to the questions posed.
It is believed that Ms Chandwani was blocked as she is a “Lammy-Loyalist” [it is no secret that David and Seema are very close]. Tensions between the Council Leader Claire Kober and David Lammy have been simmering for a number of months as Lammy questions decisions made by the council on housing, youth centres and Marcus Garvey library. Kober in-turn has publically endorsed Lammy’s rival in the mayoral race. Blocking Ms Chandwani is being seen as another attack on Lammy from Kober. Some believe that Ms Chandwani’s popularity could see her overthrow Kober as Leader, leaving her and Lammy to overturn some of the decisions upsetting many residents.
Members of Noel Park branch were presented with Mann and two other candidates, both of whom the members had not heard from until the meeting. One was a former Councillor and the other the son of a current councillor – all were white males.
After the selection meeting Ms Chandwani tweeted congratulations to Mann. Mann, who ironically wrote a book on blacklisting, did not respond.
Ms Chandwani continues to be the Secretary of the Tottenham Labour Party for the third year, a position she won by being voted in by members from all 9 wards within the constituency, including Seven Sisters where Kober is a councillor.
2018 will be interesting.
Not a "political hack" (whatever that is?) - that was below the belt and uncalled for. I am a Haringey resident who takes an interest in decision-making and democracy.
Neil I'm aware of the alternatives you mention.
Libraries have been replaced by the laptop in every home
No, not in every home. There is poverty out there, something that the well-heeled tend to forget. Even if there's money for PCs, sometimes home conditions are ill-suited to study or homework, due to noise or cramped space. This is something that libraries can provide.
I'm an active member of the Friends of Marcus Garvey Library, that has a growing membership in the face of Council insincerity and indifference (see attachment below).
This Council has rarely understood their real worth. It's fashionable to think that libraries are irrelevant, but many still recognise their value (not this Council who as well as hollowing out libraries are also bent on devaluing the skills of trained Librarians).
Some recent studies have suggested that retention (i.e. learning) is superior when the reading has come from printed paper pages, rather than from an electronic device. I can easily appreciate that.
(last Thursday's H&H Geoff Martin Editorial on Libraries, attached)
Yeah, yeah.. Souvarine.. if only..
Politicians all talk about democracy and all the rest .. and then forget it all, once they've been elected.
I doubt these two are any different from the rest. And as you can see.. they offer no alternatives, apart from different faces.
Matthew, if you're interested, the Friends of Marcus Garvey Library are holding a meeting this Saturday:
Friends of Marcus Garvey Library Meeting Saturday 12 December at 3pm
at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre
Save your money! Don’t go shopping!
Enjoy homemade mince pies and mulled wine!Join us for a friends group meeting at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre on 12th December at 3 p.m. The main agenda items will be a comprehensive news update on where we are at in the library campaign and the forthcoming community public consultation we are planning.
As you may know, the Council intends "refurbishment" that will have the effect of halving the space available for library use in the area that that has been known as the Marcus Garvey library.
Seema has worked tirelessly for the Labour Party. Despite being treated appallingly in 2014 when she was rejected by the panel as a potential candidate, and now again, on what I suspect are flimsy grounds, she hasn't held a grudge, but has held on to her convictions. And being a conviction politician isn't exactly popular here. More broadly what happened in Noel Park epitomises why the rank and file membership are so desperate for change!
To her great credit she will not be pushed.
To set the record straight, she was very supportive during the St Ann's saga.
Lots of people took a back seat over the St Ann's election scandal, that is not something you can accuse just one person of.
It is not an accusation of one person.
But, perhaps firsthand experience of the tainted Labour processes will now provide Ms Chandwani with the fortitude to decry them in the future.
I'm sure Alanis Morrisette wrote a song about this...
"I'm sure Alanis Morrisette wrote a song about this"
When you're anonymous you can write trite sh1t like this and it doesn't bother you. #justsaying
Is this you? Yes or No please.
Is this you?
I have a photo of myself (slightly flattering these days) and use my full name. I think when you equate a relatively powerless member of the community asking who you (new anonymous but opinionated poster) are to McCarthyism you're being ridiculous. So you're not the Communications Director of Haringey Council. Cool. I wouldn't like to think that someone was being paid to argue with me.