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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

After it was discovered at the St Ann's Labour Party selection candidate selection meeting that there were people present and voting who should not have been, I came home from the pub (where I'd heard about it) and wrote this article. It has subsequently been edited by site admins to remove the names of people who were embarrassed or in the final case where a journalist said it was potentially libellous. Well here I will attempt to summarise what we have subsequently found out and hopefully take people's attention away from my original appalling rant.

Back in May (The Ward AGM):

  • The St Ann's Ward AGM was convened on Thursday the 23rd of May instead of the usual first Wednesday of June by the then Ward Secretary, Barbara Blake.
  • Protests were made by members about this but they were rebuffed by the Ward Chairman.
  • At this meeting The current Ward Secretary resigned and there was bloc voting to decide the new Ward Secretary.
  • A person in the bloc opposing John Blake turned up late and was prevented from voting despite there being nothing about this in the Labour Party rules.
  • John Blake was elected Ward Secretary by one vote.

The Selection Meeting:

  • The meeting was run by The Secretary of the St Ann's Labour Party , and Steve Hart from Hornsey & Wood Green.
  • A candidate who arrived early noticed the five members arrive with Ali Gul Ozbek, sensed that something was up and mentioned it to Barbara Blake. When the other candidate seemed unhelpful they mentioned it to Steve Hart. Then the candidate went looking for the five people but was barred from entering the room (3o minutes before the selection) by the Ward Secretary.
  • By the time one member I have spoken to arrived, the five members were seated at the back of the room. Four men and one woman (who works in Ali Ozbek's Pharmacy).
  • A blonde woman turned up before anyone had started speaking but was barred from entering the room by the Ward Secretary, despite remonstrating with him.
  • Barbara Blake won in the first round (to select a female candidate) against Zena Brabazon and Emine Ibrahim by two votes. It was 11/1/14. Everybody voted.
  • It is alleged that one candidate knew the questions in advance and had prepared answers.
  • At the appropriate point in the meeting the secretary asked if everyone was OK with the others in the room and everybody laughed.
  • There were various factions voting together in the room; the five new members, Charles Adje's family, Zena and David's people and the Ward Secretary's people.
  • In the final round Ali Ozbek and Peter Morton were selected, beating Zena by one vote.
  • Ali is a local chemist and businessman on Green Lanes who seemed very passionate about what should be done with St Ann's and spoke eloquently about the need to reduce business rates. He is also a property developer.
  • At the time Peter worked as head of press for the Labour Party.
  • Barbara is a trade union official and ex Ward Secretary.

After the Selection Meeting

  • A fellow councillor calls David to commiserate with him.
  • David Browne and Zena Brabazon did some investigation using the St Ann's Labour Party membership list and the electoral roll.
  • They discovered that nineteen new members signed up that year did not actually live in St Ann's and that they had either given Green Lanes business addresses when they signed up or claimed addresses in the ward.
  • Not one of these new members, many of whom were recruited on the 8th of July gave an address in the ward at which they are eligible to vote, which is required by party rules.
  • Five of these members were "eligible" to vote because they signed up before the cut off date of the 30th of April, however they should have been barred from voting because they do not actually live in the ward.
  • Zena and David wrote to their local Labour Party officials who sent their evidence on to the London Labour Party.
  • Nobody can tell me for sure where Ali Ozbek lives but he claims an address in Finsbury Park Avenue.
  • Ali Ozbek has donated money to the Labour Party.
  • According to a twitter exchange with a Labour councillor in another ward, the membership list should have been gone through before the meeting by the person running it to make sure this kind of thing did not happen, it was certainly done in their ward.
  • When one of the five members who voted was called at his home his partner informed the caller that he had been in Turkey for a while and was not due back yet.
  • In Harringay several new Labour Party members were registered using Green Lanes business addresses but not before the cut off date.
  • Barbara Blake has told local traders that it is OK to register as a member in the Labour Party from a business address (it is definitely not) and the Tottenham Membership Secretary has expressed a similar view in a meeting, only to be corrected.

The "Corruption in Haringey Labour" article.

  • After I wrote the original article, in which I also made some allegations against Claire Kober, the only phone call to site admins was to remove the Secretary of the St Ann's Labour party's name from the discussion.
  • There was a lot of comment on the original thread and as of Saturday the 12th of October it appears to have been viewed more than 7000 times, although I dispute that as a useful metric (I think the actual figure is much lower).
  • After some badgering it was picked up by an overworked Stephen Moore at the Tottenham Journal, here.

Trying to get a re-run

  • I have pushed the councillor who commiserated David on his loss on Twitter to join calls asking for a re-run of the election but they have resolutely refused, to the point where it's all a bit weird and "la la la, I can't hear you".
  • As it stands the London Labour Party have agreed that the five people were not eligible to vote but they say that this was not picked up before or during the meeting so the result stands. Their investigation consisted of speaking to the Ward Secretary and Steve Hart. Steve Hart lied because someone did speak to him before the meeting.
  • The London Labour Party have the attendance list and will not release it, presumably because it shows that people were not identified correctly and that at least two of the five were imposters.
  • Appeals to the NEC have all been rebuffed, even with the full acknowledgement of what went on.

The Labour doorstep in Harringay

  • The St Ann's Labour Party have a great deal of trouble getting members to help them out with canvassing. A photograph has been tweeted showing more than 20 people out in Harringay Ward above the same session in St Ann's, with just two.
  • When David Lammy, after a lot of badgering apparently, stepped out in St Ann's for the Labour doorstep he was met by a picket of local men calling on him not to support the St Ann's fraudsters. As I understand it he will not be going out with them again.

The Police are involved

  • On Monday the 10th of February Haringey MPS made a visit to me on behalf of the secretary of the St Ann's Labour Party and his partner.
  • It was alleged that I had called him filth on Twitter (which I have not, that was someone else) and that I said "I know I'm hassling you but...". I was served with a Notice of Harassment Letter which will now appear in extended CRB checks.

*An individual has asked that their name be replaced with their function in this post on the grounds that they are not seeking public office. This has been done.

Tags for Forum Posts: election2014, labour, st ann's labour, stanns

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Replies to This Discussion

Ed Miliband says one thing and the party, basically from him down, does another. Ian McNichol, as the General Secretary of the Labour Party seems to have made sure that #stanns doesn't get up as far as Ed (although the fact that his bag carrier,James Stewart, is a current but soon to be ex Noel Park ward councillor makes me think that he knows all about it) however, Labour Party members from all around the country have heard of this and because Ali Gul Ozbek is attending every fund raising dinner he can for the Labour Party they know who he is too.

All we want is fairly elected councillors, accountable to us. Is that too much to ask?

James Stewart was IN THE SELECTION MEETING IN QUESTION. He lives in St Ann's or claimed membership on September 18th at least.

The visit is over. The two officers, were apologetic (even indignant) but apparently a couple of my tweets mentioning him over the past few months have crossed the line. I didn't swear at him or even make death threats but it seems that is enough for a grown man, capable of fighting his own battles in politics, to involve the police. Ridiculous. Anyway, I have been issued with a "Prevention of Harassment Letter", so I guess that's me effectively silenced. Anyone else want to take up the baton?

Hi John
Do you feel that you can't continue even if you don't cross the line with future posts or tweets?

I'm sorry John that really sucks. You definitely have our support any time, we think you're a great guy with honest principals that you defend. What you do helps folk so keep going old buddy

I don't know what to say John, that's incredible. Like Gillian I'm interested in whether it means you can't discuss anything about this at all.

Ugly ugly stuff.

WHETHER in the circumstances, the content of the two tweets justified a complaint to the police is a matter that may best be left alone.

I don't know the two tweets that are referred to, I don't want to know and you won't want to repeat them. The officers probably have said how they believe you "crossed the line". Let us assume that the visit from the officers should silence you in respect of further tweets of (whatever was) the nature of those two tweets.

However, I can't see why it should silence you in other respects.

Apparently I called him "filth" in one tweet, although I wonder if they got their wires crossed there, and I said in another "I know I'm hassling you but...".

John, I think there's a lesson here about the merits of (IMO the excessively brief) Twitter, versus the ability to develop an argument on a wider canvas, such as on HoL.

Thus, if one were engaged in dirty or corrupt politics, then one might be described as filthy, or at least filthy in that respect. Its best not to personalise matters more than necessary. It shouldn't be confused with bathing frequency. However, if one grapples with another covered in tar, some of it could transfer to oneself.

This is a dirty business.

Unless your tweets were addressed to him in person I don't see how they can say you were harassing him. You have not " imposed unwanted communications and contacts upon him "

If he chose to read them that's his problem.

However, best to play it safe, Well done for everything so far.

I "mentioned" him, he doesn't follow me and I don't follow him. Although the tweets that he has sent @owenjones84 makes him a bit of a hypocrite really.

David Lammy just blocked me. Correction, someone in his office blocked me.

This is an utter scandal. Please let us know what we can do to help.

I am a former Labour party activist - I was election organiser in St Anne's when Bernie was first elected. I can never vote Tory, and after the ConDem alliance would find it very difficult to vote lib-dem. Yet, I now find myself in an impossible position,  despite being in Harringay ward I will find it very difficult to vote Labour locally.

I think that other decent Labour councillors and candidates need to publicly distance themselves from the local leadership who are clearly allowing this corruption to take place.

Surely a national/London newspaper will now be interested in this story? 



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