Harringay online

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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Oh Clive don't be so ridiculous! people do not go to the polls and vote for a coalition it is not on the ballot paper. There was no clear majority therefore a coalition was formed rather than a minority government. Please talk in the realms of reality.

You may enjoy pouring buckets of water over students, nurses, care workers, the disabled, families whose kids have grown up and now have a spare bedroom, teachers, police officers, fire fighters (the list is endless) but most people don't. However I am sure Haringey Liberal Democrats are heartened by the fact that you have been able to muster up people within a 50 mile radius of Haringey who are actually willing to stand for your party. Some of your current councillors have EVEN decided to stand again, although I haven't counted I think its barely in double digits.

Emine Ibrahim

Labour Party Candidate (Harringay Ward)

 

Of course both Clive and Emina are both right, but in different ways.

The formal position is that in this country we have a "Parliamentary Democracy", so we each in our seperate consitituencies choose MPs to represent us, and they go to the House of Commons and decide who should be in government, and then have the job of scrutinizing the Government, deciding which laws are made, and at any time, removing the government. So Clive is right. A coalition last election was the outcome, and it was the outcome because of who got to sit in parliament. At every general election the only thing to appear on the ballot paper is the names of the candidates, and the party, if any for which they stand. So, in form we never get to vote for a government, except as an outcome of our vote, we get one.

Emina is also right, cos in practice, in this country, almost always, one party wins, and in the election almost all voters see themselves as choosing between two alternative parties and when the Commons meets the choice of a government is a formality.

Clive's problem is that he is standing at LOCAL level for a party associated at NATIONAL level with breaking an absolutely categorical pledge at the last general election over tuition fees. (see above) So given that we know his party has a record of breaking pledges nationally, how do we then deal with any pledge made by the Liberal Democrats in Haringey?

(Actually I live in Islington, and ironically, in view of my above point, find myself unable to vote Lib Dem in my Ward because I profoundly disagree with a local pledge they have made....while still having a beef with them over breaking the tuition fees pledge.)

No pleasing me I suppose.

I have literally begged some of my neighbours to join the Labour Party locally because they are not trusted to select candidates fairly and more members would mitigate this. They almost always cite the Iraq war (20/3/2003) as the reason that they left the party in the first place and will not go back. I appreciate that their manifesto did not say "we'll avoid resource wars" but the fact that Britain's usual method of holding governments in office to account (massive street protests) did not work shows that something is very wrong with democracy. Just look at the fortifications around Westminster since then if you need any confirmation.

  1. Mitty Ragnuth (Conservative) Standing in Alexandra lives in Enfield
  2. Ilkin Gokdemir (Liberal Democrat) Standing in Seven Sisters lives in Hackney
  3. Derek Bishop (TUSC) Standing in Seven Sisters lives in Enfield
  4. Thuraine Aruliah (Liberal Democrat) Standing in Tottenham Hale lives in Enfield
  5. Ramazan Alma (Liberal Democrat) Standing in West Green lives in Hackney
  6. Savvas Oktay (Liberal Democrat) Standing in West Green lives in Waltham Forest
  7. Ali Guvercin (Liberal Democrat) Standing in White Hart Lane lives in Islington
  8. Kirsty Allan (Liberal Democrat) Standing in Woodside lives in Westminster

 

All I can say is that I am proud of my party rules. The biggest insult is to the residents of Woodside where the Liberal Democrats have fielded a candidate who lives in a borough that does not even have a border with Haringey. In West Green they have fielded 2 candidates from outside the borough and that tells me what Liberal Democrats in Haringey think of people living on Broadwater Farm.

Emine Ibrahim

Labour Party Candidate (Harringay Ward)

 

But the party rules have been broken, Emine. A load of people who live outside Haringey joined to select Ali Gul Ozbek, Barbara Blake and Peter Morton, giving their addresses as shops where they neither live, nor are registered to vote. There's no evidence they even work there, actually.

Five people took part in a selection they had no right to be in and then the party just ignored it.  The candidates, who have never once denied that there were dodgy dealings at their own selections, are just looking shifty and making a dash for the finish line. They will never be able to say they are the rightful candidates in the ward and their lack of integrity is shameful. They, and Sheila Peacock for that matter, should do the decent thing and step out of the way. There are plenty of hardworking, effective and, above all, honest people who could be Labour councillors in their place.

I have posted two updates for HoL readers about and other peoples’ efforts to get the Labour Party to apply its own rules and to act in a right and ethical manner. Links here and here

To summarise the Party simply refused to act, with the same responses coming from members of the National Executive Committee, including the Chair. This is the same Angela Eagle MP who was very quick to remark on the need for integrity when it came to criticising Maria Miller for her expenses.

So if integrity is the issue when dealing with your opponents, it should be the basic moral principle and starting point for the Labour Party in managing its own affairs and selections.

The selection process in St. Ann’s was unacceptable and it is a disgrace that neither Barbara Blake nor Peter Morton were ready to join us in calling for a rerun when the rule breaking was first exposed. Had they done so, I am sure a rerun would have been agreed. They would have earned the respect from many people, including me. They may have been selected legitimately. And I would have supported them whether selected or not. Instead they went along with it and are now part of the rottenness permeating the local party.

Zena Brabazon

Cllr, St. Ann's Ward till May 22nd

The point is Emine, that these people are not almost guaranteed to be elected, far from it. The fact that you don't get that worries me.

All that doorstepping that you have been doing as part of the party machine that will effectively impose its candidates on many ward in the borough is rather an affront to democracy given that nobody else can do it.

I wouldn't insult residents by believing any ward is a guarantee. Local elections have a lower turnout when not on the same day as a general election, so throw up less predictable results. If you look at the result of the ward where the individual from Maida Vale is standing we can see that an assumption like that from anyone would be extremely arrogant. Besides Nick Clegg visited that ward today - not really the level of interest one would expect for "paper" candidates ! I am of the view that every ward should be fought to win.

Emine Ibrahim
Labour Party Candidate (Harringay Ward)

The philosopher Martin Buber retold a story about Rabbi Susya, who became afraid as he approached death.

He friends teased him, "Are you afraid you'll be judged because you weren't Moses?" "No," the rabbi replied: "Because I was not Susya".

So Emine be yourself. Be judged by your own principles and conduct.  You are an excellent, lively, intelligent, principled, Labour candidate. I very much hope you are elected in Harringay ward.

In other Haringey wards let the sheep defend the sheep.

(Tottenham Hale ward councillor 1998-2014. Labour Party member 40 years +)

Besides, Emine, there has long been a vague rumour going the rounds that your stable-mate, Gina Adamou, is a resident of Harringay Ward. But how could one possibly prove that? It shakes my long held belief in the desirability of residency. She may, however, like the Holy Spirit, be immanent rather than resident. She cannot, then, need our votes.

Not quite - as I understand it (from the sidelines), a candidate for a council seat just needs to live in the borough, not in the ward. However the candidates (mostly three per ward) are selected by the local party members who do live in the ward and have been living there and registered to vote, at a cutoff date some time before the selection meeting - this should avoid loads of people signing up to the Party at the last minute. Members sign in at the Party meeting where candidates are selected.  The ward membership should have been checked against the electoral roll before that meeting, by the ward secretary. A pretty straightforward process, no?  

Hi Pam and Therese

I posted a comment in reply to Bethany's question about the St. Ann's selection and breaches of the party rules.  Here's the link.

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