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South Shields premier political blog

What is the limit of Cllr. Khan’s ambitions?

with 25 comments

cllr. ahmed khan, south tynesideIndependent councillor’s bid to ride the Euro Gravy Train?

I ran into the Jury Team a few weeks ago after a small snippet (or was it a Message Space advert) appeared at Iain Dale’s place but I idly dismissed it as another group wanting to make some noise about the poor state of democracy financed by a small group of ‘sugar daddies’. It wasn’t until I saw this Tweat on South Tyneside Independent candidate Dennis Allsop’s Twitter page that I sat up and took notice:

Congratulations re your Jury Team success. Well done indeed. I’m delighted. Onwards, ever onwards!

7:10 PM Apr 28th from web in reply to CouncillorKhan

What involvement did Ahmed Khan have with this group financed by a former Tory party donor I wondered?

My first port of call was the Twitter page ran by the South Shields Independent councillor but it revealed nothing, so I then went to have a look for the Jury Team on the web where I discovered that they have had a web based vote in a sort of ‘primary’ to select candidates for the European elections in June, a few thousand took part in this exercise and as a result they have a ‘slate’ of three candidates for the North East on 4th. June and the man who heads the list having garnered the highest vote in this ‘poll’ is South Shields based Ahmed Khan. Until now we have found it surprisingly difficult to glean any meaningful policies from him or the Independent Alliance that affect the people of South Tyneside, we have seen no notion of any interest in national politics at Westminster or any opinions on the effectiveness or otherwise of the Labour government, the Conservative Opposition, or Nick Clegg’s Lib-Dems, the only involvement in issues outside of South Tyneside that we have seen from Khan has been his publicised involvement in a peace protest where he supported the withdrawal of children from their schools.

So it was with some interest that I read this page on the Jury Team’s website to glean some more sketchy information about Mr. Khan and I was left with more questions than answers.

So a little fisk is in order.

First off it displays his ambition to widen his political experience well beyond the boundaries of the Beacon and Bents ward in South Shields

.…as your MEP I will be striving to ensure your voice is heard where it matters.

As an Independent MEP I will be campaigning for our region.

Not bad ambitions eh? The likelihood of course is that he won’t be one of our MEPs and that the three North East seats will once again be shared by the three mainstream parties as disgruntled voters take the opportunity to give Gordon Brown a damn good kicking, the default course of action at these times is to turn to the official Opposition party, and I see no reason why this should not be the case on June 4th. It costs £5000 deposit to stand in the EU Parliament elections in an effort to board the Great Gravy Train, it’s a good job Cllr. Khan has deep pockets!

Our region faces some key challenges: ageing infrastructure, tourism, the environment, declining rural areas, the demise of our fishing fleets, jobs, economic development & regeneration. Whether we like it or not, Europe will play a large part in how we overcome them. Together we need to ensure we get the best possible deal for the region.

Who would have known that Khan had any views on Europe, infrastructure, or even tourism and regeneration? Ah yes, tourism and regeneration, I almost forgot he has a track record with his Independent Alliance colleagues here, just a year ago I highlighted the fact that they were opposed to development of a hotel at Gypsies Green in South Shields, opposed to any tourist development at our Roman Fort or at the North Marine Park, and was opposed to the new C J Garland’s call centre on the riverside, he had also campaigned for a “village green” status for our sea front parks in South Shields which would have blighted all regeneration and improvements there for generations to come. I hope he will be highlighting his ‘achievements’  to the people of the North East on his campaign literature and his efforts to regenerate his own locality, not very aspirational are they?

So far, too, we have not heard his views on Europe and it’s federalist ambitions does he support the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty which considerably alters the relationship between the Commission, the Parliament, the Council and it’s member states? Has he ever called for the British people to take part in a referendum before it is ratified, this is surely the best way of giving people a voice – No?

Like many of you I am concerned about the effect of EU Legislation on the UK, for example border control, social, education, environmental & economic policies.

Oh good he’s lining himself alongside the Conservatives, UKIP, and to some extent the BNP, by being concerned about border controls.

We need to continue developing and improving our natural, cultural and heritage assets for the economic benefit of the region. This will create jobs and new business opportunities.

We need to be less reliant on seasonal tourism by encouraging year round tourism.

This is a new one, I can’t remember Cllr. Khan backing the bids to make Jarrow/Monkwearmouth a World Heritage Site or to champion the cause of returning the Lindisfarne Gospels to the North East so that the rest of the UK can join in our Christian history, culture, and heritage.

On the CAP his views look muddled and ill thought out

The emphasis of the CAP should be shifted from subsidising production to sustaining the rural economy and protecting our countryside. The system should be simplified so that farmers who need help get it quickly.

Now this looks to me like moving the subsidies from one area and giving them to another, at least it will keep the hopelessly inefficient farmers of Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy happy. As a businessman I was hoping that he would call for an end to inefficient subsidies and the reintroduction of meaningful competition and free enterprise.

On business

Reform needs to work both ways. Less burdensome regulations and the removal of unnecessary barriers are necessary to encourage new SMEs and would encourage existing ones to grow.

Financial institutions need urgent reform and regulations must be tightened to stop a repeat of the economic crisis we now face.

Banks need to prove that they are lending the billions they have received from the taxpayer responsibly. Priority for lending must be given to UK SMEs and not foreign businesses.

Sounds like a shout out to the ‘better off out’ campaign, I’ll back that, if he really means it, but I don’t like the protectionist streak hidden in his final statement.

The only way we will break the party mould is to vote for an Independent candidate who will put our interest before self interest. By doing so you will be sending out a message to the politicians of all parties – you are not prepared to put up with them lining their own pockets at your expense.

Almost fell off my chair here – this is a man who made great publicity condemning South Tyneside councillors from all parties for claiming expenses, a man who spent many layers of shoe leather banging on doors telling the people of Beacon and Bents ward that he disagreed wholly with the whole business of local politicians riding on their backs and enjoying luxuries and largesse at the tax payers expense. It all sounded very laudable and honourable at the time, as though he wanted to arrive in a white suit on a white charger and clean the whole mess up. But no, once elected, Ahmed Khan was dipping his rather large hand into my pocket and joining in the party, would he care to explain why he is claiming expenses at the same rate as those he criticised? Is he really going to put my interest before his own?

I was born in a small town in Yorkshire & spent my early childhood living in the heart of the Colne Valley.
At the age of 12, I spent a year living & studying in Asia before returning to the UK to complete my education.

Which town were you born in Ahmed? I may as well say I was born on Tyneside, but I’m proud to put my name to South Shields the place of my birth. Which Asian country were you sent to, and why? Where did you complete your education exactly, what qualifications did you attain, was it at university or some lower level? Your personal statement here is not as open as I had hoped for.

In 2007 I stood as an Independent in the local elections & lost by 33 votes. I filed an election petition following several irregularities.

A little economical with words here Cllr. Khan, weren’t you going to tell the people the result of your action?

I also play an active role in a loose group of Independent councillors and activists known as the Independent Alliance

It’s a party Ahmed, not a loose group, you have a leader and a deputy leader you all campaign with generic material common to the whole party, the only loose parts are one or two councillors who don’t turn up to meetings as often as you do. One day you might all get around to telling the Electoral Commission about your existence, instead of keeping so quiet about it!

I believe in using very available medium to engage with local people and am putting the finishing touches to a website that will provide residents with up to date information about what the Independent movement in South Tyneside is doing.

Oh, that’ll be this one, that allows only registered users to engage with you, how very open and democratic.

I was and still am the only Councillor in South Tyneside to use Twitter as another method of engaging with local people.

Err, no, you are not, and is this tripe, attacking and cajoling other South Tyneside councillors what you call engaging people? It’s not very edifying is it?

Dennis Allsop

Now we shall turn to his proposer Mr. Dennis Allsop another Independent candidate for the 2010 local government elections in South Tyneside, what does he have to say about Cllr. Khan?

He is extremely generous and sociable, and is able to empathise with people from all sectors of society.

You might disagree completely if you heard the profanities and bile from him that I have recorded from the voicemail on my phone!

Provided that others are genuine, he is fair, sensitive

Oh yes, he certainly is sensitive! Just go back to his Twitter page to discover that he’s still interested in that “cup of coffee.”

His capacity for work is huge, as is his intelligence, which he uses to focus and concentrate upon any matters in hand, so that he is a skilled problem sorter.

I’m still waiting to see why we have a car sales room in Westoe Road and the people of Derby Terrace are getting fed up with the parking problems that have been brought to his attention. Problem sorter?

He is a man of ideas, well capable of lateral thinking.

That’ll explain the huge raft of policy ideas that we get from the Independent Alliance then, and why they spend council meetings yapping about cups of tea and biscuits or dog shit.

He seeks no reward for his valuable work on behalf of others, but should they be proven not to be genuine, they will learn that he is kind, but does not tolerate fools gladly.

Err, say that again Dennis, no reward? He claims his council expenses does he not? And is that last statement another allusion to his sensitivities?

He has well-thought-out principles, which combine with a well-developed sense of responsibility, and a great enthusiasm for things which matter to him.

He truly gains pleasure from seeing others enjoying themselves, both in their everyday environments, and in their entertainment.

Since May 2008, these attributes have made him an extremely effective and well thought of Ward Councillor, who is also skilled in asking probing questions at Council meetings, and in Committees.

I wonder what those principles are Dennis, the public don’t seem to have been informed, and what were all of those probing questions in council that you are talking about, I’m guessing that his enjoyment will include regular reading of a certain ape’s blog too. Oh yes that reminds me Dennis, readers ought to peruse your Twitter page (from which you ‘block’ me following – that’s not very ‘engaging’ for a prospective councillor is it?). Here they may find little Tweats like these

Allsop Tweats

The language, style, and childish syntax reminds a few of us of somewhere else, would readers agree?

Allsop comments?

Taken from comments in this post, (from a blog which is beginning to unravel like a bowl of over boiled spaghetti) I have to question, is this just a coincidental similarity? Even the Twitter page of Mr. Allsop belies a rather juvenile and immature approach from a man so keen to offer his intellect and integrity to the electorate, don’t you think?

So what next for Councillor Khan after the Jury Team dream ticket is resoundingly consigned to the dustbin in the North East region on June 4th? His ambitions appear to be sky high, perhaps a tilt at Parliament? Perhaps he’d like to represent Jury Team in the general election and try to dilute the opposition vote to help David Miliband return to take Labour’s crown from Brown?

To be honest I cannot find much to recommend about his candidature, he lacks real quality and depth, his statements are vague and once again ‘policy light’, he lacks the necessary gravitas, or experience, and cannot offer much in the way of previous political achievement. Their is a paucity of ideas and vision, perhaps the reason for tying his wagon to a bigger caravan, yet his horizon is determined by his own personal ambition He does not possess great skills as an orator by any means, he’s no Nigel Farrage

and doesn’t even deserve to sit in the same building as Dan Hannan

but I hope he goes far –  dare I suggest as far as this?

Sorry Cllr. Khan but don’t expect my vote on June 4th. In my view the Jury Team candidates will probably lose their deposits and fall behind the Green Party as Labour, Conservative, and the Lib-Dems take the lion’s share.

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Written by curly

May 3, 2009 at 12:58 pm

25 Responses

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  1. Wow Curly you take no prisoners. I too wonder about his background. He seems to have sprung up fully formed in South Shields. Where was he from. What did he do? Was he involved in local politics elsewhere?


    May 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm

  2. Curly, has he coughed up his costs for the court cases to the council/Returning Officer yet?

    J. Robson

    May 3, 2009 at 5:21 pm

  3. well I hope you Tories are going to put in a huge effort this year and next year, just to thwart the advances of these loony left Independents.

    They frighten me silly with their total ignorance of council taxes and how to save money.

    Steve Batson

    May 3, 2009 at 6:40 pm

  4. Don’t pull any punches do you, nice demolition! The bloke is a bloody joke.

    Lawe resident

    May 3, 2009 at 8:35 pm

  5. Khan should think hard, there are not sufficient people on the Woodbine Estate to get him to Westminster never mind Strasbourg.

    Derek Swann

    May 3, 2009 at 9:05 pm

  6. That must have been one of your longest articles!Pretty interesting,thought provoking!I am sure Ahmed Khan will have alot to say about you trying to ruin his ambitions of becoming a MEP. Here’s me thinking you were best friends!


    May 3, 2009 at 11:47 pm

  7. How coincidental, I thought the same about you.


    May 3, 2009 at 11:51 pm

  8. I’m sure you did Mr Curly, but you and Ahmed Khan share such warmth for eachother through your blogs that there’s no room from me!Two’s company three’s a crowd!


    May 4, 2009 at 12:55 am

  9. Don’t be so hard on yourself 🙂


    May 4, 2009 at 1:40 am

  10. Curly,

    What were the South Tyneside counter budget proposals Khan and his little gang put forward for fiscal year 09/10 again? Remind me please.

    David Potts

    May 4, 2009 at 1:50 am

    • I do believe their budget proposals amounted to nothing at all, even Deputy Leader Ahmed Khan had nothing to oppose Labour’s budget with, I hope he doesn’t plan on being so quiet in Brussels (if by some miracle he’s elected). Today, he’d rather talk about Tom Hanson on Twitter than inform his ward constituents that he’s planning to desert them.


      May 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

  11. Mr Potts, Just to clarify, The Independent Alliance has more councillor than Conservative am I right,not that I agree with them. To be honest the Tories and the Indys do not have the solutions to South Shields,Labour do!Oh and it’s actually such a shame that two local councillors choose to attack eachother through blogs!What’s happening to South Shields!


    May 4, 2009 at 2:18 am

  12. Sorry:Have more


    May 4, 2009 at 2:19 am

  13. Khan is a workaholic,so where does he stand on the Working Time Directive – Opt in or opt out?

    Doesn’t really matter since he won’t win.

    Lawe resident

    May 4, 2009 at 12:47 pm

  14. “Labour do”. Are you having a laugh, Lalon?

    South Tyneside Labour are still living in the 1960s!

    David Potts

    May 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

  15. Totally agree that Ahmed Khan is a workaholic,he has the drive and steadfastness to achieve his goals,something we all witnessed at the last elections. Wether he wins is another matter,maybe he has made toomany enemies in all the wrong places,maybe he has burnt too many bridges for that dream to be achieved.My advice as a constituent would be to learn to negotiate,compromise and build bridges,this equals success,success equals future MEP. Constituents hate seeing bickering,personal attacks,we would much rather hear solutions. Hey. You never know if Councillor Potts and Ahmed Khan forget their cued they could forms dream ticket!Unity is the key not childish jibeson tweeter and offers of cups of coffee n tea, but offers of working together with a glass of lassi.


    May 4, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  16. Hey Lalon I agree with the lassi idea, it’s lovely stuff.

    David MacLean

    May 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm

  17. Councillor Potts , I actually happen to think South Shields is a real nice place to live, Labour led South Shields is a respectable place,not that I am Labour!Although we can always improve, but I do not believe The Indy’s can improve Shields nor the Tories,but I guess both of your presence is good as it keeps Labour on their toes!Good luck in your political career we need young peole like yourself representing people.


    May 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm

  18. Thanks David (rising star journalist), I had one in Aneesa’s the other nights and felt refreshed!It’s the Lassi effect!


    May 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm

  19. Shame, I cannot support Khan, he has not proved ability here in South Shields yet.

    Sayeed Hussein

    May 4, 2009 at 6:10 pm

  20. Has he proved ability anywhere else or were we here in Shields chosen to launch his political career. Where did he come from and what did he do there?


    May 5, 2009 at 6:49 pm

  21. According to the website Dee, he came to the North East from Turkey in 1998, he is well travelled.


    May 5, 2009 at 7:22 pm

  22. Come on Curly the way your making it out is as if he Is some alien!It read that he hails from Yorkshire,he subsequently went to study in Asia, then ran a business in Turkey,after wrapping up he eventually returned to England.I think you need to draw a line, it’s like creating fear!Oh and it’s pretty interesting seeing this game of chess between Ahmed Khan and yourself,it’s a game of nerves!


    May 5, 2009 at 11:57 pm

  23. […] under the cosy and leafy  heart of Westoe Village, the Deputy and a small loyal band of supporters plotted their assault on mainland Europe, planning with military precision aided by a communications division armed with thousands of home […]

  24. Curly why do you find it strange that he studied in Asia for a year, I thought it was the norm for young men from West Yorkshire to go to “study” in Pakistan. Have heard rumours that his younger brother Hassan is one of the top lawyers in the UK on Sharia Law, wonder what his views are on the Muslim attempts to impose Sharia Law on the indigenous people of this country.

    Jarrow Pete

    May 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm

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