Safety in numbers
When in bother, seek refuge in a crowd
This is a follow up to the last post, I’ve had a little email exchange with Cllr. Ahmed Khan the current deputy leader of the South Tyneside Independent Alliance group of councillors regarding the way that Mr. David McBride was appointed as their candidate for the Westoe ward of South Shields, a ward already represented by his mother and step father on South Tyneside Council.
However getting this man pinned down is as frustrating as nailing jelly to a wall, following his terse and short statement about the current leader and deputy leader I asked him these questions by email:
Were you a party to any agreement to choose David McBride as the Alliance candidate for the local government election in May 2010?
Were you drawn into any discussions on his suitability as a candidate, and what procedures do the South Tyneside Independent Alliance normally adopt for the the decisions over which candidate they will support?
Please note that your reactions and responses to these questions in your role as deputy leader of the South Tyneside Independent Alliance are of critical public interest in the local democratic process, and are relevant in the disclosure of your group’s political activities, and as such these matters cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet. Therefore in the interests of furthering the public debate I cannot be a party to your attempt at gagging the free flow of information.
This final point was in response to Cllr. Khan’s insistence that his emails were not for publication, that he wasn’t going to engage in an exchange of emails any further, and that he considered the matter to be closed. It obviously isn’t and he has sent me a further reply in which he intimates that it is UNTRUE that he is considering giving up the deputy leadership, and that he WILL seek re-election in due course, he also tells me that it is untrue that other local councillors wanted to put forward their own children as candidates for the Westoe ward, he also states clearly that the Independent Alliance has NEVER accused anyone of nepotism on the basis of their family membership, and that if I want any further answers to my questions I should come and ask them personally at their meeting on Monday evening.
Rather like the the knotted crowds of lads that used to hang around on the street corners these individuals didn’t feel comfortable on their own standing in the spotlight or being directly challenged, it was always far better to have safety in numbers, in a situation where prey could be more easily intimidated.
I won’t be going to the Independent’s meeting , however I am hoping that if they have someone of principles and moral backbone within their ranks, that they will tell their current leader just how damaging her course of action is, and that her current deputy leader is spineless and unprincipled in failing to carry publicly the same message to her that creating a “family business” in the Westoe ward will create a mountain of public disquiet throughout South Tyneside.
Oh by the way, Cllr. Khan still hasn’t provided any satisfactory answers to those questions.