Sunday, June 01, 2008

Deposing PPCs: Established Lib Dem Practice?

Just a few days ago we reported how Mark Pack had posted on the Henley Selections, essentially jeering at the Tory process. Even though the Lib Dem one - replacing a local person, and a woman, with a distant person, and a man - was nothing to write home about. Seems to me his friends who questioned Mr Pack's good sense in doing this were right.

However, the arrival of former council and parliamentary candidate Dr Yasmin Zalzala as a commenter drew attention to some simularities with her own replacement. Not the same of course. This is a by-election and replacing existing candidates is something most parties' rules allow.

There has been an exchange of views in comments with some aspects of Yasmin's case again aired. In essence this was that she was told by party colleagues that her gender, ethnicity and religion were getting in the way, because local people were according to these colleagues, bigots.

There are three comments I'd like to address here:

Mark Valladares Says 30th May 2008 at 5:24 pm
Chris, the regularity with which you introduce this topic into anything that is being debated, no matter how tenuous the relationship, is becoming boring.
Yasmin’s unhappiness is quite understandable - she built up a seat so that it was worth taking from her. It happens only too often, I fear, regardless of party, and happened to a friend of mine in a London seat recently. The ambitious always want to win - probably a good thing, unless you happen to be between them and the prize, I guess.
So can we return to the topic?

Don't see how this is off topic actually Mark. The rather ill-advised post from Mark draws attention to the selection behaviour of both the Tories and the Lib Dems, with the latter choosing not to continue with the candidacy of the local woman Susan Cooper and instead select a Kentish man, or Man of Kent, while the former had some debate ahead of selection of a local man ahead of the favourite local woman.

Mark Pack Says 30th May 2008 at 5:59 pm
Chris Paul: you keep on making variants on the same allegation, but each time it’s been investigated, the verdict has been that those allegations are false.

And then Mark's colleague:

Oranjepan Says 30th May 2008 at 6:43 pm
Chris Paul: you should try taking some bar exams and see how far your innuendoes get you in proving guilt.

Assuming that both are referring to the matter of Yasmin being told that her ethnicity, gender and religion were causing a problem I'd have to completely refute BOTH these comments.

Far from being deemed false those allegations were largely or completely upheld by an enquiry chaired by the barrister Peter Rothery, the former City Centre councillor. The individual at the centre of it was barred from party office and from candidacy, though as he seems to be back to both this must have been time limited.

It may be that the latter comment refers instead to my questions over a surprising candidacy in the ward where Yasmin formerly stood and a surprising donation of £2500 from the surprising candidate to the constituency in which Yasmin stood. If that is the case I'm not sure why such reasonable questions could not be put by a barrister with an expectation of an explanation being forthcoming. Perhaps Oranjepan can clarify?

This picture shows Simple Simon Ashley joining famous ex-Lib Dem Sajjad Karim MEP in welcoming Left to Right Moin Azma and Sufiyan Rana (partners in the Azmi Rana firm) to the Lib Dem franchise. Sufiyan being the surprise candidate and donor.

MEANWHILE: Henley Conservatives have not selected Ann Ducker as expected but have instead gone for one of her male colleagues Cllr John Howell. For the moment it looks like Labour have bucked the trend and stuck with Richard McKenzie.


Letters From A Tory said...

I thought Labour were going to try a bigger name than Richard McKenzie - does this move indicate that Labour won't seriously contest the seat?

Chris Paul said...

I have no idea what it means LFAT ... Looking at the figures thought the seat does not have Labour gain written all over it. But it might be somethingly like Cheadle where we did mount a campaign but where Lib Dems matched and overtook the Tories.

We'll see. McKenzie seems like an interesting fellow anyway. The by-election is yet to be called, and when it is called the parties have a few days for adjustments ...