Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dave Hennigan and Gaza: More Like Sozzled Gazza?


Cllr Vera Hobhouse (Lib Dem) who is, at the time of writing, the Lib Dem PPC for Heywood - until Dave Hennigan gets his grubby mitts on it anyway - attended the Gaza meeting at Castlemere Community Centre. She was given the opportunity to read out Paul Rowen's statement but declined. At least two other approved substitutes had been lined up, both asian counillors in the local area, but they too became unavailable for the duty.

The arguments rage on at Rochdale Online's Community Forum though by the look of it some of Mohammed Shafiq's earlier and more forthright contributions have been spiked.

These stated quite coyly that Dave Hennigan's Demon Drink problem was an issue. As well as his behaviour. This led led to others (not Mr Shafiq) declining his kind offer to read and eventually having him removed. When he didn't accept their decision. These comments have been moderated out of existence. Which we presume is at Dave "Free Speech" Hennigan's request/threat to his good friend and drinking buddy Malcolm who owns the site. He has had my comments removed in the past on spurious grounds. He regularly threatens publications with writs, shouting "libel". In fact he is an arch exponent of smear, libel, harrassment and bullying. Perhaps this is what the Tax Payer wants when they - not the Lib Dems - pay £40,000 a year for a Constituency Manager?

Some of Dave's pals even have a pop at Mohammed for allegedly deleting his own posts. Yes, they are that vicious.

Vera doesn't mention Dave's state of sobriety or otherwise. He was perhaps drifting in and out of consciousness and close to a standing coma? She doesn't say. She says Dave was "was calm and said little". There is a photo of him being calm and saying very little at the foot of this post.

And although she hints that all is not well between Dave and the organisers (specifically nailing this on Shafiq, who did not AFAIK make the relevant decision) she does not mention why that is. Including how Dave Hennigan disgraced himself and spoiled a Ministerial Visit to the Castlemere Community Centre with drunken cat calling and the like.

Raining on their parade. Never popular. Perhaps there was a concern that he would not stick to the script in the state he was perceived to be in? Others have certainly suggested on the forum that he was a disruptive force and not a polite and diplomatic MP representative. But here's Wera:

Wera Hobhouse Beginner 13 Posts Posted - 27/01/2009 : 21:41:59

Sorry, I always come in rather late, don't have enough time for blogging. Here is my account of events. I went to the conference because I wanted to show my solidarity with the people of Gaza, my horror about the crimes to them committed by a community of people who themselves have been the victims of terror and racism- today is Holocaust Day-and my firm belief that this is not an issue of race or political creed, but of simple human outrage. I also went because I believe myself to be a friend of Shafiq (Mohammed), we supported each other during a year that wasn't particularly easy. I have respected Shaf for a lot of his views and what I thought he was trying to achieve through the Ramadhan Foundation. I also knew of course that there wasn't a lot of love lost between him and Dave (Hennigan).
We came into the main hall rather early and sat down towards the front, maybe the fourth row. People started to sit around us and when Dave and his girlfriend (?) turned up they sat down next to me and William (Hobhouse, Wera's hubbie). Dave said that he had Paul's speech as Paul was in Strasbourg. The event started with a reading from the Koran by a young boy which I found very moving and then an elderly orthodox Rabbi spoke making the interesting point between Zionism which was a more secular movement of Jewish people looking for an identity and the more fundamentalist orthodox belief that the Jewish people were always 'condemned' to live in the Diaspora- dispersed, without any homeland. I assume he was invited because he didn't believe in the State of Israel. Fair enough.
Then came a more 'militant' speaker, who seemed to be blaming the British for the trouble in Gaza and seemed to be calling for an end to ‘British colonialism’, saying something along the lines of ‘we British Muslims have to fight the British Government.’ I felt uneasy about that part of the conference.
After that the facilitator announced that unfortunately Paul Rowen couldn’t attend but that his speech could be found on the web and that there would be a break for prayers. At that point Dave Hennigan raised his hand and said that he had Paul’s speech and he could read it out, it would only take a few minutes. Who ever calls this heckling should look up the word in the dictionary. The facilitator replied that they would have to see about that because there was perhaps not enough time. Then everybody got up for a 15 minute break. Dave went to the front to speak to the facilitator. As Dave approached the facilitator, the facilitator eased Dave towards another man who escorted him towards the exit of the room (and, as we found out later, off the premises). As Dave left, we moved to the back of the room where we were chatting. John Murray then came to us to tell us that Dave was outside and was not allowed to come back in.
We immediately joined Dave and his girlfriend outside. Dave was calm and said little. John Murray started to argue with the doorman, the doorman said he would call the police, and William asked for Shafiq to come and explain what was going on. When Shaf came out he was uneasy and agitated and said that it was not only his decision that Dave was not allowed to speak. He offered me to read out Paul’s speech, but I declined because I had not been authorised by Paul. Shaf and John then had a rather unpleasant exchange of words. I was also somewhat outraged and disappointed and I felt that the behaviour of Shaf- or who ever had come to the stupid conclusion that Dave was not allowed to come back into the meeting- was completely against what I had thought was the spirit of this meeting bringing people together, showing solidarity against acts of injustice and intolerance. That is why I had come but I had obviously come to the wrong meeting which is why I left with Dave, his girlfriend and William.

The script which has now been published, which may or may not have been what Hennigan would have stumbled and/or shouted his way through, is available HERE.

1 comment:

Lunchtime O'Booze said...

Dave Hennigan has a 'girlfriend'?
I thought he was married- and not to those 2 litre bottles of Smirnoff he appears to be cuddling on the floor?