The members of Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency have run the proverbial tape measure over the three candidates set before them by the party following interviews of some 14 candidates of about 60 who expressed interest in this Labour-held seat.
Debbie Abrahams won on the first vote polling a couple more than the combined votes of the two former Oldham mayors. LOL are repeating the basic life story material below.
What else is there to say? Debbie's other half is the immensely popular Lancashire and Milnrow cricketer John Abrahams, raised and educated in Heywood. He captained his county, leading them to Benson & Hedges victory in 1984 and winning the Man of the Match award though he did not bowl and got a duck. Top captaincy!
John is now manager of the England U19 team and is pictured with captain Azeem Rafiq (r) as they prepare for their first match in Bangladesh, Mirpur, October 11, 2009.
The Lib Dems (and the Tories for that matter) are already running round chatting fart about the Colne Valley result from May. It was Tory target 21 and the Lib Dems, who also overtook Labour as our national vote slumped, had the personable Nicola Turner rather than a horrendously lazy whining windbag.
That was of course before the Lib Dems had let down everybody that voted for them and according to detailed polls lost between 50% and 67% of their support, even slumping from 30% to a remarkable 4% voting intention if there was an election tomorrow in a recent poll in the North East and in the range 8-10% in national polls. And what's more the Tories were not trailing Labour and not nursing a significant negative approval rating.
Finally LOL learn that there has already been remarkable activity on the telephones. It will be fascinating to watch how MPACUK (Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK) and their friends - not least among the East Lancashire Lib Dems - respond to this selection.
Let's hope MPACUK keep right out of it.
For that matter let's hope damaged goods Nick Griffin, the obnoxious holocaust denier, racist and fascist changes his mind and stays away too. He has something in common with MPACUK's Asgar Bukhari who confesses to having sent funds (£60) and encouraged many others to do likewise to aid the excreable holocaust-denier David Irving, explaining to the Observer that he simply thought him an anti-zionist. How so? At the very least thinking that was the limit of Irving's miscreance would appear very stupid. Irving had claimed that Nazi gas chambers did not exist. Bukhari is anything but stupid.
In the 2005 parliamentary election campaign an extremely unpleasant leaflet appeared in Rochdale in the name of MPACUK, which they were to distance themselves from and apologise for, although the damage was done. I have some unused exchanges with MPACUK on this one. Inconclusive actually. Quite how it was produced in this form without their knowledge and approval remains a mystery. The leaflet was to go on to feature in a parliamentary enquiry.
In spring 2010 MPACUK attacked Phil Woolas, in a rather more measured leaflet, but also including with a video which simply does not appear to show what they say very bullishly that it shows. In both cases the MPACUK action, and in Woolas' case the Labour candidate's childish and wrong-headed reaction to it, assisted the Lib Dems. The links have been plain for all on the ground to see. Watch this space.
Debbie's CV: Experienced PPC, public servant and academic Ms Debbie Abrahams. A good communicator and a public health expert. Here's a blog from her on Comment is Free. And here's an academic profile, drawn from the international URHIS Project:
Debbie Abrahams is a Director of IMPACT - the International Health Impact Assessment Consortium – based in Public Health, a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre, at the University of Liverpool. She is the lead for HIA research and the commercial work of the Unit. Debbie started work in public health 17 years ago as Head of a WHO Healthy Cities project. Since 1999 Debbie has led over 40 HIAs of various policies, strategies and projects at local, regional, national and international levels. These include HIAs of Birmingham International Airport’s Runway Extension, the European Employment Strategy in the UK and across the EU, the North West Regional Economic Strategy, and many health policies, services and facility developments across the country. Debbie has co-ordinated various multi-centred national and international HIA research projects developing HIA methods, procedures and tools. For example, the European Commission-funded 'Policy HIA for the European Union' project and the 'HIA: Measuring the Effect of Public Policy on Variations in Health' project, funded by the Department of Health. She has acted as an advisor to national HIA developments in Brazil, Italy, Finland and Portugal as well as to the EC and WHO, e.g., on Health Systems Impact Assessment, HIA capacity and methodological development. In addition to collaborating in EURO URHIS 2, Debbie is co-ordinating a project to develop impact indicators for the European Food Safety Authority. Other work includes supporting the development of a new Health Equity Impact Assessment methodology. In addition to contributing to the MPH and e-MPH programmes, Debbie has facilitated HIA Capacity Building projects across England; she is currently leading the North West HIA Capacity Building programme for IMPACT, a joint project with North West Public Health Observatory. Whilst working at Liverpool, Debbie also worked in the National Health Service for nearly 10 years, firstly as Director of Bury & Rochdale Health Authority and then between 2002 and 2006 as Chair of Rochdale Primary Care NHS Trust. Debbie is an advisor to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Chair of the charity, North West Action on Smoking and Health, a board member of the healthcare charity, ‘Hope Citadel’ and Governor of a local primary school. She is married with 2 daughters.