Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oldham East and Saddleworth: Debbie Abrahams is Labour PPC

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.


benchilltory said...

From elsewhere in blogland i understand that ..

"The chair of a Greater Manchester primary care trust (PCT) resigned in protest at the government’s plans for the NHS last weekend.

Debbie Abrahams, chair of Rochdale PCT, chose a 500-strong Keep a NHS Public rally in Manchester to announce her decision.

She told the demonstrators, “During my period as chair of Rochdale PCT, I have seen a steady stream of national policies introduced – foundation trusts, choice, independent treatment centres and now commisioning a patient-led NHS – which threaten these values and the future of a NHS that is equitable and free at the point of need.”.

Chris Paul said...

And your point is? Debbie is certainly firmly in the keep public services public wing of the Labour party. This was/is also evident in the Comment is free link I posted. Which dated from 2007.

A new generation indeed, and a complete breath of fresh air compared to that often rather right wing new labour warrior Mr P Woolas wouldn't you say?

It is customary to cite your sources with links BHT. You make it appear that this resignation occurred a week ago.

You should have a word with yourself trying to mislead people like that. Or join the Lib Dems ..!

Socialist Worker from 1 July 2006.

PDF download: from keep our NHS public. Also available from Unite.

We at LOL *like* this approach to public services. Although we are very much pro- Co-op we don't really like the Foundation Hospitals model as much as some in the movement and the Labour Party. And we think the idea of workers' co-ops in the NHS i.e. privatisation of delivery, now being touted by the Tories and Libdems is fundamentally wrong.

Patients first. And prevention and public health over fire fighting when people get ill.

Anonymous said...

Where's Elwyn's CV Chris?

Radio Ga Ga said...

This looks like what used to be called a "face made for radio."

Anonymous said...

I wonder if MPACUK will attack Ms Abrahams in the same way Lorna Fitzsimons was disgusting attacked in 2005 (which, by dint, helped get Paul Rowen in as Rochdale's MP)

"Lorna is a f*ucking Jew" was one particularly strident line pushed by some ugly bigots in Rochdale back then. Rants about zionism abounded. The end of election night at Rochale Townhall in 2005 ended with the defeated Ms Fitzsimons requiring a police escort for her own safety from the count.

I wish Ms Abrahams well and hope she is judged by her energy, talents and merits not because of her name, background or gender.

Oh the irony.

Hometruths said...

Then there are the dispossessed Rochdale Tanky malcontents that smear lies and inuendo about anyone who dares to challenge their warped views.

Cross cross-dressing Jack Brassington is hard at it as "Diane Nutall" on Rowen Online.

And in a late Saturday night forum posting 'choirboy' Dave Hennigan's past lambasts of Phil Woolas sound hollow when the former Rochdale Lib Dem agent continues his sad attempts to smear Rochdale's Labour MP with vague references to his private family life.

Rochdale's own special coaliation of disgraced Lib Demmers and ousted Lambrini "socialists" - a bunch of sad no-marks who enjoy the fight and the booze rather than doing something positive for local people.

Chris Paul said...

Elwyn's CV? anonymous 21.55. It's wrapping chips??

Radio Ga Ga .. behave.

Anonymous 06:49: I do hope MPACUK and their local friends and the Lib Dems who associated with both keep that kind of ugly shit out of this campaign.

Hometruths: If Hennigan gets involved this can only be helpful. Manchester lib Dems are beginning to go the way of Rochdale's. Five elected as LDs voted with Labour last Wednesday, three more abstained. This was on EMAs. One of each group already left LDs, one to Independent (Labour hearted0 the other to Conservatives (for whom he appears to be a disciplinary problem). Latter not directly down to Hennigan to be fair.

But they're going feral. Thanks Dave matey. You utter fool!

Anonymous said...

You're on to something here, Chris

Dick the Prick said...

Good luck to the lass; she seems normal and stuff. There seems to be the early bit missing off her CV as I used to work for the Yorky public health observatory and they're quite tough gigs to get.

Seriously though, good luck to her. My Labour oppo proper hated Woolarse for about 20 years and to say he laughed his head off would be an understatement - he bought all the drinks the night he was booted out!

I did a bit of work for Macca so Colne Valley was always gonna be difficult but she played fair.

No, good choice; is it a shoe-in? Yud kinda think so.

Chris Paul said...

Anonymous 13:04. The correct link to the London Muslim blog is right here. I have submitted a comment. Afzal accepts the short listing and selection, why can't they who have only second and third hand information, speculation and whining to go on? They should be ashamed of themselves making mulsims in general and Afzal in particular look like a bad loser. He is not. 60 candidates were put forward, at least 14 were selectable and were interviewed, but only one can win selection. Doh!

There have been sour grapes elsewhere also. Grow up people.

Derker Diggler said...

Which chippy wraps their produce in Elwyn's CV?

I want to be able to read about his record on his past as an elected representative from him.

Wasn't he a ward councillor in Rochdale?

Chris Paul said...

Well Derker Diggler, Elwyn was indeed elected to be a ward councillor in Rochdale but his attendance was appalling and his constituents were not happy.

Also his financial arrangements - along with those of his accomplices in the Rochdale Lib Dem Party at large - ARE questionable, whatever this strange court may feel about them.

Woolas simply concentrated on the wrong things. The incredible volume of leaflets to be exact.

Watkins offered appalling value for money for his council allowances as he was like some absentee landlord, not putting in the time at the council-face.

Woolas could and should have tackled him for that. No one likes a shirker do they?

Watkins also we must assume contributed regularly alongside his accomplices in the sordid Lib Dem regime to their tithe system. 10% off back bench basic, 20% off special responsibility.

Rochdale LDs have resigned the whip just to escape this, yet so far I've been unable to find these HUGE collective donations recognised in the reporting structures such as at the Electoral Commission.

Woolas could have gone after him for that.

Because of the huge tithes coming in - made public through resignation - there can be no doubt that Rochdale Lib Dems MUST be over the turnover threshold for submitting accounts to the EC. Perhaps two or more times over that. Watkins is clearly a part of this organisation and so collectively responsible for any dodgy acccountancy and lack of filing of these things.

To be fair the last ones they did file, around the time of the 2005 election were hugely revealling over their little incestuous rent contrivance and also on their attitude to the payment of political operators.

Woolas could have gone after him and them for that failure.

There was of course that rather inconclusive business of the cash in hand payments - were they slave wages or generous expenses to volunteers? - but whatever the underlying facts and fugures there there was a pattern.

Watkins lost at least one experienced worker - taken on by Rowen as it goes - after issues with payments.

Woolas could have gone after that.

Meanwhile .. Over at London Muslim some anonymous commenter - and this is a moderated stream - has been allowed to simply post:

"she is a zionist"

I would dearly love to identify the culprit for this, and I think the blogger LM is a fool to run it. I have asked them to share the IP as I'd like to check it against some of the anonymuppets flirting about in East Lancashire.

It's HERE.

Truthwillout said...

The last donation registered by Rochdale Liberal Democrats from the Rochdale liberal democrat Council Group was on the 31/12/04 and totalled £ 24,266.00.

Despite the Councillor tithe still being ongoing since that date, one does wonder why no further donations have been declared in the last 6 years

Anonymous said...

I think it would help voters and even possibly "opinion formers" if candidates were more forthcoming about their ethnic/religious affiliations. If Ms Abrabams is Jewish this should be made explicit rather than leaving it to innuendo.

The attacks on Nick Griffin and David Irving speak of an underlying fear: a fear that they may be more popular than the author would wish, a fear that they may be more right than the author would wish, or simply a fear of inferiority on his part? I wonder what Freud would have made of it.

Anonymous said...

Ms Abrahams' cv indicates that she has spent her entire "working life" as a conductress on the NGO/"academic"/government gravy train, wasting paper and fuel, and putting more gas into the atmosphere than a herd of Friesians. All her bread and butter, and blouses and tampax are contributions from the taxpayer.

When oh when is the penny going to drop?

The Milkstone Sheik said...

Why should it matter what religion or tradition Debbie Abrahams hails from?

Unless bigots' votes matter more than ordinary decent citizens who judge people on their merits and not on tribal affiliations?

Is that very issue what 'helped' the Lib Dems in Rochdale in 2005 and what Woolas' staff very crudely expressed in a stupid and crass email just before the last general election?

Of course, Elwin Watkins, even as a very absentee Rochdale ward councillor (spending a lot of time for his mysterious Saudi Sheik boss) wouldn't be interested in pandering to MPACUK. But did he know some of the Rochdale movers and shakers within that rabid circle? There is bound to be a degree of deniability built in to how these things operate.

Now if there was a clear link between Elwyn and Hanif and Dean for All then things would be very interesting...

What happens to all than plausible deniability then?

Anonymous said...

The reason that religious/ethnic affiliations matter is that we are all a composite of DNA and experience, with personal qualities and failings that derive from these. Voters know of the vibrant industry which seeks to influence us; by polishing here and rewriting there, replacing neutral descriptions with euphemisms and burying any association with negativity, and storing a whole bucketful of denials ready for any breaking news. It is better to let it all hang out than to be caught at the last moment having to explain.

Anonymous said...

I don't think someone's ethnicity/race should affect the outcome in any election however regarding Lorna Fitzsimmons and Rochdale 2005 - I can understand MPACUK's stance they took towards her.

We forget the context the elction in 2005 was fought on...Iraq War, Israel and the treatment of Palestine etc and I guess it would cause bitterness to see fellow Muslims (the innocent civillians as opposed to Saddam Hussain) being killed by the West and Israel (let's be honest here, if it wasn't because Israel felt threatened by Saddam Hussain then the Iraq War will never have happened + oil too). And these events, whether people choose to accept or not did radicalise a whole swathe of the Muslim population in the UK and did make them more bitter towards the West and Israel.

So it doesn't help that Lorna Fitzsommons, in a seat with a large Muslim population was Chair of Labour Friends of Israel (a country whose government is seen as being hostile to Muslims in states next to them and in Palestine), acted as the mouthpiece for the Israeli government in Parliament... and in fact she is now the Director of Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre.

Did she support the concerns that the Muslims in her seat held about what was happening in Israel, Palestine, Iraq - probably NOT so why should they support her!! Perhaps the same goes for Phil Woolas, another Former Chair of Labour Friends of Israel.

PS You should watch the CHannel 4 'Dispatches' episode about the Israel Lobby in the UK and the L Friends of Israel etc!

it takes a woman to do a man's work said...

So there we have it. An election in the fringes of old Lancashire mill towns and what is the blog noise about? Tuition fees? Scrapping winter fuel payments? Bankers' bonuses? The wholesale sellout of the Lib Dems in their "Lust for Life" as cabinet ministers? The facical way that cuts and redundancy in public sector services will grind Britian to a halt?

Oh no. Just a big push to "get the muslim voters angry" with talk of Palestine and thrid party slurs about a woman with a jewish sounding name being a zionist.

All this focus on the Holy Land is probably quite appropriate given there is a need for at least three wise men. But I don't think that Elwyn fits the bill, even with all his pontification and hot air.

Time for a woman to get on with it and do the job as OES MP despite the tribal, sexist and religious bigotry.

Chris Paul said...

Agree entirely with this last comment.

The people of Oldham East and Saddleworth face a choice inm all seriousness between three individuals and three political traditions.

In alphabetical order:

Debbie Abrahams - a life time of service to public services, hard work, contribution and ability shine through. A clean campaigner in Colne Valley;

Kashif Ali - a respectable local solicitor who did well for the Tories and did not stoop to the shenanigans that have afflicted both Labour and Lib Dems in this sub region for decades;

Elwyn Watkins - a man of mysterious employment who having had the chance to serve the people of Rochdale as a local councillor scarcely turned up, who lost by a far lower margin than he ought to have arguably *because* Woolas promoted him and because Mrs Duffy influenced Lib Dems to abandon Rowen who counted his chickens, and who is implicated in all the Rochdale Lib Dems chicanery and cowardice and maladministration.

On the parties:

Conservatives - cutting local and national services to ribbons on the back of a mythology about necessity which doesn't stand even the most basic inspection;

Labour - all sorts of errors and achievements both behind them, not least a war many of us opposed, but also a pretty coherent response to world economic events which we are still benefitting from before the ConDem destruction takes hold and possibly takes us the way of Ireland;

Lib Dems - see Tories above and add absolute betrayal of many of their key commitments and complete failures in local government too.

The religious allegiance or culture, the gender, the sexuality, the race and ethnicity, the family life, the details of work done, the age and so on really should not be front and centre in this campaign as the anonymous muppets above would wish to see them.

There are serious issues and, let's have it right, the MPACUK attack on Lorna went way way way beyond what was legal, decent and honest.

She was a war supporter - sincere in her belief that this was the right thing to be doing - and a right winger in Labour terms in many regards, but the racism and personal abuse she received should be condemned by all parties without reservation. Lib Dems were very much associated with that however much deniability they like to build in now.

MPACUK themselves have apologised. Will the Lib Dems who associated with them and even worse their extremist and irresponsible allies also apologise and cease and desist from the same whispering now?

Derker Diggler said...

What was Elwyn Watkins's attendance rate whilst representing Healey ward as one of its councillors well before he was selected as PPC for OES?

If he couldn't be bothered to attend Rochdale Town Hall meetings then why should Delph, Diggle and Dobcross expect anything more than false promises and wind?

Chris Paul said...

His attendance was abyssmal.

But he did take the allowances.

Some of which he gave to his party under their tithe system.

But which they have not declared since December 2004.

At which point they declared £24,000 at one go.

Since which time they've - until recently - had more councillors and must have been churning a fortune in taxpayers money into political sponney.

Legal of course. Apart from the not declaring.

Some say this creatures use printing societies to avoid declaring gifts.

Which if true would show what a shower they are; on the run from the transparency and honesty they claim to crave.

I did work out the attendance rate and the donations at one point. But to be honest, like Elwyn, I can't be arsed to look those up at the moment.

Too much of a faff.