Council leader Shabir Pandor
I WONDER how the director and officer class of Kirklees Council sleep easy at night; how they salve their consciences of episodes like the gross abuse of democratic process they witnessed last week.
The cynical silencing of council chamber debate on the most controversial piece of business since Kirklees was founded in 1974 – on April 1, appropriately – by Labour boss Shabir Pandor and his stooge Gulfam Asif, and shamefully rubber-stamped by the hapless Mayor Gwen Lowe, must surely have made chief executive Jacqui Gedman’s skin crawl.
No? Ms Gedman and her executive team really have gone native (pun fully intended) in enforcing third world, race-riven politics? It seems so.
Take your pick of topics during Pandor’s disgraceful introduction to political leadership.
Sixty mostly Huddersfield men convicted or charged of mass rape-gang activities, with 55 from Dewsbury and Batley waiting in the wings?
‘Don’t look at us’ was the reaction of the long-serving Batley West councillor. ‘We’re not even discussing it – shove it to one side for someone else to deal with,’ was essentially his reaction.
At least we know why that serial cultural appeaser Adrian Lythgo – Gedman’s predecessor – jumped ship when he did.
But Pandor then went on the full race-card offensive when the halal scandal broke, smearing fine, upstanding citizens with his cheap and nasty slurs by way of once more trying to silence legitimate public concern.
And now this.
It was no surprise that Dewsbury South member Gulfam Asif was Pandor’s henchman on the night.
Asif is now in his third political incarnation having been elected a Tory, before smartly jumping ship to Labour then disappearing into the electoral wilderness for a while.
Suffice to reference one particularly laughable contribution of his as a councillor, explaining away a drugs gangs battle on the streets of Savile Town.
There was blood, snot and broken bodies which he ascribed to righteous local youths trying to keep their neighbourhood free from the taint of outsider drugs dealers.
Course it was, Gulfam.
I don’t know if there was a nod or a wink from his party boss Shabir Pandor signalling him to jump in and silence last week’s hot debate on the hugely divisive Local Plan, or perhaps they’d already agreed a suitable time to let members vent before shutting it down.
Readers will have seen what we call a ‘byline’ on stories in The Press by Tony Earnshaw, Local Democracy Reporter.
Tony is a highly-regarded journalist who is centrally funded to provide stories to regional newspapers and we’re delighted to have his services.
When he says he has never witnessed anything like last Wednesday night’s disgrace in 30 years, you know how bad things have got.
So, what to do?
In terms of the Local Plan there’s little to do, except maintain local opposition and hope to build the fight from within, which means via the ballot box.
But what is happening in this district, and indeed around the United Kingdom and specifically England, is far, far bigger than Kirklees Labour building their Shariatown project on the banks of the River Calder.
From Brexit betrayal to the race politics of local authorities like this, we’re in an existential fight for this nation’s soul. It’s that big.
And if you take the battle on folks – as Heavy Woollen Independents Paul Halloran and Aleks Lukic intend to at the local elections in May – you’d better be prepared for the racial smears and the ‘far right’ insinuations of Labour’s rabid left attack dogs within Antifa and Momentum.
I fully understand that committed, long-serving Labour men and women will be concerned, angered even, by my broad-brush statements denigrating their once-proud party.
Hey, I grew up voting for proper local Labour stalwarts like Alf Ramsden, Marjorie Fisher and Jack Brooke and I believe they would spin in their graves at what has become of the movement they devoted their lives to, and the towns and communities they served.
What we are witnessing now is a rump of soft-touch Labour councillors happy to ride the coattails of cynical manipulators like Pandor.
The largely ethnic vote has built them what seems an unassailable power base across the district, behind which they can hide their inconvenient shame at scandals like young white girls being groomed, raped and trafficked, or non-Muslim British schoolchildren being deceived into eating meat slaughtered by barbaric means, in order to shove the fundamentalist agenda literally down their throats.
That takes us back to the Kirklees officer class, which for decades now has colluded in covering up electoral and financial fraud – and been allowed to absolve itself of guilt, almost unbelievably – because the endemic fear of causing offence to Muslim communities is their go-to get out of jail free card. It stinks.
Don’t think for a moment that intellectually-limited individuals like Council leader Shabir Pandor direct or manage the Kirklees executive, at least not in the manner you imagine, or which I believe they should.
It’s the other way round – and right now they all pee in the same pot.
To combat the institutionalised failings of this organisation you require elected members of resolve, integrity and more importantly, real courage.
More than that, you need an electorate that can see beyond narrow party affiliations and recognise the need to drain this swamp.
That means following the ethnic-vote suit, getting off your backsides and uniting to elect people like Paul Halloran and Aleks Lukic.
It’s embarrassing in this age of the risible mantra of ‘community cohesion’ that people should be railroaded by the establishment into voting along ethnic lines in order to restore honesty and democracy – but we didn’t start this divisive game.
Only you can do it folks, and if you’re as disturbed by what’s going on as many people are, you will.
I GUESS I need to answer the question raised by reader Paul Midgley in today’s Forum, given that I found myself unexpectedly in the media limelight at a recent public protest outside the BBC’s Media City HQ in Salford.
I’m certainly not a “cannibal from Amazonia” (sic) Paul, so I guess “a creature from outer space” will have to do. Certainly to the BBC’s top investigative (very much now discredited) journalist John Sweeney, a bloke born in Ravensthorpe and raised in Thornhill probably ticks that box.
I appeared on BBC Two’s Newsnight several times last year and after the first one, Sweeney came into the Green Room at Broadcasting House in London to share a beer.
I thought he seemed a decent chap, but then I thought the BBC was honest and impartial.
I was clearly wrong on both counts.
Sweeney has been heading up a Panorama investigation into the ‘colourful’ Tommy Robinson, but Robinson found out and turned the tables.
Sweeney and the extremist Hope Not Hate group seemingly tried to blackmail two of Robinson’s former staff before Sweeney spent £220 of your money on a boozy lunch, trying to get another ex-employee to dish the dirt – but the young woman was filming and recording the encounter.
Robinson then showed his own documentary, Panodrama, to a crowd of 8,000 at Media City. It makes for fascinating viewing (nearly 1.4 million views on YouTube – just google Panodrama).
As part of the counter punch it featured all sorts of cringing Sweeney indiscretions, one of which was saying he and a mate went into the BBC’s Green Room to gawp at the white, working class Lockwood, just as you would “a cannibal from Amazonia, or a creature from outer space.”
Sweeney had a mutual BBC acquaintance phone me last week to say he was mocking the Beeb, not me – yeah right – and she also asked on behalf of Panorama’s producers if I’d contribute to what they’d apparently dubbed their ‘Tommy take-down’.
I’ve no idea what they think I could contribute anyway, but after recent experiences I’d eat my own face before trusting the BBC to so much as tell me the right time.
I gave her my ‘succinct’ reply, which she said she’d translate into BBC-speak for them, though I’d rather she didn’t. We creatures from outer space can have quite a way with Anglo Saxon profanities.