Nothing to see here (again), move along…
IT SEEMS lightning really does strike twice. At least it did to ‘unlucky’ Hamza Hussain, the victim of what is being described as a drive-by shooting in Roberttown on Monday night.
We have it on very good authority that it was poor old Hamza’s home in Chapel Fold, Batley, that was attacked by gunfire a while back. Wow, how unfortunate is that, the poor lad…?
I’m not sure if another unreported lightning bolt caught Kirklees Mayor Mumtaz Hussain a glancing blow when he promptly turned up at the scene of Monday’s shooting, but something seems to have caused a severe case of amnesia judging by the wildly varied public proclamations about what happened to his delightful and altogether unfortunate son-in-law.
When The Press (and other newspapers like the Daily Mail) contacted Coun Hussain on Tuesday, he couldn’t have distanced himself further from the young man if he’d got in his car and driven to Lands End to conclude the conversation.
“He hangs around with people who are in trouble all the time. I don’t speak to him and he is not invited to my house,” he said.
Sounds pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it?
“I told him you have got a little girl (they have an eight-month-old) so you need to stop what you are doing.” Definitely a bad egg, that would suggest, although it’s a shame Kirklees’s no.1 citizen didn’t elaborate exactly on what Hamza was doing that was so wrong.
Any guesses, folks?
By Wednesday however, either the respective Mrs Hussains in this little melodrama had gotten to Mumtaz, or he’d had a Damascene conversion on the road home to Ravensthorpe.
“I didn’t say this. It was a misunderstanding. He’s not a bad lad. He has been married to my daughter for two years now. He’s always been okay with me.”
So, my reporters completely manufacture quotes? Is that what you’re saying Mr Mayor? That we make things up just for the fun of it?
I’m not sure how stupid Mumtaz Hussain is, or how idiotic he must think we are, but I’m calling him out on it – apologise and explain yourself, man.
The years pass, and still this cultural oddity endures in our fraternal community – the ability to completely re-write both the facts and recent history to suit today’s agenda, while entirely expecting people to swallow the bullsh*t hook, line and sinker.
And they do! It’s shameless and it seems I’m like that little boy in The Emperor’s New Clothes – the only one who sees it and calls it out.
Anyway, I won’t hold my breath for Mumtaz’s apology, and I’d advise West Yorkshire Police not to get their hopes up that Hamza Hussain will be able to shed any light whatsoever on what happened to him and why.
“No idea why they shot me guv, what’s the world coming to when you can’t just sit quietly in a car park, pondering the universe and all its majesty, eh…?”
Indeed and in expanding on my reference of repeated lightning strikes, there’s an almighty amount of bad luck and coincidence beguiling the families of local Labour councillors lately.
I think it was actually petrol bombs rather than lightning which hit Savile Town councillor Masood Ahmed’s two family cars last week – just like the one that reportedly did for Mayor Mumtaz’s daughter’s car.
Yes, not only does son-in-law Hamza keep falling victim to random shooters – does he wander around with a bulls-eye on his back? – but informed sources tell me his daughter’s motor went up in flames too. I haven’t been able to confirm that, but then again these gangster-like incidents are becoming so commonplace across Dewsbury and Batley, you lose track.
Still, maybe her loving papa can run her around in the Mayor’s limo until this run of awfully bad luck sorts itself out…
I note in Mumtaz Hussain’s second public utterance – which seemed rather well crafted, almost as if some Kirklees Council PR hack had been on the case – the emphasis was on children heeding their parents’ wisdom about the big, bad world out there.
Because disputes which were once settled by some almost friendly fisticuffs, now invoke 1930s Chicago-like bullet and bomb retributions.
Mumtaz – Dewsbury and Batley weren’t always like this. Not every place in England suffers this miserable plague. See that mirror on the wall matey? Take a long, hard look in it, why don’t you?
Tragedy and the sound of silence
THERE was both an emotional outpouring from many quarters and a deafening silence in others, when news broke of Paul Kane’s tragic and untimely passing on Tuesday evening.
Tributes from people like young new ward colleague Aleks Lukic and long-time Conservative stalwart Martyn Bolt, were sad, heartfelt, and appreciative of Paul’s many qualities. (For the record, I’ve written this piece three or four times this week and binned it, before deciding eventually to press on).
If Kirklees Council is adamant about going ahead with an unseemly by-election on December 12, despite Aleks Lukic’s entirely commendable plea for Paul’s seat to be left empty, then I think people deserve to hear some home truths about what’s been going on amongst Dewsbury East’s Labour members.
I liked Paul Kane – straight-forward, combative, passionate, occasionally that wonderful Yorkshire word ‘brussen’. Not familiar with it? Think ‘aggressively stubborn’. But as a journalist I could discuss things confidentially with Paul, which always makes for a healthier democracy on both sides.
Paul hadn’t been in good health – indeed he’d had open heart surgery – which was the main reason he wasn’t out on the stump much with his long-time ward colleague Eric Firth last May, when Eric found himself dumped on his proverbial by young Lukic.
It’s widely known around Earlsheaton and Chickenley that Paul Kane had had a quite recent run-in with community development worker and arch Labour agitator Paul Moore.
Many readers will remember Moore as Shahid Malik’s pantomime henchman, when the disgraced Labour MP came first swaggering over the hill from Burnley. Sadly for Dewsbury at least, when Malik left, Moore stayed.
Paul Kane held Moore responsible for some pretty nasty backbiting and in the man’s typical manner, confronted him about it. In short, Moore and Eric Firth blamed Paul Kane’s lack of effort in the local elections partly for Firth’s defeat. They were reportedly pressuring Paul Kane into standing aside for Firth’s return next May.
When Kane then fronted up to Moore about his backstabbing and words got heated, the bloke called in the Keystones. Really. Some harsh words and mealy-mouthed Moore had the police knocking on Paul Kane’s door.
Amongst the many tributes you’ll have read to Paul Kane the man and the public servant, there is one yawning chasm of silence – not a word publicly yet from his long-time sidekick Eric Firth.
Now, I wouldn’t expect Eric to send us a missive; he’s usually a Dewsbury Reporter bloke, because they don’t ask questions or hold forth an opinion. But if he thinks he’s topping up his pension with a cosy Kirklees sinecure in a month’s time, I think voters need to be fully informed of the circumstances.