Friday, 21 September 2018

Police Admit Sexual Deception

LEGAL papers yesterday revealed that police have admitted that the managers of an undercover officer knew that he was having a long-term sexual relationship with a woman who he deceived.  This is the first admission by senior police officers that undercover done this.  Hitherto, the top brass had claimed that undercover officers were not allowed to have sexual relationships with campaigners they were spying on under any circumstances.

 This admission admission was made by police in a legal case launched by Kate Wilson, an environmental and social justice activist who was deceived into a two-year intimate relationship by the undercover officer Mark Kennedy.

This is the first case to be heard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) from a woman who had a sexual relationship with a police spy who concealed his true identity from her.

Wilson is one of a dozen women who have successfully sued police in high court case.

After a lengthy legal battle in the high court, the Met has been forced to pay compensation to the women, although it successfully avoided handing over any internal documents about the relationships.
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Feral Councillors!

by Durruti Column
IT's deeply worrying to hear that Greater Manchester has one of the highest rates of hospital admissions with malnutrition* in England, 1.5 times higher than the national average. Learning that there were 588 hospital admissions in our area with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition in 2015/16, a rate of 21 per 100,000 people, compared to a rates of 15 per 100,000 across England.  These shocking statistics naturally drew me to the scandalous plight of many of our councillors, many of whom are forced to seek out alternative sources of nutrition to bulk out  their obviously insufficient tax payer subsidised post meeting buffets.   Persistent reports that councillors near delirious with early onset malnutrition  have resorted to scavenging from local restaurants to prevent starvation keep surfacing on social media. '

'You can hardly move at the local soup kitchen for councillors pan handling for a bowl of soup and a roll - where are they all flocking from ?, reported one regular Food Bank user who did not want to be named , adding '   It's time the government or Bob Geldof stepped in with another Live Aid!  Shocking reports of aggressive town centre begging by councillors without portfolio has led some to believe that the councillors expenses are quite obviously inadequate and need an immediate public inquiry and recalibration.  'You can see the poor souls staggering out of local public house racked with exhaustion and overwork.  One of them does a whole three hours work every other week .  The lovies are so tired that they keep falling asleep in meetings.  If it wasn't for the expenses form being passed round and waking them up at the end of the meetings some of them would be there all night.   I don't know how they manages to keep going?   ‘Some of the poor dears barley manage to get into a restaurant more than four or five times a week it's a wonder they aren't forced into spending their own money sometimes', said a town centre zero hours contract cleaner.

One shamefaced councillor who wish to remain anonymous described an ugly incident behind No.1 Riverside last week when a pack of feral councillors intimidated local beggars away from the closely located supermarket food skips.   ‘There's  just not enough dustbins and food skips in the town centre to supply demand any more.   It's a ghetto out there - it's us or the street beggars !', she added through clenched teeth. Few people realise just how difficult it is becoming for our poor local councillors to survive in a such a highly charged and  toxic competitive environment.  It's been reported that some town centre street corners have two , three , sometimes more, individuals cynically competing in trying to extort more money from the public purse.

'Your average professional parasite hardly get a look in any more because of these new arrivals.  Councillors cornered the market on conning the public out of their hard earned cash for decades and we deeply resent these newcomers stealing our pitches', complained another tearful and near destitute councillor of twenty years standing.  'Peoples priorities have all gone astray.  I've three full time jobs , remuneration from a dozen committee posts and the lucrative income from housing benefits on several dozen properties to scrape by on yet the local proles would still far rather donate to feed the hungry kids of a frozen single mum sitting in the rain who's been sanctioned for being two minutes late at the job centre than subsidise meals for us decent hard up councillors!  What's wrong with 'em !  It's a diabolical liberty!    Some of us have been using the same sob story to voters for decades without any public scrutiny and we don't see why just because the towns social fabric is collapsing around us that our personal gravy train should be jeopardised.   It'll end in communism you mark my words!'.

Distressingly reports that some of our local councillors have been forced by dire circumstances and near destitution into working for a living although highly unlikely can not be discounted altogether.   A recent public service announcement warns locals not to give cash to any hungry or dishevelled councillors who may wander into the town centre delirious with hunger.   'Don't give public handouts to councillors', said a spokesperson , ‘It will simply feed their addiction.  They can't help themselves - Universal Credit and destitution is good enough for the majority of our hard working dedicated town centre beggars.  Councillors are no different and it really is time they started contributing to our local economy rather than expecting repeated public handouts'.

If you see a councillor aggressively demanding more money from the public purse in a public area.  Do not approach them - and most certainly do not vote for them since this will only encourage their recidivist anti-social behaviour - Keep calm and remember that a new Public Space Protection Order is in force to protect innocent members of the public from serial scammers & fraudsters.

* malnutrition

NOUN: lack of proper nutrition, caused by not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things, or being unable to use the food that one does eat.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Grinding Out The Excuses

by Les May

It seems that at a recent Rochdale Labour Party meeting Faisal Rana’s behaviour in securing for himself two votes at the local elections in May and Allen Brett’s failure to ask for his resignation, were discussed.  The concerns about maintaining the integrity of the electoral process expressed by two of the other candidates in those elections were dismissed as ‘having an axe to grind’ by a councillor who has taken every opportunity to excuse Mr Rana’s behaviour.  The same councillor also argued that if Rana resigned and a by-election was called it would cost Rochdale MBC £50,000. I find this comment bizarre.

Now as it happens I am acquainted with both these candidates.  Mr Faulkner I have met on 3 or possibly 4 occasions.  Mr Bamford I have known for more than 50 years. In spite of our very different political outlook we have sustained a friendship during this time on the basis that we are both believers in George Orwell’s dictum that ‘Freedom of speech is having the right to tell people what they do not wish to hear’.

They may indeed have ‘an axe to grind’. People who stand for political office usually do. I don’t; I have voted Labour all my life; I am not a member of any faction, though I am sometimes to be seen at ‘Friends of Jeremy Corbyn’ meetings; I maintain cordial relationships with my three local Labour councillors, but I too think the behaviour of Rana and Brett is shameful, and likely to end in tears for Labour.

The question that none of the apologists for Rana’s behaviour want to ask is, ‘Why does Mr Rana think he is entitled to vote in the Spotland and Falinge ward elections?’  Surely to have any moral entitlement to vote, or nominate a candidate, one has to have some clear connection with the ward. such as residence in the ward. Merely maintaining a postal or business address in the ward is not enough.

Not convinced?  How about this? I live in the Heywood and Middleton constituency, but have friends in the Rochdale constituency.  I ask if I can give their address as a postal address.  To make doubly sure I set up a company and use it as my business address.   (To see how easy it is to set up a company just type ‘set up a company’ in a Google search box.) I apply to be placed on the electoral register using my new address, having already registered at my old address which is where I live with my wife. To make things easier I ask for a postal vote. I hope to use both my votes in the next General Election.

If this is illegal, what are the chances I will be found out?  Will the people who service the electoral register check my application for registration at my ‘new’ address against ALL the people already on the electoral register? Probably not. So I get away with it unless some vigilant elector spots what I’m up to, or I boast about in on Twitter. It does happen!

If it’s legal what moral entitlement do I have to vote in the constituency in which I do not live?

We now know his actions were illegal.  What remains to be answered is; ‘What moral entitlement did Mr Rana have to deliberately seek out and use a second vote in the May 2018 election?’

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Blacklist Support Group

TUC Congress 

Last week, John McDonnell announced that a public inquiry into blacklisting would form part of the first Queen's Speech for an incoming Labour Government.  
More from the TUC Congress 
Righting working class miscarriages of Justice:
Working class miscarriages of justice:  Ensuring they never happen again chaired by Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett.  Speakers include: Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, Chris Peace from Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, Dave Smith from the Blacklist Support Campaign, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) and Terry Renshaw from Shrewsbury Picket.
Major Morning Star Article at TUC congress on the need for a radical manifesto for employment rights - including a public inquiry into blacklisting. Lee Fowler representing. 

Spycops
Great article in the Daily Mirror on the Spycops inquiry 
Good luck to Kate Wilson in court on 3rd October exposing the human rights abuses of the undercover police officer Mark Kennedy
Major report published by Big Brother watch UK with article on blacklisting by Phil Chamberlain. John Bryan representing at the launch party. 

Labour Party Conference
Kier are to build the new County Council HQ. The 2 contractors bidding for City Council's historic Town Hall renovation are Laing O'Rourke & Lendlease. Why can't some Labour councillors understand the policy: No Public Contracts for firms?
Roy Bentham will represent the Blacklist Support Group at this session at the parallel The World Transformed conference to the Labour Party's.  
Haldane Fringe meeting 6pm, Monday 24th Sept - The miners strike and undercover policing (flyer attached)
Tackling the Housing Crisis meeting - Unite the Union Holborn - 6pm Thursday 27th September.  Speakers include: John McDonnell MP and blacklisted safety campaigner Tony O'Brien, whose book, 'Tackling the Housing Crisis', was published in July 
Carillon
BSG demonstrated at Royal Liverpool Hospital project when exposing Carillion back in 2015. There’s a public meeting over the embarrassing predicament the long from complete Hospital now finds itself. Roy Bentham will speak on behalf of the Blacklist Support Group. 

An independent review is being carried out into the impact of policing on affected communities in Scotland during the 1984 to 1985 miners' strike.

Launch of a major new oral history archive from post war construction workers covering building the new towns, the Southbank and the Barbican. Many blacklisted workers took part in the project. Prof. Linda Clarke (long time friend of the BSG) is the curator and project leader. 
10th October @ Bishopsgate Centre

BBC story - Suicide risk for construction workers is 3 times the male average. One of the main reasons is precarious work. Top work Simon Pantry for representing.

No toilets? Seriously? Crossrail is a multi-billion pound publicly funded project. But watch out if you complain about it - Skanska & Costain have form on blacklisting workers who speak up about their safety concerns.

Gary Doolan R.I.P.
Blacklist Support Group send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Gary Doolan, National Political Officer for GMB who has passed away. Gary always fought our corner; standing with us on pickets, protests and at the High Court. Gary also got us private meetings in parliament which led to the Labour manifesto pledging a public inquiry into blacklisting (under Ed Milliband). In his role as Labour Councillor in Islington, he took the £16m a year housing maintenance contract away from Kier because of their role in the blacklisting scandal. All the workers were taken back in-house. Islington were the first local authority in the country to publicly take that step. This is what solidarity looks like and what our movement should aspire to. 
"There are times when doing the right thing is easy. There was no other way to deal with this, but to send a message loud and very clear to any contractor wishing to bid for work in our borough, in that those contractors who are guilty of blacklisting will be excluded from any tendering for work. Islington is the first local council that’s made this statement. If it’s right for one council to stand up for workers, it’s good enough for all the others to take the same stance. Perhaps that way blacklisting will finally be eradicated". Gary Doolan R.I.P.

Blacklist Support Group

Angela Rayner- So much for anti-poverty!

 by The Blue Knight.

September 2018

Ashton Waterloo by-election, 6 September 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±

Labour Pauline Hollinshead 889 52.5 Decrease4.9

Green Lee Huntbach 448 26.4 Increase12.7

Conservative Therese Costello 357 21.1 Decrease7.8
Majority 441 26.1 Decrease2.4
Registered electors 8,717

Turnout 1,697 19.5 Decrease7.2
Rejected ballots 3 0.2 Decrease0.1

Labour hold Swing Decrease1.2
 Editor note:  The result above is of the election in Tameside's Ashton Waterloo ward in which poverty campaigner, Charlotte Hughes, was turned down by the local Labour Party as a candidate because she was behind with her council tax.  Only the Green candidate had an improved showing on a poor turnout of 19.5%.
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Angela Rayner‏Verified account @AngelaRayner


Angela Rayner in red centre writes on Twitter on the 6th, Sept.: Absolutely superb win tonight for newly elected Cllr Pauline Hollinshead in Ashton Waterloo Ward part of my constituency. Our local Labour teams worked very hard in this by election and residents backed Labour&Pauline. Nice to see the wretched Tories finish bottom!

 
THE most recent appointment of [Ashton] Waterloo Ward Councillor, in May 2018 was someone many of the residents had never heard of.  The campaigning was done underhanded and the Ward areas which would have caused some consternation and controversy were not visited.  Despite what will be inferred to the contrary, this was a safe seat, did not need a high density Labour party members canvass and this person was parachuted in to fill the vacancy. 
 
There appeared to be a pecking order as to who was next in line!

This caused some unrest inside the Labour party members. Feathers were rustled.
I have had no dealings with the person elected, but it appears that he is an officer of the neighbouring, next door, Oldham Council. Continuing the Nepotism route.
The By election now about to occur in Waterloo Ward is happening as the result of the death of a long serving, sometimes controversial Ward Councillor Cath Piddington.  She was a stalwart for her residents within the ward.

I believe certain people had been earmarked to fill this role from within the Labour group, but these people have now fallen from grace due to their differing views over the lack of involvement of residents and their views and their wishes not being responded to, by the council. 
 
The anti-poverty campaigner Charlotte Hughes was identified from within the local Labour group as being the ideal prospective candidate.  However it appears that someone within the Labour group decided that this now did fit within the well-defined nepotism route and highlighted the fact that Charlotte was behind on some of her Council tax payments.

This in effect caused her to be de selected from the group.  This has now caused ructions from sitting Councillors within Tameside.  There has been lots of cat calling and spats over the selection of the new candidate for the ward. 
 
However a recent, 22/08/18, public Twitter spat took place between the current Deputy Mayor, Leigh Drennan, Labour Ashton Hurst Councillor with residents and ward councillors of the Waterloo Ward.

This occurred as the result of Tameside Councillors and prospective candidates being accused of jumping on the bandwagon by attempting to draw in those essential votes by selectively agreeing to support a current campaign, which is causing problems for Tameside and the Waterloo Ward, over the sale and planning issues, regarding a small piece of public open space bordering Daisy Nook, known to the locals as The Backfield. (See Save the Backfield Campaign)

This has caused an unprecedented furore and backlash within the council.
The crux of the matter and in reality is that Charlotte did not fulfil the nepotism role, that Tameside Council appear to actively encourage.  Unlike Councillor Faisal Rana [in Rochdale] with his many houses in his portfolio, she would not fit in within the Shameside Council by owing council tax. 
 
Charlotte, unlike some of the Tameside Councillors does not own several other houses or property abroad, does not own property to rent out for a high income within the borough or further afield, does not own a holiday home where she can vanish for several months a year. Charlotte by her own admission is poor, in debt and working class.  The term working class will be a unknown phrase to most of the Tameside Council, as their own well paid safe seat jobs continue to provide a high level of income or “wage “as some councillors have recently referred to it.

How can you have a fair representation of the population if these people do not understand the true predicament of many of the people who find themselves at the lower end of the pecking scale and in debt?

Where is the support of Angela Rayner now? Nepotism continues to roll on.


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Saturday, 15 September 2018

Labour Comrades Curry Favour

A Cautionary Tale of Two Votes
by Brian Bamford


Council boss Brett grabs chicken leg at last Saturday's Hajji Bash*

FRESH back from a Hajji pilgrimage to Mecca in search of moral or spiritual redemption, the notorious electioneering fraud Rochdale Councillor Faisal 'Two Votes' Rana, even shaved his skull last Saturday before sitting down to a celebration supper with his political cronies.

Local police are being cagey about what kind of caution they gave Councillor 'Two Votes' Rana, when he confessed he'd illegally voted twice in the local on the 3rd, May.  He didn't just vote twice he registered to vote at two separate addresses, then he cast two postal votes.

It's a cautionary tale in which it looks like the swindler may have got away with breaching the basic taboo at the heart of British democracy that you don't vote twice.

Then to compound the second necessary ingredient of the cautionary tale following on from this basic taboo it needs someone like Councillor Rana to disregard the forbidden act which in English Law is known as the actus reus, finally the violator in the tale should come to an unpleasant fate.

Bút as the images of the feast above seem to suggest, the cautionary tale foretold by historical legend in our modern context needn't impose such a grisly end for Councillor Rana.  .  

Why?

Because, although Rochdale Labour Party may be socialists in spirit, in realty they are easily dazzled by wealth and influence.  Councillor Rana may be a new boy on the block, but it is well known has a vast property portfolio of some 32 houses scattered around Rochdale.  It is also known that Councillor Rana is a director of a firm called  United Petroleum UK Limited, which is an active company incorporated on 18 December 2008 with the registered office located in Bradford, West Yorkshire.  His wife Mrs Iram Faisal is appointed in 4 companies, she has resigned from one of these appointments.  Rana's daughter Miss Anum Faisal who lived at the family home at Bronte Close, Norden, Rochdale, was a director of United Petroleum UK Ltd. until she resigned on the 1st, December 2017.

Dazzled by all this dosh and deep pockets, it's no wonder that Council leader Allen Brett and the rest of the Labour group in Rochdale Labour Party are so forgiving of Councillor Rana's transgressions with regard to his voting record.  They know when to curry favour.

* Councillor John Blundell next to Councillor Allen Brett in main photo above describes his interests as an occasional contributor to Manchester Confidential where he has written restaurant reviews, in which he has argued that dumplings are 'under-rated'.
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Mancunian One-Party States?

  "Supermajority Problem Councils"
TODAY, the Liberal Democrats at their Autumn Conference in Brighton passed a motion attempting to deal with what they call 'supermajority problem councils', such as Manchester's virtual one-party state.

The motion called for Single Transferable Vote at all local elections and for all council meetings to be streamed live on the internet - a recent source of great controversy in Manchester when leader Richard Leese twice banned opposition questions about a councillor under police investigation and the live streaming was mysteriously pulled off air.

The LibDem 'Power for People and Communities' motion gave councillors the right to hold service providers to account, strengthen transparency and planning rules and abolish Police and Crime Commissioners.

In 2014, Manchester Council became a total one-party state with every one of the 96 councillors being Labour, and with many branding it 'unhealthy'.  Liberal Democrats have since made a comeback with former Manchester Withington MP John Leech leading the opposition.

 The LibDems say that this policy proposal will strengthen scrutiny on councils like Manchester, disabling them from becoming a one-party state and ensuring council meetings are always publicly viewable. 

Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesperson Greg Stanton said:
'Manchester is a textbook case of what happens when a party gets a super majority elected under an outdated electoral system; opposition questions are banned, live-streams mysteriously stop working, contractors are not held to account, decisions made behind closed doors and everyone passes the buck.
'I'm delighted this motion has passed and will lay the foundation to tackling supermajority problem councils like Manchester.'


This decision specifically referred to Manchester City but it could also be applied to other councils in the Greater Manchester area such as Rochdale and Tameside.. 
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Friday, 14 September 2018

Yet Another Error?


'The Talented Mr. Rana'
by Les May
The only comment we have heard from Allen Brett about Faisal Rana making sure he registered and voted in two different wards, Norden, and Spotland and Failinge is:
'It is vital that councillors do all that they can to uphold the integrity of the democratic process.  As soon as he became aware of this, Councillor Rana stepped away from his cabinet responsibilities.  Naturally, I am disappointed in Councillor Rana's error because he is a very talented and hard working individual who shares our collective passion to improve our borough.'

When Allen Brett uttered these words they may have been momentarily true.  If they were then Rana was quickly welcomed back into the fold.   Take a look at http://democracy.rochdale.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=116 and you will see that the talented Mr Rana is listed as Assistant Portfolio Holder for Finance. 

So much for upholding the integrity of the democratic process.

I’m surprised that a man with the long political experience of Allen Brett cannot see that his continued support of Faisal Rana, when the man has so obviously done wrong by voting twice, will tarnish his own reputation still further.   Given that he has himself been criticised in a draft investigation report for ‘bringing the council into disrepute’, I would have thought he really does not need any further bad publicity 

There was no ‘error’.  Registering for two votes was a carefully thought through act, deliberately executed. 
 
Both Brett and Rana have recently figured in the ‘Rotten Boroughs’ section of Private Eye.   This is not a story which is going to end happily for either of them.
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A Question of Council Tax

by Les May

THE Poll Tax is widely regarded as the most iniquitous piece of legislation in modern times.  But it had one virtue which we are apt to forget.   It was that if you are entitled to vote in local elections you should be prepared to contribute to the services the your town provides.

Its replacement, Council Tax, alleviated the major flaw in the Poll Tax, the differing abilities of families to pay.  Nonetheless the idea that there is at least a tenuous link between voting in local elections and paying your Council Tax lingers on.  Which brings me to the question of Councillor ‘Two Votes Rana’.

We have all been expressing our outrage that a Councillor can so blatently breach electoral law and not think it a resigning issue.  But there is another way of looking at this. Here’s the question.

Did Faisal Rana pay the Council Tax levied for the year 2018/19 on the property which is identified by the address he used to vote a second time on 3 May 2018?

Over to you Councillor Rana.   Please enlighten us.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Jabob Rees-Mogg defends anarchist protesters

by Brian Bamford
JACOB Reese-Mogg sprang to the defence of the Class War anarchists around the ancient activist Ian Bone, who were busy querying the wages and working conditions of Reese-Mogg's kid's Nanny.  

Others súch as the Archbishop of Canterbury, strongly criticised the stunt tweeting:

'This is appalling. There are plenty of ways you can tell MPs you disagree with them. But targeting their children is shameful and disgraceful. We are – and must be – better than this. We'll be praying for ’s family at chapel this evening.'

Yet Mr Rees-Mogg* told LBC: 'I wouldn't get too excited about it.'
He added: 'It was a few anarchists who turned up and it wasn't very well organised.  It wasn't terribly serious.
'We are a free country. They weren't violent.  They aren't admirers of mine. I am in public life and not everybody is going to like me.  That is a reality of public life.
'I'd have preferred it if it hadn't happened but I don't want to get it out of perspective.  I think much worse things happen to many other people.'

What is ironic about this noble defence of the right to protest and free speech by the Tory MP Mr. Reese-Mogg, is that the Left has been much less tolerant.  For example in 2012 at the London Anarchist Bookfair, a number of members of the then Anarchist Federation led bizarrely by the former Oldham teacher, Sally Hyman, raided the Northern Anarchist Network bookstall and stole some books *, a month later a man with Jewish ancestors was accused of being an anti-semite and pushed out of another anarchist bookfair in Manchester, and more recently at last year's London Anarchist bookfair a woman famous for her part in a campaign against  McDonald's burger chain was attacked by a so called tribe of transsexuals for defending free speech, since then the bookfair organisers have cancelled future bookfairs.
*  Jacob Rees-Mogg is the son of William Rees-Mogg, who edited the London Times in the 1960s, when the anarchists were very active and influential in the peace movement.  In his editorials at that time he had many thoughtful things to say about the anarchists.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Burnley Literary Festival

From Mike Waite
Event on 1968 / counterculture at Burnley Literary Festival
THE third annual Burnley Literary Festival runs from 28 September to 1 October, and features a wide range of events, including street theatre about the campaign for womens’ suffrage, lectures on Sylvia Plath, interactive workshops and much more: www.burnleyliteraryfestival.co.uk

We thought that you / your readers / people you are in contact with could be particularly interested in one of the sessions:  Anarchist poets and Burnley Wood communes: ‘1968’ counterculture around Burnley & East Lancashire’.

This will run at Burnley Central Library on Saturday 29th September, starting at 11.30 a.m., and finishing a little after 12.30.

The key inputs will be from Tina Morris, a poet and children’s writer, who contributed to Michael Horovitz's landmark anthology Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain (Penguin Books, 1969), and Bruce Wilkinson, author of Hidden Culture, Forgotten History: a northern poetic underground and its countercultural history  (Penniless Press, 2017) : http://www.pennilesspress.co.uk/books/hidden_culture.htm

More details: The ‘summer of love’ and radical counter-culture didn’t just happen at the Woodstock music festival or amongst student protestors in Paris. ‘1968’ and its promise of alternative lifestyles and new progressive values drew in young people in Burnley and Blackburn.  The culture and politics of East Lancashire were enlivened by theatrical ‘happenings’ on the streets, and a lively subculture of poetry readings and little magazines. This session will include discussion, reminiscence and declarations, touching on a 1960s obscenity trial in Blackburn, and the beginnings of local co-operative housing and environmental politics.

Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance:

Speak Up Mr Rana!

by Les May


ALTHOUGH it took place a month ago I have only just got round to looking at what Faisal Rana had to say to Sky News about the police caution when he was caught voting twice in the local election last May.


The bit that caught my eye was when he said:

I legally registered my votes by providing my genuine national insurance number, date of birth and addresses and when I received these through the post I thought it would have been OK and that is why they issued me two ballots for two constituencies’.

Now it looks to me that here there is more than a hint that he is trying to shift the blame onto the people at Rochdale MBC who run the electoral process.  Is there a suggestion here that someone at Rochdale MBC should have spotted that two national insurance number and two dates of birth on separate registration documents were identical, and told him that applying for two votes was illegal?

Now my recollection is that registering to take part in the ballot is an active process.  You have to provide an address at you are resident in order to receive a ballot paper at that address.  Ditto for a postal vote. I assume that Mr Rana is quite properly registered at the address at which he resides permanently with his family and that he legitimately used that vote in that ward.  But what about the ‘other’ address which I assume was in the ward in which he stood as a candidate.  What legitimate interest did Mr Rana have in that address which made him think that he had a right to register himself at that address and apply for a postal vote to be sent to that address?

The interview Mr Rana gave to Sky News offers no explanation. In the absence of any explanation we, the voters of Rochdale, are left in the dark about the mechanism by a sitting councillor fraudulently obtained a second vote.  In the circumstances I think there are a few questions that we can expect Mr Rana to answer:

What was the address used by Mr Rana to apply for a second vote?

What legitimate interest did Mr Rana have in that address?

Was Mr Rana a tenant at that address?

Was Mr Rana the owner of the property identified by that address?

On Wednesday 17 October there will be a full meeting of the Council.  If Mr Rana has not answered these questions by then I suggest that a member should put these questions to him and ask for an answer.
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WARDLEY COLLIERY HERITAGE MARCH

WARDLEY COLLIERY HERITAGE
MARCH WITH THE WARDLEY COLLIERY MINERS LODGE BANNER AND FELLING SILVER BAND.

  TOMMY HEPBURN MEMORIAL
St Mary’s Church Heworth
29th Sept 2018-
Assemble by the Wardley Colliery ‘miner’s lamp’ Memorial 9 am for a march through the village and Ellen Wilkinson Est. To St Mary’s Church Heworth. Service commencing 11 am.
Then join us for the Durham Miners Association Reception at Wardley Club
Followed by Follonsby (Wardley) Miners Lodge Association
Social from 5-30pm down in The Lounge
‘Music of the River, the Region and the Mines’
(The parade will cause a moving obstruction for a few minutes on each road, drivers please be patient or take alternative route)
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