Biradari's Politics in Rochdale & BeyondSIMON Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, is a Vice Chair of a House of Commons Committee described as the 'All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh'. So he should know what he is talking about when in a debate on the Queen’s Speech he is reported today as declaring:
'Our countries are strongly connected, we have a large diaspora here already and they have a population over 160 million in Bangladesh. If a war does break out there, a civil war breaks out, then there will be a lot of asylum seekers looking to come to this country and we should bear that in mind.' He should have a good grasp of this because it seems to be that it is from the Bangladeshi diaspora that he gets so many of his votes in the central Rochdale areas of Milkstone Road and Deeplish.
Appointed Danczuk's Parliamentary Agent in 2007 the Labour Councillor Allen Brett, went so far at the last local elections in Rochdale to transfer to the Bangladeshi vote-rich area of 'Milkstone Road and Deeplish' so as to gain a seat on the Rochdale Council. He may well have lost his seat on the Council if he'd stood against the Liberal Democrat, Irene Davidson in Milnrow and Newhey. Councillor Brett and the Rochdale Council leader, Richard Farnell, must now fear that they will be in danger if Simon Danczuk should be expelled from the Labour Party. For these two councillors have stuck like 'shit to a blanket' to the damaged Rochdale MP, Simon Danczuk, while he has gradually fallen from grace.
In 1987, David Clayton wrote on the Lib/ Dem Blog 'Talking Politics':
'I was the victim of a violent assault at his [Allen Brett's] hands in 1987. Councillor Brett was safely convicted but has refused to apologise ever since.'
In the same article David Clayton continues:
'The next year I stood and beat Councillor Brett in Milnrow and Newhey - Councillor Davidson did the same the following year. So off he went and did the famous 'Chicken-Run' to Balderstone and Kirkholt. In 1992, Councillor Brett unsuccessfully stood for Parliament - managing the biggest swing against any Labour Candidate in the country.'
During this year's local election campaign on the Rochdale Online website Mr. Clayton declared:
'Labour are in chaos - not least because of the antics of Simon Danczuk MP. Whilst he's being getting up to all sorts - he's been fully supported by some of the same old faces - Councillors Richard Farnell, Allen Brett and Neil Emmott. It's no wonder our Borough is seen as a "basket case", one of the "most deprived" in Britain and the "most declining". Is this what we want or what we deserve?'
Recently I had occasion to walk through the area known as Milkstone Road and Deeplish, and was struck by the ill-kempt , down-at-the-heel appearance of the area which had once been an architecturally desirable place to live. This is the area that Councillor Brett seized his opportunity in the last election to retain his place on the Rochdale Council.
The Rochdale Bangladeshi community may also suffer a fall from grace if they continue to be used as a conduit for Simon Danczuk to promote the politics of the Indian sub-continent through their constituents in the ward of Milkstone Road and Deeplish. The former Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front [JKLF] followers, at least one whom is currently on Rochdale Council, may also suffer if they too continue to stick with the politics of 'Deadleg Danczuk'.
The problem in Rochdale, as in Bradford, is the kind of 'biradaris politics' of the villages of the Indian sub-continent transferred to the textile towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire from the 1960s onwards when men from the sub-continent came to our towns. A report recently likened this phenomena to 'the Etonian or Bullingham clubs for the rich white men who support and promote each other into positions of power'.
Simon Danczuk has been trading with this kind of crude 'clan politics' for some time, and Councillor Allen Brett for Milkstone Road and Deeplish is the latest local beneficiary. Since the early 1970s when I worked as a weigh-man with the doffers at Arrow Mill in Rochdale alongside Kashmiris and Punjabis, I have been vaguely aware of this kind of clan control which has now infested politics in our former mill towns and some now go so far to regard as corrupt. It now seems to be deeply entrenched in the politics of Rochdale Labour Party.
Some Asians are now voicing their objections to biradaris politics and one person told a Guardian 'The Northerner' journalist Ed Jacobs reported from a young person in Bradford in 2013:
'There is no place for it [biradari's politics] here any more. I want to elect someone who will make society a better place for me and my kids and not someone who asks for my vote simply because he is related to me or of the same colour.'
It doesn't matter to me whether Simon Danczuk is living in villa where my eldest son was born on the Costa Blanca or up Kingsway with Karen, by his conduct he represents what is the worst in politics, be it on the western slopes of the Pennines, the Spanish Costas or Azad Kashmir.