Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Labour MP Dies

The Labour MP Piara Khabra has died thus causing a by election. I'm not at my desk but I believe the LibDems are in second place in his Ealing Southall seat. According to the Guardian the LibDems will be in government by the time the by election takes place! Much chuntering among Labour MPs this morning I gather. More later when I am out of this EI breakfast meeting titled CAN CAMERON CRACK IT? Some interesting perspectives here...


UPDATE 12.51: I see some people in the comments have been saying this post is in bad taste. Er, in what respect exactly? I report that a Labour MP has died and it will cause a by election. They are the facts. I didn't write anything more because at the time of the post I was attending a breakfast speaker meeting. I have been in other meetings all morning as I do have to work for my living, you know! Anyway [sigh] [/sigh]...



I only met Piara Khabra once and found him a very pleasant and thoughtful man. He defied Labour whips to stand at the last election even though he was in his early eighties, and must have had good support from his constituency party to do so. Regular readers will know that I am a great advocate of parliament having more older MPs. Mr Khabra had been ill for some time but had still made regular appearances in the Commons. A Conservative MP I have spoken to this morning described him as "a true lovely old gent".

UPDATE 2.15pm: Now THIS is bad taste. Labour have reportedly been phoning voters in Mr Khabra's constituency over the last two weeks, according to respondents on LibDem Voice...

68 comments:

Croydonian said...

Khabra had an 11,000 majority. More here. One of my narks from the wrong side of the river has told me that the LDs have been gearing up for a by-election in Southall for months.

Anonymous said...

The LibDem campaign in 2005 was hard-fought, and they moved from fourth to second.

The neighbouring (and new) seat of Ealing Central and Acton is a three-way marginal (notionally Tory, but in the Labour and the LibDem top 10 target list), which means that all parties should fight this hard.

In a multi-ethnic seat, a good test for David Cameron's new-look Tories?

HF said...

A local Conservative candidate with asian roots is a must.

Male maybe better than female, as Labour are going AWS.

Anonymous said...

"new look Tories".

hahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Dave's new look Tories:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/alice_miles/article1957530.ece

Anonymous said...

Have some 'self' respect for the deceased. Give it a day or two But then 'new look' Tories! aka still the nasty party!

barry monk said...

I thought that there was a convention that this sort of discussion did not take place until after the funeral.

I have no knowledge of this man, but his family deserve some respect at this time

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you wrote, "Have some self respect for the deceased. Give it a day or two."

If you don't want to read this stuff then don't click on it. This is a blog immersed in politics. Don't get all Princess-Diana on us.

Rachel Joyce said...

Sounds like you - anonymous - should be in some kind of nasty party. Perhaps we could be told your name, your political affiliations, and your moral and ethical beliefs before you start throwing stones at people who truly want to make this country a better place than the autocratic mess we are currently in.

Anonymous said...

"I thought that there was a convention that this sort of discussion did not take place until after the funeral."

Barry, get real. Parties don't put out literature until after the funeral. If you don't want to read this then don't come here. And please don't get all preachy.

Paul said...

I have to say i'm disgusted at everyone of the above comments. The man has just died for goodness sake. Show some respect and dignity regardless of your party political affilitation.

simon said...

As far as i'm concerned if the LibbyDems have been waiting for PK to kick the bucket and been planning for a by-election- they are truly 'the nasty party'.

anyonebutgordon said...

Re the Garuniad and key LibDems joining Bronwn's cabinet. Is this a case of the rats joining the sinking ship...to prop up a discredited government?

barry monk said...

Dear Mr anaonymous (how brave you are to cast aspertions anonymously)
may I perhaps refer you to the reply given in the case Arkell versus Pressdram

Anonymous said...

profile - As a Conservative Party Candidate, R.Joyce a "New" Conservative Party candidate

"people who truly want to make this country a better place "

May the last one to leave, turn off the lights!

Frankly: CCHQ/Local Association - should review your status as PPC

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Take a look at PK's background; he would be hard pressed to call anyone nasty. I know wherefore I speak as I worked as the Tory candidate's campaign manager back in the 90s. Politics in Southall are pretty vicious and ugly. (Beatings, intimidation etc etc)

I suspect its a shoe-in for the Lib-Dems because of their pro-Islamist, I mean anti-war stance.

PK RIP said...

Cllr Sonika Niwrwal will walk it for Labour. The libs are a busted flush is Southall and the Tories have picked a nobody from the shires.
The only danger to labour is if a militant outsider challenges.

David said...

I think a sentence or two about Piara's history and the fact that he carried on working as an MP until he was 82 was in order.

A by election will be exciting for all people on this website, but I fully support giving a bit more respect to the man.

Chris Paul said...

I'm hoping Labour pick Konnie Huq's big sister Rupa. She lives in the constituency I think. And she would be a great MP.

Peter said...

Iain, i think you should alter the wording of your post. It is not in good taste

naked opportunism said...

A touching tribute to this MPs life and service, thanks Iain.

wandsworthtory said...

A bit blunt on this, aren't you, Iain?

I realise you have no political sympathy for Piara Khabra, but to leap straight in, rubbing your hands on the potential for his seat, moments after he dies, is frankly sick and beneath you.

Have some respect.

Anonymous said...

Barry: Labour have been phone canvassing the seat for the last two weeks.
This has come as a surprise to no one.
Labour may be seeking a quick by-election to prevent the momentum that the LibDems can quickly gain (Hodge Hill, Leicester S), and to hold it in a holiday period to depress turnout.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

http://hunterandshooter.blogspot.com/2007/04/mp-on-his-deathbed.html

I firsy blogged about this ages ago - few people took me seriously, esp. CCHQ.

Anonymous said...

Look be real people - there is by election spotting going on in all parties all of the time for all kinds of different reasons. I'm not condoning it but it happens. Complain to party HQs.

The Lib Dems especially need to work fast on these matters, as it's the only way of increasing their numbers of MPs - although they frequently fail to hold on into the long term - a kind of climaxing too early syndrome experienced by Rennard and his boys.

Also it's their only chance quite frequently of being able to up the numbers of women and other under-represented groups - although again the levels of support given to seat retention seems questionable given recent records - see Leicester South.

Rumour has it that some MPs have started to see the Lib Dem Campaign Chief as some kind of 'Grim Reaper' hanging around the Palace to stare them into an early grave. Beware if he asks how you are...

dynamite said...

I suspect its a shoe-in for the Lib-Dems because of their pro-Islamist, I mean anti-war stance.

Snore...

The Hitch said...

one down (+:
heheheh
so what if an 82 year old man has dropped off his perch , we have teenagers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan thanks to people like this no longer with us MP.
I would say more but Iain would delete me.

Anthony said...

"I suspect its a shoe-in for the Lib-Dems because of their pro-Islamist, I mean anti-war stance."

Except that the seat isn't particularly Muslim. It's well over half asian, but that's mostly Sikhs.

mutleythedog said...

Oh go on Mr Hitch... by the way I am glad you are alive, I read in the paper Bernard Manning had died and the same day your blog went up the swanee and an awful thought occurred to me.. by the way with Bernie being dead there may be an opening...

Mr Eugenides said...

A wee word about the MP himself - even the addition of the single word "unfortunately" - might have improved the tone of the post, methinks. Wouldn't have taken a second.

Anonymous said...

Typical Tory me first I want , I bags , selfish narrow prickery.

The old boy is not in his grave yet.

You lot disgust most of your compatriots

bono onob said...

Stop weeping crocodile tears for someone you didn't know FFS.

This country is filling up with infantilised adults and their emotional diarrohea.

mwcohry said...

In what way is this item offensive? An 82yr old IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN dies, it is noted, and a pleasant remark about him is the sign-off.

Sorry, can't see what's horrible/nasty/sick about that.

Chuck Unsworth said...

What's all this claptrap about 'having respect' etc?

An MP has died, there will be a by-election, end of story. Iain has also chosen to make a few gracious comments about the deceased.

All this false 'concern' makes for interesting comparison with comments made by those in government (and their rabid supporters) at the time of David Kelly's demise. And the (all too) regular deaths and injuries of our military personnel seem to go by without so much as a cheep from the likes of Blair, Brown, etc.

If there is to be some sort of moratorium on comment in the light of individual deaths then so be it. But let's have consistency. Frankly it would have been far better if those complaining here had simply not bothered to respond, but any opportunity to make political capital eh?.

Paul Linford said...

Anyone whose sensibilities have been offended by the mention of by-elections and wants to read a straight tribute should click here.

jadedexhack said...

Good to see that good Christian Paul Lindford is among the first to cash in on Khabra's death by using it to plug his digital obits business for Northcliffe Newspapers - without even mentioning his involvement!
He'll be robbing the collection plate next!

The Hitch said...

Sir mutley
How about this "Manningism"
At a party organised by Michael Winner.
Winner introduces the great man , who responds with

"Michael Winner the most hated jew in Europe , I had a reltive die in Aushwitch...he fell out of the watch tower"
Sorley missed by daily mail readers and members of combat 18.

Anonymous said...

fuck the lot of them.......... may they reap what they sow.

third world shite

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with the post ? For fuck's sake, Iain, if you can't see that talking about a by-election before you have even offered your condolences to his family and your sympathy to his close friends is in abysmally poor taste and completely ill-mannered, not to mention betrays your lack of consideration, etiquette and a good upbringing, then I am not going to waste my time pointing it out.

Or are you becoming a chav to go for a wider popular base? Rubbish!

andrew kennedy said...

I guess those (mainly anonymous) who are condeming you for writing this are the Cowley Street mafia. Typing sanctimony with one hand whilst designing their first FOCUS newsletter with the other.

Apparently it is going to be a two horse race !

Chuck Unsworth said...

Anonymous 3.32 pm.

That's just garbage. Neither Iain nor anyone else 'has to' offer condolences or anything else for that matter. Don't be so remarkably stupid. If you bothered to read all of his comments you'll see that he has offered a broader view - that's certainly rather less mercenary than some Labour activists, who whilst the man is on his deathbed were (and are) scurrying around trying to fix a sucessor.

That you've spent some time 'pointing it out' is simply contradictory.

You don't like other people's manners? Tough. Come out from behind your mannerless anonymity.

Anonymous said...

jadedexhack - Great Work !!!!

Anonymous said...

Iain, I do not think you did anything wrong by reporting this story in teh way you did. It will be surely reported in much the same way in newspapers tomorrow.

I thought your later comments were kind and considerate - Mr Khabra sounds like a nice man and a good MP who was well liked by his constituents.

Liberal Neil said...

I think Iain's post was completely reasonable. He writes a political blog and simply report on some political news by stating the facts as he knew them.

If the reports that Labour have been stepping up their leafleting and telephoning in the last couple of weeks - presumably having knowledge about the MP's condition that the opposition parties did not have - then that is far more questionable.

malcolm said...

Wouldn't put it past the Lib Dems to have invented this story about Labour canvassing. Compared to the Lib Dems ,Labour are rank amateurs in the tasteless sleaze stakes. Now I suspect we will see who the real nasty party is ie Lib Dems

Chuck Unsworth said...

Malcolm:
"Wouldn't put it past the Lib Dems to have invented this story about Labour canvassing. Compared to the Lib Dems ,Labour are rank amateurs in the tasteless sleaze stakes. Now I suspect we will see who the real nasty party is ie Lib Dems"

Hilarious! Best joke I've heard in days.

But if you're serious you are in great need of counselling and/or industrial levels of medication. Hope you've got private medical insurance, as this isn't currently available on the NHS.

andrew kennedy said...

Malcolm at 4.57pm is absolutely correct. In fact, since reading LibDem Voice I have been doing a bit of investigating of my own.

Firstly, LibDem Voice mentions the death of Piara Khabra. This is followed, within minutes, by a post from "Ealing resident" (no back links) claiming Labour have been phone canvassing for weeks. This is followed by two more posters (neither with back links) also claiming they have "friends" in Ealing who have been telephone canvassed by Labour in recently.

Then, to cap it all, Mr Duncan Borrowman appears (he of Bromley fame - remember the Ben Abbotts Graffiti Removal Scam). Guess what? Amazingly he too has received "emails" from people in Ealing who have also been phone canvassed by Labour.

Smelling a LibDem rat I decided to circulate an email to friends and colleagues at my Head Office in Harrow - and managed to identify 26 colleagues who live in Ealing Southall (the neighbouring seat to where my HO is situated). Not a single one has been phone canvassed by Labour. What a surprise.

So perhaps the LibDems are at it already - setting a negative tone by accusing Labour of phone canvassing whilst the sitting MP is on his deathbed.

HF said...

Re "the hitch".

Bernie was part jew.

Charlotte Corday said...

On the theme of tastless reactions to a death, Iain's friend Yasmin Ali Brown has upset people by whooping for joy at Bernard Manning's death on the Matthew Wright show.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Andrew Kennedy:

So 26 of one's closest friends have been able to personally vouch that this has not happened? Or what?

"So perhaps the LibDems are at it already - setting a negative tone by accusing Labour of phone canvassing whilst the sitting MP is on his deathbed."

And perhaps not. Then again, who really knows? But the real question is who do you really trust?

In those terms I've only got the experience of the last ten years to go by. Would I trust NuLab? Never in my lifetime! And please may that be short. I don't think I can stand much more of their incompetence, lying, cheating, and selfish behaviour without becoming totally homicidal.

The Hitch said...

hf
so is the Hitch (+:

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

The dreadfulrk Pack and Lord Fatty have been secretly planning this by-election for ages. Our failure to select a candidate, open an HQ and start campaigning may cost us dear! Wake up Tory Party! WTF have we leant from Brent East?

Arleen Ouzounian said...

How hypocritical, some lefties have already planned a party for when Baroness Thatcher has past away, which is absolutely horrendous, yet we get blasted for merely announcing the death of an MP.

Grow up the lot of you.

Big Andy said...

For what its worth, even before reading the up-dates< i thought it was in bad taste.

And your defence betrays that at heart you, yourself, Iain know it was also.

Of course, there will be a by-election, and in this forum it is right and proper that you address taht.

However, a little line about what the man has done, any points of interest, family outstanding - just a sentence or two - would have been a nice touch and shown some respect.

For those commenters who make reference to left wing bad taste; this is hardly the point is it?

Pot's calling kettles black comes to mind - and Jeremy Bentham would have noted it as one of his causes for bad politics.

Unity said...

>>>How hypocritical, some lefties have already planned a party for when Baroness Thatcher has past away, which is absolutely horrendous, yet we get blasted for merely announcing the death of an MP.

I can see we have an urban legend in the making here.

To my knowledge, no one on the left has actually planned a party in anticipation of Thatch's demise...

...we actually have more a spontaneous celebration in mind and nothing until after the funeral...

...we want to be good and sure that she's staked down properly before we crack open the champagne.

Anonymous said...

My guess is, that the Lib Dems will select Councillor Jon Ball to stand in Ealing Southall. He was selected to stand in Ealing Central & Acton in April, around the same time than Piara Khabra was hospitalised. As we know, the new borders of Ealing Central & Acton include parts of the old Ealing Southall, but as the by-election is held with old borders, the area must conveniently already be familiar to Ball...

Anonymous said...

Your guess might be that anon at 2.12, but I don't think Ball will be Lord Fatty's choice. He is not known to be a party luvvie, and given the recent controversy over the GLA lists there might be an attempt to shoe someone in. Oh but of course it's a democratic party and far be it from Cowley Street to try and influence the choice of candidate.

But you are right about the planning - believe me it's not just this seat that is in planning either. If people so much as sniff and cough in the presence of some then there is a plan identified. After all little victories is all Lord Grim Reaper Rennard has to look forward too - he is so blinkered he can't strategise beyond half a dozen gains at a time.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Unity: "To my knowledge..."

Precisely.

Anonymous said...

I see in todays guardian (PK Obit)that Sonika gets a name check as the successor. Never mind the fact that the body is hardly cold and PK couldn't stand the bloody women.

Arleen Ouzounian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arleen Ouzounian said...

You are misinformed, google it for yourself. There is one planned in trafalgar sq. Now that is disrespectful and not Iain Dale.

Anonymous said...

The Hitch said...
All your posts should be flushed you odious little man.You spoil this blog with your filth.

Anonymous said...

If Tories put a Pakistani/Muslim Punjabi speaking guy then they are in the position to win the seat as there is a rift in local Labour Party about the selection of their candidate. There is already war of words among the local Labour Councillors. If Labour Party selects Cllr Sonika Nirwal (Greenford Broadway Ward)and Labour Group Leader then she will not have support from Cllr Gurharan Singh (Lady Margaret Ward)during the election campaign. Cllr Gurharan Singh has also told the local paper that Cllr Virenda Sharma (Norwood Green Ward)is his rival and that he alongwith deceased MP could not beat him that is why they approved AWS.

Anonymous said...

unity

I thought you were dead, any chance of an interview about you're dear old socialist pal Adolf?

Unity said...

Arleen's 'some lefties' turn out to be London Class War (ho-hum) and the reason she's so keen to defend Iain might just have a little something to do with her own comments on Khabra's death:

2 months ago to the day, I reported that Ealing had been forsaken, but not lost, by 2 out of the 3 MPs in the Ealing area (Piara Khabra due to illness and Andrew Slaughter due to eloping with his mistress, Hammersmith and Fulham). Today I can confirm that Piara Khabra, Britain's oldest MP of 82 years, has died whilst being treated for liver problems in Hammersmith Hospital.

Hopefully there will be a byelection called within the next three months and Ealing will finally be given an injection of Tory blood. Feels like Christmas has come early!


Now what was that you were saying about hypocrisy, Arleen?

Anonymous said...

As each hour that passes more and more people are saying as this is a by election the Labour HQ will not impose an all women short list. A decision could come as early as this weekend (Sunday).

Some of the facts set out in the briefing prepared by the Sikh Federation (UK) that was sent to Labour’s NEC early this year included:

There is a target for women representation of 40% of all Labour MPs there is no target for ethnic minority representation despite the extremely low numbers in the House of Commons.

Is the absence of a target for ethnic minority representation by the Labour Party defensible?

The NEC was advised the greater priority was to address the large shortfall of ethnic minority MPs and pointed out the London Region of Labour had already achieved women representation of 37.6%.

It was also pointed out the NEC no longer had any ethnic minority representatives and most if not all MPs that have come from all-women short-lists for the last ten years, since the 1997 election have been white.

Given these facts the Labour Party and the NEC could be accused of failing ethnic minorities if they choose to give preference to an all-women short-list rather than an open short-list in constituencies like Ealing Southall.

The decision by the NEC in Ealing Southall could have far-reaching consequences in other constituencies with large numbers of ethnic minorities. Younger people are increasingly questioning the policies and practices of the main parties and they are well placed to influence the traditional Labour vote.

It is our strongly held view that Labour should select an ethnic minority candidate in the Ealing Southall constituency where the ethnic minority population is 64.7%.

We have argued and the past and present Labour Party Chairs have agreed that the likes of the electorate of Ealing Southall would like to see 'people like them' as their elected representatives.

The Sikh Federation (UK) is on record to say we would like to see a well educated and British born practising Sikh in the Commons, which would be a first.

One excellent candidate would be:

Dr Harkirtan Singh-Raud OBE

He is a senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University and has been Head of Combined Science, taught Chemistry, Biochemistry and science in schools. His research field covers the area of race, gender and diversity. He is nationally recognised in his field and was awarded the OBE for service to Education and to Diversity.

He is a very active Labour Party member who has been recognised as an excellent candidate to become an MP. The only difficulty is he lives in Manchester where he hopes to become an MP. Would he be prepared to move South and would Labour be prepared to impose someone from outside? They have done this in the past and seeing the local Labour Party is divided an outside candidate like Harkirtan Singh, who is also Chair of the Oxbridge Sikh Alumni, may be the ideal compromise.


Sikh Federation (UK)
info@sikhfederation.com

Anonymous said...

he voted for Trident,90 days detention,student tuition fees and invading Iraq.So my verdict-good riddance to another one of Tonys cronies I say

Anonymous said...

Reference to Ealing Southall in The Sunday Times
July 1, 2007

What do you think of what Geiffrey Robinson had to say?

I saw a nasty case of KKK Tourette’s at first hand last week when I was in a Five Live discussion with Gordon Brown’s friend and mentor, Geoffrey Robinson MP. He had been talking, perfectly reasonably, about Labour’s forthcoming by-elections. And then he had a sort of seizure. “We’ll be fine,” he said, “so long as we don’t choose a white candidate in Ealing Southall and a black in Sedgefield.”

Suddenly realising what had issued from his mouth, he looked embarrassed, as if he had just passed wind in front of the Queen. “Well, ah, um, let me be clear,” he bumbled in desperation, “we’ll be fine with a candidate of any colour, creed, race or gender…”

Hope it’s not too late, Geoff. Next time you hear a politician suddenly announce he doesn’t like darkies, or he bets Rosa Parks never bought a ticket for that bus, you’ll know what it is: KKK Tourette’s.