Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How to Defect Twice in Twelve Hours

Earlier today I reported that a sixth Labour councillor in Ealing Southall had defected to the Conservatives. I had had this information under a 10am embargo since late last night, when I was sent a statement which Cllr Zahida Abbas Noori has agreed with her five colleagues who defected yesterday.

It seems that this morning she was persuaded not to defect after all, presumably by Tom Watson, Labour's beleagured by election campaign manager. He wrote THIS on his blog this afternoon.
The central office stooge is at it again. Iain Dale posted on his blog earlier today that a Southall Councillor Mrs Noori has defected to the Tories. There’s a small problem with this though. She hasn’t resigned. Councillor Noori is not happy about Iain Dale’s
slur. Lawyers are being consulted. Here’s the statement she has just asked to be issued on her behalf: “I joined the Labour Party to serve my community. That remains the case….. I have not resigned my membership and will not be joining the Conservatives. Tomorrow I will be leading campaigning for Labour’s victory on July 19th. I hope to see you on the campaign trail too!" Oh Iain. Councillor Noori is a member of the National Union of Journalists and knows her rights. Will we finally get an apology out of you?
Let's establish the facts, shall we?

1. Last night Cllr Noori did indeed agree with her five councillor colleagues that she would be joining them.
2. A statement was agreed with her, which I have, but I won't post unless she'd like me to.
3. The announcement was embargoed until 10am this morning.
4. Since I heard nothing to the contrary overnight I posted the story this morning.
5. Tom Watson then presumably persuaded Cllr Noori of the error of her ways.

Now, with regard to an apology, what is it exactly I'm to apologise for? Acting on information given to me in good faith and which was correct at the time of publication? It was even formatted on a Conservative Party press release, just like the one the previous day when the group of five defections was announced. I am sure that Cllr Noori, as a member of the NUJ, would accept that this was a pretty good reason to write the story.

Actually, on second thoughts, I will apologise. I am deeply sorry for Tom Watson that he has to put up with people like this when he's trying to run a by election campaign which is disintegrating before his eyes.

UPDATE: Here's a quote from a CCHQ spokesman: "Cllr Noori did agree twice on Monday night to leave the Labour Party to join the Conservatives in order to support Tony Lit's energetic and dynamic campaign. It appears that the Labour party has now bullied her into changing her mind. However this is exactly the kind of strongarm Labour tactics which has driven five of their other Councillors away from the divided Labour party."

70 comments:

sherlock said...

'The fates are against you, Watson.'

tapestry said...

Nori - isn't that a type of edible japanese seaweed?

andy d said...

ooooo this is getting bitchy *goes to get popcorn*....

PETER SHAW said...

If you have the statement, post it and be done with it. Don’t waffle (and that goes to both sides of the argument). If your case is legally watertight, get on with it!

James said...

Classic! What a complete mess but hugely entertaining.

Mark Senior said...

Perhaps the bullying tactics were those employed by Conservatives and the other defecting councillors used to force someone to defect who was not convinced .
Seriously you can see great trouble ahead for the Ealing Conservative Council Group when this new faction has a run in with the old guard .

Watson 0, Tories 6 said...

Haahahahahahahah!

Watson should have left this one well enough alone

New Name for Labour said...

Iain, Tom should rename his campaign "Ailing Southall"

Test

Simon Harley said...

How nice, Watson fights imagined slur with real slur. The Comedy of Errors continues...

Grant 1234 Schnappes said...

After you posted the Grant Shapps denial, how can we believe this Conservative denial?

Anonymous said...

Tom Watson has made my month. He should do stand up!

He's a funny guy!


It strikes me Tom Watson should go on the committee of the National Union of Students or something equally irrelevant.

-Play ground politics!!!


Good work Iain.

tapestry said...

There was a Labour Councillor called Noori,
Who said 'sorry, I want to be Tory'
Tom said 'please don't do that.
We'll buy you a flat.'
And this seemed to alter her story.

Anonymous said...

very good tapestry

Anonymous said...

Poor old Tom Watson! At least he comes out fighting when his back is against the wall.

Splashitallover said...

Jesus, it's only a by-election. it's not as if it's 1996, when it would have mattered. Calm down!

Chris Paul said...

Looks like another Tory immature and premature ejaculation. The Tory press release or whatever is on Tory paper? They didn't pull the story. It turns out to be quite wrong.

And as others have said after that encroyable and very tardy Grant Schnapps denial there is more cred with the reds at the moment.

1234 indeed. And this chump is in Cameron's shadow government? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Iain - sorry mate but you are being a total arse.

Get a grip man, and get back to proper politics rather than this silly, pointless, vindictive schoolboy point-scoring.

Alan said...

Iain - do you have any idea what sort of an impact, outside of the political classes, all these defections are having? Do people really care what party a bunch of self-important local councillors belong to? How does this effect the overall image of politics for the general population? Do you think the voters in London might be more interested in what the candidates have to say about real issues? Why are the political classes so obsessed by the party machine, when their obsessions might be far better placed in the issues that effect people's lives?

This is something that should be debated - I am of the opinion we should ditch the factionalism and get back to the real issues of politics - the issues that effect peoples lives. See here for more.

Anonymous said...

well Iain, I am happy to back you financially if Watson or his team take you to court, as long as you are happy to split the damages you receive when you win!

Newmania said...

CP
Looks like another Tory immature and premature ejaculation. The Tory press release or whatever is on Tory paper? They didn't pull the story. It turns out to be quite wrong.

Chris if you aren1`t going to read and respond to facts sitting in front of you I `m afraid you can only make yourself appear a clown .I fail utterly to see the point of turning up on what is a right of centre blog all day to make yourself look ridiculous and , from what I gather ,when you are not here you are doing the same sort of weirdly obsessive nit picking on your own empty blog . No wonder you like Brown. What on earth do you think you are achieving?
Is it a personality disorder ?Can you honestly tell me that you have never sought help from a therapist or psychiatrist?

Anonymous said...

Looks like defecting will be your chance of fighting a seat next time round.....

Anonymous said...

Chris Paul:

Don't spend the rest of your life being a prick.

Have a day off, now and again.

Ed said...

The central office stooge

A bit rich, coming from the man who tried is presumably running the Labour campaign under the watchful eye of the Dark Lord.

Mark Senior said...

Hope Tapestry and yourself have some proof of the allegation in his verse . If not , it is a very clear libel which could cost you both a lot of money .

Newmania said...

Tapestry for Poet Laureate !!

Anonymous said...

Mark Senior is talking tosh. Parody is protected under libel law.

Anonymous said...

You old queens can't admit to getting things wrong can you Iain

Anonymous said...

I want Iain to write something about Councillor Alan Burkitt...

Ben Redsell said...

I was also told by a member of the Ealing Labour group that there were 6 defectors. He published it on my Facebook wall today at 12.24pm!!! Clearly Labour don't know if they are coming or going!

Ed said...

Ben, send the nice Mr Watson a screenshot will you?? Perhaps copy in Mr Dale too :-)

Ed said...

it is a very clear libel which could cost you both a lot of money

My God, you are a humourless bunch.

Hughes Views said...

"Bullied"; now that's an interesting choice of word. A bit knee-jerk wouldn't you say Iain old boy and perhaps implying that your rattled HQ chums really don't get this alleged new politics lark at all, what? Or are they mere vocabulary-lite apparatchiks?

Cajoled, persuaded, bribed or even blackmailed; any of these interesting participles might have made some sense in this intriguing context. But bullied, eh?

Best wipe the egg off the old visage and potter off to bedfordshire...

The Remittance Man said...

Anon said: Get a grip man, and get back to proper politics rather than this silly, pointless, vindictive schoolboy point-scoring.

Obviously he is still of the belief that British politics has not descended to the level of the playground.

How the euro-phuquewhits must be loving all this, diverting attention from their wretched treaty and the need to defeat it.

tapestry said...

Iain's 'bullied' is possible, but it would surely be more likely that positive motivation was applied than negative. My lawyers forbid me to say any more.

Anonymous said...

Mark Senior said:

"If not , it is a very clear libel which could cost you both a lot of money"

You're obviously not a lawyer, otherwise you wouldn't come out with crap like this.

For starters - you can't get legal aid for libel actions.

And just how likely is it that a Labour councillor is going to be prepared to fund a libel action out of his or her own resources?

Wake up and smell the coffee, you cretin.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain to me why the Conservative Candidate is called Tony Lit, when his real name Surinderpal Singh Lit, it isn't because some Tories wouldn't like voting for any Asian candidate is it?

Geezer said...

Perhaps this was a set-up to make you and the Tory campaign look stupid? It's not like Labour would be above such a thing, if not, then more carrot than stick was probably used to get the u-turn.

the man from del monte said...

What a bloody mess this entire by-election is.

servesyouright said...

It looks as if the Ealing Council Conservative group is now to be visited with the same factionalism that has plagued the Labour Party in Ealing for years.
Cllr Noori is far too talented to be hoodwinked by theblandishments of Cameron's cronies.

sahidam said...

Typical Woman-- YEEEES YEEES YEES YES YES OO nooooo! An ANTI ORGANISM.

TORY LADY said...

CAN YOU REMIND US AGAIN IAIN ON YOUR VIEWS REGARDING DEFECTORS ?
I RECALL THAT THEY ARE WELL DOCUMENTED IN YOUR BLOG, AND NOT ESSENTIALLY IN FAVOUR.
IS THIS WHAT YOUR APOLOGY IS ALL ABOUT?
COME ON IAIN GIVE US ALL AN APOLOGY AND SAY THAT YOU WELCOME DEFECTORS WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART.

wrinkled weasel said...

I cannot understand why you do not post the relevant statement and shoot the old crow dead in the water.

Are you really sure you had the facts?

Diablo said...

Gosh, there are a lot of twats on this thread!

Adrian Yalland said...

Honestly, Ealing seems like a badly run creche!

Adrian Yalland said...

Annon 10:55 - Boring, predictable and not worthy of a response.

However, as an act of charity to the cerebally challenged, since every picture of him splattered around Ealing makes it very obvious that he is Asian, and he is known as for being an Asian - he would have to airbrush his face and history for your rather leaky theory to hold water.

Run along now!
Now, why don't

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA you play the defection game at your peril,Iain...

dizzy said...

TORY LADY, YOU HAVE CAPS LOCKS ON. IT'S THAT LITTLE BUTTON ON THE KEYBOARD. CAN YOU SEE IT? HAT? YOU CAN'T HEAR ME? DO YOU WANT TO SHOUT?

ealing comedy said...

So what's this Times report today all about then?

Greg Hurst says there will be more defections: "The Times understands that the Conservatives are preparing to announce that another group of senior local Labour figures in Ealing Southall are to switch sides, including a prominent member of the Hindu community."

english democrat said...

Was Noori promised a juicy QUANGO job or a place on a safe seat shortlist!
I would love to know what Watson promised her!
Iain, post the evidence but first ask Noori what she and Watson agreed.
On a related point, have you noticed how the NULAB trolls have been letting their racism show through? I am not surprised that the leftists are portraying the defectors as tribal and self serving! The leftists are very good at keeping asians "in their place" and any who they cannot bribe or bully are smeared in the most racist way! I hope the Asian community sees this and responds!

frustrated labour supporter said...

Which idiot gave the job to that incompetent oaf Tom Watson?

Is this the fat fool's reward for cocking up that failed putsch against Blair?

Is this the direction of the Labour Party under Brown?

It beggars belief.

Anonymous said...

Come on over to the Conservatives, mate.

Mark Senior said...

We are bloggers Conservative paid
Of libel laws we're unafraid
If the victim is poor
We'll tell lies secure
In the knowledge there's no legal aid

Reinhard Heydrich said...

So how is the campaign going Tom?

This will keep me laughing for months. Watson is funnier than Chubby Brown.

Anonymous said...

Mark Senior:

Good to see you've woken up and smelt the coffee....

the man from del monte said...

"Do you think the voters in London might be more interested in what the candidates have to say about real issues? Why are the political classes so obsessed by the party machine, when their obsessions might be far better placed in the issues that effect people's lives?"

This is a blog for politicos, not really aimed at the average man or woman in the street. I think it's fair that there is somewhere where we can go and have a fun bit of knockabout. If you want to discuss policy then there are plenty of other places.

Anonymous said...

"Frustrated Labour Supporter" is Grant Schapps, and I claim my £5

my PIN number is 1234 said...

It SO isn't me, I mean Grant. How dare you! I'm frustrated alright.

Newmania said...

Sexual Ealing

My name is Senior, Mark , of that name
I n real life I am remarkably tame.
But when no-one is looking I tear off my vest
Put on a red cape and paint S on my chest
I log onto Dale to strike threatening poses
On libel and slander, I think he supposes
That I know the first thing about it, I don’t
I saw it on telly .I`m sort of a joke!

As a friend of the poor, I find it a Pity
My Party is financed by private equity
As a friend of the victims of class divide
I spent the last ten years making it wide
I`d sell out the country and betray the workers
Abandon the border, throw money at shirkers
Tempt little girls to have babies with flats
Stop bin collections to help out the rats
Run the NHS just like a clown runs his motor
Avoid referendums ( I `m a scared of the voter)
Pass laws over England with Sweaty sock seats
Take every chance that we can to cheat,
By spinning so fast that we make ourselves dizzy
By rehashing old news to try to look busy.

Families taxed into desperation
I stand for the sickness that infects the nation
Society broken, mobility congealing
Oh hell they`ve noticed in “Sexual Ealing”


( Hmmm keep the day job I think)

jafo said...

Anons at 10.22 and 10.55 (both same person?) you are both rude and stupid. I know it's not really done to abuse other posters, but if you don't care, why should I.

10.22 - you are obnoxious - push off, this site is for grownups.

10.55 - could it be that the Candidate refers to himself as Tony because that's what his friends call him? Too simple for you, perhaps - easier to make snide insinuations about other people.

Richard said...

Anyone else laughed at the "Teens" section of Tom Watson's site?!

Anonymous said...

Jafo yep it was me alright u clever old thing you, can't fox u Tories. Notice old Iain's a bit late this morn' still sobbing into the lavendar scented paper hankie I suppose!

Anonymous said...

god you lot are so juvenile. you say you're trying to run a serious outfit here but you're turning politics into playground popularity games and doing gave damage. grow up.

Anonymous said...

don't you check your partisan press releases with the people concerned, iain? that's what a real journalist would do, of course. i wonder what your telegraph masters think of such sloppy practice.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, a few facts for you

1. I am not a journalist
2. The info was given to me in the form of an embargoed press release from the Conservative Party
3. Why would I need to check it with her when there was a statement from her in the press release explaining why she was defecting?

sockpuppet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Newmania said...

Oh come on Iain if the Coucillor makes a statement that she is joining the Conservative Party I think the very least we can expect is that you look into the future and foresee that she might change her mind.Tsk Tsk
What I love is the way these fatuous Labour nits have absolutely no conception that this might be a private Blog in which you can do whatever you like. You have vastly more patience with them than I would

Anonymous said...

All rather hokey cokey!

Surely, Iain, 'the sword of truth' requires you to publish the (allegedly) 'agreed words' of this councillor, even more so if she has (allegedly) given backword and flipped??

Unless, that is, of course there were no agreed words at all and someone elses words had been put in her name by someone who was as reliable as (say) an Ealing Labour defector or a London Tory Party press officer.

Simon Harley said...

I find it very interesting that Iain was being subtley threatened and mocked, and then today The Times ran the same story. Is Watson going to send his lawyers against Murdoch too?

Anonymous said...

How do Labour expect people to vote for Mr Sharma when the Leader of the Labour Group Sonika Nirwal said this of her fellow councillors in the Ealing Times

'And now opposition leader Sonika Nirwal has publicly criticised the "old boys' club" in her own party, and stated she is the strongest candidate to take over when 82-year-old MP Piara Khabra steps down'

Merseymike said...

Seems to me that if someone shifts parties when he was trying to become candidate for his original party, and failed - the only suitable word is 'opportunist'