Saturday 3 November 2007

New Labour - Old Mafia

Heres a great story about how the Labour Party is the New Mafia and how diversity equals criminality.

A Liberal Democrat activist had his £50,000 Range Rover set on fire during a bitter fight to oust a Labour councillor, an election court was told yesterday.

The activist, Iftikhar Ahmed, was a key supporter of Saeed Aehmed, who was defeated in the council elections in Birmingham in May when he stood against the Labour candidate Muhammad Afzal.

Mr Aehmed is challenging Mr Afzal’s victory and claims that he was the victim of a smear campaign, in which voters were told wrongly that he had been arrested for fraud.

Mr Afzal was also accused of trying to use family pressure to stop a witness giving evidence in court.

The heated election campaign included mudslinging from both sides. The Liberal Democrats produced a leaflet claiming Mr Afzal had been found guilty of general corruption in a vote-rigging scandal. In fact, Mr Afzal had been cleared on appeal. The election petition says that Mr Afzal’s supporters spread false rumours that Mr Aehmed had been arrested and was suspected of disability grant fraud.

Ayoub Khan, Mr Aehmed’s agent in the election, described a climate of fear in the largely Asian community. He claimed that some people were too scared of repercussions to complain.

He said that Mr Ahmed had been using the loudhailer in a Liberal Democrat campaign car on election day. Graham Brodie, barrister for the Liberal Democrats, asked Mr Khan: “Do you know of anybody, other than a supporter of the Labour Party, who might harbour a grievance against the owner?” Mr Khan replied: “Absolutely not.” Mr Khan said that Mr Ahmed’s Range Rover was destroyed by fire three weeks ago.

Mr Brodie: “To what extent are you aware of the reaction by Labour Party supporters to these proceedings and of people giving evidence to them?”

Mr Khan: “It’s a daunting task. Witnesses do not come forward. They are intimidated people. My relatives approached me about a week ago informing me I should not turn up to this hearing today. This is the sort of thing that happens: inner-city ward areas, close community ties and a lot of influence. It’s no surprise that Iftikhar Ahmed is not here in court.”

Mr Khan said that his own relatives urged him to stay away from the hearing after they were contacted by the Labour councillor. “Muhammad Afzal approached them in their business address and he had a meeting for about an hour and they subsequently called me on a mobile phone. They said: ‘Is there no way you could compromise and not go to court?’. I said ‘No’. It has caused a degree of tension between me and the relatives.”

Mr Millar, QC, for Mr Afzal, queried why the witness, a practising barrister, had failed to call in the police over this alleged interference with the administration of justice. “There are serious repercussions,” Mr Khan said.

The raised temperature on election day was described. A mobile phone recording was played of Mr Ahmed broadcasting by loudspeaker in the Liberal Democrat car that Mr Afzal was guilty of corruption. Labour had five cars with loudspeakers and were trailing the sole Liberal Democrat car broadcasting: “Lib Dems arrested, Lib Dems arrested.”

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