When I was looking at the Ealing petitions site tonight I noticed that Onkar Sahota has started two petitions to â€œsaveâ€ two local hospitals. Having started these on Wednesday last week Sahota had managed to get one mate to back him up by Friday. Two petitions with two signatures each. It doesnâ€™t sound as if the Ealing Labour group really believes its own rhetoric. Maybe council leader Julian Bell should get off twitter and get his group organised. Most of them have yet to upgrade from their quill pens and ink pots.
Dr Onkar Sahota is Labourâ€™s hapless candidate for the GLA Ealing & Hillingdon seat currently held by the ebullient Tory and Deputy Mayor, Richard Barnes. Sahota is a local doctor
and Daddyâ€™s boy, son of Gurdip Sahota, Chair of Ealing Southall branch. [Labour’s chief whip, Cllr Brian Reeves, recently told me that I had got this bit of the story wrong. He told me that my error was the source of some amusement in the Labour group. He didn’t have any further corrections for me.]
Sahota is yet another Punjabi Labour representative. Apparently only Punjabiâ€™s need apply to represent Southall on behalf of the Labour party. The MP and all 15 councillors are Punjabi. There are Sikh Punjabis, Muslim Punjabis and Hindu Punjabis but Punjabis one and all. Now the GLA candidate is. At least Sahota is 2nd generation. The old guard keep a tight grip of Southall. Of the MP and 15 councillors only one councillor as far as I know is second generation, Cllr â€œComradeâ€ Kausar.
Sahota paid a visit to the first riots panel meeting on 17th October. He introduced himself as Dr Onkar Sahota and raised a point about the problem of closing GPâ€™s surgeries early because of the riot. Fair enough. He did not introduce himself as a GLA candidate and if he had done he would probably have been booed into silence when he went on to make a nakedly political point and say that it was the â€œwrong time to have public spending cutsâ€.
I donâ€™t see Sahota worrying Barnes unduly in May.