Self-proclaimed Southall boy and Evening Standard columnist Nirpal Dhaliwal was writing in the Sunday Times today about the Ealing Southall by-election.
According to Dhaliwal, who usually writes about his infidelity and wider social mores rather than political matters, “The Tories offered no solutions to Southallâ€™s problems”. He went on to quote a well known political commentator from Southall:
I spoke to Parag Bhargava, who manages a Southall marriage bureau, who told me the area needs a Tube link to ease the traffic congestion that is affecting local businesses, and that more facilities are needed for young people who are increasingly caught up in antisocial behaviour.
The other issues the town faces, he told me, are the rising number of Asian women who canâ€™t find a husband, as young men opt for a social life and one-night stands, and the fact Sikh women generally prefer Sikh men who donâ€™t wear turbans, causing a glut of turbaned bachelors. If Tony Lit had offered solutions to any of this heâ€™d be sitting in Westminster tomorrow, said Bhargava. Cameronâ€™s new look Tories have a lot to learn.
I suspect that Dhaliwal has a lot to learn. Southall is already on the train network and extending the tube out there would be prohibitively expensive. The Crossrail project, which has been in the drawing board since before Labour came to power is still not beyond the planning stage. Our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, spent 10 years as Chancellor not building Crossrail. The surest way to bring prosperity to Southall would be to connect it to the City of London with Crossrail. Belatedly the London Mayor has realised that he should focus effort on making Crossrail happen and not waste his political capital and a whole heap of cash on the West London Tram. When will Brown get behind it? Dhaliwal should stick to his knitting.