Ealing and Northfield National politics

When Rupa Huq says “this time” she gives the game away

With two words tonight Rupa Huq repudiated 13 years of New Labour and her benefactor Tony Blair. 35 seconds into her summing up at tonight’s CCA Hustings at Acton Town Hall Rupa Huq said:

We do have a progressive programme this time.

What she means is that Labour has put New Labour behind it and will be substantially different if it gains power in eight days’ time. Pulled even further to the left by the SNP we are in for a grim time indeed if Milibandite Old Labour forms the next government.

By the way, don’t be fooled by the loud clapping at the end. It was dominated by six people around me who had the loud handclap technique down pat.

Ealing and Northfield

Rupa Huq’s Christmas present from LibDem Oakeshott

Watching Newsnight just now on Labour/LibDem cross-dressing “Progressive” (Lord) Matthew Oakeshott I recalled that Ealing Central and Acton Labour candidate Rupa Huq is a beneficiary of Oakeshott’s generosity. He shelled out £10,000 on Christmas Eve to her campaign. A nice Christmas present.

Oakeshott's office

Man of the people Oakeshott likes to do his property business out of offices in St James. Not quite sure how that works. I wonder what LibDem candidate Jon Ball thinks of Oakeshott’s “progressive alliance”. Not much I suspect as he is not included.

A picture is emerging of Rupa Huq’s donors. A multi-millionaire property man. A jet-setting millionaire influencer. An accountant who gives through his company rather than use his own cash to make it tax deductible.

Huq’s donors don’t look attractive at all.

Ealing and Northfield

Ealing Labour flaunts its zero hours hypocrisy on the Vale Estate today

Labour Party’s sense of ownership of places like the Vale Estate on Acton Vale is a thing of wonder. I just wish Labour politicians were as keen to put the place right as they are to march up and down with their silly posters.

Labour ZHC on Vale

Today they were larking around with this poster van paid for by the unions who are funding the last days of Labour’s election campaign on a massive scale.

You can judge the facts of zero hours contracts from this piece by Full Fact.

The thing that Cllr Peter Mason (who was the office manager of Labour’s 2010 general election and 2012 mayoral campaigns in Ealing) and Ealing Central and Acton candidate Rupa Huq aren’t telling the people on the Vale Estate is that after five years of a Labour council it is employing 303 people on ZHCs.

Labour’s casual hypocrisy is quite stunning. Four legs good, two legs better.

When this was all in the news in August 2013 this is what officers told us was the situation in Ealing.

Ealing Council zero hours

Ealing and Northfield

The Ealing jobs miracle – youth unemployment down 2/3rds

Unemployment in the London Borough of Ealing, as measured by the claimant count, peaked under Labour in September 2009. Since then unemployment overall in Ealing has almost halved and youth unemployment is down 2/3rds. If you want to see where the data comes from all you have to do is go to the ONS’s nomis database.

NOMIS All March 2015

In May 2010 the claimant count (those people on JSA) was 8,810. In March, the last month for which data is available, the claimant count was 5,215. That is a fall of 41% with the Tory-led Coalition as some people like to call it. The claimant count peaked at 9,580 in September 2009 under Labour. It has fallen by 45%, almost half, since.

NOMIS Youth March 2015

The picture with youth unemployment is even better. In May 2010 the youth claimant count was 1,780. In March the youth claimant count was 800. That is a massive fall of over half, 55%, with the Tory-led Coalition. The youth claimant count peaked at 2,450 in September 2009 under Labour, a fall of 67%.

The graphs make clear that although it hasn’t been easy we are moving in the right direction now. Let’s go for jobs, stability, a proven team and the Conservative Long Term Economic Plan.

Ealing and Northfield National politics

Rupa Huq is inauthentic

Rupa with bikeI noticed a tweet today from the Labour candidate for the Ealing Central & Acton constituency Rupa Huq offering some pledges. Ah! I thought. Some meat to get into at last. I will get back to her pledges but the first thing I noticed about her website was the photo showing Rupa with a bike at the Bike Hub at Ealing Broadway. I have often bumped into Rupa and I have never seen her on a bike. This does not make her a bad person. I have an old Holdsworth racer that I use rarely when the weather is fine. It doesn’t really make me a cyclist – or a bad person that I don’t cycle much. When I saw the photo of Rupa with a bike my first impression was “fake”.

When I looked again and saw it was a huge, fancy road bike with those lay downy elbow support things I knew it was a posed picture with someone else’s bike. At least when council leader Julian Bell and Labour transport spokesman Bassam Mahfouz endlessly pose on their bikes you know they do actually cycle regularly.

There is something inauthentic about Rupa. She keeps telling little lies.

One of her favourite ones, repeated only this week is that she has had any role in local politics. She spent one year as Deputy Mayoress to Labour Councillor John Gallagher in 2010/11. John didn’t have a partner so Rupa was his official wife for the year. This role involved riding around in the Mayor’s car and eating vol au vents at official functions. Rupa wants people to think she has played a substantive role in local politics. She hasn’t. She is fibbing.

If you want to read something really embarrassing about this period in her life read this in the Guardian. Please!

Rupa keeps missing out information about her schooling. She is up front about going to Montpelier Primary School but keeps missing out the elite Notting Hill and Ealing High School in her CV. Maybe leave out both or discuss both but to mention one and not the other is to seek to deceive.

Her third fib is the whole Dr Huq thing. Sure she has a doctorate and she is a bright woman no doubt. But, if you are going to talk about the NHS as your main campaign theme and call yourself Dr, then you invite people to make an assumption about you that simply isn’t true.

Yes, Rupa is a local woman and capable I am sure but she comes across as being inauthentic.

Ealing and Northfield

The Ealing jobs miracle

Yesterday the Gazette reported that the number of people on JSA had gone down by 25% in Ealing in the last year. I figured it was worth looking back a little further. All you have to do is go to the ONS’s nomis database.

Ealing Claimant count

In May 2010 the claimant count (those people on JSA) was 8,810. In February, the last month for which data is available, the claimant count was 5,350. That is a fall of 39% with the Tory-led Coalition as our friends like to call it.

Ealing Youth Claimant Count

The picture with youth unemployment is even better. In May 2010 the youth claimant count was 1,780. In February, the last month for which the data is available, the youth claimant count was 850. That is a massive fall of over half, 52%, with the Tory-led Coalition.

Both graphs make it clear that the Tory-led Coalition’s jobs miracle has happened for young and old, for Londoners and across Great Britain.

Ealing and Northfield

Southall councillor and accountant gives efficiently. What does Sarfraz Khan want for his money from Rupa Huq?

A quick check on donations registered at the Electoral Commission to the Central Ealing and Acton CLP shows that Rupa Huq’s campaign received a donation of £3,000 from Weaver Rose Accountants Ltd, Weaver Rose House, Southall UB1 3DN on 24th October 2014.

Who or what is Weaver Rose? It is essentially a one man band accountancy shop run by none other than Southall Broadway Labour councillor Sarfraz Khan.

On his website Sarfraz Khan offers himself as a tax consultant. Obviously it is much more tax efficient to give Rupa Huq cash though his company than to fund her out of his taxed income. But being tax efficient is fine if the cash is going to the Labour party isn’t it?


Sarfraz Khan was elected as a councillor in 2014 but a history as a political wannabe.

Ealing is a big place but is already too dominated by Southall and its bizarre politics. We know Rupa Huq is in Julian Bell’s pocket who in turn is beholden to Southall MP Virendra Sharma, his employer in his second job. Now it traspires that Rupa Huq depends on money from Southall too.

Ealing and Northfield National politics

Councillor Manro might like to sort out Ealing Council’s use of zero hours contracts before he starts repeating dodgy stats

Labour local councillor Shital Manro has a passing interest in economics. He is a nice chap and we often debate economic issues on Twitter. A bit trainspotterish I know but call it a hobby.

Shital highlighted this picture yesterday which was originally published by a Labour PPC called Amina Lone. I don’t know if she just republished something that she didn’t understand or whether she created it. Anyway it is total nonsense and whoever created probably did so knowing it was nonsense.

The underlying data comes from the ONS. You will search their document in vain for this picture. The reason ONS didn’t make a chart out of their data is because it would be misleading and show a trend that does not really exist. The data comes from the Labour Force Survey and records how many people report that they are on Zero Hours contracts. Because these arrangements have been in the news, especially in 2013, more people are reporting that they are employed on this basis. No-one really knows how many people are on these arrangements, which are ill-defined. More here from Full Fact.

Anyway, a quick look at the graph and the fact that the number more than doubled between 2012 and 2013 tells you it is a glitch in the data and not a real effect in the labour market. Employment practices and people’s behaviour simply don’t change that fast. The data the graph was made from has this caveat at the top:

Zero hours health warning

Councillor Manro might like to check for himself if the council still has 303 staff on zero hours contracts. When this was all in the news in August 2013 this is what officers told us was the situation in Ealing.

Ealing Council zero hours

In many cases these flexible contracts work well for both sides. The government is seeking to ban exclusivity (which is self-defeating if you think about it). When Shital has sorted out Ealing Council he can come and tell us.

Ealing and Northfield

Situation hyperbolical. Less cheap shots please. Labour’s Rupa Huq knows better than this

Today the Labour candidate for Ealing Central and Acton, Rupa Huq, has produced a typically sided piece for the website which I guess will be reprinted verbatim by the online version of the Gazette at least.

SaHF FAQHer party’s misrepresentation of the changes to the local health system, known as Shaping a Healthier Future, are debunked by the NHS itself here.

Labour refuses to acknowledge that the closures we have had locally under the Shaping a Healthier Future programme are not as extensive as they make out and would have happened anyway under a Labour government, being as they are merely the delayed local roll out of Labour’s own £20 billion Nicholson Challenge programme kicked off by Andy Burnham in 2009.

On the whole Rupa Huq seems like a nice lady so it was very disappointing to see her use the death of a child to weaponise the NHS as an issue yet again. She might have troubled to look up the name of baby Muhammad Hashir Naveed who died when his parents erroneously took him to a closed A&E facility at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield. It really wasn’t very classy.

NHS White Paper 1944As a Conservative and a huge fan of the NHS I was also disappointed that an academic can tell such a one-sided story of the foundation of the NHS.

Huq said:

Labour founded the NHS in 1948 to Tory opposition then and only Labour can rebuild and protect the health service now by taking the strain off our hospitals by funding an integrated care system, where residents can see their GPs before they find themselves in hospital and by reversing the break up and sell off the NHS.

So voters need to remember all this as they cast their vote on 7th May and support Labour as the only party who created the NHS and who will stand up for it because if the Tories sneak back into power with their plans for more cuts and closures it’s no exaggeration to say that there is a serious risk that there won’t be an NHS in this country anymore in the sense envisaged by its founding father Nye Bevan and that would be no less than situation critical.

The NHS was the product of a long running debate through much of the first 40 years of the 20th century. During the war the consensus emerged that there should be a comprehensive health service free at the point of use. This consensus was crystallised in the 1944 NHS white paper produced under Conservative Minister of Health Henry Willink. The Conservatives went into the 1945 election offering this in their manifesto:

The health services of the country will be made available to all citizens. Everyone will contribute to the cost, and no one will be denied the attention, the treatment or the appliances he requires because he cannot afford them.

We propose to create a comprehensive health service covering the whole range of medical treatment from the general practitioner to the specialist, and from the hospital to convalescence and rehabilitation; and to introduce legislation for this purpose in the new Parliament.

Yes, the Conservatives did vote against Bevan’s bill because it ignored the white paper which envisaged local authorities being in control and opted instead for the massively centralised NHS controlled by central government that we have being trying to get away from ever since. I am sure that Rupa Huq has enough book learning to know she is making cheap points on the foundation of the NHS and its more recent finances.

The NHS has been safe in Coalition hands for the last five years and will thrive under a Conservative government for the next five.

Ealing and Northfield

Rupa Huq silent on £1,000 Blair donation

The scurrilous Guido Fawkes blog has been traducing Labour’s candidate for Ealing Central & Acton today. They say:

Rupa Huq, Labour’s candidate in Ealing, was also a fierce Blair critic, arguing the “legitimacy” of the Iraq War has been “demolished”.

The blog misrepresented what Huq said in an old blog post of her own.

Of course Rupa Huq has never said anything incendiary about Tony Blair and or Iraq. She rarely says anything at all, let alone anything controversial.

Rupa Huq is on the list of 106 target constituencies to which Tony Blair has given £1,000 per seat. So far two candidates have refused Blair’s cash.

We can assume that Huq will keep the money and keep quiet – that is what she does.