"This is surely worthy of the darkest Franz Kafka novel the verdict before the trial, but then again in even in Kafka they had the trial before the verdict."
Courtesy of a sympathetic informant with a conscience comes news of further efforts of Brent Council to control people. Now it is not just Philip Grant, and his efforts to get answers to the 'Two Questions' or the Brent Conservative Group attempting to get an inquiry into the Cara Davani case who are silenced, but a member of the Labour Group itself.
It appears that over the holiday the Labour Whip, Cllr Sandra Kabir, decided to take disciplinary action against Cllr John Duffy who, in a blog on Kilburn Calling and a letter to a local newspaper ,revealed that without his intervention Brent Council would have lost council taxpayers £500,000. LINK
The allegation is that Cllr Kabir summoned Cllr Duffy to a meeting while he was on holiday and because he didn't attend went on to take unilateral action.
Duffy wrote to her:
"Since you have not confirmed your availability for this morning's meeting, you have either not returned from holiday or have decided not to respond" Yes Cllr Kabir you were right I was on holiday, therefore I did not respond. You then went on to say "Over this long week-end I shall email you the action I am taking in respect to your unacceptable behaviour and conduct over the past fifteen months" therefore you have come to a conclusion about your basis opinion of my behaviour without any defence from me or even telling me what the allegations were.Duffy, with long experience in politics, clearly saw red when confronted with this on his return from holiday. He wrote to colleagues in the Labour Group enclosing copies of the email exchange. It appears that he has sympathisers in the group as well as officers but whether they will openly support him, given the current atmposphere, in a group meeting is another matter. This is what he told members of the group in an email:
Dear, All,I was happily enjoying myself over the summer in Turkey laying in the sun,visiting place of historical interest, eating lots of food etc.While I was away bothering no-one minding my own business and everybody else was playing cricket. It seems the Chief Whip was hatching a plan. Last night she informed the group she had tried to contact me on several occasions for a meeting.This is untrue, she sent me these two notes ( attached at the bottom) in the last few days while I was on holiday,which I opened over the weekend on my return from holiday.I am of course willing to have a meeting with Cllr Kabir providing a regional officer is in attendance, so we can discuss other elements of the treatment I have been recieving from the cabinet members and the leadership.For instance(1) Where did my missing nomination for the Tricycle Theatre go to after Cllr Thomas saw it.(2) Why she changed the date of the full council meeting in November last year. the regional office are already aware and wrote to the leader of the council and the chief whip with their concern about their shenanigans ) to try and ensure me and Zaffar were removed from the council causing unnecessary By-elections.The chief whip was fully aware of this but chose not to inform me which would have meant me being disbarred.It was only that an officer alerted me ( yes lots of them like me) became he was concerned that I was not beening informed by her about the consequences of the change .It was only after this officer alerted me I contacted the regional office who intervened saying they would take legal action against the Council. I am not aware of any other occasion where the National Labour Party had to threaten a Labour council with legal action. I will seek a full explanation from her why she decided not to inform me of the consequences of the change of date of the meeting, when she was fully aware and the concern it would have cause the Labour Party forcing two unnecessary by-elections. I am also asking for the release of all letters sent to the Leader of the council /chief whip about this issue by the Labour Party legal department be released to me.(5) Why did she removed me from all committees, knowing that because I am a trustee on a International Aids awareness charity I cannot always attend all full council meetings on Mondays, therefore because I am not a name sub on any committee, I am unable to sub at any meetings to ensure that I have attended the required number of meetings in a six month period.(6) When was the preparation for the removal of my name from the "All Labour Councillor" list done (clearly in expectation of the result of the Kangaroo court) and by whom.(7) What are the allegations against me? I am puzzled what the charges/allegations are other than I have voiced my concern about the way we have made more cuts than the Tories forced us to do, I have never broke the whip, I have never leaked any internal information .So I hope she will provide her allegations to me in WRITING, so I may defend myself.The emails below from Cllr Kabir are not only confrontational she has already come to a predetermined conclusion of my guilt . It is because of the tone of her emails and the preemptive removal of my name from the all Labour Councillors list, I have taken advise and decided not to attend any meeting with Cllr Kabir until she issues her allegations in writing so I can prepare myself and also I request we agree on someone who is independent (a back bencher) is present to witness the procedure.As a active trade -unionist all of my adult life and I have seen many disciplinary cases where the allegation have been proven or unproven.However I have never seen a disciplinary take place , where there are no allegations, no hearing just a predetermined judgement and a recommendation from the Judge Cllr Kabir.This is surely worthy of the darkest Franz Kafka novel the verdict before the trial, but then again even in Kafka they had the trial before the verdict.So bearing in mind the predetermine emails from the chief-whip, the question is should a kangaroo turn-up at a kangaroo court,to hear his sentence without knowing the charge only knowing the Judge has already come to her view.
Well the answer is no I will not attend this spurious trial until regional office have confirmed that she has followed the correction proceedures I believe Cllr Kabir does not understand the meaning of justice and the fact that she thinks her verdict comes before the trial not the other way around is very disturbing .This may be inconvenient for her and other members of the cabinet and leadership (you know that old chestnut innocent till proven guilty ) but its a basic right, which I hope all backbencher and other democrats would all support.I am totally confident that her recommendation as they were made without any hearing of my case will be thrown out by the Regional Office.
It seems to me that the Labour Regional Office adding this to their own disquiet over the Zaffar Kalwala case, might end up mounting their own inquiry into Brent Labour Group and its leadership.