Update: Figures speak louder.
Those defeated in Harrow are superficially boosting the election figures: the statistical fact is that the Independent Labour Group (ILG) average vote in the wards they contested is only 3.5 per cent compared with Labour’s 16 per cent steady average in 12 wards while Tory 18 percent only in 9 wards mainly because of its six strong wards, giving them 1 per cent lead across the borough!
But as Tories have majority support only in 9 out of 21 wards compared with Labour support in 12 wards, Labour share of votes carries more weight!
We congratulate Cllr Perry for leading his group to victory despite a series of setbacks. Perhaps the group would now evaluate the events in the last year to see how things could be improved, both in terms of its as well as the council’s work!
We also congratulate Cllr Hall for leading her group to defeat which looks more miserable considering the Tory heavy weights visiting Harrow in a show of support to her and the ILG doing whatever they could do to divide the Labour vote.
Like misjudging her support at the council and bringing her budget to the council early this year and got it defeated, Cllr Hall failed to sense that Harrow residents have no desire for an elected-mayor style council administration.
During its short-lived council administration, the Tory group leadership showed environment-specific ego to rule Harrow at the cost of education, health, social care, housing and communication services which are already not good enough compared with other similar London councils in many respects. What also did not help was the culture of fear’ developed at the civic centre, marked by the resignation of the chief executive, followed by some key directors leaving officers only appeared to be able to do what they were told to do.
We are not aware of anyone in Hall’s group to challenge her leadership and therefore she would remain as a leader of her group by default.
The wiped out Independent Labour Group (ILG) totally underestimated the maturity of the voters and their voting power and failed to sense the backlash to its political vindictiveness in a democratic system. Labour was seen as a victim where they won despite comparatively low turnout.
Like what the Tories did to the miners, the Labour in Harrow was divided by supporting the formation of the breakaway ILG which not only controversially voted in minority Tory administration but tried hard to divide the Labour votes to benefit Tory group at the May election by using the personalised votes of its candidates, predominantly Asians or Muslims. But this didn’t work!
As the exact number (47) of the ILG candidates and their placements were known to the Tory group leader well in advance due to the closeness between her and the ILG lead councillors, it is very likely that the Tory group leader had directed ILG to strategically place its troops to best safeguard Tory seats. But this didn’t work either!
- Like now, in 2010 voters voted in Labour administration to run the council
- In mid-2013, the breakaway Independent Labour Group, encouraged and supported by the Tory group, snatched the council administration from Labour because of what has been described as the personal grudge against some in the Labour group (which became highly toxic later)
- Few months later, the Tory group grabbed the council administration with the support of the well groomed Independent Labour Group who voted in the Tory group through a highly controversial process which created the political mess (i.e. a hung council where both the Labour and Tory groups had 25 councillors each, and Tory minority administration was in place because of the 8 ILG councillors)