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No to Tory play!

15120 titleOpposition Tory group on the Harrow council has failed to produce a shadow budget which they owe to the residents, but instead indulges in political point-scoring about the general election results in Harrow.
They asked the forthcoming Council meeting to debate a motion regarding the local outcome of the 2019 general election. The mischievous motion has now been rejected by the chair, Harrow mayor, for being  inappropriate.
The rejected motion noted that Harrow East MP Bob Blackman returned with an increased majority while Labour MP Gareth Thomas returned with a reduced majority.
According to the Tories, this represented a “round rejection of the Marxist ideology” associated with the Labour leadership (Jeremy Corbyn).
While the Labour candidate for Harrow East Pamela Fitzpatrick ran a clean and positive election campaign, Bob Blackman relied on exploiting Indian and Jewish background voters and ran an aggressive smear campaign against Labour leader and the candidate.
In his election letter he described the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as being “under the thumb of Momentum, who has revelled in regarding terrorists as his friends, regards Venezuela as a role model and failed to root out antisemitism and an anti-India culture which has become entrenched in his Labour party” and then posed a question whether he should be voted in or the “Jeremy Corbyn’s representative in Harrow”.
According to Harrow’s constitution, motions can be declared invalid if they risk defamation, are frivolous or offensive, do not relate to the council or the borough, could disclose confidential information, or have been discussed at full council in the last six months.
Quite rightly, sober Harrow has no place for allowing foreign helped anti-Corbyn hysteria to divide the community.
But of course the Tory group deputy leader Cllr Ashton, backbone of the Harrow East conservatives that nurture the divisive characters like the Belmont Cllr Patel and Blackman, thinks otherwise and rubbishes the mayor’s wise decision.

Harrow much behind in suicide prevention measures

SPWhilst all councils are expected to develop and implement a Suicide Prevention Action Plan, and many have, Harrow currently does not have an up to date Plan.
Documents before the forthcoming Health and Wellbeing Board inform that a coordinated and new Plan is required which will enable a strategic approach to suicide prevention, particularly where services cross over in to neighbouring boroughs such as Brent.
Data produced from Public Health England (PHE) show that suicide rates for all persons during 2016-2018 in Harrow, is 6.4 per 100,000 compared with England’s rate of 9.6 and London’s rate of 8.1 per 100,000.
The data also show that the suicide rate for men in Harrow mirrors the national picture, where rates for men are higher when compared with females. The suicide rate for men in Harrow is 9.0 compared with 3.6 for females. However, nationally, rates for females taking their own lives are increasing.
Now a draft Action Plan that has been developed by Brent and Harrow Public Health and is before the board, aims to reflect actions on the national six key priorities including self-harm.
The Plan has been developed in partnership with local organisations that either commission or deliver services related to mental and emotional health, suicide and bereavement support, using data mostly generated by them.
The Plan has 31 actions across each action area ranging from promotion of suicide prevention training in businesses to supporting schools to deliver suicide prevention messages.
The Action Plan that will focus on the tackling suicide rates in men and children and young people in Year 2019-2020 is not costed nor shows success criteria.
The plan of this nature cannot be without resources implication. For example, imaginative preventive measures include audio/video resources like a guide to suicide prevention in easily digestible presentation format to help anyone needing to make the case for suicide prevention and key areas of work within this. The resources could also include charts, images, maps, statistics, quotes – that are useful for illustrating the importance of suicide prevention.


Blackman not honest about NHS

bb4Hustings after dustings in Harrow, Bob Blackman, than Tory candidate and now MP for Harrow East, assured that NHS is not up for sale – but it is!
After misleading Harrow residents this way, he sought temple blessings in vote capturing exercise without any confession. It would be difficult to disagree with those who say such an opportunist can’t be trusted!
‘Private firms invited to run NHS services with cancer and kids treatments on sale’, Sunday Mirror reported on 28 December 2019.
Bids for chunks of the health service are invited in complete contrast to Boris Johnson ’s repeated election campaign denials.
Cardiology, gynaecology, paediatrics and oncology are among the services being offered to companies.
A new framework drawn up by NHS Shared Business Services for hospital trusts to buy clinical care from a list of suppliers, could lead to deals worth up to £117million being handed out over four years.
Furthermore, trade experts have pointed out that there is a degree of inevitability that, when agreeing a free trade deal (FTD) with the US, it would automatically expect access to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry in the UK.
Apart from giving publicity to those who hold hustings, including the places of worship, the hustings are out of date and waste of time activity as they do not have any mechanism to hold the candidates to account once they are elected.
It would be appropriate for the hustings-holders in Harrow to ask Mr Blackman why he misled about the NHS future, and then make his apology public.
Also ask Gareth Thomas, MP Harrow West, how exactly he is going to implement his sweeping statements at the hustings about this or that?


Harrow divisive politics

Untitled-23Politics around the world is now more aggressive, vicious and divisive – be nasty and win, be nice and lose!
In Harrow both Harrow MPs retained their seat, seemingly through divisiveness, though differently.
Harrow East Tory MP Bob Blackman does not hide the sense of extensively using temples and temple communities for votes, as his after election newsletter demonstrates – he even took MP oath holding Gita (Sanskrit scripture, part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata).
He is not worried about what his inclusion, exclusion and cheap gimmicks do to the community relationships till he gets his votes.
Harrow West Labour MP Gareth Thomas makes obvious his disliking for the ‘left’ and therefore reservation about Jeremy Corbyn leadership and the spirit of social justice that has inspired Harrow, particularly through the Harrow East Labour campaign.
Pro and against Jeremy Corby Labour streams in Harrow are too obvious to miss where Brexit issue and anti-Corbin offensive remain combined, and who cares about considering its socio-community implications generally or for the party till Mr Thomas  gains from this.
In his dog whistle, Mr Thomas tweeted: “In the last 50 years Labour has won just 4 of the last 14 General Elections. How many more do we have to lose before a Labour Leader recognises that it’s not enough to be principled, we have to be perceived to be moderate, patriotic & fiscally responsible as well?”
Could a reference to ‘moderate & patriotic’ be to Tony Blair and alike, operative shadow of Tories, supporting the spread of colonialism, attacks on middle eastern countries to destroy and kill like in Iraq, covering up seminal role of banks in 2008 crash which made Tory austerity measures ‘common sense’, lodged in millions minds, including Labour?
And perhaps it was in the spirit of patriotism that Mr Thomas voted for the Cameron motion to bomb Syria while even some Tory MPs, including David Davis, voted against!
Labour party is to start process to find a new leader soon.
Mr Thomas, a member of Labour Friends of Israel, first supported Liz Kendall  and then Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.  His choice of the type of Labour leadership seems obvious!
Most probably Mr Blackman would not but would Mr Thomas publish an action plan to fulfil his stated pre election commitments.


Harrow matters!

Untitled 22As the Harrow MPs have managed to retain their seats, through whatever means they could, they should now concentrate more on addressing the challenges that Harrow faces.
Harrow Council is one of the lowest funded councils in London and it is estimated that by 2020-21 the council will have to find £125 million to balance its budgets. This means huge pressure on Harrow Council to deliver effective public services.
GP appointments are getting very difficult, Harrow walk-in services that helped out are now closed and A&E overflowing. Added to this is the NHS ‘rationing’ where GPs have been urged against referring patients to hospital specialists and consultants for such treatments as hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery.
Mental health care, especially effecting young people, is in crisis, needing, for example,  more and better Counselling.
Austerity measures have hit Harrow badly – 30% of children in Harrow, and 40% in some parts of the borough, live in poverty.
Harrow food bank fed over 2617 people this year, including over 1041 children, and it is feared that there will be 1,532 homeless children in Harrow this Christmas.
Metropolitan police budget cuts have serious implications for policing e.g. to cope with increased knife crimes in Harrow.
In Harrow, in the 12 months to Sept 2019 there were 648 racist and religious hate crimes reported, up from 288 the previous year.
About 27,723 private renters in Harrow need protection from bad landlords.
And the list of deprivation and unfavourable conditions confronting residents can go on!
It would be professionally sound for Harrow MPs to publish action plans to address the dire local situations that adversely impact the quality of life of residents, more so the lives of vulnerable and those groups of residents who have different but equally important needs.
In demanding best value for money, at £79,468 salary (MP annual salary), a manager in service industry will be required to plan and deliver effective services.


Election 2019 – Harrow (final)

Untitled 21General election 2019 gave a sense of ‘presidential’ election with an overriding objective to defeat/oust Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who constantly faced smear campaigns from within and seemingly from outside Britain.
Divisiveness worked and Tory candidate Bob Blackman retained his Harrow East seat. No doubt he would keep supporting government policies and practices which have adverse differential impact on groups of people including vulnerable and those who have different but equally important needs.
Momentum backed Harrow East Labour candidate Pamela Fitzpatrick worked hard and carried out positive campaign but was too good to win in most aggressive political climate: soon after she was selected, there were whispers ‘how can she win, she has no standing in the Gujarati households’ – this seemingly remained the theme throughout, compounded by the ‘vote against Labour’ campaign, recycled by some Labour and places of worship – looks she was set to fail!
Divide for/against Momentum and Corbyn looked so obvious!
Despite Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson lost her seat, Lib Dem Lisa-Maria Bornemann (Harrow West) and Adam Bernard (Harrow East) increased their share of votes.
Harrow West Labour candidate Gareth Thomas, more experienced in muddy community politics and played a variety of race ‘cards’,  retained his seat but with reduced majority which does not reflect well considering that Tory candidate Anwara Ali was a new comer to Harrow, had only few weeks to canvass and was almost dumped by her party.


Election 2019 – Harrow West (3)

Untitled-20Latest leaflet from Lisa-Maria Bornemann informs that at the European election earlier this year, the Liberal Democrat in Harrow gained their highest vote share in a national election for over a decade.
Apparently their vote share increased by 19 per cent (2017 general election and 2019 European election) while Labour were down 28 per cent and Tories 27 percent.
She wants society to be open and welcoming to everyone and says “Harrow’s wonderful diversity makes her glad to live here”.
Lisa-Maria Bornemann, a team manager in the public sector, founded Liberal Democrat immigrants, promoting the rights of all who choose to live in Harrow.
She believes in a more prosperous Britain by staying at the heart of a modernised EU, tackling the climate change challenges and protecting public services.
It looks there are wider choices for Harrow West voters who are fed up with the divisive community politics to please some at the cost of others, using priests and places of worship, and the Brexit, both distastefully dominating the election campaign.