Rotherham’s very own Darby and Joan are back in the Politics game. Shabana Ahmed and Clough Road lothario, Jahangir Akhtar, have re-emerged from their political exile at Hellaby’s infamous Gulag, Legover Lodge (£20 per night, cheap day rates available).
Shabana is so excited by her selection as Labour candidate for the Brinsworth and Catcliffe by-election that she is said to have ordered several dozen personalised, embossed Council expense claims forms.
In her acceptance speech she emphasised help given her by Akhtar and Rotherham’s Momentum Group. Momentum in a statement of fraternity, deciding to forgo their alleged political principles and ignore her lack of socialist ideals, indeed any ideals whatsoever.
Shabana, nicknamed Princess Soya, had a glittering political career in what was considered Rotherham’s golden age of politics when she rubbed shoulders with the likes of Roger Stone, Shaun Wright and Mahroof Hussain. She was kicked out by the electorate despite her excellent reputation for making platitudinous and vacuous statements about women’s rights, while completely ignoring the rampant misogyny among her political colleagues, friends and family.
Jahangir Akhtar, after negotiating MOMENTUM’s support for Shabana, re-establishes his reputation as Rotherham’s Mr Fixit. Out manoeuvring opponent Lord Dazza Hughes with the cunning ploy of suggesting she had more political values than the illegitimate heir to the Fitzwilliam family overdraft.
After Akhtar’s period in the wilderness, one minute disgraced Labour and the next a UKIP reject, to pull off the coup of becoming a Momentum member (£1 per month, special rate for cheapskates) shows his talents have not been forgotten. Lev Bronstein, regional organiser, said his arrival was a great boost for Momentum: “so fantastic, we couldn’t make it up, beyond our wildest dreams.”
Rotherham Momentum, the group formed from amongst Corbynista and bitter personal enemies, has been forced to go underground since Momentum HQ lost their Facebook address. Ever aware of the threat they pose to global capitalism, it adopts freemason type membership secrecy.
For a group supposedly committed to “A New Form of Politics,” here in Rotherham, tactics, secrecy and some of the key characters seem remarkably like the old ones. The DD Platts twins , Phil Turner (yes, he of the SWP) and Ged Dempsey are reported to be supporters. Then again it seems Taiba Yasseen supports them too, so it must truly be a revolutionary, internationalist movement for taxi drivers.