Another One Bites The Dust!

In a move not seen for 99 years, Phil Woolas, Shadow Cabinet member has been stripped of his election victory by two High Court Judges convened as an Elections Court. Mr Justice Nigel Teare and Mr Justice Griffith Williams found Mr Woolas guilty of illegal practices under election law. Read full Judgement here.

The luckless Woolas had the rug pulled from underneath him by Harriet Harman, Labour’s Deputy Leader, when she sought the nearest camera to launch this broadside which appears to have left Woolas with little room for manoeuvre, despite his brave words and his prepared statement read for him by Gerald Shamash.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/emp/external/player.swf
.

One of Phil Woolas's disgraceful leaflets.

.

It has emerged that the Labour Party Insurers have been paying Woolas’s legal costs, Gerald Shamash, The Official Labour Party Solicitor, does not come cheap. This arrangement is believed to be at an end leaving Woolas high and dry!

Astonishingly this disgraced Labour Shadow Minister has launched a financial appeal that he hopes will collect £200,000! so that he can prove his innocence. Some hope, just who is stupid enough to donate their own money to this farcical enterprise?

We will see tomorrow whether the Speaker understands what he must do, order a by-election as soon as practically possible.

No prevarication, no waiting for Woolas to progress his legal appeals. The findings as to fact will not change no matter what legal stunts Woolas pulls.

The people of Oldham East and Saddleworth deserve nothing less!

The only thing that sticks in my craw was the sight of Simon Hughes, Liberal Deputy Leader, crowing about the victory. I can remember a certain by-election in Bermondsey in 1983, Labour candidate Peter Tatchell lost to Simon Hughes the then Liberal candidate, after the most disgraceful campaign by the Liberals. Pity Peter Tatchell did not see fit to mount a legal challenge back then. Maybe Simon Hughes would now be nothing more than a footnote to history had he done so!

Still got a copy of Peter Tatchell’s book, The Battle For Bermondsey somewhere. It is well worth a read if you are interested in political dirty tricks.

STOP PRESS: 8th November 2010, Judicial review rejected. Speaker announces that an expedited application was now in play.

Pope – Not welcome on State Visit. Guardian Letter.

The last visit (the first ever) by the Pope was a joyous affair with John Paul welcomed even by atheists like me because of his role in the freeing of the world from communist domination starting with Poland and his support for the Solidarity Trades Union.

Pope John Paul was also a completely different man from Pope Ratzinger with charisma in buckets. John Paul’s public image is now tarnished by the fact that the paedophile scandal took place on his watch with his then enforcer, fundamentally involved in the cover up. Who was his enforcer? Step forward Cardinal Ratzinger now Pontiff, which explains the antipathy to his forthcoming State Visit.

The following letter has appeared in today’s Guardian newspaper, published under the names of quite a list of prominent secularists including Denis MacShane’s ‘beloved’, Joan Smith.

“We, the undersigned, share the view that Pope Ratzinger should not be given the honour of a state visit to this country. We believe that the pope, as a citizen of Europe and the leader of a religion with many adherents in the UK, is of course free to enter and tour our country. However, as well as a religious leader, the pope is a head of state, and the state and organisation of which he is head has been responsible for:

Opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of Aids.

Promoting segregated education.

Denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women.

Opposing equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Failing to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation.

The state of which the pope is head has also resisted signing many major human rights treaties and has formed its own treaties (“concordats”) with many states which negatively affect the human rights of citizens of those states. In any case, we reject the masquerading of the Holy See as a state and the pope as a head of state as merely a convenient fiction to amplify the international influence of the Vatican”.

Stephen Fry, Professor Richard Dawkins, Professor Susan Blackmore, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Ed Byrne, Baroness Blackstone, Ken Follett, Professor AC Grayling, Stewart Lee, Baroness Massey, Claire Rayner, Adele Anderson, John Austin MP, Lord Avebury, Sian Berry, Professor Simon Blackburn, Sir David Blatherwick, Sir Tom Blundell, Dr Helena Cronin, Dylan Evans, Hermione Eyre, Lord Foulkes, Professor Chris French, Natalie Haynes, Johann Hari, Jon Holmes, Lord Hughes, Robin Ince, Dr Michael Irwin, Professor Steve Jones, Sir Harold Kroto, Professor John Lee, Zoe Margolis, Jonathan Meades, Sir Jonathan Miller, Diane Munday, Maryam Namazie, David Nobbs, Professor Richard Norman, Lord O’Neill, Simon Price, Paul Rose, Martin Rowson, Michael Rubenstein, Joan Smith, Dr Harry Stopes-Roe, Professor Raymond Tallis, Lord Taverne, Peter Tatchell, Baroness Turner, Professor Lord Wedderburn of Charlton QC FBA, Ann Marie Waters, Professor Wolpert, Jane Wynne Willson

I totally agree with the substance of the letter. I never thought I would agree with Peter Tatchell and Dick Taverne at the same time!

See also British Humanist Association.