Thursday, April 30, 2015

Anne Marie Waters: UKIP bigotry comes to Lewisham

When I started my series on my election priorities, with a post on the need to eliminate the far right, I illustrated it with an infographic from UK Aktion on the current far right landscape in Britain. The map had Nigel Farage and UKIP on it, showing their irregular contact with Britain First, the Dad's Army comedy Mosleyites who are rising stars of the far right, as well as its proximity to the English Defence League and Liberty GB, who have floated around its orbit. In some ways this was a mistake, because it is wrong to call UKIP far right.

Many people to whom UKIP appeals are drawn from the Tory base ("a swelling coalition of small businessmen, lone traders and hyper-Atlanticist cowboy capitalists", as Richard Seymour aptly put it). There are even some in UKIP who might have more in common with Old Labour, or who might even be called of the left, as this brilliant piece of writing by James Meek about Grimsby shows. Some of its concerns resonate with ordinary working class people left out by the turbulence of global capitalism.

And yet, somehow UKIP can't stop getting tangled up with the far right. Whether it's chatting on Twitter with Holocaust denying Hitler fans, posting racist cartoons on Facebook, winning the endorsement of Nick Griffin, commenting on Jews' hooked noses, or linking up with fruitcakish European parties, well, UKIP keeps on getting embarrassingly right-wing. This series of tweets gives about a dozen examples of UKIP straying close to fascist territory.

Unfortunately, the candidate UKIP has chosen for Lewisham East* is kind of in this category.

Her name is Anne-Marie Waters. I first noticed her in mid-2013 when she tried to get selected as a Labour Party candidate in Brighton (although she had earlier tried to get selected in Swindon South). Andy Newman of Socialist Unity had attacked her then, and my instinct was to defend her. Newman objected to her strident secularism, arguing that she promoted Islamophobia. At the time, although there were examples of some unsavoury memes in her narrative, I felt Newman's evidence was pretty thin. Waters was associated with One Law For All, a campaign against Sharia law that I strongly support, led mainly by ex-Muslim women. OL4A have a very clear policy that the counter-Jihadi right is their enemy not their potential ally.

However, around this time, Waters seemed to start moving further to the right, away from a secularist campaign against Islamism towards a blanket loathing of Muslims. Worryingly, she started associating more and more with far right activists around the English Defence League and its founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. Around the time Yaxley-Lennon left the EDL, Waters left Labour (oddly, she made the announcement on a far right Scandinavian website).

Before long, she had joined UKIP. It took a while before her associates in OL4A distanced themselves from her, but eventually, as her association with EDL became more and more blatant, they did so quite unambiguously, using the words "racist hate politics".

For a while it seemed as if she would be selected as UKIP parliamentary candidate in Billericay. To court the swivel-eyed Essex men that would be UKIP's base there, she widened her animosity from Muslims to Travellers.

Hilary Aked of SpinWatch wrote a profile of her for IRR in January. I think that sometimes SpinWatch, in describing a well-funded "neoconervative" counter-Jihadi conspiracy around people like Waters can stretch their web a little too thinly to mean much. But Aked's core allegation, of Waters' links with the far right, is strong and damning, and it is important to ask where Waters gets her funding from. I hope neither you nor Aked mind if I quote at length:
In June 2014, Waters shared a platform in Copenhagen with Lars Hedegaard, the man behind the anti-Islam organisation the International Free Press Society. A video of the event- the launch of a Swedish edition of Hedegaard’s book Muhammad’s Girls: Violence, Murder and Rape in the House of Islam - shows her sitting next to the Dane, who was convicted of hate speech in 2011 after stating that ‘Muslims rape their children’, though he successfully appealed this conviction, on ‘free speech’ grounds, the following year. Chairing the event was Ingrid Carlqvist, a key member of the Swedish counterjihad network. Also on the panel was psychologist Nicolai Sennels of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, a prolific purveyor of Islamophobia dressed up as science. The video was produced by Dispatch International (DI), a mouthpiece for the counterjihad movement – for which Waters has written extensively – founded by Hedegaard and Carlqvist. 
In her speech, Waters linked Islam to child abuse, saying (16:08) ‘it’s all linked to Islam’, which she characterised as a dangerous ‘ideology’ being ‘appeased’, adding (17:45): ‘it is exactly the same appeasement that is allowing young girls to be raped in Britain, it’s got nothing to do with race, it’s got to do with the fact that we will not confront the misogyny at the very, very heart of this religion’. 
Waters also seems to have another far-right admirer, of more significance in the UK context. Alan Ayling (aka Alan Lake) helped set up, fund and strategise for the EDL, as an investigation by The Sunday Times revealed. A millionaire evangelical Christian, Ayling’s links with the counterjihad movement led Scotland Yard to interview him after Anders Behring Breivik’s 2011 massacre in Norway
In a series of videos taken in October 2014 at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park, which show Waters and others delivering diatribes against Islam, Ayling (wearing a black jacket and black t-shirt with yellow writing) can be seen in the group that appears to be supporting her between 1:08 and 1:19 in this video and from 4.40 in this clip.
Ayling may have showed up uninvited or coincidentally. Though Waters’ various online links to the EDL have been documented, there is no definitive evidence of any offline connection. Ayling, in fact, is believed to have parted ways with the EDL, though his views have not changed. He now runs the website ‘Four Freedoms’ and has links to the far-right Sweden Democrats party. Waters did not respond to repeated requests to clarify her relationship with Ayling or to comment on other matters raised in this article.
Around this time, Waters seemed to fail in her bid to stand in Basildon and Billericay (a UKIP target seat), and got the consolation prize of multicultural Lewisham East.

The Mirror filmed her and another UKIP candidate speaking at a far right rally; they describe her as spouting anti-Muslim bigotry: “a lot of people need to be deported”, she said, and “many mosques need to be closed down”. And after the election, she is launching a right-wing "thinktank" with Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.

South London Anti-Fascists have called for a picket of the hustings where she will appear tonight. Although, as I said at the start of this post,  I don't think UKIP is a fascist party (and, in fact, although very hard right, nor is Waters), I agree that Anne Marie Waters should not be welcomed in Lewisham East.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How many foreign nationals are there in Lewisham council homes? And what is Liberty GB?

In his profile in the local paper News Shopper, one of the parliamentary candidates in Lewisham West and Penge, one Dr George Whale, claimed that "much of the borough's social housing is let out to foreign nationals." On the internet, he has thrown out figures such "one in three" and "up to 40%". Does this claim have any basis in fact?

He gives as his source a MigrationWatch "briefing paper" from April 2012 entitled "Who is being allocated social housing in London?" Does this "briefing paper" back up Whale's claim? The MigrationWatch briefing uses data on new social housing lets from the single year 2010; we can assume that longer term tenants are more likely to be "natives". The data shows that "9% of its social housing [less than one in ten] lets went to foreign nationals."

However, because 35% of these lets are marked as having not given their nationality, MigrationWatch say that the proportion "confirmed as going to British nationals is 58%" (six in ten, which is where Whale's "up to four in ten" claim comes from). However, it seems to me this is MigrationWatch spin - why assume those who didn't give their nationality are foreigners? In my experience, it is majority ethnic "natives" who are most hostile to ethnic monitoring, but isn't it safest to just assume the proportions are the same among those who did and those who didn't give their nationality? If that were the case, then just over 13% (still not much more than one in ten) of new lets would be to foreign nationals. 

But the figures are out of date. The briefing says that for its "local connection" requirement for getting social housing, Lewisham "just requires the applicant to be resident in the borough". Since then, Lewisham has instituted a two year residence rule, which will have dramatically cut migrants - and certainly new migrants - from the waiting list. Tory reforms have made it harder and harder for migrants to get access to council housing too, further cutting the numbers. (To be eligible, you need "settled status", i.e. permanent residence; to get that you need to have already lived here for three or in most cases five years plus pass a "Life in the UK" test that most of us Brits would fail. There are no situations in which, as Whale claimed when his numbers started to unravel, foreign nationals "get precedence" over British nationals.)

Given that 20% of Lewisham's population are foreign nationals, it looks like they are underrepresented in new lets, and probably even more underrepresented in existing social housing. Which is not surprising as all the evidence shows that most migrants are owner occupiers or private renters, and that most new migrants are private renters.

In short, George Whale is talking nonsense. 

Who is George Whale?

Whale represents a party called "Liberty GB", which he founded with his buddy Paul Weston in 2013. Previously, they had a party called the "British Freedom Party", a BNP splinter which they tried to make into the electoral vehicle of the proto-fascist street thugs, the English Defence League - but this didn't work well because the EDL were more interested in booze-fuelled hooliganism than standing in elections. 

The British Freedom Party's logo was based on that of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists, which kind of sums up Whale and his merry band. Here are some profiles of Liberty GB: from Searchlight, Tell Mama, Hope not Hate, Rational Wiki. Here's the AFN summary:
Liberty GB

Paul Weston surveyed the far right scene in 2013 and was disappointed that there was no party that catered to his particular brand of racist insanity. So, after flirting with the English Defence League and Andrew Brons, Weston did what any self-respecting, self-important racist blowhard would do, and founded his own group. 
Liberty GB managed to stand three candidates at the European elections in 2014 and achieved a dismal vote. The group will likely disband when Weston’s attention span wanes.
Do say: Paul Weston is the only man who can save Britain from the Muslamic invasion.

Don’t say: Paul Weston is our only member.
Weston is also standing in the election, in Luton South, under the name "No to terrorism, yes to Britain", after announcing his candidacy at an EDL rally. Weston was last spotted in public speaking at a Pegida UK march alongside a speaker from the openly retro-Nazi "British Movement".

Liberty GB claim to be opposed to "Islamisation" (whatever that means) and jihad, but a quick glance at their track record and election promises - banning mosques, deporting Muslims, banning halal food - show that they can't distinguish between ordinary Muslims and jihadi Islamists. This makes them racist. They have no place in our community.

This is why it was completely sensible for some of the other Lewisham West and Penge candidates to refuse to share a platform with Whale at local hustings, and stupid for the local 38 Degrees group to invite him to theirs at the Honor Oak pub.


Tomorrow, we turn to Lewisham East, and an almost as unsavoury candidate there...

Monday, April 20, 2015

From London to Yarmouk

Yarmouk: the Palestinian neighbourhood in Damascus where thousands have died, bombed by Assad, starved under seige by the Syrian regime, and more recently invaded by Islamic State fighters. Mostly ignored by the Western media until ISIS made it somehow news-worthy this month.

I first blogged about Yarmouk in 2012 and have been tweeting about it since the start of 2014. I have questioned why "pro-Palestinian" activists, who manage to mobilise thousands for Gaza, seem to have been relatively quiet about the Palestinian people of Yarmouk, where people have been dying in huge numbers for three years now.

When I saw that there was an emergency demonstration for Yarmouk, called by Palestinian solidarity activists, in London on Tuesday, I thought I should put my money where my mouth is, and go along.



There were dozens of protesters there - somewhere between 50 and 100; I'm no longer good at estimating that sort of thing. A significant proportion of those present were probably from the Palestinian diaspora. There were flags of the Syrian revolution and of Palestine. There was no presence from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign or any of the other groups which organised protests about Gaza. There were two SWP paper sellers, not managing to sell many papers but they did get some people to hold their placards. The comedian Jeremy Hardy was there. The Syrian Solidarity Movement had a banner saying "Syrian refugees welcome here." Jews for Justice for Palestinians had a large banner. There were several keffiyehs. One protester had a banner saying "Yarmouk - made in Israel", but otherwise Israel did not feature in much of the material.
After a short, powerful statement by the organisers, they read out some of the names of people who have died in Yarmouk: newborn babies, children, adults, elders. Died in airstrikes, killed by sniper fire, died from lack of medical care after suffering from treatable problems - but mostly starved to death. Listening to these names - of people who come to us through the media merely as numbers, if at all - was heart-breaking.

Six things I think I know about Yarmouk


1. The story of Yarmouk is the story of the Palestinian diaspora
Yarmouk was established in 1957, to house Palestinians squatting in and around Damascus, mainly families from the northern part of Palestine displaced in what Palestinians calls the Nakba, "catastrophe", the 1948 exodus in the wake of Israel's establishment as a state. Many came from Safad, scene of bitter conflict in 1948; others came from Haifa and Tiberius. Up to 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from Palestine in the conflict. This included up to 90,000 who went to Syria - rising to 127,000 by the 1960s, 400,00 by the end of the century. That multiplication of population was similar across the diaspora, and the descendants of the 1948 refugees now number 5 million, which is not much less than the current Jewish population of Israel, making the ideal of the right of return to Palestine increasingly hard to envisage without generating a new Nakba for the Jews. 

2. Calling Yarmouk a refugee camp is misleading


Damascus in 2011 had a population of 2.5 million - that's about the size of Birmingham or Chicago. Yarmouk had a population of over 130,000, possibly as large as 200,000 - so about the size of Oxford or Reading, or a London borough such as Hammersmith and Fulham. Yarmouk is well within the metropolitan area of Damascus and its municipal boundaries. Built on the edge of town, the city has grown up around it. Before the war, it had hospitals, theatres, businesses, beauty salons, internet cafes, a rich cultural life. Its cityscape is dominated by five-storey low-rises. According to the BBC, "It had its own mosques, schools and public buildings. Literacy and numeracy rates among Palestinians in the camp were among the highest not just in Syria, but across the Arab world."

Although it is not an "official" camp, it is known as a camp simply because most of its inhabitants are Palestinians, and therefore retain the technical status of refugees. Palestinian refugees are the only refugees whose status is passed on down through the family line. Their welfare is not administered to by the UN's normal refugee agency, UNHCR, but by a seperate specific agency, UNWRA. This means a kind of permanent homelessness and statelessness for Palestinians - which in many ways has been encouraged by their leadership and by Arab governments, as a weapon against Israel.

3. Assad is no friend of the Palestinians
Assad, like his father and other Arab tyrants, has posed as a friend of the Palestinians. However, Syria's government, while giving Palestinians resident in Syria many of the rights of other Syrians (although of course all Syrians have only limited civil rights in this totalitarian state), denies them citizenship and restricts their property and land ownership rights. Assad has made them dependent clients on the Ba'athist state, in a position of indefinite limbo, unable to return to Palestine, unable to become Syrian.

4. The Syrian regime's crimes in Yarmouk far outweigh those of ISIS
It is clearly true that Daesh are one of the worst things to happen to Syria or the world in the recent past. It is not surprising, then, that their presence in Yarmouk in recent weeks should have finally focused some attention in the West on the its suffering. But Yarmouk's suffering at the hands of Syria's own government was already unimaginably bad.

You may have seen this image, circulated by UNRWA, I think early in 2014. This was over a year into the Ba'athist regime's siege (which began 18 December 2012). The siege, which began with heavy shelling that destroyed much of the urban infrastructure, was Assad's response to the activities of the Syrian revolution in Yarmouk. Under the siege, the residents became largely dependent on UNRWA food distribution, along with occasional dangerous forays out of the district. By mid-2013, the food distribution was disrupted by fighting and only a fraction of the necessary food was getting in. Civilians were dying in the crossfire between the regime and other factions. The arrival of ISIS was simply adding an extra drop to an ocean of suffering long since flowing over.

Sections of the Palestinian leadership (the PFLP) have been in alliance with Assad; others (in the PA) have remained studiously neutral. These factions' allies in the Western Palestinian solidarity organisations have followed their lead. Western governments have uttered stern words about Assad, but done nothing to create a No Fly Zone or take other steps to stop his slaughter. Most of the left, from Ed Miliband leftwards, have actively opposed doing anything about it. We are all complicit in Yarmouk's suffering.

5. Jabhat al-Nusra are not much better than Daesh
The Western media are obsessed with ISIS, but there are marginally less extreme military factions who aren't much better. Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate, took control of large sections of Yarmouk early in 2014. They blocked the entry of aid and tightened rather than lifted the siege on the inhabitants. In December, they executed two Palestinian residents for blasphemy. There are several reports of co-operation with ISIS in Damascus (although they are at war elsewhere they have officially claimed to be neutral on Yarmouk) and there are growing numbers of reports that the two groups are increasingly co-operating in and around Yarmouk.

Significantly, there is considerable evidence suggesting that al-Nusra has been funded and supported by some of the West's allies in the region. The Obama administration has claimed that private individuals in Kuwait have heavily financed it, a claim made in more detail by other experts. Turkey actively supported al-Nusra from 2012 to 2014 and may continue to do so covertly, seeing it as a counterbalance to Kurdish forces. Joe Biden has also claimed that the Saudis and Emirates funded them too - later semi-retracting. And there is lots of evidence of Qatari support too. Crucially, all of these countries are intimately bound through trade and finance (including arms trade) to the US and UK.

And this support came in a period when the US and UK completely stood back from the conflict. Secular, democratic or moderate rebels (Syria's best hope), left without resources due to our lack of support, were rapidly depleted as al-Nusra grew. Once again, then, we are complicit in Yarmouk's suffering.

6. The silence on Yarmouk should shame the left
Given all of this, it is striking at the left has remained quiet about Yarmouk until recently. Electronic Intifada has occasionally mentioned Yarmouk (but often, as with this piece by Asa Winstanley, putting equal blame on "the rebels" and the regime, apparently because rebelling in Syria - unlike in Israel - is reckless provocation). A couple of powerful articles at MondoWeiss (by Talal Alyan and Mariam Barghouti) draw attention to the fact that the dominant mode was silence.
The demonstration last week was only endorsed by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign under pressure at the very last minute, and the PSC had no presence at the demo. The PSC finally posted something that was more than tangentially about Yarmouk on its website on 9 April - curiously avoiding mention of any blame for Assad (or indeed any other specific parties - apart from Israel). Mehdi Hasan has recently written powerfully about this silence, saying "Our selective outrage is morally unsustainable." It seems to me that those in the BDS/anti-Zionist movement who have been silent about Yarmouk are not pro-Palestinian but simply anti-Israel.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Not much has changed since 1969

The Spectator's archive recently republished something by Richard West from 1969 on the British left's drastic moral failure over Biafra. The left then supported the Nigerian state against the Ibo independence movement which Nigeria brutally crushed. I'd been aware of this before, but what struck me this time that the left trotted out the "blood for oil" trope back then:
If the Biafrans had been black and the Nigerians had been white, the rights and wrongs would have been much clearer... The British left resolved this problem with typically silly arguments. It was 'all about oil.'... Even the British left must now realise that the oil companies and other big business interests were on the side of Nigeria and that Biafra's fight was inspired, not by oil, but by the will to survive.
West was scathing about how the left sat back until it was too late, and then effectively said "well maybe you were right then but now it's too late." This struck me as exactly like Syria, where the left priotised "stopping the war" (i.e. stopping intervention that might prevent a war) while a war raged in which thousands died.
I have been surprised by the callousness of the British left. 'Of course Nigeria must remain united,' a socialist journalist yelled over the lunch table, 'even if two or three million people have to be killed.'
Sounds like the British left on Syria now or Yugoslavia in the 1990s...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Exclusive: Interview with Chris Flood, TUSC candidate for Lewisham Deptford



This is an email interview conducted earlier this week with Chris Flood. Chris was formerly a Socialist Party councillor in Telegraph Hill in Lewisham Deptford and is now standing as the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in the parliamentary elections. 



What would be your first priority if elected as MP for Lewisham Deptford?
My first priority if elected would be to call a public assembly to oppose austerity & appeal to Lewisham council to stop implementing cuts & join us in fighting for the necessary extra funding from government to deliver health, education and other essential public services.

TUSC is standing over 100 candidates in 2015. Do you think TUSC will make any impact on the election debate?

We think it's crucial that we offer an alternative both locally, where we have had a record, as with Ian Page and myself campaigning against cuts in Lewisham council going back many years. But equally important is that we also start to offer something that has a national focus too, which TUSC does have now with 135 candidates standing in the general election. This is a significant achievement even if we get modest results. So therefore imagine if we get a weak coalition government and there is another election in a year or two? Having shown we can stand 130 plus candidates, what stops us in the next election standing say 200 plus? By this point the electorate may well have had a bellyful of any 'lesser evilism Labour administered cuts.' We will see of course. A lot of this will be determined by events.

Many thousands and thousands of individual trade unionists are supporting the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, who are not politically aligned at this stage. Of course we want all of these strands to be the back bone of a new workers party. TUSC is not just about elections, but part of a process towards developing that new party and to campaign. Straight after the May 7th election therefore, no matter what government is formed, TUSC will be calling public meetings across the country to bring together all those who want to campaign against austerity.

Can you tell us about your record, as a councillor and local activist?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bob's election priorities no.4: Keep some space open for the left

Without electorally credible political space to its left, the Labour Party blows rightward in the breeze, taking for granted that people like me will vote for them so it can play to the middle ground. In Scotland, it can no longer do that: the SNP, previously seen as the Tartan Tories, has pulled of a plausible performance of an anti-establishment, anti-Westminster, social democratic party and pushed Labour off to stage right.

As you'll see as I get through my election priorities posts, I would not vote for a left party if it meant the possibility of letting in a Tory (imagine having voted for Nader in 2000, when GW Bush narrowly stole the US presidential election from Gore - how could you live with that?).

However, if you live in a non-marginal seat, voting to the left of Labour might send out a signal to the party that it can't keep on taking us for granted.

But how appealing are the options?

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Bob From Brockley's election priorities no.5: Eliminate the far right

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As Hope Not Hate have recently said (and it's in their interest to say the opposite), the British far right is at its lowest ebb for two decades. It's fractious and fragmented, a laughing stock with no electoral hope.

It is well known that when there is a Tory government, British fascism doesn't fare well electorally but turns to street activity; it is under Labour governments that it gets traction at the polling booth. This is because the Conservatives are seen as more sympathetic to the anti-immigrant and hang em and flog em politics that the far right uses to build its vote. Now, of course, there's UKIP, which claims it has taken a third of the BNP's vote, its allure for far right voters squeezing the space for actual fascist parties. (Britain First, the most up and coming fascist group in the UK, is endorsing UKIP enthusiastically and won't stand candidates to keep Farage's way clear.)

But we should not be complacent. Far right parties are standing in a few places across the UK. These groups will use the elections to disseminate their propaganda. At a time when anti-migrant and anti-Muslim bigotry is being mainstreamed, we can ill afford for fascist parties' messages to be broadcast.

I will update this post nearer the election with some of the locations where far right parties will be putting in the most effort.

UPDATE 1: 

  • Tess Culnane, nicknamed "the Nazi granny", is standing for the BNP in Dagenham. Culnane, who sadly lives in the fair borough of Lewisham, is a veteran of almost very extreme right group in the UK,  and most recently the National Front. She has a long association with the openly neo-Nazi British People's Party. 
  • The British Democrats, an offshoot of the BNP, are standing in Hitler-loving ex-archaelogist Jim Lewthwaite in Bradford East, thinking that because UKIP have stood a Muslim candidate there they might soak up the racist vote.
  • The National Front, the most openly fascist of the far right parties who field candidates, are standing in Rochdale and a couple of other places.
  • Another veteran of several far right groups, Paul Weston has launched No to Terrorism, Yes to Britain, and is standing in Luton South, which has in the past had some associations with the EDL. His sidekick George Wale (once a Labour Party member) is standing in Lewisham West and Penge. Whale works at the University of Westminster (he was previously at Queen Mary) and was Weston's deputy in the British Freedom Party (BFP) and Liberty GB. The BFP was a BNP splinter group whose logo was based on that of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. Whale's election pitch is that Britain's political class has "declared war" on the English, and cites as evidence of this "the relentless importation of wave upon wave of hostile immigrants" into the country.Here are some of his manifesto bullet points: deport all Muslims considered to be a threat, along with their families; segregate Muslim prisoners within the prison system to prevent conversion of non-Muslims to Islam; ban mosque-building, remove minarets from existing mosques, outlaw the Islamic call to prayer; ban ritual slaughter of animals and importation of ritually slaughtered meat; close all madrassas and Muslim faith schools.
UPDATE 2:
  • A new post on Liberty GB here.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Bob From Brockley's Election Priorities no.6: Get rid of David Ward

David Ward is the Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East, elected at the last election with a majority of just 365 votes. As the Liberal Democrats' collaboration with the Conservatives has probably killed off the Lib Dem vote, it seems pretty likely this will be a Labour gain. 

David Ward's Wikipedia page gives plenty of reasons why he is unfit to sit in parliament. Here's just one:

Bob From Brockley's Election Priorities

My plan for this blog between now and the UK general election is a series of posts on my hopes for the outcome. I've got six, and I'm going to publish them in reverse order. I'll update this post as I publish them, as a kind of table of contents. If, by any chance, I manage to write and publish all six, I might add more afterwards, but that's a long shot. All my election coverage will be collected under this category.

no.1: Tories out
no.2: Contain the rise of UKIP
no.3: Kick George Galloway out of Bradford - and out of British politics
no.4: Leave some space for the left
no.5: Destroy the far right
no.6: Get rid of David Ward

Other posts:

Exclusive: Interview with Chris Flood, TUSC candidate for Lewisham Deptford
On Lewisham West and Penge's far right candidate George Whale
On Lewisham East's unsavoury UKIP candidate Anne Marie Waters

From the last elections: