You may have already read that a Brent councillor has switched his colours from yellow to red after believing that the Lib Dems have betrayed everyone. He has posted the following open letter across a plethora of Labour websites:
It is with great sadness that after more than 10 years as a Liberal Democrat Councillor, this week I have resigned my membership of the party. I joined the Liberal Democrats because I wanted to help make Britain a fairer, greener and more equal country. I no longer believe that the Liberal Democrat Party can make this happen. They have betrayed the values that I once shared with them.
However, I do believe that the Labour Party, under their new Leader of Brent Council Muhammed Butt along with Ed Miliband in Westminster, shares my values and that I can as part of a Labour administration continue to work for the people of Brent.
I find that I am unable to lend my support to the devastating policies the Coalition is inflicting on Britain. In particular I have been sickened by the hypocritical things the Liberal Democrats do and say here in Brent.While my feelings about this have built up over the past two years, there are three issues that have finally pushed me to take this decision:
The people I represent in Alperton are struggling more than ever under this government, but the Liberal Democrat Leadership in Westminster is prioritising reform of the House of Lords instead of a plan for economic growth.
The closure of the A&E at Central Middlesex Hospital under this government is an astonishing betrayal. Sarah Teather campaigned to keep the A&E when it was not under threat of closure. Now she is in government closing it. I am only sorry that I trusted her back then and I am sure that a number of her constituents feel the same way.
Paul Lorber also knows very well that had the Lib Dems won the Local Election in 2010 they would have faced the same pressure to close the six libraries in Brent. It is the Coalition cuts to local government that are causing this problem and Cllr. Lorber’s posturing on the issue is just an insult to the library campaigners and the people of Brent.
I recognise that some of my constituents in Alperton will feel let down by my decision. I apologise to them if they feel I ought to have nailed my colours to the mast more firmly before the election. Equally I trust that many of them voted for me because they knew of the hard work that I have done as a councillor over the years. I pledge to them that I will work harder than ever to improve the lives of everyone who lives in Alperton. I know that there are many people who voted Lib Dem at the last election and indeed many Lib Dem members who feel as betrayed as I do by the party’s record in the coalition. I urge them to join me and to join the Labour Party.
Councillor James Allie
Now this isn’t a diss against this guy but I feel this to my core and have said it repeatedly. If you are elected as a member of a party then you serve an elected official of that party – or you serve as an independent. You do not serve as a member of another party. That wasn’t how you were voted in. In Southend a Lib Dem defected just a couple of weeks back and although he has joined another party – the Liberal Party – he will serve as an independent. I have seen Labour already making flirty eyes towards him and I find it disgusted – and I know the Lib Dems do it as well – I find it just as disgusting when we do it.
Once you are elected and you decide the party isn’t for you then you have three options. Two of which are acceptable and one is self-centred and shows that all you care about is being a councillor and not representing those who elected you. You can either serve as an independent which I think most people can understand. You can resign and force a by-election where you stand for the party you now wish to represent and put the decision to the voters. This again is fair enough and is in fact the best way forward or you can serve as a member of another party. This is the cowards way.
This councillor though is a man who has been very vocal in his message that innocent people’s DNA and fingerprints should be deleted from police records yet has joined a party who thinks differently on this issue. A party that wanted to record everyone’s biometric information is the party he has now joined and one he believes best represents him. So clearly he was never a big civil liberties fan.
Having done a search for him on the Brent Liberal Democrats website – which is maintained well and updated all the time there have been but two references to Cllr James Allie in 2012. So clearly he wasn’t doing a great deal.
He has defected from the Lib Dems to Labour not because he now truly believes that Labour are the future but for self-preservation. He’ll be up for election again in just under two years time and now is the perfect time to quit the party and get prepared to fight an election for Labour. He can sense the way the winds are blowing and has decided to cash in now to get the reward at the polls.
As for his letter. The prioritising lark is just a lazy line that people who don’t like the fact the Lib Dems actually are a relevance spin to justify not liking them. Governments can do more than one thing at a time you know. Everyone knows the economy is the single most important issue out there but a government and the House of Commons can’t spend all day everyday debating it because that will do nothing. When will people realise this? Cllr James Allie realises this but he wanted a cheap and lazy line to help him justify quitting the party instead of giving the truth and saying ‘as a Labour councillor I’m bound to win, as a Lib Dem I’m not sure.’
If he is so confident that the people of Alperton ward would vote for him again because of his hard work then go to the polls and find out. Don’t just say it. Find out. Also why will you work ‘harder than ever’ now you are a Labour councillor? Are you saying that you were hot-dogging it as a Lib Dem and now you’ll actually work?
This just sickens me that councillors can do this. They get in and then say ‘hey fuck you’ to their constituents. If he (and anyone else) wants to switch parties then fine but let the electorate decide whether they want it or not. In the future where I am supreme-overlord of the world any defections will result in an automatic by-election. I suspect however that we’ll never live in that world. Sad times…
Update: I have amended the title hence why the comments may not make sense.
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