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#Haringey Council leadership: impact of The Clacton Candidate

above image, since deleted, ex-



LAST week, Haringey Council's Cabinet Member for Local Investment and Growth (Cllr Gideon Bull) was obliged to withdraw his bid for Parliament, following the fuller exposure of anti-semitic jibes he offered to the Cabinet's sole Jewish member (Cllr Zena Brabazon). However, there are questions outstanding:

  1. All Candidates for elected positions of all Parties are expected to declare anything that might later surface and bring their Party into disrepute. Did Cllr Bull make a full disclosure to Clacton Labour Party? In any event, at the time of Cllr Bull's selection, did the Clacton Labour Party know about his background?
  2. Did Labour's National Executive (NEC) approve the selection, knowing of the unresolved Complaint about Cllr Bull, going back to July? When might the NEC deal with the Complaint?
  3. This was not an ordinary Labour Party member making anti-semitic remarks about a member of the public, but a Labour Council Cabinet Member offering such insults to a (Jewish) Council Deputy Leader. As Cllr Bull was vying to be a Member of Parliament, why did the NEC shelve the Complaint? 
  4. The provocations were offered at a (private) pre-Cabinet meeting, chaired by novice Leader Joseph Ejiofor. It appears that a discussion about the Red House disposal got out of hand (#RedHouseNine, q.v.). Where was the Chair of the meeting? Where was competent leadership?
  5. Why—amongst this Cabinet—did Cllr Bull feel safe in offering abuse? Given that offence was given, why did the Council Leader not intervene firmly, instructing Cllr Bull to issue a full, immediate apology and end the matter right there and then? Was there tacit approval? Cllr Bull has claimed to the press that he has issued an apology: if it exists in writing, where is the apology? 
  6. Was the leader's silence due to the fact that he had acted to expel (“eradicate”) the sole Jewish member—and another woman Cabinet Member—from the Cabinet on New Years' Eve? And, who did not want her back (in May 2019); who was indifferent to the slurs and who was content to take no action? And now, does the Leader's silence not condone the conduct of Cllr Bull?
  7. Cllr Bull has claimed that he did not know that "Shylock" was a Jewish character or an offensive expression. If Cllr Bull has been an active member of the Labour Party during the last three years, then has he not heard any suggestions, anywhere, in relation to anti-Semitism and his Party's leadership?

  8. From 2009 (?), more information has emerged—beyond anti-Semitism—about Cllr Bull's use of racist language. Where does this leave other Labour Cabinet members’ fine, avowed anti-racist talk? i.e. with a Cabinet colleague who apparently uses ugly terms easily? Are Cllr Bull's colleagues content to continue to share a Cabinet with him?
  9. The withdrawal of the Clacton Candidate received national publicity. Is the Cabinet not now (further) tainted? At Cabinet level, how much respect, authority, confidence and credibility is left? 
  10. In May 2018, Cllr Bull was trusted with responsibility as Labour Council Group Chief Whip. In May 2019, he was hand-picked by leader Joseph Ejiofor for Cabinet. How much did the rookie leader know about Cllr Bull and, what do the promotions say about Cllr Ejiofor's judgement?

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At the time of writing, Cllr Bull is a member of the UK Labour Party and in good standing. His Haringey leader is silent, as are his Cabinet colleagues.

Cllr Bull's statements to the media last week amounted to digging himself in deeper. He suggested that the kind of comments he made were normal when and where he grew up. But why, in July of this year, was he still using such terms from his childhood? And why did he use such terms 10 years ago (point 8, above) after reaching adulthood?

One hardly needs to be a Shakespearean scholar to be aware that “Shylock” is a Jewish character. In blaming Margaret Thatcher for a poor education (!?), he appealed to his loyal tribal base but is unlikely to convince others. He may not be an anti-Semite but has surely made a fool of himself.

If he was trying to make feeble jokes about it all, then he must still have the wit to realise that he has also helped to damage his Party's electoral prospects. He should resign. He may want to resign but would be likely to face resistance from the novice leader. Apart from being one of Cllr Ejiofor's cronies, Cllr Bull has shown loyalty to the leader to an extraordinary degree.

Haringey needs competent, effective leadership. In its absence, the record of poor judgement and poor governance is likely to continue.

Link to announcement of the replacement
candidate for the 
Clacton Labour Party

Tags: Clacton, Gideon Bull, Haringey Council, Haringey Labour, Jew, Jewish, Jews, Joseph Ejiofor, Labour Party, Merchant of Venice, More…Momentum, Shylock, anti-semitism, pound of flesh

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THIS article about Cllr Bull was sent to me last night. It appears in the current issue of Private Eye:

CLLR Gideon Bull has written a letter [here] that appears in the Clacton and Frinton Gazette, and that is billed as a "heartfelt" apology.

However, the apology is made only to "residents and party" and for the fact of his resignation as Parliamentary Candidate. The closest Cllr Bull comes to acknowledging the reason for his resignation is, "the current circumstances".

There is no detail here on what are the current circumstances, nor any apology for them. The excuses he offered to the media elsewhere, were nonsensical. Still less, is there any apology here to the sole Jewish Member of Cabinet.

Cllr Bull has claimed he has apologised to Cllr Brabazon, but has offered no evidence for this.

On 25 November, Cllr Bull remains a Member of the Labour Party in good standing. He also remains a Member of the Haringey Council Cabinet, all of whose Members were personally selected and appointed by leader Joseph Ejiofor. All except one.

i.e. the sole Jewish Cabinet Member whom Ejiofor sacked from the Cabinet on New Year's Eve last, but who returned (as Deputy Leader) last May following a popular vote in the Council's Labour Group.

The appearance given, is that Joseph Ejiofor was—and is—content and satisfied with, or indifferent to, the anti-Semitic remarks, not least because it appears that he did and said nothing at the time of the meeting he chaired. Or since.



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