In recent first-person article and follow-up letter published in the Leicester Mercury, Gavin George, the Secretary of the Leicester South Labour Party, explained the serious problems caused by the reduction in Leicester City Council’s provision of beds in hostels for the homeless.
In a subsequent article titled “Labour’s Homelessness Dilemma and the Public Cost of Accepting Austerity” (not published in the Mercury), I then pointed out the hypocrisy of a Labour Party leaflet, distributed during last year’s elections in Leicester South, that gloated over the conversion of one of the closed homeless hostels into social housing.
Now, riding to power on the back of resurgent interest in Labour politics, owing almost entirely to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, Lord Willy Bach “stunned the Conservatives by winning the Leicestershire police and crime commissioner election by nearly 20,000 votes” (May 6, Mercury).
As Lord Bach’s online biography points out: “His strong sense of social justice is no doubt influenced from his family – being a relation of the suffragette heroines (Emmeline, Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst)…”
What the biographical note, however, does not remind us about is that in Lord Bach’s not so distant past he served as the board member of Finmeccanica UK, a leading weapons manufacturer (in 2007); for more on this read “Revolving doors revealed” and “”Revealed: how minister cashed in on contacts” (The Sunday Times, 23 November 2008).
Maintaining his warmongering connections to this day, Lord Bach remains listed as a patron to Northern Defence Industries, which describes itself as “a leading supply chain sourcing and development service representing the interests of businesses in the defence, aerospace, space and security sectors.”
On a more local note, our new crime commissioner also engaged in a serious piece of deception during his recent electioneering. This is because Lord Bach’s election leaflets and full page ad in the Leicester Mercury proudly made the nonsensical claim that “Labour saved our Central Fire Station…”
Technically speaking Leicester Labour councillors did eventually oppose the closure of Central Fire Station (after much pressure was brought to bear by the public and firefighters), but this was only after the Labour City Mayor, working in tandem with Leicestershire’s Tory Council leader, undemocratically set in a chain a public consultation that proposed the closure of the fire station in the first place!?
Bringing this sorry tale full circle, it is a funny irony that the person credited with organising Lord Bach’s latest electoral victory was none other than Gavin George, the aforementioned Secretary of Labour Leicester South.