The election campaign in Hammersmith is naturally dominated by local and national issues. But it is important for voters to be aware of some alarmingly extreme views of Andrew Slaughter who is seeking re-election as the Labour MP. I have already written about his bizarre praise for the regimes in Cuba and in Venezuela.
The blog Harry’s Place recently included this report:
Andy Slaughter is one of Labour’s worst helpers of extremists.
So this news from the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) is no surprise:
The Palestinian Forum in Britain invite to attend the social monthly meeting scheduled for Saturday evening, the 4th of April 2015.
The social gathering will host Labour MP and candidate for the Party Andy Slaughter who will speak about his political platform and the role of Palestinian and Arab communities in the British elections.
PFB invite you to attend this important gathering to support those who always condone the Palestinian rights.
Your attendance is in support of the Palestinian rights and and those who work for Palestinian rights.
The Palestinian Forum in Britain
The PFB is part of the Hamas UK network.
One way you can see this is by looking at the speakers it invites to its events.
They include no fewer than four foreigners who I understand have been excluded from the UK: Wagdi Ghoneim, Ahmad Nofal, Raed Salah, and Muhammad Musa al-Shareef. This may be an exclusion record for a single Islamist outfit.
In those speakers’ works one finds support for terrorism, including attacks on British troops on duty overseas; vicious antisemitism; calls for apostates from Islam to be killed; cruel misogyny; and more of the known horrors of Islamist extremism.
Mr Slaughter is happily courting the west London hate vote, as is his wont.
Andy Slaughter marching against Israel with Hafiz al-Karmi (to Slaughter’s right) of the PFB last summer.
The award winning blog has also chronicled Mr Slaughter’s dubious conduct in this matter previously.
Some may regard all this as irrelevant. But the extremist threat also exists closer to home. The Sunday Telegraph reported this morning on an al-Qaeda cleric suspected of radicalising “Jihadi John”.
Security services are understood to be investigating links between Hani al-Sibai and his influence on the west London terror network in which Jihadi John – unmasked as Mohammed Emwazi – operated.
It is claimed that al-Sibai, a charismatic preacher, had “captivated” a number of young Muslim men who subsequently went abroad to fight jihad.
In a court case last year, he was accused of having “provided material support to al-Qaeda and conspired to commit terrorist acts”, an allegation he denies.
Despite being officially identified as an affiliate of the notorious terror network, al-Sibai, citing his human rights, has thwarted government attempts to deport him for more than 15 years….
Bari’s son Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 25, a one-time rap musician in west London, subsequently travelled to Syria and is thought to be part of Jihadi John’s network inside Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
The rent on father-of-five al-Sibai’s home in Hammersmith – owned by a housing association and worth as much as £1 million – is understood to be paid by the taxpayer.
The public purse has also paid for a number of legal actions brought by al-Sibai against the British government in his battle to prevent his deportation to Egypt and also attempts to have his name removed from terror sanctions lists.
From his home, al-Sibai, also known as Hani Youssef, runs an effective al-Qaeda propaganda machine, that includes the al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies. In recent months he has used various internet sites to praise bin Laden and glorify al-Qaeda for waging war against “the Crusader-Zionists”.
He has been described as a “long-time ally” of Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over control of al-Qaeda following bin Laden’s death.
His alleged links to al-Qaeda have led to his bank accounts and assets being subjected to freezing orders by the United Nations, the UK Treasury and US Treasury.
Last year, in a publicly funded court case, al-Sibai went to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to try to get his status as an al-Qaeda affiliate overturned and allow him access to bank accounts and other financial assets….
Al-Sibai, who trained as a lawyer, denies the links to al-Qaeda although he refused to comment when approached by The Telegraph.
When al-Sibai first claimed asylum in the UK in 1994, he told officials he had been tortured in Egypt because he had acted as a lawyer for Islamist groups and was linked to the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.
He was refused asylum on national security grounds, and was jailed in 1998 pending deportation. However, human rights laws make it impossible for suspects to be returned to countries where they might be tortured or killed, and Britain was unable to obtain from Egypt the necessary assurances as to al-Sibai’s welfare.
Al-Sibai described the 7/7 attacks in London as a ‘great victory’ for al-Qaeda
He has since been given temporary leave to remain in the UK despite being added to the UN al-Qaeda sanctions list in 2005.
Last week, residents nearby described al-Sibai as an “elusive character” who would slip in and out of his house via the back door through an alleyway at the rear of his home.
The front windows are covered in bed sheets and blankets to prevent prying eyes. He has refused to deny links to Emwazi, who was born in Kuwait but grew up in west London and was part of a terror network that was centred on an area close to where al-Sibai lives.
Emwazi, 26, fled from Britain despite being on a terror watchlist and joined jihadists fighting in Syria. He is responsible for the murder of a number of Western hostages, including two Britons, whom he beheaded in videos posted on the internet as part of the Isil’s propaganda.
Throughout his time in the UK, al-Sibai has provoked outrage with a series of extremist comments, including describing the July 7 attacks on London as a “great victory” for al-Qaeda….
Greg Hands, a Conservative minister who raised concern over al-Sibai around nine years ago, said: “It is amazing that someone with these views is still being of influence today. This highlights again the need to repeal the Human Rights Act.”
The Government has achieved a great deal but the Lib Dems have blocked repeal of the Human Rights Act. It is among the reasons that a majority Conservative Government is so vital.
A housing association is offering for sale a house in 19 Bassein Park Road (currently split into three flats) in Shepherd’s Bush for sale at auction. The guide price is at £1.2 million plus.
We are not told the condition the property is in or the name of the housing association.
What is obvious is that £1.2 million is a lot of money. Some will attack the housing association for selling the property claiming that it means the homes (with a total of five bedrooms) will be “lost”. That is the position of the Labour-run council.
But if the housing association can use those funds to provide more replacement housing then that would benefit some of those in temporary accommodation – often overcrowded.
Some of these auction sales go for even higher prices – I wrote earlier about one in Shepherd’s Bush Road for £2 million.
Housing associations are taking a practical approach to maximise their resources to do as much as possible to ease housing pressures. The council’s policy – refusing to sell regardless of the value – is ideologically driven and does the homeless no favours at all.
An alarming incident of the pavement collapsing outside the Marrakech Cafe in the North End Road near Fulham Broadway.
A woman was swallowed as the pavement collapsed and was rushed to Charing Cross Hospital. I am pleased that according to reports she was not seriously hurt.
I have written to Mahmood Siddiqi, Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Director for Transport and Highways, asking for his comments.
Dear Cllr Phibbs
Officers are still investigating the matter which is clearly very serious. However the information that we have is:-
– the hole in the footway was caused by the basement roof at 352 North End Road (the Marrakesh Express Restaurant) collapsing,.
– the incident involved a woman pushing a trolley (no push chair)
– apparently the hole appeared a few minutes earlier and the restaurant owners were trying to protect the area with a table
– when the Council were informed we sent out an emergency response team to secure the site
– whilst the pavement is public highway and maintained by the Council, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the underlying basement structure underlying structure is the responsible
– we will serve a notice on the owner to carry out repairs to our satisfaction before reopening the footway
Director for Transport and Highways
What I found disappointing was that the garden was locked. I made enquiries and there had been some problems with youths (including non residents) embedding drugs there.
Of course this could not be ignored. Imagine if we applied the same principle to our parks and had them completely locked if there was an incidence of drugs being found in them? It is a counsel of despair.
Anyway I agreed to pursue the matter on behalf of the residents who raised it with me and I am pleased that Camilla McBrearty the Council’s Community Safety Officer has been in touch with Peabody to see what help could be offered and that the garden will be opened a bit more.
I attended the Hammersmith Estate Tenant and Residents Association meeting yesterday evening and discussed the issues raised by Councillor Phibbs. Although there has been a decrease in reported anti-social behaviour on the estate, drug related anti-social behaviour, joy riding and abuse of the sunken garden still remain a concern for the residents.
Residents representatives after careful deliberation agreed a process of controlling the perceived anti-social behaviour on the estate. One of the agreed measure is the opening and closing times for the facilities on the estate which is as follows.
Sunken: 10am – 5pm
Football cage: 10am – 5pm
Children Playground: 10am – 5pm
Sunken: 10am – 9pm
Football cage: 10am – 9pm
Children Playground: 10am – 6pm
The following areas on the estate have witnessed increase in young people from within and outside the estate congregating and most times constituting nuisance and suspected drug dealing, the areas of the estate mostly affected are Blocks P Q R and Blocks M N O, Pathways on the Estate and the Archway between blocks 41-48 and 33-46 Ha areas on the estate, the presence of CCTV do not seem to deter the perpetrators. The Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Hammersmith have been involved and are consistently patrolling the estate and responding to calls from residents.
Residents would appreciate any assistance or support that we can get from the council to curb anti-social behaviour as it appears this is a wider local issue as residents alleged that most of the perpetuators come from outside the estate.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Here is a picture of some Labour supporters displaying some of their campaign literature. Nothing unusual about that at the moment, of course. Except that the material they are displaying was not paid for by the Labour Party but by the Council Taxpayers of Hammersmith and Fulham. The printing cost alone was £7,705. It was also posted to every household – saving Labour supporters the bother of distributing it. No wonder they looked so smug.
Furthemore the cost is not included against their spending limits. This limit is for the “long campaign” – from December 19th until March 30th and is based on a maximum sum of £30,700 + 6p/9p per elector.
The brochure in question made dishonest claims about police numbers by excluding Special Constables.
It attacked the Government “austerity cuts” as devastating while also claiming the magnificent Labour council had absorbed them without any cuts in services. It then declared – in something of an irony bypass – that the Council had ended spending on propaganda.
Residents may agree or disagree with the various Labour messages in the brochure. What is absurd is to pretend they are impartial. All fair minded democrats will see that it is quite wrong for it to have been put out – especially during the election campaign. But the Labour councillors – posing with Lord Adonis the enthusiast for Earls Court regeneration – do not appear contrite.