Councils obfuscate Covid-19 statistics

Last week H&D reported detailed statistics behind the headlines about Covid-19 in Oldham, the Lancashire town that is on the brink of lockdown following a renewed surge in cases of the pandemic virus.

It is now clear that as we suggested last week, Oldham council deputy leader Arooj Shah was being disingenuous in suggesting that the virus had spread “in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities”. (Paradoxically, as we reported last week, Cllr Shah is not on good terms with local Muslim ‘community leaders’ and is a an example of the way the Labour Party is in many areas at war with conservative Islam.)

While it is true that there has been a scattering of Covid-19 in different parts of Oldham, there is a very marked concentration in certain parts of the town with an especially high Asian population. (There is also some slight evidence to suggest that Pakistani areas are seeing more Covid than Bangladeshi areas, but the jury is still out on that.)

For the period 7th-13th August (the most recent detailed statistics) the main Covid hotspot was the Alexandra Park census area with 48 cases (having had 55 the previous week). Local reports suggest that as many as 30 of these cases are from just one extended family and their immediate neighbours. The Manchester Evening News reports this but is too cowardly to state that Alexandra Park is a predominantly Pakistani area, containing the Glodwick ghetto that was at the centre of riots in 2001.

The other main Covid area in Oldham is Werneth, with 34 cases this week and 42 last week. At least 15 cases are understood to involve workers at the Park Cakes factory, a major local employer situated on the main road that separates Werneth and Alexandra Park. There is no suggestion that Park Cakes has been at fault in any respect.

The Salem area which borders Alexandra Park and also contains part of the extended Glodwick ghetto is the third-highest Oldham Covid area with 25 cases this week and 12 last week; while the original Bangladeshi area known as Busk, on the edge of the town centre and close to Oldham Athletic’s football stadium Boundary Park, had 15 cases this week and 12 last week.

While politically correct media have highlighted poverty as a contributory factor, the equally poor or in many cases poorer White areas of central Oldham have seen smaller (and in some cases negligible) rates of Covid. These include Alt with 12 cases; Lime Side & Garden Suburb with 11 cases; Derker with only 3 cases; and Moorside & Sholver with no registered cases at all.

The relatively affluent and White villages comprising Saddleworth to the east of Oldham are divided into four different census areas. Three of these reported three Covid cases each this week, while a fourth had none.

Mossley, a former cotton town turned commuter village on the borders of Oldham and Saddleworth, similarly had no Covid cases; neither did the adjacent Micklehurst & Carrbrook census area.

A smaller-scale version of a similar pattern can be seen in Blackburn (where H&D‘s editor used to be a borough councillor).

In Blackburn the highest incidences of Covid this week were again in the mainly Asian areas: 29 in Little Harwood; 22 in Central Blackburn; 19 in Bastwell; 14 in Roe Lee, Brownhill & Sunnybower; and 13 in Audley.

By contrast the mainly White area Meadowhead, where our editor was elected to Blackburn-with-Darwen Council in 2006, had no reported cases.

Oldham heads for lockdown – are councils hiding the truth about Covid spikes?

This week Oldham is facing full lockdown “within days” due to a surge in Covid-19 cases. Two weeks ago residents were told that they must not meet with others in their homes. The latest statistics show that Oldham’s infection rate has almost doubled in the past week, from 57.8 per 100,000 inhabitants to 107.5.

What we don’t yet know is a precise breakdown of which Oldham areas have seen especially serious outbreaks of the pandemic.

During July it was evident that the virus was rampaging in Pakistani and Bangladeshi areas of the town, as H&D reported at the time, and as Oldham Council’s deputy leader Arooj Shah then admitted.

However Cllr Shah argued today that during the past few weeks the virus has spread “in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities”.

We shall know on Friday this week to what extent her statement is true. Detailed statistics last week showed that while there was some incidence of the virus in White areas of the town, it remained far more prevalent in Pakistani and Bangladeshi areas.

Official statistics published on Friday each week show a breakdown of that week’s new Covid cases in each ‘Middle Super Output Area’, a census area roughly similar to local council wards.

Last week the worst area of Oldham was Alexandra Park with 55 new cases: this is the longstanding Asian ghetto area known as Glodwick. The second-worst area was Werneth with 42 new cases: decades ago this was mainly White but in recent years it has become another Asian ghetto.

Another area with significant infection registering 12 new cases was Busk, part of the original Bangladeshi area of Oldham near Oldham Athletic’s football ground at Boundary Park.

Salem – a partly White area bordering Glodwick – also had 12 cases.

Judging from last week’s figures, it was true that there had been a scattering of cases in some Whiter areas of Oldham: eight on the working class Alt estate; three in the more middle-class Springhead & Grasscroft. However other very White areas of Oldham – ranging from the working-class Moorside & Sholver and Derker areas, to the three affluent census areas that make up Saddleworth, registered no cases at all. (Technically this could mean that they had zero, one or two new cases that week, as only census areas with three or more new cases are listed.)

Is Cllr Arooj Shah being disingenuous in pretending that the virus is spreading equally in White and Asian areas of Oldham? We await this week’s detailed statistics with interest and shall inform H&D readers accordingly.

Arooj Shah (above left) with Oldham East & Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams after her defeat by a Pakistani taxi driver at the 2016 election. Oldham Labour Party found Ms Shah a new ward in a more racially mixed part of Oldham.

Cllr Shah is in other respects an interesting example of how the Labour Party interacts with Muslim communities. Contrary to the fantasies of some in our movement, the Labour Party is not in the grip of Muslim community leaders, still less is it influenced by ‘radical’ Islam.

What is much more common in 2020 is to see Labour councillors (including senior ones such as Arooj Shah) who are of Muslim origin but who are so ‘modern’ and ‘liberal’ that community leaders and imams would scarcely recognise them as Muslim at all. The Labour Party is just as much at war with traditional Islam as it is with traditional Christianity.

Arooj Shah was first elected as a very young woman in St Mary’s ward, Oldham, in 2012. This ward is in the Glodwick area and at the 2011 census was 49.1% Pakistani and 8.6% Bangladeshi.

Cllr Shah soon came into conflict with more socially conservative Pakistanis, and in 2016 she was defeated by local taxi driver Aftab Hussain standing as an independent. The Labour Party rallied behind the ousted councillor and in a deliberate gesture of contempt for conservative Muslims and ‘community leaders’ they found her a new ward in the more racially diverse Chadderton South ward, which she has represented since 2018.

A similar racial and cultural conflict affected Labour in another Lancashire town earlier this year. The first two Asian women to be elected as Blackburn councillors were both deselected in February. In this case Labour bosses intervened and ordered the selections to be rerun. One of the women won the re-run and remains a councillor, but the other chose to give up the fight.

Whatever the truth of Covid’s viral/racial profile, it seems clear that the Labour Party will continue to confront traditional Muslims, and that such conflicts will be a feature of local politics for at least another decade.

Oldham Labour councillor avoids jail after near-fatal accident

Cllr Abdul Malik was spared jail this week thanks to his service to the Bangladeshi community

Cllr Abdul Malik was spared jail this week thanks to his service to the Bangladeshi community

There was a time when the Labour Party was thought to represent the British working class.

That delusion can be laid to rest following the conviction this week of Oldham Labour councillor Abdul Malik, who was spared imprisonment at Manchester Crown Court this week after being convicted of offences against the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which had led to a near fatal accident in which an employee fell from scaffolding, breaking his hip and both heels.

This was an especially shameful exploitation of a vulnerable (and of course White) employee, who had “significant learning difficulties”, and who was instructed by his employer Cllr Malik to climb a hazardous scaffolding tower at the Oldham Bangladeshi Cultural Centre in 2013, consequently suffering his near-fatal fall.

H&D‘s assistant editor is especially disgusted by this: his great-uncle was killed near Oldham in a similar fall in the late 1920s, but he assumed that Labour Party and trade union actions had made such exploitation a thing of the past.

Sadly (as George Orwell knew) some are more equal than others.  Cllr Malik (who represents Coldhurst ward, a Bangladeshi ghetto in central Oldham, and lives in Werneth, a formerly White area where H&D‘s assistant editor went to school) was told that his disgraceful conduct would normally have merited a prison sentence, but that his valuable work for the (Bangladeshi) community meant he would be spared jail.

Will the Labour Party now clean up their act and remove Cllr Malik and his ilk – a cabal of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin businessmen who are no more ‘socialist’ than Margaret Thatcher?  We aren’t holding our breath.

 

UKIP crisis as Oldham candidate banned by party bosses!

UKIP candidate Graham Whitehead has been blocked from standing for Oldham Council

UKIP candidate Graham Whitehead has been blocked from standing for Oldham Council

UKIP’s local election campaign has been plunged into crisis after party bosses blocked the candidature of a popular local activist, due to concerns over alleged “racism”.

Graham Whitehead – who last year finished a close runner-up in Failsworth East ward, Oldham, to Labour council leader (now MP) Jim McMahon, had been chosen by local UKIP members to represent the party again this year.

Mr Whitehead had attracted a great deal of local support by campaigning on issues highly relevant to Failsworth voters, such as his opposition to controversial proposals to demolish Phoenix Mill – destroying 100 jobs – so as to develop the site for housing.

Yet the national UKIP leadership’s “vetting” process blocked Mr Whitehead from standing as a UKIP candidate this year, due to controversial posts on his Facebook page.  While these would fit with the outlook of many Oldham voters, they outrage the liberal sensibilities of UKIP’s national bosses.

So Mr Whitehead had to go, and there will be no UKIP candidate in Failsworth East this year. UKIP Councillor Warren Bates, who represents the next door ward Failsworth West, told the local newspaper Oldham Evening Chronicle:

I joined UKIP as a party of hope. I fought for the EU referendum but it just seems to be referendum mania now. It’s taking over local politics. UKIP seems to be completely out of touch with local politics.

Will Cllr Bates be next for the chop? And does UKIP now stand any chance of succeeding in former BNP heartlands such as Oldham?

Meanwhile the bitter divisions at the top of UKIP appear to be worsening after today’s decision by the Electoral Commission to make Vote Leave the officially designated campaign on the Leave side of the referendum. UKIP’s sole MP Douglas Carswell supports Vote Leave, but the party’s leader Nigel Farage and its biggest donor Arron Banks support the rival Grassroots Out (which includes Leave.eu). Mr Banks has indicated that he might fund a legal challenge to the Commission’s decision. This could delay the entire referendum until October: if so it would raise questions as to the ability of tycoons to distort the electoral process.

Labour’s easy win in Oldham despite UKIP hype

Farage

A crushing defeat for UKIP in the Oldham West & Royton parliamentary by-election today raised serious questions about the credibility of Nigel Farage’s party in northern working-class areas.

There had been great media hype in recent days about a possible shock win for UKIP – or at least a desperately close result.

In fact – and no surprise to us at H&D – Labour held the seat fairly easily, though on a reduced turnout of 40.3% (down from 59.6% at the general election in May).

The full result was as follows:

Lab           17,322  (62.3%; +7.5)
UKIP          6,487  (23.3%; +2.7)
Con             2,596   (9.3%; -9.7)
LibDem      1,024   (3.7%; nc)
Green             249    (0.9%; -1.0)
Loony             141     (0.5%; +0.5)

On slightly different boundaries in 2001, the BNP polled 6,552 votes here – 65 more than UKIP managed in this by-election. (If anything the boundary changes should have made things better for UKIP by bringing in Hollinwood, once a strong BNP ward.)

So despite the collapse in the Tory vote, the absence of other nationalist contenders, the disgracefully poor conduct of Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the terrorist atrocity in Paris having taken place at the start of the by-election campaign – despite all this, UKIP’s performance was appreciably worse than at the previous north-west by-election in Heywood & Middleton.

Instead of a close contest, there was actually a swing to Labour!

Perhaps the crisis of morale and bitter personal divisions at UKIP’s national headquarters infected the campaign; perhaps the party paid the price for not being able to find a credible local candidate. That credibility was not enhanced by UKIP’s typical whingeing after the result about alleged postal vote fraud.

One problem in Oldham is of course the disproportionately high turnout of Asian voters, who now vote again as a block for Labour having abandoned their flirtation with the Lib Dems a few years ago. In 2001 and 2002 there was serious electoral fraud within the Asian community during campaigns against the BNP.  Despite Farageiste whingeing, we understand there is no evidence of such large scale fraud today.

More seriously there is a systemic problem for UKIP of failing to maximise their potential vote in white working class areas, especially in the north of England.  Quite frankly many UKIP “activists” are out of their comfort zone when they have to leave the golf course or the Rotary Club and venture onto council estates.

It doesn’t help that UKIP have a blanket ban on ex-BNP members, many of whom have considerable experience of campaigning in places like Oldham.

The party has a fundamental identity problem.  Even in this week’s vote over Syria, this was manifested in the sole UKIP MP Douglas Carswell (perhaps the most pro-Israel MP in Parliament) voting in favour of bombing, while his party leader Nigel Farage said he was against.

On the ground in Oldham the party failed to shed its image of neo-Thatcherism, and some voters who once backed the BNP here might have seen through the hype and recognised that despite its talk about immigration, UKIP’s liberal market ideology is “colour blind” and likely to lead to further entrenchment of the multicultural chaos that has caused such turmoil in Oldham.

We always knew that UKIP – whatever benefits it brought in driving an electoral wedge into the Labour and Tory parties – would have a limited shelf life. This by-election result in Oldham suggests that nationalists should be preparing already for an imminent post-UKIP era.

State of the Movement 2011

Nick Griffin struggling to think up excuses as he contemplates election disaster in May 2011.

Nick Griffin struggling to think up excuses as he contemplates election disaster in May 2011.

An extensive analysis of the state of the nationalist movement following the May 2011 elections has been published online and will be covered in a forthcoming issue of Heritage and Destiny magazine.

This article by Heritage and Destiny assistant editor Peter Rushton uncovers the extent of the crisis that has now derailed the British National Party as a serious electoral force.  BNP councillors and candidates across the country have now paid the price for years of incompetence, corruption and authoritarian factionalism by their party chairman Nick Griffin.

Click here to read the full article.

Mr Rushton concludes:

A new nationalist coalition will need to adopt the following as absolute essentials, the sine qua non for nationalist success and the very opposite of the Griffin approach.

  • Nationalist parties must prioritise training and support for councillors.
  • Nationalist parties must demand the highest standards of behaviour from party officials and candidates for public office.
  • Nationalist parties must harness the talents of the best available individuals in our ranks.  The cult of the leader is far less important than the need to build a successful leadership team.

Richard Edmonds has pointed the way forward.  It is for other leading nationalists inside and outside the ranks of the BNP to decide how they can best contribute towards the rescue of the movement.  I strongly suspect that the BNP is holed below the waterline, and that either constitutional finagling or financial collapse will intervene to prevent Richard Edmonds and his team from completing their rescue operation.

If I am right, then senior figures in the BNP should right now be preparing clear statements that they are prepared to stand alongside Richard Edmonds and his team, either in a rescued and rebuilt BNP (which I regard as an almost impossible proposition) or in a new post-Griffin coalition.  The need for such a clear statement is urgent.  If nationalism continues to drift through the summer, there might be little left to rescue of the party that elected two Euro MPs in 2009.

State of the Movement 2011 is online here.

Oldham election disaster

oldham-MapleMill
 
The numbers tell their own unspinnable story. On January 13th 2011 the British National Party candidate Derek Adams lost his deposit at the Oldham East & Saddleworth parliamentary by-election, the first such contest since last May’s general election. The BNP polled just 1,560 votes (4.5%), despite stories about Asian paedophile rape gangs making local and national newspaper headlines during the week of the by-election. Ten years ago in the same constituency (then with slightly less favourable boundaries) the party’s then Oldham organiser Mick Treacy polled 5,091 votes (11.2%). In just two of the constituency’s nine wards (St James’s and Alexandra) the BNP in 2002 amassed 1,717 votes – more than they managed in the entire constituency this year.
 
click here for the full story

Race-hate fears over new protest group

OLDHAM EVENING CHRONICLE, 22Sep09: A group branded as far-right fascists has formed in Oldham sparking fears of a return to racial clashes.

The branch of the English Defence League — recently involved in violent disorder in Birmingham — has been set up by a football hooligan involved in the 2001 Oldham race riots, and already has 50 members.

Equality campaigners fear their emergence could harm the good work done to create community cohesion and have vowed to work even harder to ease tensions.

Read full article [external link]

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