One of the Asian British, Mr Kataria gentleman with 43 Years of politics experience has to share some fact on Brexit.
This is his first artical written by him and it reflects his four decade long experience which guides him to vote for Brexit.
Mr Kataria says, I joined the Labour Party in 1973, first in Leicester and then in Ilford to which I moved in 1977. I rapidly rose through the Party and by 1980 was a candidate in a safe ward. In 1982 I was elected a Councillor in London Borough of Redbridge, one of two first Asian councillors in that Borough.
At that time, we had democracy in local government in Britain. Although the Borough had a huge Tory majority, and their wishes always won the day, there was one instance where I saw REAL democracy. There was a proposal to sell of a small park to a developer by the Tory majority. But many Tory councillors were opposed to it and they voted with Labour Party to overturn their Party’s proposal. Democracy won the day because each councillor had a vote and a say in the Council’s policies.
In 1986, I was elected a Councillor in the London Borough of Brent. Here the Labour Party had a huge majority and its will became the policy of the council. However, there were two instances in which the Labour Party’s proposals were defeated. In 1988, when I was Vice Chair of Finance and Management Committee, the Council proposed to close down a number of libraries, one of which was the Neasden library. The Tories propose to delete this item from the list and a number of Labour councillors voted with the Tories to overturn the Labour Party’s proposals. This was democracy in action. Each councillor had a vote and a say in the Council. DEMOCRACY IN ACTION. I lost the 1990 election and was not a councillor until 2010.
When I was elected as a councillor for a third time in 2010, to my utter shock and horror, there was no democracy in local Government in Britain. Councillors had no say. All decisions were taken by a Cabinet comprising nine councillors. The other 54 councillors had no say; we were mere OBSERVERS. There was nothing we could do if we disagreed with the policy. In reality, it was not even the Cabinet which took decisions. These had been taken in advance by the Leader, respective Cabinet Member and the relevant Director. Now the Labour Party has brought a further change. The Leader actually appoints his Cabinet. How can Cabinet members vote against a policy when they were appointed by the Leader? The Cabinet merely rubber stamps the decisions made earlier.
At this stage let us remind ourselves what is the definition of democracy. It is, according to the Dictionary, “government by the people through a majority of elected representatives of the people.” So if the voter of Brent had elected 63 councillors, surely that should have needed the votes of 32 councillors for any policy to go through?
But that was a system for many generations until the Labour Government of Tony Blair passed the Local Government 2004. This Act allowed Councils to bring in the authoritarian system of government in local authorities in Britain.
So the question then arises: if we do not have democracy in local authorities, what sort of system do we have in Britain? Here again the dictionary is useful. According to the dictionary “Authoritarianism is the system of government in which a minority takes decisions and in which the majority are excluded from the decision making process.” This precisely is the structure of local authorities in Britain.
So some in Britain, who are fond of lecturing third world countries about democracy, do not realise that we do not have democracy in our own local government. All local authorities in Britain have AUTHORITARIAN STRUCTURE.
Another instance will SHOCK many of you. In 2011, I was made a Chairman of Licencing Committee, which hears applications for gambling outlets, pubs, clubs and similar establishments. Before I could take my duties I was sent on a training course. In this I was told that the Guidance from Gambling Commission is mandatory upon local authorities. According to this Guidance, we were not allowed to question whether there was a need for additional gambling outlet!!
So when an application came for a gambling shop in Sudbury, which is a suburb of Wembley, we could not question the necessity for an additional outlet. There were already three outlets and my committee had to give permission for a fourth one, which the locality did not need. But we were powerless to stop it.
And who denied the local authorities the democratic right to limit the number of gambling outlets? It was Tony Blair’s Government which, through the Gambling Act 2005, brought about these changes. We could not question the Guidance from the Gambling Commission, which is mandatory upon local government.
Tony Blair’s government had sold out the interests of the common people by passing the Gambling Act 2005. The gambling industry has now become extremely rich indeed. Last year, the gambling companies made a profit of EIGHTEEN BILLION POUNDS. And where has this money come from? It has come from the ordinary working people of this country.
I was so disgusted by the abolition of democracy in local government and the selling out to the Gambling industry, and widespread bullying and thuggery within the Labour Party, that in December 2013, I left the Labour Party (to which I had belonged for over 40 years) and joined the Liberal Democrats.
Many people asked me how I could take such a “stupid” act, leaving a safe Labour ward and forsaking the monthly allowances of around a thousand pounds. I NEVER went into politics for ego reasons and as for losing allowances, I could not be bothered.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ANY NATION IS TO HAVE POLITICIANS WHO ARE ELECTED BY US, ARE ACCOUTABLE TO US FOR THEIR ACTIONS, AND WHO WE CAN THROW OUT WHEN WE WANT TO.
Nothing in the European Union indicates that it is a democratic structure. Our MEPs cannot initiate or change legislation. The European Parliament is a talking shop. The FIVE PRESIDENTS of EU have not been elected by us, are not answerable and cannot be voted out. The EU bureaucrats are a self -serving elite, highly paid. For many years the EU auditors have refused to sign off the EU accounts. Billions of pounds are wasted every year.
Moreover the EU denies us the rights which a sovereign country ought to have. Our government cannot restrict immigration, cannot stop criminals from coming to this country, cannot deport those who have served their jail sentences. Moreover laws which our Parliament passes can be struck down by the European Court of Justice. The first Act which the Scottish Parliament passed with SNP majority was ruled “illegal” by the European Court of Justice.
We do not need such interfering busybodies in our national life. My earnest recommendation to you all, from the bottom of my heart, is to VOTE FOR BREXIT in tomorrow’s Referendum. We will not get another opportunity for generations. THIS IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY.