Organised by a group of people from different political parties, or with no political affiliation, who were worried by Brett Aggregates plans to massively expand their concrete manufacturing operations at the port of Ramsgate; the hugely successful public meeting last Thursday was understood by virtually everyone to be non-party political. This message was re-enforced at the beginning of the meeting by the Chair (see video clip below. But sadly some members of the Thanet Labour Party crudely abused the non-partisan nature of meeting by distributing Labour Party leaflets in the Oddfellows Hall.
Chief amongst the distributers were Thanet Councillor Karen Constantine and Raushan Rahman, who by a strange co-incidence are both also Labour Party candidates in the 2017 Kent County Council (KCC) elections. In an ill-disguised attempt at KCC electioneering the leaflet included many mentions of, and quotes from, the 2 aspiring county councillors,Constantine and Rahman.
Irecognised in the packed 200 plus audience people I know to be members of the Conservative, Green and Lib-Dem parties and members of UKIP also. Not one of them attempted to distribute party literature because they knew and respected the non-party nature of what was a community meeting. Sitting near the front of the meeting was Ramsgate Labour Councillor, Peter Campbell who appeared to me to be distinctly uncomfortable with the antics of his comrades Constantine and Rahman and who noticeably didn’t lend hand in the leaflet distribution. It was utterly disrespectful and abusive of the meeting for Constantine and Rahman to have circulated their leaflets. Had I been the chair I would have asked them to desist or leave.
As a lifelong socialist who has handed out thousands of leaflets in my time, I was taught that the proper and respectful way to distribute party literature at public meeting was to stand outside and hand leaflets to people has they entered or left the hall. But clearly Thanet Labour’s wannabe KCC councillors Constantine and Rahman don’t give a damn about the sensitivities and etiquette of public meetings. Nor do they let the clearly expressed wishes of the meeting organisers and chair, hamper their shameless self-promotion. I trust we don’t get a repeat of this unacceptable behaviour at the next meeting on 1 December and hope that Constantine and Rahman’s political bosses give them a good bollocking!
For the record I am not the only person to have commented about Labour’s disgraceful politicking. Several members of the audience said to me it wasn’t right, including one person who thought I was a Labour Party official!!!