Contempt for the democratic vote


Guilty until proven innocent that was the finding by the London Labour Party after a 7-hour hearing into whether or not Adeline Aina was a suitable candidate for the local Lambeth Labour party.

Lambeth leader Lib Peck, Steve Reed MP, Cllr Peter Robbins and few tag along stooges finally got their way that saw Adeline booted off Labour’s list to stand as a local representative in May.

The letter sent to Adeline explaining that their decision was final, outlined that in regards to the housing Association she is associated with, and despite the volumes of evidence her lawyers provide the panel, ‘there were -they argued- too many unanswered questions…and that the political opposition would seize upon the situation ’.

The Labour party is therefore saying that unfounded allegations fiercely contested are enough to have you removed. And let’s not forget who’s making the allegations? The very people who have sought to remove her. The Lambeth Labour leadership.

I’ve been involved in activism and politics for more than twenty years and in all those years I’ve rarely seen such a systematic dirty tricks campaign against someone as powerless as Adeline Aina. She has been vilified, ostracised and driven out as if she was a hardened criminal hell bent on causing Lambeth residents great harm.

But it is Peck, Reed and Robbins and who have done the people of Lambeth a great disservice. The first rule of democracy is to respect the will of a fair vote, particularly when you lose. And Robbins lost fair and square.

Thereafter this group has not only showed contempt for the democratic vote but also for Black and white people in the Borough who believed Aina would bring another grass roots voice to the council, which is sorely needed.

If any of you had any doubt about the powerful vitriol and invested interest that forced Adeline out, you need look no further than the some of the comments made by the former Leader and now Corydon MP Steve Reed in his bid to stop her standing.

His comments speak volumes about the long standing bile and hatred he holds toward Adeline and how hell bent he and others have been on crushing her and paving the way for Cllr Robbins to keep his position.

In his statement to panel urging them to remove Adeline, he dredges up contested issue that occurred more than 15 years ago. No crime was committed and she informed me that she would have fiercely contested the allegations but was battling with cancer. Linking the events that occurred many years with the allegations surrounding the Housing Association today, he almost suggests that the allegations must be true, arguing:

“I was unsurprised, though still taken aback by the serious allegations”, made against the Housing group. He also reminds the panel that before joining the Labour party Adeline was in Liberal Democrat party, together, he suggests Adeline is an ‘unsuitable candidate’ and must be removed.

Reed’s views are in sharp contrast with those ordinary people in Lambeth who argue that she is a force for good in the community. People such as Cynthia Reed, a disabled woman who told me that if it wasn’t for Adeline who challenged authorities on her behalf, her life would be miserable.

I hope the good people of Lambeth must not give up and not allow politically bully boys -and girls- to undermine local democracy; it’s too important.

As for Adeline, she’ll fight to clear her name and reputation.

Simon Woolley