Thursday 6 April 2017

This Shameful and Shameless Political Hit Job

Organised by the great man, Adam Young, this has failed to make it into the Northern Echo. Nevertheless, here it is:

Dear Sir,

On Tuesday 14th March, despite having been given no opportunity to accompany the Police voluntarily, the Lanchester-based writer and activist, David Lindsay, was arrested on the “grounds” of supposed similarities between his letter published in the Northern Echo on Friday 10th March, and a threatening letter allegedly sent to Labour members of Durham County Council. When questioned by the Police, he comprehensively refuted the suggestion of any such similarity. He was released without charge and on unconditional bail [which would not have been imposed at all in a less corrupt part of the country, which is to say, in any other part of the country]. 

This shameful and shameless political hit job recalls the darkest days of Northern Ireland or the American Deep South, with no dividing line between the Police, a massively dominant local political party, and a secret society bound by oaths. It is impossible to rule out an anti-Catholic aspect to this case, and impossible to ignore the fact that David Lindsay is mixed-race. 

We are delighted that David Lindsay is indeed a candidate for Durham County Council on 4th May. He secured the support for the Teaching Assistants of several national trade union leaders, of Jeremy Corbyn, and of George Galloway. He is also a powerful critic of the closure of the DLI Museum, of the amassing of vast reserves while services have been and are being cut, of the bailing out of Durham County Cricket Club despite those cuts, of the mismanagement of relations with the Regional Assembly, of the selling off of care homes at discounted value, of the scandal of Windlestone Hall, of the circumstances that necessitated the award of enormous compensation to a teacher, of the substantial additional cost of the failure to pay that compensation promptly, and of the lavish expense of entertainment by senior Councillors and Officers.

And he is the originator of the proposal that unites the trade unions with Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Independents, to bring the whole of the Volkswagen Group’s production for the British market to County Durham after Brexit. Racist, sectarian and partisan hit jobs must not be permitted to prevent his election as a County Councillor. If David Lindsay were indeed to be made to answer bail on 31st May, then we call on the Teaching Assistants, the Durham Miners’ Association, Durham Unite Community, and all their supporters from around the country and beyond, to march behind him from the Miners’ Hall to Durham Police Station, and then to march back again for a rally. We ourselves would certainly do so.

Yours faithfully,
James Draper
John Mooney

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