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Ebanks goes at last - but costs taxpayers a cool £100,000 plus

Tom | 28.07.2006 00:32 | Anti-racism | Repression | Social Struggles | Birmingham

Senior High Court judges have finally got around to confirming that Sharon Ebanks was elected as the first British National Party councillor on Birmingham City Council by mistake, and ordered her replacement by the real winner of the vote in May, Labour's Catherine Grundy.

(Great article. Look at the comments too.)

The decision, which has long been regarded as a foregone conclusion by people who actually took the time to read the explanation provided by the council's Interim Head of Paid Service, Stephen Hughes (which we reprinted here ), has prompted the BNP's West Midlands organiser, Simon Darby, to declare his 'suspicions' about the overturned result and a claim that Ebanks would, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, be back - though probably not quite so dramatically.

The result of the recount confirmed what Stephen Hughes had already told us - that there had been a miscount on the night and that some of the BNP's votes had been counted twice. The recount, overseen by senior High Court judges, showed that Labour's Ms Grundy won with 1811, while the BNP's Ebanks was second with 1327. Labour's Zoe Hopkins came top of the vote with 1881. Conservative candidate, Mick Hawker, gained 1130 votes.

Sir Albert Bore, the Labour group's leader in Birmingham, said: 'This was the news we were hoping for and expecting. It was clear from the very start that the voters of Kingstanding had voted for two Labour councillors. The judgment simply put things back to the way they should always have been. I know that Catherine will make an excellent councillor for Kingstanding and I look forward to working with her in the Labour group.'

Ms Grundy said: 'I am delighted to have been elected as one of the Labour councillors for Kingstanding. I know that the big issues for the people who I represent are fighting crime and anti-social behaviour, improving local housing and housing repairs, transportation, training and getting people into jobs.'

Although the circumstances regarding the miscount were clear and the council admitted its mistake straight away, Ebanks refused to do the decent thing and stand down. Instead, she chose to pontificate about the extravagance within the local authority, even complaining about the traditional formal dinner held by the council to introduce new councillors to each other, claiming that it was a waste of taxpayers' money . Curious then, that she should throw away around £100,000 of council taxpayers' money on a court case that could only ever go one way and that she knew she would lose. Perhaps she'll pay the councillor's allowance for her short time in office back to the council to offset the amount she's cost them. We reckon it's about £3750 - nowhere near enough but the gesture would no doubt be appreciated by the taxpayer that Ebanks cares about so much.

Fat chance.

In reality, of course, the taxpayer will only pay some of the £100,000 because insurance will cover an element of the costs (something we'd be willing to bet Ebanks neither knew nor cared about), but precisely how much will be borne by the taxpayer is difficult to ascertain at this stage and, even if the insurance was to cover a large proportion of it, there will still be something to pay - not to mention the cost of the time spent by council solicitors, barristers and council officers. Estimates vary but even with the insurance cover, the final cost to the council seems likely to be enormous.

Not that anyone cares, but the BNP also got a £5000 slap on the wrist from the High Court last week too, when a judge effectively fined the party by forcing it to pay the costs after demanding an unnecessary hearing at which it alleged corruption in the voting process - an unfounded and frivolous allegation that the BNP seems to like to throw around whenever things don't go its way. One wonders what its ever-decreasing financial donors think of that ill-judged allegation. In fact, this whole fiasco looks like costing the BNP around £10-15,000, a lot of money for a small party that's already in substantial debt. Perhaps the morally-bankrupt BNP is about to become financially-bankrupt too. We live in hope.

One curious anomaly has emerged from all this. Ebanks has repeatedly claimed that she could find nowhere to hold surgeries, attacking (unnamed) venues that had refused her space. Yet she now claims to have been holding regular surgeries in the ward. No doubt this is just a poor attempt to try to fool the voters into thinking she's been a good ersatz councillor in the couple of months she's nearly been in office, in the hope that a few judicious lies here and there will help her chances in the next local elections.

We sincerely hope that her opposition during the next local election continually and loudly bring up the little matter of the £100,000 that Ebanks and the BNP threw away. It should be a salutary reminder that the BNP cares nothing for the voters despite the lies and bullshit they spout during every election campaign. Ms Grundy however, has been holding surgeries in the ward and also attending meetings despite not being a fully-fledged councillor - showing rather more commitment than Ebanks who, you might recall, sat through the entire first meeting of the council without saying a thing, except for answering her many mobile phones .

Our congratulations to Councillor Catherine Grundy on her belated election.

As an interesting aside, we've found a few choice quotes from Ebanks, made under the name 'Odin's Eye' on the Stormfront nazi forum.

Whither the BNP?
'The point of our existence is to save the White British race, the BNP are the only ones capable of doing so, unless of course the nationalist opposition all get brain transplants. Pigs might fly, preferably over a mosque'

On the 2004 local elections
'I intend to take photos this year of my polling station, complete with paki candidates hassling the electorate.'

On birth control
'And then the Jewish bastards gave us the pill, and abortion...'

On Islam and crime
'Islam, the convicts choice.'

On Islam
'Muslims are filthy disgusting animals that should be cleansed from the face of the earth.'

On Steven Spielberg
'He is a good director when kept away from all things oven.'

On the England football team
'...lets face it, these blacks can earn millions and they dont even have a brain cell between them. Same goes for crap artists, they spout aload of monkey noises down the mic and hey presto they're living in a mansion and teaching White kids to do drugs, shoot guns and treat White women like whores.'

And on watching football rather than distributing BNP leaflets
'Neglecting your country in favour of a freakin shirt that changes each season to give more and more negros, more dosh. Do you ever stop to think about the amount of money you put into foreigners pockets every time you go to a match?'

On rap music
'Rap is a jewish plot to put negros in the high earning bracket, and to actually make them feel like they make some kind of artistic difference to peoples lives. They may gain more credibility if the jew wasn't pulling their strings, but yet again, someone else, even the jew has to give them a foot up. Send em back to the jungle where they belong.'

On Solihull
'We all have our smart areas, but the rest of Solihull is a paki infested dump.'

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