Ahmed Khan said:
"Comparing us to the Labour party is a nonsense. We're not a party, and any attempts to make us into one are swiftly quashed."Nonsense eh? We'll ignore the number of old Labour bodies in the Alliance, but the term "swiftly quashed" sounds oddly like a whip.
Jane Branley said:
"Everyone's got to find an excuse to leave a political party, and it seems that Coun Defty has found his."What? Khan just said you're not a party! Someone's out of the loop here.
To add to the confusion, the Gazette has referred to the Alliance as a party several times, even giving their 'party leader' Jane Branley the opportunity to voice her party's position before the last election in an on-line video broadcast. In her on-line pre-election address, she said that she was:
"leader of the largest minority party which are the independents on South Tyneside Council"Uh-oh, there goes the P-word again. But hold on, the Alliance website says in big red letters:
"The Independent Alliance is NOT AN ALTERNATIVE POLITICAL PARTY"So there we have it. They are a political party, and they're not a political party. I hope that's cleared things up.
The Alliance piously made a lot of capital out of the peculiarities of last year's Beacon and Bents voting, so it seems a tad hypocritical that they don't apply the same rigorous electoral expectations to themselves.
As Curly pointed out, to all intents and purposes the Alliance is a party. Why don't they stop hiding behind ambiguous electoral rules and do the right thing and register as one?