Yesterday the multimillionaire businessman called on Labour Party MPs to set up a new centrist party or defect to the Liberal democrats. He told The Times “I will do anything I can if I am convinced they can form a strong opposition,” adding that he will no longer donate money to a Labour Party led by “Comrade Corbyn.”
Though he has donated money to the Labour Party in the past he told the Telegraph in March that “people think I donate to the Labour Party because I like Labour policy. That’s not the reason at all. I would like to start the process of reducing the Labour Party’s reliance on trade union money.”
Throughout 2014 and 2015 Mr Allam donated a total of £40,000 to the Conservative Party through his company Allem House Limited according to the Electoral Commission. In the same Telegraph article he said that the Conservatives “are the best party in Europe in managing the economy. I like David Cameron and have met him twice” before telling Ed Miliband that he should “take lessons from Margaret Thatcher in confronting the unions.”
In spite of regular shift patterns at the KC Stadium, which is managed by Assem Allam, the catering and bar staff are hired on zero hour contracts. They receive phonecalls to offer them work during matches and other events. This explains his hostility to Ed Miliband and the trade unions who campaigned in the last general election to end exploitative zero hour contracts and give people proper jobs.
In the 19th century workers used to gather at the dock gates and wait for the foreman to offer them a few hours work, many would get no work at all and go home hungry and without pay. It was these casual, unskilled and poorly paid workers that formed the new unions, such as the National Union of Dock Labourers, which would go on to form the Labour Party to represent the interests of workers in parliament.
Mr Allam wanted us to return to the 19th century when people had few rights at work and no political representation, but he has failed. Now he is spitting his dummy out, just as he did in 2014, when he threatened to stop investing in Hull City AFC because fans and supporters of the club opposed his attempt to rebrand it as Hull Tigers and the FA rejected his appeal. Undeterred he has reapplied to change the name again this year, a decision rejected by the Official Supporters Club.
Walk around Hull and you will see posters in windows and banners hanging from bridges with the words “Allam Out” written on them. My advice to Labour MPs tempted by Mr Allam’s offer would be to take a lesson from Hull City supporters – not Margaret Thatcher – and tell Assem Allam to fuck off.
Patrick Smith is the Secretary of Hull North Labour Party. You can follow him on Twitter @PatSmithLabour
Image credit: photo montage by Fadge magnet