For decades Labour's approach to community politics has been to use public money to further their political strangle hold on minority communities. Instead of each according to need it is to each according to how many votes can be delivered to the ballot box.
Tony Page said as much when awarding RCRE money last year when he urged a charity to illegally ask its members to vote Labour and directly linked it to the handing out of council cash. It is on public record. It is never about value for money or what is best for Reading. It has always been about what has been best for Reading Labour Party.
Their latest wheeze is to interfere in the Green Road mosque to put their placemen back in control of local Asian politics. It's probably too complex to broach in a single blog post, but the evidence is overwhelming... if only the Asian community wasn't too scared to speak out publically about it.
The whole range of issues related to the Green Road mosque and the internal conflict between the Alexandra Road and South Street mosques is impossible to simplify, but if you think Martin McGuinness shaking hands with the Queen was an awkward moment for both, then that is nothing on internal Asian community politics in Reading. We're talking Ian Paisley giving The Pope a peck on the cheek territory. It's time to recognise that they are irreconcilable and that for the council to conclude a commercial deal is in the best interests of community relations and council tax payer.
But to condense a complex matter into a more succinct scenario, the question that people should be asking is why does a municipal authority demand to have a politically appointed trustee on a mosque board? Why indeed! The answer to that is at the very heart of the matter.
Quite simply, the continued interference of the Reading Labour Party using council cash in local Asian politics is a disgrace and many of the local Asian community are appalled by this but are too scared to make a stand against certain elders who are in Labour's pocket.
The bottom line is that a borough council should not be directly involved in religion or its organisations and Labour has compromised the impartiality of officers by abusing council finance for political gain.
The Green Road mosque has planning permission. It doesn't need a complex trust arrangement. My concerns about traffic and parking were taken on board and from a planning point of view I was happy that the location was sutainable and that a green travel plan was going to work. There is no reason why a fully commercial transaction could not be done and the mosque built. If that involves just the Alexandra Road mosque moving, then so be it. There is a clear wider community gain from that happening.
There should be no political interference in a religious organisation by the council. either a deal is good for residents or it isn't. The Green Road mosque forago stinks and Labour's behaviour is harming community relations both from the internal divisions it is creating within the Asian community and anger at a perception of preferential treatment from without.
Get politics out of religion. And get council back handers out of Reading politics.