Here in Croydon in 2015, it is still not what you know, but who you know that counts.
What other conclusion can any reasonable person reach from discovering that Chris Philp, Croydon South’s new MP, has nominated the Royal Tandoori in Selsdon for a “prestigious” national award, the Tiffin Cup?
Goodness knows, there’s enough curry houses in Croydon to choose from, as MPs were asked to nominate one each from their constituencies for this vacuous publicity stunt.
Somehow, Tory MP Philp managed to plump for a restaurant that just so happens to be owned by a Conservative councillor who has been a generous contributor to local party funds.
The part of Councillor Badsha Quadir – the owner of Philp’s favouritist curry house in the whole of Croydon South – in this charade was somehow left unmentioned when the local rag, the Sadvertiser, gushed up the contents of a press release, accompanied by suitably jolly publicity pic.
It is nearly five years since we reported on Quadir’s generosity to the Croydon Conservatives, after he’d donated nearly £12,000 to local party funds in a four-year period, as well as regularly hosting fund-raisers for the party.
Such generosity was soon followed by the local businessman being “selected” for the safe Tory council seat of Purley at the 2010 Town Hall elections.
And soon after, the then Tory-run council made a £15,000 grant out of public funds to the Bangladeshi Welfare Association, of which the president at the time was… Badsha Quadir.
Fast forward to 2015, and we now find that the new Tory MP for the area is promoting Councillor Quadir’s curry restaurant as being better than every other Indian restaurant in the whole of his constituency.
It looks like political patronage is alive and well in Croydon in 2015. Maybe there are other meaningless and empty “awards” coming up where political favours are returned?
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