Break over, let’s get busy shall we? It’s been very quiet around Wapping Mole HQ for some time now. Too quiet.
One reason it has been quiet is the continued problems we have been having with malware attacks on our web server. Mole has spent so much time trying to get www.lovewapping.org to work properly that he has been fully occupied.
That’s a bit of a fib to be honest. Mole and friends have been so busy finding out about stuff that publishing stories had to be put to one side.
Because Moley has been digging away like a crazy mole researching the reality of the Poplar Papers and has found mountains and mountains of stuff. None of that making mountains out of mole hills for Moley when there are mountains all over the place. More time for tea!

You just have to know what type of mountains you are looking for and where to look. Hint: not in the foothills.
With the help of numerous people across the borough Mole now has a reasonable grip on what has been going on inside Tower Hamlets Town Hall since the departure of Lutfur Rahman.
Lutfur Rahman is not the subject of this or subsequent Poplar Papers posts although he will get lots of mentions.
Reality is that Lutfur just got caught. The gravy train he was riding has been running for many years and is still trundling along as you read this.
And to be honest what Mole has found in the last couple of months makes the activities of Lutfur and chums look like amateur hour.
Lutfur was never charged with any criminal offence. Neither was anyone else – ever. Which all ordinary people living in Tower Hamlets found to be mighty odd indeed. Sure he was found guilty as a result of the Electoral Petition but that was not a criminal court. The standard of evidence needed was at the same level as required by a criminal court but Lutfur Rahman has never been found guilty of a crime.

The return of the Election Court master

Francis Hoar – he is the man!

Mole nearly fell of his seat last summer when he received an email from the one and only Francis Hoar telling Mole that there was a case being heard at the Employment Tribunal where Francis would be representing someone called Mark Edmunds in a case brought by this Edmunds geezer against the London Borough of Tower Hamlets alleging unfair dismissal.
Last time Mole has seen Francis was at the judgement against Lutfur Rahman – he was the barrister who successfully represented the four electoral petitioners.
So what was he doing fiddling around with some employment law case?
Quite simple. Mark Edmunds was a forensic investigator who had been hired by Tower Hamlets Council to investigate allegations of corruption.
What could possibly go wrong?
Pretty much everything – because this is Tower Hamlets. And who best to represent someone struggling in the mire of Tower Hamlets corruption? Francis Hoar.
We still await the judgement in the case of Edmunds v Tower Hamlets Council, seems it might be handed down sometime before 17th / 18th March. Which is soon.
Weird thing is that Mark Edmunds starts to investigate corruption, does a brilliant job and finds all sorts of stuff – then gets shut down by the very people who told him to do his job.
Huh?
Mark was only just getting started it seems. His initial investigations were into Youth Services which have been the subject of many stories on LW over the years. He found all sorts of weird stuff there. Super weird.

Mayor John Biggs. Photo credit: Vickie Flores/LNP

Which seems to be why he was stopped from doing his job. As the super weird stuff was happening under the Labour administration of Mayor John Biggs. Mr Clean. The man who promised to clean up the borough after Lutfur had made it dirty and nasty and was elected on that basis.
Which does not make any sense at all  – does it?
We published the witness statement of Mark Edmunds here so that you could all read it and named the whole kerfuffle ‘The Poplar Papers’ because, er, we liked it and there is no reference to Panama anywhere. Sad that.
The Poplar Papers is an incredibly complex story which will take many weeks to tell. Probably 20-30 stories we think. Maybe more.

Your right to know

LW has no doubt that some will try and prevent Moley from publishing what he has found but we will not be stopped. The whole of LW Editorial Team slept rough in a Wapping park for a year so we could continue working on this issue. They are nothing if not determined. Or just plain stupid.
Tower Hamlets residents and the country as a whole has the right to know what has been happening and we will publish on that basis.
Mr. Edmund’s witness statement contains some amazing allegations – none of which have yet been proved. Because the really weird thing about the events of recent years has been that not one single person has ever been charged with any criminal offence.
Not one.

Tower Hamlets Council CEO Will Tuckley

Therefore it is reasonable to assume that because nobody has been nicked for breaking the law then the law was not broken, innit?
Reasonable to assume but completely wrong. Up is down. Black is white. Left is right and right is left. The good are bad and the bad are virtuous.
A key date in the stories we will tell over the next few weeks and months is 17 March 2017 when Tower Hamlets Council CEO Will Tuckley wrote to all Council workers informing them that all powers would be returned to the Local Authority on 1 April 2017 and that this decision was a ‘resounding vote of confidence…in the way the Council is run’.
17th March 2017. Remember that date.
More in the next day or two as it seems that the latest investigation by the Council into its Youth Service has run its course. But they forgot to tell anyone.
Oops!