Lutfur Rahman Fan Club holds its first (secret) meeting

As revealed in the Enquirer on Monday the Tower Hamlets Labour Party ‘group’ aka the Lutfur Rahman Fan Club met in secret on Monday evening and did exactly what Mayor Biggs told them to do.

The meeting was all about how Mayor Biggs can remain Mayor Biggs for as long as he can. Or how that might well end up with Lutfur Rahman becomes our Directly elected Mayor once again.

Job share. Has to happen. You OK with that? Cool.

40 Tower Hamlets Labour councillors meekly fell into line with the wishes of Mayor John Biggs to only give residents a choice of a Directly elected Mayor or a Leader and Cabinet model of governance, although we hear one councillor did have the guts to oppose the decision. Well done whoever you are.

Not only is this decision favoured by Tower Hamlets Labour Party but also Tower Hamlets First / Aspire / Whoever Is A Fan Of Lutfur Rahman This Week Party as they see it as the best way to get their snouts back in the corruption trough at the Town Hall.

As we have said before Tower Hamlets Labour Party and Tower Hamlets First / Aspire / Lutfur Rahman are just two sides of the same coin, allegiances shifting between the two depending on how individuals can most benefit.

Power is the key.

Lutfur Rahman Fan Club

Proof of this is the failure of both Tower Hamlets Labour Party and the Tower Hamlets First / Aspire / Lutfur Fan Club to respond to an invitation to a public online debate via Zoom scheduled for this Friday organised by Cllr. Andrew Wood.

The debate Chair would have been Dave Hill who runs the OnLondon site and would have been ideal for the job.

But the last thing that Tower Hamlets Labour Party / Tower Hamlets First / Aspire / Lutfur Fan Club want is an open debate about a massively important decision which might have led to borough residents (you) having a choice.

A choice provided by this organised by those councillors who think residents should be consulted.

Which we urge you to sign if you want to see the democratic process return to Tower Hamlets.

Excellent service as ever

As ever Cllr Andrew Wood (an Independent Councillor who remains in the Conservative group) provided us all with an excellent service by tweeting the thread below on Twitter which sums up the whole sorry mess which will undoubtedly get much worse as our poorest residents get poorer.

Andrew Wood Twitter thread

Tower Hamlets often fills me with despair never more so then now
In a secret meeting Labour Cllrs vote to have a referendum next May between 2 choices:
Leader and Cabinet – rejected 10 years ago 60:40%
Directly elected Mayor
But clear that fear of Lutfur Rahman return has

pushed Labour to try and get rid of the directly elected Mayor
So next years referendum will be a fight between Lutfur Rahman supporters in favour of the elected Mayor & Labour to get rid of it
Those of us who want better governance will get squeezed out because other options

available were ignored namely;
Committee system – which Newham Labour Cllrs recently chose as their referendum option
Hybrid systems
It is not even clear which form of Leader and Cabinet model will be on offer – leader elected for 4 years or every year?
TH Labour are repeating

the same mistakes that the government are making over Brexit, short term party political considerations and secrecy trump a clear sighted analysis assisted by independent experts to weigh up all of the different options, with a campaign of education & public debate in advance

I am not saying that Committee system is perfect, none of the options are or even that this is the wrong referendum choice but how this decision was made was deeply flawed
A rushed decision, made without any policy papers I suspect, in secret, no public debate, no education

But you do have to wonder why Newham Cllrs after a much better process of public engagement chose a different referendum choice
Committee v directly elected Mayor
I should also say Hybrid system also has a lot of positives where you have a single leader but not all powerful

I assume John Biggs will stand as a Cllr in May 2022 & then become leader
So in effect little practical change except that Labour Cllrs will decide who the leader is and not voters
The flaws are still the same, one person in charge of everything with the power of patronage

What happened in Enfield show that in some respects that the Leader and Cabinet model can be less democratic & less honest then the directly elected Mayor model
So Labour should also worry about the disruption this will cause internally as well if Cllrs get to pick the leader

If you think you as a voter should have some involvement in this process or that the Labour group should at least have the courtesy of ask you in advance about what you think about the 4 options then please sign this petition

Originally tweeted by Andrew Wood (@Andrewwood17) on November 10, 2020.