Tower Hamlets residents organise to challenge Labour

Enough is enough. Residents across the borough are organising themselves and have compiled a list of Labour-held wards that they will target at the next local elections.

Tower Hamlets Labour Party has monopolised local politics in our borough for 50 years. This is the main reason why Tower Hamlets is still one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK.

To be 100% clear. Tower Hamlets is still dirt poor because of its local Labour Party.

No doubt many years ago it was just another branch of the real Labour Party (you know, that one that Keir Starmer runs) bubbling with good intent and a genuine desire to improve the lives of the working classes.

Somewhere along the track it turned in on itself and now dedicates its efforts to petty tribal politics.

While Labour gazes at its own navel the poor get poorer, the housing queue gets longer and fake consultations mask the next front-line service to be slashed.

Liveable Streets will mark the high water mark of Labour’s rule in Tower Hamlets as residents stand up, make themselves heard and take back control.

Mayor Biggs’ lack of political ability at even a basic level is exposed by Liveable Streets. Through his own incompetence the Mayor has got himself stuck. He continues to try and press on with Liveable Streets when the pandemic gives him an ideal excuse to pause and reflect.

In the scheme of things Liveable Streets is civic development small change and the determination of Tower Hamlets Labour Party to press ahead with it baffles many.

This borough cannot feed its children yet it devotes time and effort to Liveable Streets. Why?

It is because Liveable Streets is the only thing Tower Hamlets Labour is capable of doing.

Bereft of imagination, short on ability and with an absence of leadership Tower Hamlets Labour clings on to Liveable Streets because it is so visible and politicians can point to a cycle lane or a blocked bridge and claim credit.

See what I mean?

Take Liveable Streets away and what does Tower Hamlets Labour have left? Not much.

Declaring another Climate Emergency which delivers nothing apart from school children being used as PR props?

A Brexit Commission that was redundant even before it was created?

The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission will be reporting by the end of January 2021.

Residents should keep an eye on the BAME Commission outcomes and see if it tells them anything they could not find out chatting at the bus stop.

Let’s see what it says, what it promises and what it achieves. Other than an ego boost for some politicians, natch.

For too long Tower Hamlets Labour has exploited our Bangladeshi community as its vote bank, super convenient for elections. In between elections? *

This week a group of Bangladeshi residents met with their (Bangladeshi) councillor to express their issues with Liveable Streets. The councillor sympathised with their problems and promised to raise them at the council meeting that very night.

Everyone happy.

Happy that is until the residents, along with several hundred others, watched the live web stream of the council and looked on in disbelief as their councillor turned 180 degrees and voted as he was told to by his party without a murmur of dissent, promises to residents ignored.

A very harsh introduction to the reality of Tower Hamlets Labour Party for the residents.

The very good news is that other residents who have had similar experiences have been meeting and are organising.

The even better news is that these groups are not split by ethnicity as has been the Tower Hamlets way for far too long. They are a mix of all sorts of people of all colours and all political views and all ages united by a common cause, total disillusionment with Tower Hamlets Labour.

They have each been lied to once too often.

From what we have been told so far these groups (don’t bother even trying to tag them with a convenient label, they have no common political allegiance) are aiming to disable the monopoly of power that Tower Hamlets Labour has considered to be its birthright for way too long.

To oust Tower Hamlets Labour from power in one go would be too ambitious. Instead the consensus is to target specific wards and councillors and not to oppose Conservative, Liberal Democratic or Independent councillors already elected.

The Bingo Card

The target list so far, in no particular order, is

Ten people. Maybe more, maybe less. Cllr. Dan Tomlinson pops on and off this list, think it is the bikes thing Dan. And the Liveable Streets thing.

Reasons for inclusion in this list vary but seem to be based on how much individual representatives are just plain hated because they are considered nasty people* who hold residents in open contempt (Biggs, Brady, Pierce), once were decent but have gone over to the dark side (Hassell), are plain idle but more than happy to exploit their position for their own prestige and personal benefit (Ullah, Tarik Khan, Ayas Miah), just plain idle (Pappu) or main supporter of Liveable Streets (Blake). No idea why Cllr. Asma Begum is on the Bingo Card but we trust the judgement of residents.

  • ‘nasty people’ is not the exact term residents use. Think ‘bunch of ****’ or ‘complete and utter ****’.

More than a few people wanted CEO Tuckley on the Bingo Card but he is not elected. Sorry! Well you can have him on the Bingo Card, it’s nothing to do with us, but you might be disappointed.

None of these names is remotely like news and to be honest we can’t be bothered to even try and update it. Maybe once more nearer the elections.

Wannabee a councillor? Sure?

There are roughly 20,000 local councillors in England. If you want to become one here are some handy links.

Great resource by Campaign Bootcamp such as What is a campaign, and how to start one and lots more! Highly recommended and they are local too, EC1V.

Standing as a local councillor

Activism

Digital Activism

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As community journalists we do exactly what it says on our tin – we work for the community.

In Tower Hamlets, which covers most of London’s East End, that means we spend a lot of time investigating allegations of political corruption.

It is an unfortunate fact that the poorest local authority in the country is still beset by the highest levels of corruption.

As Love Wapping we were instrumental in exposing the electoral corruption of Mayor Lutfur Rahman.

We hoped that would be an end to our work – no such chance!

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Linda Wilkinson

Good article Mole, and so very true. I am getting mail from those Cllrs who turned on 20th, trying to justify their sheer incompetence, weakness and inability to register the scheme as illegal.