Lutfur Rahman is attempting to avoid public scrutiny by only canvassing in the evening and delaying declaring his Mayoral candidacy until the very last moment.
Unprecedented? Absolutely not.
When Lutfur Rahman was Directly-Elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets (2010-2015) he refused to answer questions at Council. When challenged on his silence his minions claimed that forcing him to answer would infringe his human rights.
People from outside the borough don’t believe this could happen.
It did. You can read all about it in Ted Jeory’s political blog Trial by Jeory here.
“Backward, self-indulgent and dim”
In addition to the astute observations of Ted Jeory there is this quote from Giles Broadbent, editor of The Wharf newspaper.
“Compare Tower Hamlets to Newham. Both struck by terrible social and structural problems. Yet Newham – far from perfect – is at least outward looking and positive. It has embraced the Olympics and the Docks in order to share the dividends of growth.
Mr Rahman’s Tower Hamlets is backward, self-indulgent and dim. It is ripped apart by factionalism and stymied by cronyism. And the mayor, who sits atop this stinking pile, has nothing to offer but a sulk – truly a slap in the face for the residents who crave a future, not a fiefdom.
It is to be hoped in the 2014 election the man who has tried so hard to undermine the principle of democratic accountability will feel the potency of its sting.”Giles Broadbent, The Wharf, 7 December 2013
Mayor Rahman did not feel the ‘sting of democratic accountability’ in the 2014 election because it was comprehensively rigged in his favour (as was the 2010 Mayoral election and the 2010 referendum on the adoption of the Directly-Elected Mayor model.)
So it is reasonable to say that he has never won a fair Mayoral election.
From this it is reasonable to claim that democracy has not existed in the borough since 2010.
And one reason why nine years later Tower Hamlets can still be described as ‘backward, self-indulgent and dim… ripped apart by factionalism and stymied by cronyism’.
What have East Enders ever done to deserve this?
Its that power thing
Those of a suspicious nature might think that by refusing to answer questions in Council or attend key committee meetings Lutfur Rahman was just a front man for somebody else.
In 2015 he was finally caught out, dismissed from office and banned from holding public office for five years.
In 2022 Mayor Rahman once more desires the power that resides in the post of Mayor.
And once more he is ignoring the basic rules of democracy by trying to campaign in secret.
Campaigning in the twilight
Though he has yet to declare his candidacy for Mayor, Rahman shuns the most basic rules of our democracy by ‘campaigning’ in the twilight.
Every evening he emerges to scuttle around the borough knocking on doors.
Moley has been reliably informed that the main reason for this fear of daylight is that Lutfur Rahman is terrified that the national media will want to ask him questions about his track record in public office.
So if national media organisations such as the BBC, ITV News, Channel 4, The Sun or The Times could remember not to challenge him that would please him immensely.
Lutfur’s plan is to stay in the shadows until the last possible moment then declare his candidacy to be the next Directly-Elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets.
Shadwell Councillor Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrats) and Canary Wharf Councillor Andrew Wood (Independent) both declared some weeks ago that they will both be challenging to become our next Mayor.
The current Mayor remains silent.
Rabina Khan and Andrew Wood are not doing anything special apart from abiding by the rules.
The electorate knows that these two people want to be Mayor and the electorate can ask questions of them which they will happily answer, scrutinise their policies and make their choice with the flick of a pencil at the ballot box come May.
Local resident and community leader Mark Slankard summed up the situation perfectly in this reply to a tweet from @EastEndEnquirer.
“There’s no fear there. Only 100% conviction (no pun intended) of victory. Run an underground campaign. Put people in place who will drop the Party that paid their deposit & funded their victory, when the whistle blows, and BINGO, you have control of the council. Job Done.”
So when one of the Aspire Candidates knocks on your door asking for your vote in May why not ask them ‘Where’s Lutfur?” After all, everyone of them has him on their campaign leaflet.
Mark’s reference to ‘Put people in place who will drop the Party that paid their deposit & funded their victory’ is explained here.