Once again Neighbours in Poplar very kindly hosted a Mayoral hustings event on Tuesday 27th April courtesy of Tower Hamlets legend Sister Christine.
As Mole was feeling a little queasy that evening he decided not to go as some might have taken any throwing up as being a political statement.
Fortunately Terry McGrenera, long time community activist and observer of all things political, was there and he kindly provided us with his account of proceedings.
Only four Mayoral candidates were on the platform; John Biggs (Labour Party), Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrats), Andrew Wood (Independent) and Elliot Weaver (Conservative) with housing the main subject to be discussed.
Enquirer comment: Seems Aspire Party candidate Lutfur Rahman was once again absent from the hustings. If Lutfur can’t be bothered to attend events like these why does he think people will be bothered to vote for him?
Take it away Terry!
“John Biggs in his opening remarks talked about affordable housing.
Later a woman said that what was needed was more social housing. (I followed her by saying she was right and that is what is needed.)
A resident of Barley Mow estate said that her estate had been a building site for the past five years. It all started when work began to remove the cladding and it was discovered that were structural faults in the building.
Two understandably angry women said they had killed 24 rodents over the past week in their block (not Barley Mow)
The Conservative candidate Elliott Weaver was very much out of his depth. He spoke in an inaudible manner so I can’t tell you what he said apart from the borough was in a mess. (We know)
John Biggs said the borough was in a real mess when he became Mayor.
One woman asked Rabina Khan about her time working with Lutfur Rahman. She replied that she had moved on and hadn’t spoken to him in seven years.
Andrew Wood came out best from the evening’s proceedings. He came armed with his trusty laptop and was able to substantiate what he said what he said with references. (e.g. the number of homes built by Biggs)
It was noticeable that all candidate arrived by themselves which is an indictment of the state of politics in Tower Hamlets [lack of interest?] as well as a worry from a security perspective.
And where were all those happy Labour Party members holding boards of what they had done over the past four years that we see on social media?
In conclusion it is obvious that a vote for the Conservatives is a wasted vote.
Andrew Wood in his closing remarks asked those present to think about splitting their votes because what Tower Hamlets needed was a sizeable opposition to hold whoever wins
to account. That has not been the case during the past four years.
He said he was prepared to work with Rabina Khan as they had on several occasions during the present administration to table motions.
The elephant in the room is what is going to happen to the Labour Party if John Biggs loses and many of his candidates are defeated.
The vultures are circling and will feed off the entrails of what is left of the party.
A couple of times in the past the Labour Party has come back from losing, once to the Liberal Democrats and latterly to Lutfur Rahman.
The chances of a third comeback would be beyond even the capabilities of Tony Blair.
The billion-pound question is; would Lutfur Rahman be stupid enough to give them the opportunity?”
Where does the term ‘husting’ come from?
Husting. Weird word. According to Wikipedia the term ‘husting’ comes from the Old English word hūsting and Old Norse hūsþing, literally “house thing”, an assembly of the household retainers of a king, earl, or chief, contrasted with the folkmoot (Old English folcgemōt), an assembly of the whole people.
Husting, more usually in the plural form but grammatically singular hustings, developed to mean a court of the City of London.
So now you know. Lutfur still won’t have the bottle to turn up though.