On 5th May 2022 residents should vote for Rabina Khan for Mayor of Tower Hamlets and finally break the Aspire / Labour Party stranglehold that is choking our borough.
For the last eight years I have been investigating the reality of Tower Hamlets politics and think this qualifies me to share what I know.
Well, some of it.
There are only three candidates for Mayor of Tower Hamlets who have a chance of winning the contest, Lutfur Rahman, John Biggs and Rabina Khan.
A vote for anyone other than these three is a wasted vote.
So why should you vote for Rabina Khan?
Lutfur Rahman is corrupt. That is a matter of historical fact. Do not vote for him.
John Biggs is no better than Rahman. He makes much of Tower Hamlets Labour Party being the only party who can stop Lutfur Rahman being elected again.
This is untrue. Do not vote for him.
Rabina Khan is the only Mayoral candidate of the three who genuinely cares about this borough and its people.
Don’t take my word for it, go and ask the people of Shadwell, Rabina Khan’s ward.
They will tell you if she helps them. They will tell you if she is accessible. They will tell you if she genuinely cares about her work as a councillor for its own sake.
In contrast, the residents of Tower Hamlets are just a means to an end to both Rahman and Biggs – getting their hands on the reins of power.
Rahman and Biggs want to be Mayor only for themselves.
Rabina Khan wants to be Mayor for the residents – all residents – of Tower Hamlets.
Lutfur Rahman wants to be Mayor for residents who vote Aspire.
John Biggs wants to be Mayor for residents who vote Labour.
Banned for life next time
Lutfur Rahman should have been banned from standing for elected office for life at the conclusion of the electoral petition.
He was only banned from standing for elected office for five years because that was the maximum possible at the time. It is likely UK electoral law will be changed to enable a life-time ban to be possible.
John Biggs has made much of how he has cleaned up the borough.
This is a lie.
Biggs has no more rid us of corruption than Rahman has.
Neither of these two invented political corruption in Tower Hamlets but between them they have done a huge amount to foster its use so that it continues to keep our borough poor.
Which is just how they like it, because the poor have little power and represent no threat to the established power structures.
The last thing Lutfur Rahman or John Biggs want is for the poor to better themselves for the simple reason that if this happened they would be eliminating their voter base.
In recent weeks most national media outlets have made mention of the Mayoral election and almost all have framed it as a competition between Lutfur Rahman as the villain and John Biggs as Mr Clean.
Consider this. Before or during the electoral petition proceedings of 2015 can you remember John Biggs making any public comment in support of the petitioners?
No, we can’t either.
Reason he kept silent until after the verdict was that only then could he be sure that Tower Hamlets Labour Party had avoided being implicated in any allegation of bribery or corruption.
Where do you think Lutfur Rahman and Alibor Chowdhury learned how to rig an election so efficiently? A Udemy course? Or from his former colleagues in Tower Hamlets Labour?
Safe to say that neither Moley or the East End Enquirer are well regarded by Tower Hamlets Labour Party. Detested? Most certainly.
It was not always this way. (Feel free to play some mournful music at this point.)
When, as Love Wapping, we spent our days working out just how Lutfur Rahman was screwing over the borough and so providing some small assistance to the election petitioners, the Wapping Mole could do no wrong.
Tower Hamlets Labour loved Moley. Seriously.
Unfortunately they seemed to think that because Moley had helped get rid of Rahman that he was on Labour’s side.
How wrong they were.
That Moley dislikes all corrupt politicians irrespective of their politics only dawned on Labour when, shortly after John Biggs became Mayor in 2015, they realised that the Wapping Mole was now digging around, in and under the Labour Party.
Because Moley was pretty damn sure that Mayor Biggs was lying through his teeth to everyone about some fundamental stuff.
This fundamental stuff was Mayor Biggs ‘Clean Up’ project that was in reality a ‘Cover Up’ project.
Mole had his suspicions and these were confirmed when a Labour councillor told him what was going on.
It would only be some years later that Mole got anywhere near the motivation for Cover Up and not Clean Up when he became aware of some chap who was taking Biggs and chums to an employment tribunal alleging discrimination and unfair dismissal.
This chap had been investigating corruption in Tower Hamlets council.
He discovered that corruption was still alive and well in Mayor Biggs town hall despite the absence of Lutfur Rahman.
He also realised that despite finding damning evidence of corruption wherever he looked that nobody was being held to account.
And that those council officers he knew were corrupt were being protected.
And odder still that many of those who had run corruption under Rahman’s administration where doing the exact same thing for Biggs.
To make a confusing situation even more confused it was apparent that some of the most corrupt council officers were leaving the council unpunished and with financial settlements.
Yes, you read that correctly. Council officers controlling systematic fraud that siphoned off millions of pounds (at least), not being disciplined when found out then being allowed to leave the council with a nice fat financial settlement.
When the full extent of the corruption investigator’s discoveries were realised his services were soon dispensed with.
Aided with irrefutable evidence of the corruption under Mayor Rahman and Mayor Biggs Moley bought an extra-large shovel and started digging again.
Now understanding that Biggs was no more honest than his predecessor, Moley used his brand new extra-large shovel more and more and realised the blatant dishonesty at the core of Mayor Biggs administration.
Here are some examples.
First off is the completely baffling case of the Mayor Biggs council buying houses using AP1 vouchers which should normally not be used except in an emergency, this being closely followed by this story about how Labour’s Housing Claims Fall 1,821 Houses Short which we had to rapidly follow up with this story which showed that In Seven Years Mayor Biggs Has Only Delivered 225 New Homes – and we used the council’s own figures! No need for digging there.
And of course the farce of Liveable Streets which showed the complete contempt some Labour councillors show for the views of residents, and most recently the Sutton Street Depot story which will cause a bad case of deja vu in anyone who followed the government’s investigation into the Rahman administration.
And possibly one of the worst betrayals of the Bangladeshi community, the callous decision by two Labour councillors to allow the development of Brick Lane (which has been properly covered by others.)
One reason, probably the main reason, that residents continue to vote for Tower Hamlets Labour Party is that they have always voted Labour.
Which is fair enough. This author was also once a member of UK Labour.
What these loyal Labour voters do not realise is that Tower Hamlets Labour Party has little in common with UK Labour apart from a party logo and a tendency to sign off every tweet with ‘Solidarity!’.
Vote Rabina Khan for Mayor
So. Vote Rabina Khan for Mayor if you want Tower Hamlets to have a fighting chance of finally being turned around and our borough being able to fulfil its true potential.
Her being a Liberal Democrat is not an issue – but then this election is not about Westminster political labels.
It is about choosing the right person to be Mayor.
There is the minor detail that Rabina Khan has never run a huge organisation like Tower Hamlets council.
But then the current and previous directly-elected Mayors have only impressed by their utter incompetence, so what is there to lose?
Nothing. Rabina Khan can be completely ruthless and that is what it may take to get the borough of Tower Hamlets sorted.
And if you just cannot bring yourself to make Rabina Khan your first choice for Mayor of Tower Hamlets then put her down as your second choice.
Your second preference vote could make all the difference.