Ken Livingstone receives the Kiss of Death from Mayor Lutfur Rahman

Posted on | Sunday, 4 March 2012 | No Comments

My response to Lutfur Rahman's rather pathetic attempt to counter comments made in the London Evening Standard (LES). He used the itspolitical.co.uk web site to respond, as he says the LES refused to accept his response. I'm posting this here while awaiting moderation clearance from itspolitical.co.uk  More here: http://bit.ly/zacNqm

'east-end-lies' Huzzah! And well said! But it barely scratches the surface of 'his' borough's festering malaise. How unfortunate we are to have a mayor who decided to 'go into' politics, rather than one prepared to devote himself to public service. Our borough deserves a finer thread than him weaving into its rich history.

I'm sure we all understand the parapraxis of 'to represent all the diverse communities', rather than, 'integrate the diverse ethnic mix'. We don't want diverse communities being represented; we want a single integrated community. Calling himself a Bangladeshi Mayor doesn't help; Mayor (albeit a 12.5% Mayor) is entirely adequate.

The Cabinet, now there's a topic worth highlighting. In a Council where Labour holds a 63% majority, his Cabinet consists 60% Independents and a mere 40% Labour, thus transforming the majority in the council chamber into the opposition. And if that weren't enough, the 'Mayor' retains sole executive power to make decisions. Demolition of democracy? - you decide.  Hardly surprising he is under sustained attack.

Mr 'Mayor', history should tell you that Tower Hamlets has weathered the contradictions of wealth and poverty for over a 1,000 years, every since the Tower of London was built - a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon the hamlet by the then new ruling elite. Canary Wharf is the Tower in today's world. But the difference is that we now live in a free capitalist society where the benefits of capital, trade and entrepreneurship must become open to all; that's the challenge, to seek to strengthen the links between local individuals, organisations and communities that create social capital. We need action not worthless politicising platitudes.

Some of our schools may well outperform others academically, but academic excellence is a questionable achievement when it is borne out of a segregated schooling system. Ofsted confirms that many of our schools consist of over 80% Bangladeshi students - this is not an integrated schooling system. We should be integrating minority ethnic cultures into our wider community and national culture, not the reverse. These are not the statistics a 'Mayor' ought to be blowing his own trumpet about.

On the question of voter fraud, this case has certainly not been closed. The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Minister for Housing and Local Government has recently called for an investigation into accusations that Tower Hamlets Electoral Roll has been rigged. As well as this he has been asked to carry out an independent case review into how the jailed Cllr Shelina Akhtar - a convicted fraudster and social housing tenant, was allocated social housing.

I hope sufficient light is being shed on the darker side of someone 'going into politics' under the guise of representing Tower Hamlets' interests.

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