Tower Hamlets by-election. What happened to common sense?

Posted on | Sunday, 18 March 2012 | No Comments

It’s generally known that Tower Hamlets Labour Party has become an incubator for an Independent alliance of Lutfur Rahman supporters.
The most recent defections concern 5 Labour Councillors who voted against their party on electoral review, openly supporting the recommendations of Lutfur Rahman. That (Labour) Cllr’s can effectively revoke their duty and allegiance to a political Party, to join an alliance with, let’s be frank, an unknown agenda, will incline many to think twice before voting Labour, let alone Independent.

And this question of integrity – for that’s really what it come down to - goes further than Council elections. It has to be of grave concern to (potential) Labour voters in the forthcoming Mayoral election on 3 May, that Ken Livingstone publicly supported Lutfur Rahman’s 2010 challenge for Executive Mayor over his own party’s candidate. How can we trust Livingstone, or for that matter any Labour candidate running for the Spitalfields by-Election?

As for the by-election, there are further concerns on transparency and costs. In view of the imminent changes to Cllr numbers brought about by the electoral review, wouldn’t it relevant to the electorate to know that the candidate they may elect as a third replacement Cllr, may well be removed as a result of possible reduction in Cllr numbers; even the mayor is proposing they be reduced by 6. Could one of these be from the Spitalfields and Banglatown Ward? Save (our) money and wait for the result of the view, which will include Ward boundaries as well and Cllr numbers. The cost of replacing a Cllr who could be out of a job before he/she claims their first allowance is ludicrous. And lets inject some more rational advice into timing of the election. Regardless of the so called deadline for holding a by-election, common sense – rarely applied by bureaucrats – surely resolves that it will be vastly less expensive if would could combine the by-election with the 3 May Mayoral election.

It’s common sense - isn't it? just as knowing that today’s Labour Cllr may become tomorrows Independent..


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