East End Labour councillor arrested for alleged death threats

A Labour councillor in Tower Hamlets, Kosru Uddin, 45, has been arrested following allegations that he made a death threat to female fellow councillor, Rania Khan, who is a supporter of independent Mayor Lutfur Rahman. Cllr Uddin was held in custody overnight for questioning today and has now been released on bail. Sources report that abuse, violence and intimidation took place in the council chamber after the conclusion of the council meeting involving Cllr Uddin, Cllr Khan, her mother, Lutfa Begum, and even female Labour councillor, Shiria Khatun, in the act of trying to restrain Cllr Uddin who is, ironically, the Labour spokesperson on Police and Community Safety. Continue reading

The flames of hatred are still alive in the East End

Ken Livingstone, who has developed a healthy respect for Ed Miliband, told the BBC Today programme earlier this week that his only criticism of the Labour leader was that he paid too much credence to “discredited Blairites”. There are a number of reasons as to why Labour did well in London, yet Ken Livingstone lost, and one of the reasons is that a good number of unreconstructed Blairites either refused to work for Livingstone, or worse still refused to vote for him or indeed voted for anyone but Livingstone. Continue reading

Ed, it’s time to apply the lessons of Bradford to the East End

Labour leader, Ed Miliband, recently took himself back to Bradford to ‘listen’, as he had promised to do, to local people. He said he wanted to learn the lessons for Labour’s monumental drubbing at the hands of George Galloway and his ‘Respect Party’.  The lessons have of course been writ large for years. Bradford was just waiting to happen. Next stop, at this rate, Birmingham Hodge Hill.

Am I the only one to wonder whether Ed may soon be promising to do some more ‘listening’, but this time with more than hint of desperation in his voice – should Ken Livingstone lose in London? For should Livingstone lose, there will be many who will quite rightly point the finger of blame at those in the party who have gone out of their way either to damage Labour’s London campaign, or who have deliberately sat on their hands and done nothing to help. Continue reading

The politics of hate in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Labour Party is like nowhere else. Throughout London, every constituency party campaign team is doing its best to get the vote out for Ken. They recognise that for the party nationally and in London, that is Labour’s political priority. But here the local vendetta takes priority. Against Lutfur Rahman, independent Mayor overwhelmingly selected by Labour members and then elected by the public after being dumped as Labour’s candidate without investigation and replaced by his accuser. Continue reading

Londoners won’t be fooled by the anti-Ken Livingstone spin

The polls are showing the two leading contenders for London mayor – Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson – running neck and neck. Predictably, sections of the rightwing media have started reaching for the proverbial dog whistle; playing politics with race and religion and appealing to a diminishing band of bigoted voters who respond to the politics of fear. They are painting a picture of the East End which doesn’t exist – but which aims to frighten the voters in suburbia down to the polling stations on 3 May. Continue reading