Here’s a question: when is a connection not a connection? Answer: when the connection is made by Andrew Gilligan. In a recent blog for the Daily Telegraph for which he gives the sensationalist headline “Luthfur Rahman: Islamic fundamentalism’s Dave Nellist moment“, he says
Back in the 1980s, Labour knew it had beaten Militant when its sympathisers left the party and stood separately in elections under their own label. They could then be easily and quickly thrown out: the one universally-accepted ground for expulsion from the Labour Party is fighting against a Labour candidate.
Labour. Militant. 1980’s. But no mention of Dave Nellist there. Let’s move on.
The decision by eight of Tower Hamlets’ Labour councillors to appear at a press conference backing the sacked fundamentalist-linked politician, Lutfur Rahman, in his Independent bid to become the borough’s directly elected mayor could be a similar moment. The eight are Oli Rahman, Lutfa Begum, Rania Khan, Alibor Choudhury, Ohid Ahmed, Aminur Khan, Rabina Khan, and Shelina Aktar.
Still no mention of Nellist. What’s going on here? Besides where is this connection to Militant and why mention Dave Nellist at all? Nellist was a very good Labour MP who supported Militant but took only a worker’s wage when he was in the Commons…unlike many of today’s crop of MPs who all have their snouts in the trough. So there are loads of Bangladeshi sounding names in that paragraph, but is there a connection? Only if you look really hard and then try to imagine one. There is no connection between Militant, Dave Nellist, Tower Hamlets Council, the East London Mosque, Hizb ut Tahrir, The Blind Beggar Pub, Luthfur Rahman, Gyles Brandreth, my piles and the Tooth Fairy but I’ll bet Gillie could find one. Then Gilligan says,
Not all of these people are fundamentalist sympathisers – Oli Rahman, for instance
Well, hey, thanks for sharing that with us,. Are you sure Oli Rahman isn’t one of those fundies too? He shares the same surname…surely that’s good enough for you, Mr Gilligan? But he continues to bang on about the Islamic Forum of Europe which he labels as a “hardline Muslim supremacist group” and if by the very act of repeating those words, hopes it will magically become true.
On the 16th, 17th, 21st (two blogs), 22nd and 23rd of this month Gilligan churned out blog after blog about Luthfur Rahman, Labour’s erstwhile mayoral candidate for Tower Hamlets. It seems to me that there has been a concerted effort on the part of Gilligan to influence the selection process. For if you look at his blogs over the course of a month or so, one finds that they are either about Luthfur Rahman or his nemesis, Ken Livingstone. But is Luthfur Rahman really somebody to fear? I hear that he’s just a typical local politician trying to carve out a bit of territory for himself. He’s a bit like all the others in any local authority anywhere in the country. According to our Andy, Rahman’s a hardline Islamist who is a member of the ”extreme’ East London Mosque and the even more ‘extreme’ Islamic Council of Europe. But Rahman’s been sacked as a Labour candidate…all thanks to our protector, Andrew Gilligan. But to Gilligan’s disgust, Rahman is standing as an independent.
Nowhere Towers is concerned that Gilligan may have taken it upon himself to interfere in the selection process of the Tower Hamlets Labour party. He dismisses the notes of one member of the NEC as written from a “far-left perspective”. Why? Because they contradict your own version of events? Or because it isn’t your idea of the truth? Which is it? If you scroll done this blog and find Keith Vaz’s first comment, you’ll see,
I gave Andrew Gilligan a job as an intern 20 years ago. He was dismissed because he had forged references for his CV. The last time this matter went to court, it cost us £70 thousand, and we were advised by the same solicitors who have given this legal opinion.
And Gilligan’s in fighting mood according to Guido
“It’s completely untrue and actionable. I was never employed by Vaz – I did a few weeks’ work experience with him in 1987 – and I never submitted either a CV or references, forged or otherwise. Running it would be outrageous”.
I look forward to the forthcoming slander case.
Just to finish here’s one that Gilligan made up earlier about Ken Livingstone. “I like Boris”, he gushes, “Boris is reasonably assured of victory”. I think Gillie’s getting a little ahead of himself. I’d like to say I hope Ken wins and wipes the smile off his face but if Livingstone’s last term was anything to go by then we can expect Gilligan to keep up his smear campaign. The Torygraph has deep, deep pockets.