Category Archives: Tower Hamlets

Let’s Talk About: Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Town Hall was built while the Lib Dems were in power.

This is a new series in which I will talk about a topic that takes my fancy. Yesterday, Eric Pickles, the Community Secretary and pie-eater extraordinaire, sent a government hit squad into Tower Hamlets. This is unprecedented and given the level corruption in other councils (some of them Tory-run), this latest government move is suspicious and smacks of the centralizing tendencies of the current Tory-led government. It also reeks of racism and class disgust. Read on.

The Tories and their knuckledragging chums in The Telegraph have been running a vendetta against Tower Hamlets Council and, in particular, its mayor, Lutfur Rahman for the last four years. What upsets the Tories and their pals is that Tower Hamlets Council reflects the ethnic composition of the borough. But it’s the fact that a Bangladeshi is the twice-elected mayor of the borough is what upsets them even more.  This excellent article by Chris Nineham, in the Socialist Review reminds us what Tower Hamlets used to be like:

From the moment of taking office the Liberals not only discriminated against the local Bengali population, but actively scapegoated them in a series of high profile publicity stunts. In 1987 they made national news by claiming that 52 Bangladeshi families living in bed and breakfast accommodation had made themselves intentionally homeless, simply by coming to Britain. They were therefore not entitled to benefit. This was too much even for the Tories, and the council was eventually beaten in the courts, but the damage had been done. The vile message had already gone out, ‘Immigrants are scroungers, they are taking our homes’.

That message was reinforced a year or so later when Tower Hamlets mayor Jeremy Shaw travelled to Bangladesh to tell the government there that immigrants were no longer welcome because the borough was full up. Nothing, of course, could have been further from the truth. Apart from the 900 empty yuppie flats on the Isle of Dogs, the council was sitting on 3000 empty properties, rotting from neglect. But the truth did not matter, the trip was a stunt for home consumption, and the local paper quoted Shaw’s claim in a banner headline.

When Derek Beackon won the Isle of Dogs by-election in 1993 for the BNP, there was shock and dismay. Beackon was elected towards the end of the Lib Dems’ eight year spell of running Tower Hamlets, and on the back of their blatantly racist “Sons and Daughters” housing scheme. After Beackon’s election there was a fear that the BNP would take more seats in the 1994 local government elections. Paul Anderson writing for The New Statesman said:

It is without a doubt the Lib Dems who have most explaining to do when it comes to last September’s debacle. As their national party’s inquiry into Tower Hamlets, chaired by Lord Lester, QC, made clear just before Christmas, their propaganda in the borough, particularly in the Isle of Dogs, has systematically pandered to racism, especially on housing.

What then styled itself the Liberal Focus Team took control of the council from Labour in 1986 after more than a decade of “community politics” characterised by populist anti-Labour rhetoric and assiduous wooing of tenants’ associations – a major force in a borough in which three-quarters of the population lives in council housing even after years of right-to-buy. Despite having a tiny majority, the Liberals implemented their decentralisation and council house-sales policies with missionary zeal. From the start, they courted controversy over race with their tough line on the council’s legal obligation to house the homeless (mostly Bangladeshi) and their “sons and daughters scheme”, giving priority in housing allocation to the offspring of people born in the borough, most of whom were white.

In 1994, I was one of a large group of comedians (along with with Lee Hurst, formerly of Red Action) who doorstepped and leafleted the Isle of Dogs in an effort to get the residents to turn their backs on Beackon and the BNP. You probably wouldn’t get a group of comedians doing that now, but in those days there was still a sizeable contingent of politically active comedians on the circuit. In any case, Beackon lost his seat and the BNP dogs went home with their tails between their legs.

What strikes me as odd is that when Lib Dem controlled Tower Hamlets engaged in blatant corruption, not a single Tory said anything. No hit squads were mobilized to assume control of the council’s operations and no one even suggested that the council be taken into special measures. As for the press, they were strangely quiet.  These days, the likes of Ted Jeory and his partner-in-crime, Andrew Gilligan make a big deal out of the sizeable Bangladeshi population. They would, of course, deny that there’s a racial dimension to their interest in the borough. Gilligan, for example, often prefaces the name of Lutfur Rahman with the phrase “extremist-linked” or similar. It doesn’t take a Barthesian scholar in semiotics to work out what he’s trying to say. It’s pretty bloody obvious. Indeed, anyone who takes issue with Kennite’s sensationalist drivel is accused of supporting “terror”. Charming. The trick that Jeory uses to counter any Bangladeshi claims of racism is to accuse them of “cheapening the word”. It’s not as though Jeory ever faces racism on a daily basis though, is it?

Jeory and Gilligan have both accused Rahman of vote-rigging and electoral fraud for years. Even after investigations have concluded there were no irregularities, they persisted with this accusation. After this year’s local elections, there were similar accusations and two people were arrested. Curiously, there are no updates on this story and it may well be the case that the accusations were baseless. We shall see.

This whole episode began when Rahman was originally selected then deselected by Tower Hamlets Labour Party as their mayoral candidate. The whole selection issue was a messy business that was covered extensively by The Guardian’s Dave Hill. On 21 September 2010, Hill wrote:

There is a view in local Labour circles, one shared even by some strong opponents of Rahman, that had everyone seeking the nomination been allowed to enter the contest from the start – which is what eventually occurred – the quality of debate would have been both higher and more honest and the battle less divisive. More than one unsuccessful candidate takes the view that the publicity generated around Rahman helped him win by persuading some party members to rally round a man they considered to be a victim of smear campaigns and dsicrimination

The party then expelled Rahman from Labour for standing as an independent mayoral candidate against the wishes of the party, which preferred to impose candidates on the electorate rather than allow local parties to decide on their own candidates.  As an independent, Rahman had the support of RESPECT and the former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, who attempted without success to have Rahman readmitted into the party.  Since then, there has been a steady drip feed of anti-Rahman stories from Gilligoon and Jeory.

I think we all need to remember that the PWC report did not find any evidence of fraud. That will piss off Gilligoon and Jeory, who were hoping for a scalp. From The Guardian Live Politics blog

The council, which is run by the independent mayor, Lutfur Rahman, said PWC did not find any evidence of fraud. In a statement to the Commons, Pickles said he did not know whether or not the PWC report amounted to evidence of fraud, but that he was sending it to the police anyway. He said the report exposed cronyism “risking the corrupt spending of public funds”. His decision to intervene was backed by Labour, and Tower Hamlets was strongly criticised by MPs from all sides.

My bold. As for “cronyism”, there was plenty of that in Hammersmith and Fulham when the Tories were running the council. Yet, Gilligan said nothing and nor did Pickles, who described Hammersmith and Fulham as his “favourite council”. That says an awful lot about The Sontaran’s judgement and Gilligan’s character.


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Filed under Hammersmith & Fulham, Hammersmith & Fulham Tories, Let's Talk About, London, Tower Hamlets

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 51)

Kennite’s been a little quiet of late. He’s been busy moonlighting for Bozza as his unofficial sidekick Cycling Commissioner. But a couple of weeks ago, there was a Panorama expose (sure) of Tower Hamlets Council, which accused its mayor, Lutfur Rahman of doling out council largesse to groups that apparently supported him. When I saw the trailer, I remember thinking, “this looks a lot like Gilligan’s handiwork”. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised when a series of blogs about Rahman, which repeats Kennite’s stock phrase, “extremist-linked”, recently appeared on Telegraph blogs.

Here’s his blog from 4 April, in which he writes:

In its letter appointing the inspectors, the Department for Communities and Local Government asked them to pay particular attention to, among other things, “the authority’s payment of grants,” a subject we covered on the blog yesterday, and the “transfer of property to third parties.” That’s what today’s blog is about.

Exhibit A is the Old Poplar Town Hall, on the corner of Poplar High Street and Woodstock Terrace. It was the council HQ from 1870 to 1938, until the then Borough of Poplar moved to another town hall (now also abandoned) in Bow Road.

The Poplar High Street building has great historical significance. It was here, in 1921, that radical Labour councillors, led by George Lansbury, began a rebellion against “unfair” rates that resulted in them being sent to prison, and triggered reform of a system that discriminated against poor areas such as Poplar.

Now, however, the Old Poplar Town Hall is part of a rather more worrying redistribution of wealth being practiced by Lutfur Rahman to his associates and friends, such as the Islamic extremist group, the IFE,based at the hardline East London Mosque.

Here he flourishes the heritage card

Remember: the town hall is a large and attractive Victorian building a stone’s throw from Canary Wharf and a few minutes’ walk from a future Crossrail station. It is internally tired but otherwise perfectly usable, and was indeed used as offices by the council. It has 9,803 square feet of space. In 2011, Old Poplar Town Hall was sold by the council to new owners who intend to turn it into a luxury hotel with 25 bedrooms, a restaurant, a bar and two conference suites.

The price? £875,000.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Newham, the council  plans to move out of the 1000 Building in Docklands that it spent millions on and rent it out to Chinese developers. Newham Council has been accused by local residents of wasting money. There’s no mention of this. Why? Because the leader of the council isn’t Bangladeshi.

 In the 3 April blog titled “Lutfur Rahman’s favoritism: the evidence”, Gilligan writes:

Over the next few weeks, this blog will be setting out in detail the truth about Lutfur Rahman, the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets, and the full evidence against him. I should stress that, over the last four years, all our material about Lutfur and his extremist allies has survived literally hundreds of complaints to Ofcom and the Press Complaints Commission.

The truth? Really? Is that like The Sun’s version of the truth when it reported in 1989 that Liverpool supporters had urinated on their dying fellow supporters and picked their pockets? Kennite also claims that he has the protection of Ofcom and the Press Complaints Commission – the latter of which is run by, guess who? The press.

Naturally, Kennite can’t resist having a swipe at The Guardian’s Dave Hill.

Rahman’s supporters make two main defences: first, that in the words of the Guardian’s Dave Hill, “if Rahman has sinned, how many others are doing so all day, every day in ways that, in the end, differ if at all only in the means and detail?”

Now how’s that for bitchiness? Anticipating the inevitable accusations of racism, he launches a pre-emptive strike on Rahman.

The second defence, inevitably, is to claim that all scrutiny of Rahman is racist – again, without any factual basis. Instead, as I show below, it is Rahman who is practising racial and religious favouritism and it is his ethnicity that has saved him from scrutiny.

The thing is, Rahman has a point: the main reason for Kennite’s pursuit of Rahman is precisely because he isn’t white and happens to be Muslim. Even when the Lib Dems were badly running the council, there wasn’t a peep from Gilligoon or, indeed, any mention of it in any of his blogs for the Telegraph. Admittedly, it was over 20 years ago.  So I suppose he can be forgiven. However, like Kennite, the Lib Dems often played the race card.

Headed ‘Focus’, the new leaflet was produced last month by party activists in the Labour-controlled Wapping ward. It describes the plight of an un-named 74-year-old woman living alone on the fifth floor of a block on possibly the ‘most dangerous estate’ in the area.

The woman, described as ‘Mrs X’, was decorated during the war. She is registered disabled and the lift in her block rarely works. ‘Despite repeated pleas for help,’ the local Labour-controlled ward has not given her a new lock on her front door – ‘it can be pushed open with one hand,’ it says. Her neighbours, also pensioners – one of them, the pamphlet claims, aged 90 – are also living in fear. They have asked for spyholes and latches on their doors but months later the work has yet to be done.

The article is illustrated with a drawing of an obviously black man, snarling with clenched fists. The piece ends with a plea: ‘Is this any way to treat those who endured the Blitz, and risked their lives for our country? Is this the welcome fit for heroes?’

Remember, this was around the time that Tower Hamlets council had acquired a BNP councillor by the name of Derek Beackon. Socialist Review carried a story about Lib Dem racism back in the 1980s that revealed endemic corruption in the borough. The article’s author, Chris Nineham, writes:

Revelations of racism among Liberal Democrats on Tower Hamlets council have made a mockery of Paddy Ashdown’s attempt to promote the Liberal Democrats as a viable and respectable third force in British politics. The projected image of the clean party of politics has been tarnished.

The local Liberal Democrat controlled council stands accused of creating an atmosphere in which Nazi ideas can grow. But recent reports have only told a small part of the story. The full poisonous record of the Liberals in office in Tower Hamlets is a crucial lesson to anyone who still believes tactical voting or LibLab alliances offer a way forward.

It is not just a case of a few racist leaflets or a few mavericks in the local party. Since the Liberals took office in 1986 there have been constant allegations of racism and corruption in Tower Hamlets.

This racism is not casual or accidental but blatant and provocative, and is a central plank of their operation in the area both now and in the past.

The liberals began to gain influence in the East End in the early 1980s using a right wing populism to attack the extremely unpopular Labour councils.

A 1981 Liberal leaflet ranted, ‘every year more break-ins, muggings, rapes, violence and acts of vandalism. People are scared to go out at night, and even to open their doors. Something is very wrong indeed’.

From the moment of taking office the Liberals not only discriminated against the local Bengali population, but actively scapegoated them in a series of high profile publicity stunts. In 1987 they made national news by claiming that 52 Bangladeshi families living in bed and breakfast accommodation had made themselves intentionally homeless, simply by coming to Britain. They were therefore not entitled to benefit. This was too much even for the Tories, and the council was eventually beaten in the courts, but the damage had been done. The vile message had already gone out, ‘Immigrants are scroungers, they are taking our homes’.

Looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Back to 3 April.  Kennite provides a litany of the apparent crimes of Rahman’s mayoralty, which reads like the Tory press’s “anti-PC” attacks on the Labour controlled metropolitan county councils of the 1980s. He precedes his list with this factoid.

First, some facts about the ethnic and faith makeup of Tower Hamlets.According to the 2011 census, its largest single ethnic group is white – 45.2 per cent of the population. Bangladeshis make up 32 per cent – down from 33.4 per cent in 2001. Muslims make up 34.5 per cent of Tower Hamlets people – again down, from 36.4 per cent in 2001.

You wouldn’t know this from the makeup of Lutfur Rahman’s ruling cabinet, which is 100 per cent Bangladeshi and Muslim, or from his grants. In 2012, the council changed its policy to ensure that “the decisions for all awards over £1,000 were to be made by the Mayor under his executive authority”.

Yes and the cabinet at Tory-controlled Hammersmith and Fulham is 100% white and 90% male – and that’s in spite of the borough’s large black demographic. I daresay other councils are similar. But what does he mean when he uses the word “white”? White British? White Lithuanian? White Russian?What?

In his blog on 16 April, Gilligoon writes:

The Metropolitan Police confirmed to me tonight that Tower Hamlets CID is investigating alleged fraud at the council involving a grant to an organisation called the Brady Youth Forum. A member of the mayor’s staff is involved in the alleged fraud, I separately understand. The Met said the investigation was at “an early stage”.

“Brady”? Yeah, that sounds like the kind of name an Islamist organization would use. He continues:

I understand that detailed evidence on this specific allegation did form part of the dossier that Panorama’s reporter, John Ware, passed to the DCLG and which was then passed to the Met. The material supplied by Ware includes evidence implicating one of the mayor’s staff in an operation where cheques for public money were sent to what appeared to be a bogus address.

Yeah? Where is this “evidence” then?

But for all Kennite’s crowing, he’s beginning to look a little foolish. The Metropolitan Police have looked into Panorama’s story (because that’s what it is) and have decided there is “no new evidence”. Naturally, Kennite isn’t pleased and in the paragraph below, he may as well be accusing the Met of being “linked to extremists”.

This blog has previously noted the local police’s cosy relationship with Lutfur’s council – but what on earth is the Met playing at here? Serious questions – more serious questions – need to be asked about whether we can ever trust what this force is saying.

All this because the Met wouldn’t dance to his tune.  How low can you go? If you’re Kennite, you can sink much lower – right into the sewer. He whines:

Panorama, too, alleged favouritism in the allocation of council grants and misuse of council resources for electioneering purposes. The fraud allegation didn’t form part of the programme because it wasn’t ready for broadcast in time.

Let’s be in no doubt: Kennite doesn’t like Muslims (he probably doesn’t like blacks and Roma people either) and he likes the idea of a Muslim mayor even less. There are plenty of examples of municipal malfeasance around London, most notably in Hammersmith and Fulham, but Tower Hamlets has become his single biggest obsession.  The only real difference between Hammersmith and Fulham and Tower Hamlets is this: one council is David Cameron’s and Bozza’s favourite local authority and the other isn’t.


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Filed under London, Media, Racism, Tory press, Tower Hamlets, Yellow journalism

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 48)

East London Mosque, the site of sustained attacks from Andrew "Bomber" Gilligan. East London Mosque, the site of sustained attacks from Andrew "Bomber" Gilligan.

East London Mosque, the site of sustained attacks from Andrew “Bomber” Gilligan.

Kennite was forced to announce on his Telegraph blog that he was about to be hired as Bozza’s cycling “tsar”. For this role, he will be paid £38,000 for 2 days work. A nice little earner. On that blog, he told us the following,

It’s part-time; I’ll continue in my day job, covering national and international news for the Telegraph, though I will no longer be called London Editor or cover any matter related to City Hall or Boris Johnson.

He will no longer be called “London Editor”. These are weasel words. He will still comment on London matters, particularly those that relate to Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman and Ken Livingstone. In a second blog about his new appointment, he said,

There was inevitably a second group of reactions. A small number of people who could fairly be described as partisan, such as Labour’s Len Duvall and the Ken Livingstone blogger Sunny Hundal, have damned itas “cronyist.” But as Mayorwatch’s Martin Hoscik – another man who could never be described as a patsy for the mayor – points out, all mayors are entitled to appoint political supporters to political jobs, and do so routinely without controversy. Nobody would or should call, say, the Labour assembly member Val Shawcross a crony because Boris’s predecessor appointed her as chair of the fire authority.

Such dishonesty. But notice how he gets in another dig at his favourite bogeyman, Ken Livingstone. He just can’t help himself.

In yesterday’s blog, Kennite attacked East London Mosque, which he has described, in the past, as a hotbed of extremism (or words to that effect).

I was offered the “Muslim patrol” story in Tower Hamlets, where self-proclaimed “Muslim vigilantes” filmed themselves verbally abusing and intimidating a gay man. Perhaps wrongly, I didn’t use it because I wasn’t sure whether a few kids on YouTube had national importance. I am glad, however, that the local police appear to be taking it seriously for once – in contrast to their lamentable attempts to ignore, downplay and cover up previous acts of “Islamic enforcement” and bigotry in the East End.

Really? The police “covered up”, “ignored” and downplayed “Islamic enforcement in the “East End”? The East End is a big place, by the way. But you know where this is leading, don’t you? Oh yes, it’s another smear job on the East London Mosque.

One Tower Hamlets organisation of undoubted national importance that continues to laugh up its sleeve at us is the East London Mosque, the capital’s largest. The mosque’s PR machine lost no time cranking out a statement condemning the “vigilantes” and claiming that the mosque was “committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith.” This claim has been trustingly repeated by various journalists in the coverage this week. But, as the most cursory investigation would show, it is a brazen lie.

The only reason why Kennite doubts the ELM’s statement is because it’s been issued by a mosque, which by definition means they’re also Muslim. There is no other reason.

Then, in the next paragraph, Kennite gets into a bit of a tangle.

There is no evidence that the East London Mosque is directly involved in the latest attacks. But at least one activist in the Islamic Forum of Europe, the Islamic supremacist group that runs the mosque, has previously threatened and intimidated people for violating “Islamic norms,” using the IFE’s name.

Notice how he mentions the Islamic Forum for Europe, whom he accuses of threatening and intimidating behaviour and draws a lazy link between the self-styled vigilantes, the ELM and IFE. I’m only surprised he hasn’t mentioned al-Qaeda.  The English Defence League also have a penchant for intimidation. They also make the same noises about the ELM and the IFE. Coincidence?

He continues his rant,

And as this blog has repeatedly documented, the mosque itself and its annexe, the London Muslim Centre, host a constant stream of viciously homophobic and other hate preachers. In June 2011, after coming under particular pressure on the subject, the mosque promised: “Any speaker who is believed to have said something homophobic will not be allowed to use our premises.”

And certain members of UKIP have made “viciously homophobic” statements. But they’re mostly white and possibly Christian, so they don’t count. Eh, Kennite?

At the end of the blog, we find this,

Hat-tip to Harry’s Place for the adverts and one of the videos.

Ah, Harry’s Place, that fount of tolerance and understanding. Reading the blogs on that site is a little like splashing your eyes with nitric acid.

So, while Kennite has apparently surrendered his role as the Torygraph’s London Editor, he will continue to churn out smear jobs about Rahman, Livingstone and anyone who defends them or challenges his narrative. It’s business as usual.

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Filed under City Hall, Journalism, London, Media, Tory press, Tower Hamlets, Yellow journalism

Those Cycle Superhighways – aren’t they brilliant? Not really

I was walking along Whitechapel High Street the other day and I noticed that the vast majority of motorists tended to ignore the blue-painted cycle lanes on the road. Any novice urban cyclist would have been put off by the sight of cars, buses, coaches and lorries encroaching into, what is supposed to be, a space reserved for cyclists.

Here a minibus encroaches the cycle lane, while the bendy bus in the far distance blocks it completely.

Here a coach completely blocks the cycle superhighway.

If these new blue cycle lanes aren’t properly enforced, they may as well not be there. I’ve always thought the Cycle Superhighway was a complete waste of money and here is the proof.


Filed under Cycling, London, Tower Hamlets

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 21)

Once upon a time this would have said "No surrender to the IRA"

I had to laugh at Gilligoon’s blog in yesterday’s Torygraph. It was the usual Islamophobic rot but, for some strange reason, he’d filed it under “Health and Lifestyle”. What was he thinking? The title recycles the by now familiar theme; Lutfur Rahman and something/somebody/some place/some group.  In this blog, which seems to go everywhere and nowhere at the same time he gets bitchy about Dr. Robert Lambert, a former Met police officer, whom Silly Gilly claims in Friday’s blog that he  “has turned himself into one of Britain’s most important fellow-travellers of Islamism”.  He offers no proof for this; it’s just another smear. The clue is in the phrase “fellow traveller”. J. Edgar Hoover, the reactionary head of the FBI defined fellow travellers as

  1. The card-carrying Communist, one who openly admits membership in the Communist party
  2. The underground Communist, one who hides his Communist party membership
  3. The Communist sympathizer, a potential Communist because of holding Communist views
  4. The fellow traveler, someone not a potential Communist but nevertheless who may hold views shared by Communists
  5. The dupe, a person who is obviously not a Communist or a potential Communist but whose views may coincide with some of the American Communists. Examples are a prominent religious leader who opposed increased military expenditures and war, or a prominent jurist who opposed red-baiting tactics on civil liberty grounds

If we look at the last point, anyone who – in the eyes of Gilly at least – speaks out against Islamophobia or Muslim-baiting is a “fellow traveller”. Well ,that was easy. Anyone can join the dots. It’s that simple. I clicked on the link for the Islamophobia report that Gilligoon posted and was  surprised to find myself at Harry’s Place. Dr Lambert is an academic yet Gilligoon feels the need to attack the report without understanding the research.  He says of Lambert that he is “generously funded by various Islamist groups and specialising in pseudo-scholarly defences of his clients”.  Another evidence-free assertion from Gilly and he’s supposed to be a journalist! If Gilligan had to submit himself to academic rigours, he’d fail miserably.

Gilligan continues,

The argument of my nameless critic is that I and my witnesses have got it all wrong. Lutfur Rahman, the council leader (now mayor) in Tower Hamlets, wasn’t dumped by Labour because of his close links with the IFE. It was instead, apparently, because the “white New Labour elite” wanted to “systematically marginalise” the Bangladeshi community; and because Lutfur’s “brand of left-wing populism represented a direct threat to the established hierarchy within Tower Hamlets Labour Party.”

Well, according to the evidence that I’ve seen from Labour’s NEC selection panel, I’d say that was true. Anyway, didn’t Gilligan once make some comment about the “white establishment” in one of his blogs? You just can’t get any consistency these days.

Gilligan drags in Ted Joery to help him out,

As Ted Jeory, former deputy editor of the local newspaper, points out, this is a blatant rewriting of history. Jeory covered the council closely and often saw Lutfur in action. Rahman was in fact, he says, “one of Labour’s main ringleaders against Respect’s populist Left-wing policies and motions in the council chamber.” As for the charge of racism by the “New Labour elite,” Lutfur’s principal opponent, Helal Abbas, is himself a Bangladeshi.

So what about Helal Abbas? It could be argued that he was an NEC patsy. Again this is based on the leaked documents that I received back in September.

Gilly excels himself here by saying,

Almost as stupid is the claim, earlier in the report, that the Dispatches investigation prompted an upsurge of “intimidation” in Tower Hamlets by the English Defence League. What actually happened is that fifteen members of the EDL paid a visit to a local pub, and an even smaller number subsequently came back to the same pub.

It seems to me that he’s selectivized the events here. There is plenty of footage on YouTube which shows EDL thugs, many of whom are associated with the BNP or NF, descending upon Whitechapel in droves. He isolates the 15 who were drinking outside he Grave Maurice pub on 15 June 2010. I don’t often agree with the Whitechapel Anarchists Group but they’ve got it spot on here.

By coming here the EDL have once again shown that they are out to provoke, not to stop the spread of religious extremism but to fan the flames of division through their own rowdy behaviour, well let tonight be a lesson for you. If you come to Whitechapel or Tower Hamlets it’s not the UAF who are going to be out to wave placards at you. And before all you EDL start frothing at the mouth and commenting on here about being attacked for wearing England shirts let it be known that most of the lads round here, like a lot of the Muslim locals, have St. George Crosses flying from their motors in the spirit of the world cup. So you might not see them coming…

What Gilligan repeatedly fails to do is spend time on the streets of Whitechapel. Instead he opts for the lazy, sit-at-home approach. There’s an old saying that goes “If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain”.

One thing that I have accused Gilligan of in the past is the way he allows racists and Islamophobes (who are quite possibly anti-Semitic as well) to comment without any form of moderation. The Telegraph seems happy to permit such views and will stamp out anything that does not conform to the tone set by Gilligan. While other Telegraph bloggers will occasionally respond to comments, Gilligan does not.

Here’s one comment that has been ignored by Gilligan and the paper,

jit bro: translation into English: Muz the spunk-bubble.
Here’s an snip from the ever-present danoconnor

Well, I’m not a card carrying member myself but as the EU political caste , the media, the educational system, the quangocracy and liberal intelligencia have been fully complicit in the muslimization/Islamization, colonisation of Europe—-it has been left to the rough and ready British white working class and other European anti-Muslimization engineering compatriots , who have been the primary victims of this massive grotesque betrayal to break through the wall of censorship conspiracy of silence by having the cheek and the– ” just who the devil do you think you are ” –leaf out of the Left-Wing radical activist book and yes..

As far as I know, the EDL don’t actually have membership as such; they’re happy to take any bonehead and will sell them all manner of casual tat to wear. I’ve just had a look at the EDL website and nowhere have I seen a page that invites people to join.  However looking down the list of links I can see that there’s one for our old friend “trencherbone”  and another to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel. It appears that Pat(whom I met many years ago) is being feted has been misappropriated by the EDL. In a video clip that I have just seen he talks of “European culture” and the “multi-cultural nightmare”. The EDL has used this a a sort of vindication to their sole antipathy towards Islam. Religion sucks, full stop.  I suspect that the boneheads have missed the fact that Pat is an atheist as this clip males clear,
By the way, I have not linked to the EDL or any of their affiliates. I don’t want boneheads on this blog hurling abuse and causing trouble. If you want to find out what they’re doing, just enter the letters “EDL” into your search engine and you’ll find loads of stuff on them. I once got a pingback from The British Nationalist website. I deleted it straightaway. I only wish I could do the same thing with Gilligan and the EDL.

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Filed under London, Media, Tower Hamlets, Yellow journalism

Life On Gilligan’s Island (Part 17)

Gilligan's next stop after the Telegraph?

Today, Kennite crows,

As I’ve reported here and in the paper, there are strong, credible and repeated allegations that Lutfur Rahman, the extremist-backed mayor of Tower Hamlets, received substantial support in both cash and kind from a group of powerful local businessmen during his internal party campaign to be Labour’s candidate – support that he has not declared to the Electoral Commission. These allegations are one of the main reasons why Labour sacked him as its candidate. If true, they are a criminal offence.

Well, Gilligan continues to claim many things, like Lutfur Rahman is “extremist backed”. I suspect that his claim that Rahman “accepted money from local businessmen” is also questionable.

The entire blog is about how hard done he is. How the Electoral Commission hasn’t done his bidding.This is the man who exercised undue influence on the Labour NEC when it made its decision to expel Rahman from the party. He accuses the Electoral Commission of

trying to sabotage the parallel police enquiry

He takes the word of a single source for this, the leader of the Tory gorup on Tower Hamlets council, Peter Golds. I smell another rat (besides Ted Jeory that is).

One of Islamism’s most important allies as it makes inroads to the public institutions of this country is the weakness and pusillanimity of Britain’s state regulators. As I reported in the paper the other week, both Ofsted, the schools inspectorate and the Charity Commission, have been busy whitewashing various hardline Muslim schools. The tactics used by the Charity Commission, in particular – deliberately evading the actual issue, and deliberately answering the wrong questions – bear a striking resemblance to the Electoral Commission’s modus operandi here.

This is pure paranoia. It’s reminiscent of the “reds under the beds” hysteria of 1950’s America. Again, he has offered no evidence for this assertion beyond the hearsay of a single source.

The comments on Kennite’s blog are worth a look too.

This one is from “Palookaville” and sums of the ignorance of the majority of commenters on Gilligan’s blog,

Anders, your analysis is spot on. How many of the muslim population of the UK have Islamist views and for how long have they held them? What percentatge of them are pursuing their objectives in the way you outline and what percentage of them are following the “Jihad” route? Extremist opinions were bred/indoctrinated into them long before 9/11. Incredibly, 9/11 “inspired” quite a few of them to become more extreme.

The question I’d like to know is how can a ‘serious journalist’ like Andrew Gilligan make accusations about someone when he hasn’t got a shred of useful evidence? This commenter seems to think that all Muslims are fundamentalists. What’s worse is that Palookaville thinks Kennite’s ‘analysis’ is “spot on”. Truth be told, there is no analysis, just undiluted yellow journalism.

The comment below Palookaville’s is just as hysterical,

The Muslim invasion of Britain, indeed Europe, is organised and well-planned. They have targeted the institutions of government, the bureaucracies and local authorities for infiltration because they realise that is where the power to reshape society resides. Even if the police wanted to pursue the matter, it would have to go through the Crown Prosecution Service, which has now been comprehensively infiltrated by Muslims. Nothing is going to be allowed to get in the way of the Muslim demographic jihad.

“Muslim invasion of Britain”? Why didn’t anyone tell me this was happening? Why wasn’t this covered by our 24-hour rolling news channels? I demand better from the Murdochracy!

Truth be told, Gilligan should be writing for the Daily Sport, where the in-house editorial style is more in keeping with his style of journalism.

I’ll leave you with this video. There’s barely any difference between this piece of Cold War propaganda and the sort of mush that Kennite churns out.

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Life On Gilligan’s Island (Part 16)

When I visited Tower Hamlets Town Hall last week to verify Kennite’s claim that,

Two weeks after the extremist-backed politician, Lutfur Rahman, became mayor of Tower Hamlets, his council has placed CDs of sermons by an extremist Islamic preacher in its Town Hall.

I passed The New Statesman’s Mehdi Hasan who was leaving as I was arriving. I thought he might have just  interviewed the new Tower Hamlets mayor, Lutfur Rahman.  Turns out he had. You can read Hasan’s interview here. By the way, there were no CDs.

You can read the latest nonsense from Gilligan here.

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Life On Gilligan’s Island (Part 15)

East India with Tower Hamlets Town Hall

In a blog dated 9 November, Kennite said,

Two weeks after the extremist-backed politician, Lutfur Rahman, became mayor of Tower Hamlets, his council has placed CDs of sermons by an extremist Islamic preacher in its Town Hall.

He goes on,

The CDs are being handed out to council workers and visitors as part of an official council-sanctioned display mounted in the Town Hall reception area from last week by an organisation called One Reason.

He says that,

Two councillors have been given them and have passed them to me.

Not being one to take Gilligan’s word at face value, I decided to take a trip to Tower Hamlets Town Hall and guess what? I saw no CDs of any description in the Town Hall foyer. All I could find was the local council newsletter (incidentally it is not as perniciously propagandizing as H&F News) and some local cycling and public transport guides. Someone is telling lies.

I would like to know who these two mysterious councillors are but I suspect that we will never know.

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Life on Gilligan’s Island (part 14)

Curry Bazaar on Brick Lane

I find it odd, if not puzzling, that a man like Andrew Gilligan is allowed pursue his very personal obsessions in public without rebuke from his employers. I have mentioned in this blog how The Daily Telegraph allows him to attract racist and Islamophobic comments to his blog without giving so much as giving him a proper slap on the wrists.

Today’s blog ploughs the same tedious furrow as so many others. The headline is “Lutfur Rahman: Ken Livingstone says bring him back to Labour”. I don’t know where our hotshot journalist has been for the last month but I reported on Ken’s appeal to Labour  to bring back Rahman to the party on 19 October. Not only is Kennite a yellow journalist, he’s a lazy journalist.

Here he smears Ken,

Now Ken – the single most important supporter of radical Islam in British politics – has pushed home his advantage. According to the Labour Uncut website, he has met Mr Miliband to press for Rahman’s early readmission to the party – and will propose a motion to that effect at the party’s National Executive Committee, of which he is a member, on 30 November. Team Miliband has apparently given the plea a sympathetic hearing.

I would challenge Kennite to produce some evidence for his assertion that Ken is “the single most important supporter of radical Islam in British politics”. But I could be waiting a very long time because it’s notoriously difficult to prove that  a lie is correct.

He’s produced a list of 11 ‘facts’. This one is particularly bizarre and appears to have been concocted in Kennite’s swamp-like brain,

6. proposed to “Islamically brand” the multicultural Brick Lane with “hijab arches.”

He links to a Guardian article from someone called Audrey Gillan, who was an embedded journo with the troops during the Iraq invasion. But reading the article it all appears to be based on hearsay. Of course what Kennite of Gillan fail to recognize is the fact that Brick Lane is a predominantly Bangladeshi area.  The area around Brick lane is called “Bangla Town”. I guess he’s sort of overlooked that. But that’s Kennite. He never lets the facts get in the way of a good story.

A good story would be one about the housing crisis in London. But Kennite wouldn’t touch a proper  story like that unless he could squeeze in some Islamophobic sentiments along with some anti-Ken smears.

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Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 13)

Yesterday I reported how Kennite was still flogging the same dead horse a week after the ballots closed in Tower Hamlets. Today, he tells us that “Ofcom has rejected all the IFE’s complaints” about his shoddy Dispatches programme earlier in the year. Today’s blog is a combination of self-congratulation and bitchy comment. In this blog, he tells us that he has been “long listed” for the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism. Let’s hope he doesn’t make into the shortlist. If he does, Paul Foot will be spinning in his grave.

It isn’t so much the complaint to Ofcom or even Gilligan’s slipshod journalism that is the issue today; it’s the fact that he attracts so many racists, Islamophobes and assorted EDL types that is the issue. What is more disturbing is the fact that Gilligan seems to be encouraging racist and Islamophobic remarks on his blog.  Take this one,

Don’t Ofcom know the rules, when minorities complain, their complaints are supposed to be upheld furthering the destruction of the West using a Guilt complex to supress our natural tendancy to protect our lands.
All this tinkering, social engineering going against nature by the Govt is not going to end well for someone.

Note the generalization of minority groups here. The commenter is quite clearly a racist. A commenter called “incensed” says,

Wake up and smell the hookah pipes people.

He also provides a link to a dodgy video that looks as though it was shot by the BNP or the EDL.  It’s bad enough to have to put up with Kennite’s propaganda but when he allows propaganda from racist groups, questions need to be asked. I have edited “danoconnor’s” comment,

Political Correctness is Totalitarian Humanism.
The humanists love humanity so much that they don’t care what they have to do to individuals , cultures or societies, in order to advance this humanity.
The Left becomes evermore extreme over time in order to advance radical egalitarianism through the power of the state , to impose these ideas by force.
The Left perceive cultural conservatism to be their primary enemy.
The Left belíeve that WASP culture is repressive, totalitarian and barbaric.
Anything therefore which is not WASP, is good.

More racism. But it is the way in which the expression “WASP” is used. This acronym is in circulation in the US and stands for “White Anglo Saxon Protestant”. Of course the problem for those who use this term have failed to read and comprehend their history: the Anglo Saxons were conquered by the Normans in the invasion of 1066. The correct term would be “White Anglo Norman-Saxon” or something similar. I suspect, given the tone and the language of his comment, that “danoconnor” is a member of the EDL.

I will leave you with a final paragraph from Kennite’s blog,

Ofcom’s latest ruling comes two weeks after it rejected another complaint by the IFE activist, Abjol Miah, ruling that we had indeed presented good evidence that he was active in the IFE. Abjol is also one of a number of people who has lost (or withdrawn) complaints against me at the Press Complaints Commisson over this story.

Aye and the Press Complaints Commission is run entirely by the newspaper industry so it is hardly an impartial body. Gilligan is as bad as the racists he attracts to his blogs. In another age, Kennite would have been telling us how Jews were ‘taking over the country’. In fact substitute the word “Jew” or “Black” for the word “Muslim” and you’ll find that little has changed with regards to Otherness in this country.

Andrew Gilligan: working hard to keep racism alive in today’s Britain.

UPDATE: If ever there was any doubt about the level of cordiality between Kennite and the EDL, this link informs us how respected and admired Gilligan is. Gilligoon’s “Islamic republic” blog was posted on the site Casuals United,

I have deliberately broken the link because the EDL can easily use the link to find their way here and post their filth.

I’d like to hear Gilligan defend himself but I suspect he has neither the guts, the honesty nor the integrity to do so.

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