Thursday, 23 April 2015

Lutfur Rahman. Yessss.

For regular readers, you will probably understand why the guilty finding today of an election court on the Mayor of Tower Hamlets is such good news (his office did, after all, report me to the police, one presumes in the hope of having me charged and arrested - I can now leave readers to draw their own conclusions as to the good faith of Mr Rahman on this matter).

According to the BBC, he is found guilty of:
  • Voting fraud: ballots were double-cast or cast from false addresses  
  • False statements made against Mr Rahman's rival Mr Biggs 
  • Bribery: grants approved to organisations which Mr Rahman favoured, most of which were run by Bangladeshi groups
  • Treating: providing free food and drink to encourage people to vote for Mr Rahman
  • Spiritual influence: voters were told that it was their duty as Muslims to vote for Mr Rahman.
The judgement also mentions "being untruthful on occasion" i.e. judge-ese for "lying". Although an election court cannot (I don't think) send him to jail, the 2014 election will now be re-run and he is barred from standing. There are also reports that the Met is considering a criminal enquiry.

In fact, as of this moment he is no longer mayor; it is as if the election had never happened.

Not only is it an important and genuine victory for British democracy and against corruption and sectarianism, it is a real chance for the long-suffering burghers of Tower Hamlets (and especially its Labour Party) to make a fresh start in a healthier, multi-cultural environment which favours no community above others.

Oh, Lutfur, Lutfur. You have got your just desserts at last.


Two little snippets to make you smile:

1. The Guido Fawkes blog has kindly reminded us of the reliable imbecility of some of the Guardian's writers, who defended Rahman with the brilliant headline from last year"The smear campaign against Lutfur Rahman is an insult to democracy". Just fantastic.

2. And who could it be, taking to the airwaves on LBC yesterday to defend the indefensible yet again, in the shape of his old pal, Lutfur Rahman? Step forward fellow ex-mayor, Ken Livingstone, to say this:
"I don't think election courts should be there. If someone breaks the law then the police should arrest them."
You couldn't make it up. I mean, lucky he's not on the National Executive Committee of our beloved party. No, wait...

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