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Long suffering Tower Hamlets voters know that the local Labour Party is still sulking about losing the mayoral election in October 2010 –

New Labour Administration in “own goal” gift to EDL


Mayoral hopeful Biggs: will he disown Labour's ill-founded comments?

Mayoral hopeful Biggs: will he disown Labour’s ill-founded comments?

Long suffering Tower Hamlets voters know that the local Labour Party is still sulking about losing the mayoral election in October 2010 – but it’s still depressing to see they are still behaving with the maturity of a toddler who’s had his ball taken away.

The latest pot shot Labour’s fired at the Mayor is to claim that he has personally organised the deployment of Decent Homes work in the borough so that improvements have been made in wards which are represented by independent councillors who support the Mayor’s administration.

Labour has thus revealed its ignorance of how Decent Homes money is allocated – this despite the fact that the allocation was agreed at Cabinet last month and is thus quite open.

Labour has also failed to work out the basic politics of its allegations. They complain the Mayor is targeting “support at his friends”. If the Mayor were doing this, such a strategy would not win him any new friends. Labour should worry if the Mayor was disproportionately spending money in Labour wards – as they could then allege that the Mayor was trying to win voters away from Labour.  Electorally speaking, they should be delighted that housing priorities are dictating that the Mayor doesn’t have to prioritise spending money in Labour areas (so why do Labour areas have the best housing?).

Labour has also glossed over the fact that the reason why the Mayor doesn’t have more homes to improve is that Labour sold off as many as it could to a variety of housing associations. It was Labour’s strategy to sell off all the homes and it was only stopped by the tenacity and foresight of many of the Borough’s tenants.  Many tenants on the transferred estates are still waiting for Decent Homes standard: any many of those who have achieved it have had to pay for the work with private dwellings being built on their estates to fund the works and with the deficiencies of their new landlords.

It would never be funny, but it would perhaps at least be ironic if that’s all there was to it – but events have now taken a sinister turn.  ELN has long warned that Labour’s personal vendetta against Mayor Rahman can be used by those with a racist agenda: and indeed this is what has happened. The Labour Party press release announcing their imagined slight has been tweeted by the English Defence League (EDL). Yes, that’s the EDL which had announced some weeks ago that it would target Tower Hamlets this summer. But then again, Labour’s strategy to deter the EDL last time they came to the Borough was to call for the EDL’s march to be banned and then to call on residents to hide away at home when it was not.  “Stay at home to defeat the fascists!” – now that’s a new one.

Tenant activists have long been concerned that the manifesto for housing which John Biggs put forward when Labour Party members selected him to be their mayoral candidate just showed Biggs’s complete ignorance of housing issues in the Borough (and in London). It remains to be seen if he can put a halt to Labour’s foot-in-mouth habit – and to its unintended by inevitable consequences.

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