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Lutfur Rahman and Tower Hamlets Corruption - collected articles

The London Mayoral election is at serious risk of being stolen

[Please note that there is additional information in the now closed forum:  Lutfur Rahman - collected articles  ]


Last updated at 12:13 PM on 2nd March 2012

Then it emerges that Livingstone's narrow victory was entirely due to one borough. That of Tower Hamlets where there have been remarkably sharp increases in turnout, the number of voters on the register and share of the vote received by Livingstone.

The evidence of massive voter fraud taking place in Tower Hamlets is overwhelming. 'Postal vote farming' where extra names are registered at an address, is not an isolated or random occurrence but is taking place systematically.

The Evening Standard has investigated and found that 'dozens of flats are holding up to eight people per bedroom, according to the electoral register.'

In one case 12 adults are still listed as voters at a three-bedroom flat in Mile End despite having moved out about four months before officials gathered data for the register. A lettings agent said that only 'three or four' of those named had ever lived there.

Cllr Peter Golds, the Conservative opposition leader of the council, has written on Conservative Home this morning about the failure for anyone to take action.

'In 2009 I handed over to the police copies of emails regarding postal vote farming,' he writes. 'The police spoke to the sender who "promised not to do it again" and therefore indicated a prosecution would not be in "the public interest", despite the fine for this being £5,000.

'The electoral commission advises that concerned citizens approach the town hall, who then ask you to send your evidence to the police, who go back to the electoral commission on this merry go round of inertia.'

Cllr Golds adds there is similar indifference to 'appalling intimidation at polling stations.'

This is not a new problem. The 2008 mayoral election saw the Labour share of the vote sharply increase in Tower Hamlets against the trend elsewhere. In the 2004 results Livingstone beat the then Conservative candidate Steve Norris by 16,229 to 10,157.

In the 2008 results we saw Livingstone beat Boris Johnson in that borough by 37,361 to 17,509.

Then we had in April 2010, just before the General Election, an increase in the electorate of 7,000 recorded in just one month.

This is a council where later that year the directly elected Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, stood as an independent but with the support of Livingstone against the official Labour candidate.

Tower Hamlets Council's response is to deny that there is a problem and of course there is no suggestion any of the participants in recent elections were party to any fraud.

'No cases of electoral fraud have been found in Tower Hamlets,' A council spokesman said, adding that the borough 'suffers from very high levels of overcrowding.'

So if the council can't or won't act, who will? What is the Electoral Commission doing about this? Nothing. It has a budget of £24million but when I rang them it became all too clear that it has no power to ensure free and fair elections take place - merely to offer 'guidance.'

It could act as a whistle blower but won't even do that.

When the Conservative MP Lee Scott raised the matter in Parliament he was told by his colleague Gary Streeter MP, who speaks on their behalf of the Electoral Commission, that 'the Commission has been assured by the police and Tower Hamlets electoral registration officer (ERO) that the issue is being treated with the appropriate seriousness.'

Streeter added: 'The Electoral Commission informs me that it has made no specific assessment of the level of (a) over registration or (b) fraudulent registration in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.'

Still all the boxes are ticked: 'The Commission monitors the performance of electoral registration officers (EROs) in Great Britain, including their plans for preventing and detecting electoral malpractice. The most recent report of performance against the standards set by the Commission found that the ERO for Tower Hamlets exceeded this standard in 2010.'

The Cabinet Office Minister Mark Harper, also proposes to do nothing - while 'taking the matter very seriously', of course.

So there we are. There is a serious risk of the election for Mayor of London being stolen yet nothing is being done to avert this from happening in the mother of democracy.

Perhaps we need some international observers from developing countries to help us out. We seem to be unable to manage to ensure a democratic election takes place.

Read more:

More evidence of the 3rd world politics of Tower Hamlets can be found here:

And here:

Tags: corruption, criminality, electoral, fraud, hamlets, homophobia, tower

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Tower Hamlets: how a dictatorship flourished in the East End

The neurotic fear of accusations of race and religious bias in Britain helped Lutfur Rahman control the London borough

Disqualified from office: Anyone who criticised the mayor was deemed a racist.
 Disqualified from office: Anyone who criticised the mayor was deemed a racist. Photograph: Photography/REX Shutterstock/Photography/REX Shutterstock

The formal reasons judge Richard Mawrey gave for disqualifying Lutfur Rahman from office last week are bad enough. The now ex-mayor of Tower Hamlets used fake “ghost” voters to win elections and public funds to buy votes. He offered grants to groups “that hadn’t even applied for them”. He took money that was meant to be going to the Alzheimer’s Society and poor wards that needed all the help they could get. He ran a “ruthless and dishonest” campaign to convince the electorate that John Biggs, his Labour rival for mayor, was a racist. When the election court asked Rahman if he believed for a moment that Biggs was an actual racist, he dodged the question. No matter. The truth of the charge didn’t worry him. His only concern was getting the lie out, and seeing it taken up by the local Bengali TV stations, five of which received public money from the mayor.

Not content with that, he rigged the vote by using “undue spiritual influence”, an accusation unheard of in a British court since the 19th century. Rahman persuaded clerics to go far beyond saying they thought he was the best candidate. Islam is under threat, they said in so many words. It was the duty of all Muslims to vote for Rahman. If Bangladeshi voters did not, they would be siding with their Islamophobic enemies, perhaps even defying god’s will.

We are used to thinking of racism as Nigel Farage or the Tory tabloids egging on their readers to see the Aids-afflicted foreigner as the enemy. Indeed, it often appears that this is the only way we can think about it. The mirror image is just as foul and its foulness reached a nadir in London. The worst of Rahman’s corruption was not the purloined money, but the way he corrupted leftwing values.

Anyone who criticised the mayor was a racist. When councillors said the mayor must answer questions, his supporters accused them of “racism”. When an opponent appeared at a meeting in a black cardigan – the poor woman was in mourning for her dead husband, incidentally – Rahman’s fixer roared that where once the East End had been terrorised by Blackshirts, it was now terrorised by Blackcardigans.

When Labour ran a candidate against him it was racist. When the BBC investigated him it was racist. And not just casually racist either. The judge noticed how Rahman always upped the ante by saying that all who tried to hold him to account were aiding the English Defence League. The EDL is, in truth, an ugly but small organisation that is close to collapse. For Rahman it was a gift. He could use it to paint his opponents as the willing accomplices of neo-fascists on the one hand, while corralling Bangladeshis frightened of racist attacks into line on the other.

“Truly, in Tower Hamlets,” the dry judge said , “if the EDL did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.”

The neurotic fear of accusations of race and religious bias helped Rahman build a municipal dictatorship. The system of elected mayors is always open to abuse, because there are so few controls on them. Rahman pushed it to the limits. He controlled grants and officials could not prevent him handing public money to his supporters. He controlled the officials, too, and used supposedly impartial public servants to “carry out electoral activities on his behalf”.

Tower Hamlets First, his political party, was nothing more than a cult of the personality. If you wanted a safe seat on the council, you had to show a lapdog loyalty to Rahman. Speaking of dogs, the judge noticed that when there was not even the slightest justification for an accusation of racism, Rahman and his cronies would accuse their opponents of “dog-whistle politics” instead. By these means, anything and everything an opponent said could be turned into coded racism, even when the racism was only in the mind of the accuser.

Come on, admit it – it’s not just in the East End you see these tricks played. The postmodern universities and identity-obsessed scour speech for the smallest hint of bigotry, real or imagined. They seize on it – and with a whoop of triumph – cry that the mask has slipped to expose the true face of prejudice. Surely you have noticed, too, that in the paranoia that follows, careerists and charlatans flourish.

Do not forget either that Rahman at all times enjoyed the mulish support of Ken Livingstone and elements of what now passes for the British left. The BBC, theDaily TelegraphPrivate Eye and Ted Jeory, a fantastic Tower Hamlets reporter, who exposed on his blog the corruption stories that local papers wouldn’t print, fought back. But with honourable exceptions, London’s leftwing press ignored the stink in its own backyard and dismissed the accusations against Rahman as evidence of a “deep substrate of” – you guessed it – “racism”.

You might think that at least the Labour party stood firm. But it left it to four Tower Hamlet residents to take on the huge financial risk of fighting Rahman. The judge wondered whether “like so many others who have come up against Mr Rahman, the party was not prepared to risk the accusations of racism and Islamophobia that would have been bound to follow any petition”.

One day, leftists and the Labour party will pay a price for their neglect and double standards. As it is, the price is being paid by others. Despite bordering on the opulent City, the East End of London is one of the poorest places in Britain. Many of its residents have no education; large numbers of Bangladeshis cannot speak English. They are wide open for hucksters to target. Too many stood back while they were shaken down, while money intended for them was diverted and their right to vote subverted.

In the onlookers’ indifference we can find, at last, an authentic white racism amid all the phoniness: the racism that believes the immigrant poor deserve no better.

Nick Cohen won the 2015 European Press Prize commentator award

Tower Hamlets: Muslims told not to vote in leaflets handed out near polling stations

Lutfur back in court over his high court fees.

He must have run out of other peoples money to spend.

Lutfur Rahman is helping one of his long term allies set up a new political party. One that is wholly male dominated and Islamic.  That was predicted by Joe Bloggs long ago. 

It looks like Demographics combined with money will rule certain areas. And those Areas will spread. Talking of money, Lutfur and his lackeys seem to have plenty, even though the people who took him to court for the benefit of all are facing bankruptcy.


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