Dead Men Left

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

And, hey, just because I can:

A HUGE cheer went up outside the election count as the full scale of Respect’s victory in Tower Hamlets, east London, became known.


There is shock and turmoil in Tower Hamlets Labour Party after its candidate, Shah Habibur Rahman, crashed to third place in what was Labour’s third safest seat on the council.

New Labour’s head office was on the phone to leading party figures in Tower Hamlets the morning after the result to find out what had gone wrong.

Some Labour activists blame the tactic of sending the two Tower Hamlets Labour MPs—Oona King and Jim Fitzpatrick—into the ward to canvass. “They both supported the war and having them going door to door cost us votes,” said one.


“This was an informed vote,” says Respect supporter Nur Monie. “The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats fought very hard. So people knew what they were voting for when they voted for us in this historic election.

“This is a huge step towards getting some representation for working people.”
The election has also shaken the Liberal Democrats who sent their “big hitter” Simon Hughes MP into the ward to canvass.

I particularly like the detail about Oona King and Jim Fitzpatrick putting voters off. If the call from Labour HQ is anything to go by, they are worried. Rightly so.