Dead Men Left

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Tower Hamlets: where rugby comes first

Resolute Cynic has been attending political meetings again:

...Respect supporters on the Isle of Dogs turned up to their selection meeting last night, to be leafleted by an 'unofficial' representative of Poplar and Canning Town Labour party.

The leaflet, "An open letter to 'Respect' members from concerned voters on the Isle of Dogs", was nothing more than a begging letter, desperately urging Respect not to stand.

"Do you want to help elect a Tory councillor on 9th September" it asks.

It continues "there is a local working class Labour candidate, who has ALWAYS opposed the war from a local party that has always opposed the war.... and who not just opposes but is actively involved in fighting privatisation and luxury development on the Island".

At the Respect meeting, long standing East London activists racked their brains to remember when they saw this person at a Stop the War rally, an anti-privatisation picket-line, a campaign against meeting or anything.

But the most ludicrous statement is the following:

"The people of Millwall - and the people of Iraq on whom so much suffering has been influcted by lying US and UK war leaders - do not deserve a Tory toff". (Their emphasis).

Now, both Labour MPs in Tower Hamlets supported the war and were not even challenged for re-selection by their local CLP. It is a Labour war leader persecuting the Iraqi people. These obvious points, clearly escape the notice of the local Labour Party member who wrote this amazing leaflet.

The strangest thing here is the contrast with the forthright statements of Cllr Kevin Morton to the East London Advertiser:

"Mainstream politicians did not pander to the bigotry behind the BNP's support back in the 1990s and we should not pander to the bigotry behind this new victory for the forces of extremism."

Cllr Morton stands curiously at odds with the Labour member flagrantly "pandering to bigotry" by leafletting a Respect selection meeting. (Possibly this is a cunningly two-pronged strategy. Or possibly they don't have a clue.) Morton was previously notable largely for his cutting observation that "we only win world cups under a Labour government"; although, strangely, "winning the world cup" is not the first item that springs to mind when considering the many and varied achievements of the Blair government. Perhaps if Cllr Morton spent a little longer drawing up a more comprehensive list of all those splendid things New Labour have bestown upon us in the last seven years, he wouldn't need to berate his own electorate as "bigots". Failing that, it's kind of him to keep the seat warm for us.