Tower Hamlets Council endorses the new disputed definition of anti-semitism by the IHRA

During the last full council meeting on Wednesday 19th September 2018, Tower Hamlets Council unanimously endorsed a motion upholding the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-semitism. This has been noted by many as against the Palestinian people, making any criticism of Israel to be anti-semitic.

Questions that are being asked in order for Tower Hamlets Council to clarify their stance are:

  • Is being critical of Israel anti-semitic?
  • Is disagreeing with the two-state solution in favour of Israel anti-semitic?
  • Is being critical of someone who happens to be Jewish and a supporter of Israel anti-semitic?
  • Is feeling disgusted with Israel for its crimes against the Palestinians anti-semitic?

These are questions purely based on Israel and asked at a distance from the Jewish religion.

Disliking and discriminating Jews due to their faith is nothing short of being anti-Jewish.

People say that the term anti-semitism has been taken to be diluted and fit a narrative which blindly supports an apartheid state of Israel. It has been mentioned that goal posts for anti-semitism have been widened to such lengths, which has now brought about an exaggerated definition by the IHRA.

The supporters of the motion which upholds the definition of anti-semitism by the IHRA in Tower Hamlets are as below:

The Conservatives: Tory Councillors Peter Golds proposed this motion with councillor Andrew Wood as the seconder. They are known to position themselves in places and conversations where they can be identified as staunch Zionists. The irony is that not so long ago Tweedledee & Tweedledum had support from so-called “anti-war political activists” (who started their political careers from the anti-war movement and were provided a platform by their former leader Lutfur Rahman – a friend to the Palestinians). The “anti-war political activists” attempted to paint a prettier picture for the Tweedle brothers, with the favour being returned through political support for a common electoral goal, naturally. It almost made the double standards of the “anti-war political activists” sound magnanimous. However, there are still a countless number of people who see the Tories as wolves in sheep skin.

When previous Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s administration, in 2014, raised the Palestinian flag over the town hall in solidarity with Gaza and in support of a ceasefire & peace.

The Labour Party: It is suggested that Zionism supporting Labour councillors & councillors who needed to echo Zionist lobbyists (to survive politically); resulted in Labour votes for a Tory motion endorsing IHRA’s definition of anti-semitism in Tower Hamlets.

The Liberal Democrats: It has also been mentioned that the Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats voted for the Tory motion, endorsing the IHRA definition of anti-semitism. This came at no surprise, considering the Lib Dem’s relationship with the Tories during the coalition government. The Liberal Democrats have one councillor, councillor Rabina Khan. Rabina was one of the few that changed paths (no pun intended), working alongside the Tories, after illustrating herself as an anti-war activist and being provided with a platform by her former leader Lutfur Rahman. There are a few others who have also joined the Liberal Democrats with Rabina, who were formerly members of the Respect Party (a pro-Palestinian anti-war party critical of Israel).

There seems to have come a time where changes have taken place, but those changes also resemble changes in principle.

Many see the disputed extension of the definition of anti-semitism by the IHRA, endorsed by Tower Hamlets, as nothing short of the betrayal of Palestinians; and the double standards of politicians in favour of short term personal goals as a failure to get justice for Palestinians.


Uber losing its licence to operate in London

This is a catastrophic decision for people who earn a living driving for Uber. This is not to be welcomed as an achievement. As Labour mayor of London and unions on the left, this could have been seen as the mismanagement of Uber drivers to pressure Uber into better regulated safety standards.

This stance isn’t helpful to individuals who need/want to earn and will cause financial pressures on families. Some of the people employed by Uber have faced mismanagement in earlier jobs, perhaps at a cab office, a curry house or a factory. These are merely examples. Quite frankly, some were not in employment at all. Some critics claim that this is regarding Uber paying taxes, as well as their employees. However, some of the examples on the previous sentence have also demonstrated how easy it has been for those of a different trade, or their employees to avoid taxes.

This is is a type of point scoring by Sadiq Khan and the Unions against a major company. They are in fact (unknowingly – some knowingly) jumping into bed with an establishment that is discreetly but deeply racist, who see those driving cabs of South Asian origin, as sexual predators. You couldn’t make this up, crazy communists joining forces with colonial capitalists.

Support black cabs they say. Black cabs with their prices and their surge only areas is a luxury. The suggestion that majority of Black cab drivers of a certain genre, with a clientele base of a certain type, to be endorsed is preposterous. Many Black cabbies or their customers haven’t warmed to the idea of an everyday Uber driver trying to join their club or individually trying to earn a living. This seems to be a war between white-working class cabbies vs ethnic minorities.

For some, this ruling remains an accomplishment based on a union ideology, racial hatred or their own inability to provide a competitive quality service. This is far from an accomplishment and has come at a cost of almost 40,000 people losing their jobs (many with families). Inevitably, this will cause a whole chapter of issues for the people employed by Uber, which could potentially contribute further to the urban decay in London.

Sign the petition to show your support for Uber drivers and service users:

Grenfell Tower: Food for thought for those looking for conspiracy theories.

Those telling the story of the fire at Grenfell Tower as a conspiracy, should rethink; or carry on smoking what they’re smoking and research on why Tupac Shakur might still be alive. A conspiracy theory without using the facts for a strong fight against injustice, is a quick way of blaming the culprits without actually questioning or holding them to account.

Mr Peaky Saku very eloquently explains why he believes the Conservative government held a Cobra meeting to burn down Grenfell Tower, which would then weaken them in the eyes of the public due to their incompetence. Thanks for pointing that out Mr Saku.

The burning of Grenfell Tower was a horrific atrocity that was absolutely avoidable. Cheap illegal cladding (banned in Europe and in the States) was used to cover up the element of social housing and hide away what the establishment see as urban decay. The idea of the poorest in society didn’t fall in line with the ideas of the rich and their fancy developments. Take a look at Lancaster West Estate’s immediate surroundings and the Nash Terrace looking houses that exist there. Buildings such as the Grenfell Tower looked out of place due to major developments surrounding the area. The council run Housing Association, used a ruthless “quick-fix” to cover up an ugly truth. The truth is evident and demonstrates the difference between rich and poor. The council failed to put up sprinklers and the Conservative council leader, Nick Paget-Brown, blamed residents for this. He told BBC2’s Newsnight:

“There was not a collective view that all the flats should be fitted with sprinklers because that would have delayed and made the refurbishment of the block more disruptive.”

Cheeky bastard.

Nick Paget-Brown: Conservative council leader

This is gentrification, the rhetoric of gentrification and what exists in the minds of Tory Britain, all at its worst. The Conservatives haven’t just let down the many nationally, but also locally in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 

The council has privatised most of its resources and the maintenance of social housing, all part of their reckless attitude to obtain cheaper costs (cheaper, including the lives of residents). The refurbishment of Grenfell Tower was not only an attack on the residents, but also the council dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy shows contempt towards the most needy. That being said, Kensington and Chelsea council have a staggering £274m in reserves, what a disgrace.

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham quite rightly described the fire as corporate manslaughter. Grenfell Tower should remain as a monument to remind people of what corporate manslaughter looks like and how a Tory government can turn their backs on people based on what they deem as someone’s social status.

Those responsible for this must be arrested and face trial for the deaths of so many. We have seen failure after failure by this government. Their days are numbered. The people will cause earthquakes until permanent changes are made for the betterment of our society.

The pig that wears lipstick 

This short article is aimed at the Muslim/South Asian community who call Britain their home and a very important issue that will affect them as well as other Brits. It is the referendum on the European Union.

There are reasonable points to remain in the European Union. But surely some of the reasons why South Asian Muslims are deciding to stay can be countered, can’t they? There is rhetoric within the Muslim community that the leave campaign is right-wing and is being pursued by far-right extremist groups/political parties. The remain camp may seem very attractive to South Asian Muslims due to this reason. Is the Leave camp as right-wing as it is thought to be or has it been hijacked by right-wing groups?

Many South Asian British Muslims would be eager to state that their stance on leaving the EU isn’t about not being able to compete with citizens from other European countries. Yes, of course we enjoy a diverse range of skilled workers, British or Polish, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that our membership is having an effect on other professions. For example, we have seen the demise of our much-loved Curry Houses in the UK. Harsher policies for countries outside of the EU means that skilled workers in specialist areas such as the curry industry, would find it extremely difficult to enter the United Kingdom for work. Local businesses are struggling to promote the once loved culture of “going for an Indian” because of the lenient attitude of our government towards the EU, which inevitably has caused stricter policies for those outside of the EU. Rules regarding the EU need toughening up and rules for those outside the EU need reviewing for an economical balance.

For over a hundred years many from South Asia have arrived in the UK for work. The roots of this stemming from colonisation. However, after the Second World War the British economy needed rebuilding where many South Asians came as immigrants and became first generation settlers. They arrived for work which was a gap that Britain needed to fill. Through this, they opted for a better quality of life and their immediate families joined them after the 1971-Immigration Act. Many of those working hit redundancy during the late 70s and as a result chose alternative employment, in this case the introduction of curry houses.

The history and example of South Asians are often compared to the influx of Eastern Europeans. There isn’t a comparison if both communities were to be looked into. Take into consideration the reasoning behind the existence of the EU and the difference in rules for EU migrants.

There is a shared view that the EU has elements that expose it to be an anti-working class and an undemocratic body; that it’s purpose is to support the interest of international businesses and is extremely counter-revolutionary. This of course would be at the expense of small businesses and the poorest of people.

Naturally, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s nature would have been anti-EU in the past. The Labour Party would love to see their leader cripple, so it seems he has made the well-advised choice to Remain. Trade Union leaders want to remain in the EU, but unlike Corbyn’s strategic choice, they have made choices enjoying the extravagance of EU expenses.

The Eurozone has dismantled Greece, which has caused families to struggle and live through poverty. Perhaps a vote to leave will go against David Cameron and his cronies, which can potentially cause the end of their political careers; the aftermath resulting in an early general election perhaps?

It also appears that the EU carries an undertone of racism legitimised through an Islamaphobic persona, which is now seen as the norm. The Remain campaign has managed to weave itself into good Muslim organisations run by decent people to become somewhat of a saviour in defending human-rights and believing in progression. Really? There are EU countries who have been attempting Hijab bans with some who have succeeded. Where were the human rights of those who wanted to wear the Hijab? The far-right in Europe is far stronger than that in the UK. EU policy has been a direct onslaught on refugees, many of whom are Muslim and those who have been tragically drowning in the Mediterranean. Men, women and children. Where do the rights humanS disappear to if they aren’t part of the EU? They have risked their lives at sea to save themselves from the scars of war at the mercy of Europe. Are we to suggest that the lives of European Muslims is far greater than the life of three-year old Alan Kurdi from Syria who drowned in the Mediterranean?

“The EU is very good at putting lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig!”

Colonial Tower Hamlets

Unfortunately in the borough of Tower Hamlets there is a form of racism, religious hatred, colonialism and far right sympathy. Only now it has started to condense making it visible and are able to feel it running down your skin. There have been attempts to keep it secret by the perpetrators and has been orchestrated using an institutional method rather than open top skinhead one. The poison comes from places you’d least expect it at times. Politics. However, some may say that it’s the norm in areas of politics. Parties such as the British National Party and the British Freedom Party are allowed a platform using the name of democracy to make it the norm. To our disappointment, Tower Hamlets gets nastier. The Tower Hamlets Labour Party are disguised right politicians, playing divisive politics, playing communities against each other, use well trained ethnic puppets and are a coalition with the Conservatives.

It has become apparent that Tower Hamlets right-wingers (that goes for Labour too) don’t appreciate educated people from ethnic minorities with support, influence and Power. For example, in 2010 when they deselected their own Bangladeshi mayoral candidate Lutfur Rahman, who was then a councillor, former council leader and lawyer by profession. During Lutfur’s time as council leader he faced accusations of extreme Islamic links and attempting to create a borough with sharia law. Tower Hamlets Labour Party had instigated this through a witch hunt via the Channel 4 Dispatches programme Britain’s Islamic Republic. This demonstrated right-wing Labour’s insecurity and frustration of the idea of an educated Muslim lawyer in a position of power.

Months later through a referendum, the people of Tower Hamlets chose to have a directly elected mayor. Lutfur was chosen as the Labour candidate for mayor when members voted him. Regrettably, this was seen as a threat by colonial right-wing Labour members and as a result Lutfur was deselected as the Labour mayoral candidate for Tower Hamlets. He was then replaced with councillor Helal Abbas, a puppet for colonial Labour and a tool against Lutfur. Take it as a colonial attempt to split the Muslim/Bangladeshi vote regardless of competency. From a bird’s eye view that seems to be religious hatred and an open form of divisive politics.

Lutfur went on to stand as an Independent candidate and won by an overwhelming majority. He gained support of the community, politicians, the Respect Party and councillors who in protest abandoned colonial Labour. Ever since Lutfur became mayor, Tower Hamlets Labour politics has been based on how to dent the mayor and his team. That certainly isn’t the basis for good community work or how a mainstream party should be run.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman with some of his very capable councillors is now known as Tower Hamlets First. They have achieved great things over the last three years.

Things that were of interest to me are here as follows:

• Built 3,250 new homes
• Keeping the promised time scale
• Achieved a £50m bonus from the government for building the most new homes compared to any other local authority
• Over 3,000 overcrowded families re-housed. Plus a pot for £168m for a Decent Homes programme to renovate every single council home

Education and Youth:
• A £400 a year grants from the mayor’s budget to replace EMA to help college students stay in education, which was scrapped by the government.
• A £1,500 bursary helping undergraduates with university costs.
• Free school meals for all year 1 and reception pupils.
• £10m a year for our youth service.
• New youth centres, children centres and renovation of schools.
• An additional 1,575 school places.
• A £4.5m Idea store at Watney Market.

And if you’d like to know more, you can see it here:

In a shameful attempt, Tower Hamlets colonial Labour Party is at it once again. Using similar methods like deselecting Bangladeshi threats and pulling out their election campaign weapon, a national TV documentary; this time as John Ware’s BBC programme Panorama. Labour has chosen John Biggs as their candidate for mayor. Biggs is a former Tower Hamlets council leader and a Greater London Assembly member. Biggs is part of the machinery which has orchestrated the removal of certain individuals being able to run for the Labour party in elections. Notably councillor Anwar Khan representing the Bow West ward. Khan was once known as the protégé of Councillor Joshua Peck former Tower Hamlets Labour leader. Khan has been known to opponents as a puppet, a harsh critic of the mayor and a tool used by his superiors for divisive politics. Khan is an educated young British Bangladeshi who was seen as a threat to colonial Tower Hamlets Labour. He was replaced in Bow West with his sister in law as a prospective councillor for the ward. Khan had now fallen victim to the colonial divisive politics that according to his critics was once used for as a tool. Coming to the realisation and mistakes of his pasts, he now echoes some of the mayor’s thoughts and will stand as an Independent candidate rather than Tower Hamlets First to save some face.

The Labour party in another desperate election campaigning move called for backup. This time in John Ware’s BBC programme Panorama. Colonial Labour once again pulled out old tricks of racism and religious hatred towards Muslims. They used an old story which reminds me of the boy who cried wolf. The story was of an Imam from Saudi Arabia being welcomed by the mayor during his time as council leader. This story was used in a dossier by councillor Helal Uddin Abbas to the Labour NEC, the same story which destroyed him during his attempt to become Labour’s puppet mayor for Tower Hamlets. They have claimed that the mayor has been funding Bangladeshi/Muslim organisations and neglecting others. Nevertheless, in the same programme they contradicted themselves. As told to us by the Mayor in the Panorama documentary the faith grant was inspired by a visit to the synagogue and showing the mayor working closely with non-Muslim communities. There are many ethnic Bangladeshis living all over Tower Hamlets, some in the most deprived parts of the borough where money is being spent for everyone’s wellbeing. This act of community care isn’t favouritism because it is inclusive of every community, but the accusation of Bangladeshi/Muslim only organisations’ receiving funding is indeed racism. This is being portrayed by colonial Labour as something illegitimate to play communities of different backgrounds against each other. It’s typical for the colonial fools of Labour in a desperate attempt to win an election, to start community tensions and to contradict by sounding unsure in their own documentary.

My analysis is that if colonial Labour in Tower Hamlets had stuck to traditional Labour values, put the community and their needs first then there would never have been a need for Tower Hamlets First. Perhaps Labour should contemplate on why they lost to Respect in 2005 and have lost mayoralty to Lutfur Rahman in 2010. Colonial Labour seems to be here to stay and as long as they are, there will always be real Labour values aired by those who put Tower Hamlets First!

Counter Panorama documentary: