Archive for March, 2012

Go bananas for fair trade!

I wrote previously about my commitment to the Co-op movement. One of the reasons I support Co-op’s is because they support Fairtrade.  Last week I had the opportunity to promote the council’s commitment to Fairtrade at an event organised by HEC Learning Centre and attended by pupils fromRedlandsand Harbinger primary school.

The aim of the event was to promote greater awareness of Fairtrade policies among school students. I really enjoyed myself; the enthusiasm of the children was infectious and their commitment to social justice uplifting.

Tower Hamlets in supporting the national ‘Take a Step 2012’ campaign which encourages everyone to change one thing they buy to Fairtrade.


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In recent weeks I’ve pointed to several blatant examples of bias in the London Evening Standard towards Boris Johnson in the upcoming election.

Yesterday the free-sheet splashed with a report from Peter Dominiczak and Craig Woodhouse claiming that Moody’s ratings agency has warned “London’s transport would face collapse” if Ken Livingstone implements his fares cut.

The story was so dishonest it looks like the paper has given up journalism during the LondonMayoral election.

More from Sunny Hundal here

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International Women’s Day marks the first era in living memory that the equality drive has gone into reverse… Women were predestined to be the great losers once the government decided to shrink the deficit with 80% spending cuts and only 20% tax cuts: women pay less tax and use more services. Of the £18bn cut from benefits, £11bn comes from women’s pockets, according to the IFS and the Fawcett Society. Single mothers take the worst hit, their incomes falling 8.5%.

More from Polly Toynbee here.

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Today is International Women’s Day and to celebrate Tower Hamlets have been running a wide array of events throughout the week.

Often International Women’s Day focuses on women who have achieved monumental successes – who are leading countries, performing great sporting feats or pioneering in science or business.

Or it focuses on campaigning for women in countries where women’s equal rights are yet to be achieved.

However it is just as important for us to celebrate those women who contribute to improving the lives of people locally, or who have overcome their own difficulties to achieve success in their own lives and bring great benefit to the wider community.

I was proud therefore to be asked to take part in the International Women’s Day ceremony at Pritchards Road Day Centre. We recognised women who have inspired through achievement through education and employment, have made a difference to someone else’s life, or made positive changes to their own life.

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The Guardian report that Dow Chemical have used a private intelligence agency to spy on campaigners from the Bhopal Medical Appeal who are opposing Dow’s sponsorship of the Olympics.







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When I first decided to go into local politics, rather than continue in law, I guessed that life would never be easy, especially in a borough such as mine whose turbulent yet rich history forms part of the tapestry of London’s East End .

As the country’s first directly elected British Bangladeshi Mayor, my first duty is to try and represent all the diverse communities that go to make Tower Hamlets one of the most diverse in the land. In recent weeks I, along with a number of councillors who form my Cabinet, have come under sustained attack from the London Evening Standard.

Read my full article in the Huffington Post here



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Ken Livingstone’s announcement today that if he is elected in May he will reinstate a London wide EMA is not just good policy, it’s good politics. The EMA was a proven policy that helped London teenagers get the qualifications they need to get into work.

 I am really glad to see that Ken has promised to follow Tower Hamlet’s example and reinstate the EMA if elected.

With the Mayoral election hoting up the Guardian have run a devastating article on Boris Johnson’s record asking ‘What has Boris actually done for London? Their answer; not much.

It is well worth a read.

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Flying the flag for Co-op’s

The Co-operative movement is one of this country’s great treasures. It has 12.9 million members and is worth over £33.5 billion. Co-op’s offer a business model with a genuine commitment to ethics and democracy at its core. For example the Co-operative chain of food stores have combined successfully operating in a very competitive market with cutting carbon emissions by 35%, selling more fair trade products, investing £1 billion in renewables, and recruiting thousands of apprentices!

With the global economy mired in crisis as a result of a failed banking model, people are looking for economic alternatives. The co-op movement provides one. I am proud the Town Hall will be flying the new Co-operative flag. We want to mark 2012 as the UN Year of the Co-op, and to encourage the growth and establishment of co-operative enterprises in Tower Hamletss.

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