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Archive for October, 2012

I noticed this week that I was the only council leader to be included the Daily Telegraph’s top 100 influential figures on the left.

I am flattered that I merit a mention. But for me, my inclusion says more about the way we are running this council.

As the BBC’s Sunday Politics show highlighted, Tower Hamlets is pioneering progressive policies designed to protect our residents from the cold winds of government austerity.

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Statement on Hanbury Street mural

I have received a number of complaints that the ‘New World Order’ mural on Hanbury Street has anti-Semitic images. I share these concerns. Whether intentional or otherwise the images of the bankers perpetuate anti-Semitic propaganda about conspiratorial Jewish domination of financial and political institutions. I am of the view that where freedom of expression runs the risk of inciting racial hatred, as for example when the EDL attempted to march in Tower Hamlets last year, then it is right that such expression should be curtailed. I have therefore asked my officers to do everything possible to see to it that this mural is removed.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman

Statement from the Reverend Alan Green

Whilst I appreciate street art in Tower Hamlets, it must always respect the principles of our diverse community. This mural uses images that have for centuries been used to incite hatred and persecution against Jewish communities. There is no place for such incitement against any community in this borough’.

Revd Preb. Alan Green,
Area Dean of Tower Hamlets and
Rector of St John on Bethnal Green

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Ed’s housing boost

Labour nationally is some ten points ahead in the opinion polls. But as the party’s conference opens in Manchester, there is worry amongst some the of the delegates who have been in touch with me, that the poll lead could easily narrow in the months ahead, unless Ed Miliband sets out a much clearer alternative that is believable and which gives real hope.

So, I was delighted to learn today that Ed Miliband and his Chancellor have committed the next Labour Government to invest 3 billion pounds in major new housing programmes. This would not only benefit areas boroughs such as ours where there is an extreme housing shortage, but nationally would help boost our seriously flagging economy. So far the years of Tory and Lib Dem austerity have only depressed demand and living standards further. On top of that, the deficit has continued to grow. Labour, under Ed Miliband, this week has an almost unique opportunity to show that it has the economic policies to get us out of recession – and create a more equal Britain.

On a separate note, I was very disappointed to read that a former Minister, Douglas Alexander, believes that Ken Livingstone was to blame for losing to Boris Johnson. Faced with the unremitting hostility of a deeply partisan press, especially the Evening Standard, and not helped by the fact that some prominent Labour figures such as Lord Sugar publicly attacked him, Ken clearly had an uphill struggle. Today, many Londoners are reflecting back on that missed opportunity, as Boris Johnson grandstands and uses the Mayoralty simply as a prop to get back into Parliament and challenge David Cameron for leader of the Conservative Party. Ken Livingstone would have been an excellent Mayor of London, and he deserves our heartfelt thanks for all that he achieved both as Leader of the GLC and as a former Mayor of our great city.

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