Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

George Galloway – Who Once Endorsed Richard Mawrey QC – Says Lutfur Conviction for Fraud and Illegal Practices “Shameful”.

with 24 comments

March 2007. Socialist Worker.

“George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green & Bow, spoke in the House of Commons on Monday night during a debate on public confidence in the integrity of the electoral system. Here is the full text of his speech, extracted from Hansard, the official report of parliamentary proceedings (© Parliamentary Copyright 2007).”

In Tower Hamlets last May, we witnessed the most corrupt election held in Britain since 1872. Hundreds of votes were purloined by crooks applying for postal votes and getting them redirected to an address sometimes just doors away from the registered address of the voter. Whole blocks of flats woke up to discover that every one of their residents had applied for a postal vote to be redirected to another address without their knowledge. Some 2,800 postal vote applications were delivered to the town hall in Tower Hamlets in the last hours of the last day, and many were brought in by sitting councillors. A total of 18,732 postal votes were registered in Tower Hamlets: a vast increase on the vast increase that had occurred at the general election the year before. Almost 15 percent of those were delivered on the last afternoon. A total of 946 postal votes were redirected to addresses that were not the registered address of the voter, with considerably more as a percentage in the wards where new Labour councillors were under pressure.

For the entertainment of the chamber, let me say that, despite all this, our party defeated the Labour mayor, the Labour deputy mayor, the Labour leader, the Labour deputy leader, the Labour housing convenor, the Labour deputy housing convenor – I could go on, but the house would lose patience. In one ward, New Labour councillor Bill Turner, who won by just 38 votes, himself had postal votes redirected to the address at which he said that he was living. The system is so utterly without basic democratic protection that it is virtually impossible to detect fraud with a sufficient degree of proof to bring the matter successfully before an election court, where, as might not be known, one must demonstrate that the fraud would have changed the result of the election. Fraud can therefore be demonstrated on a significant scale, but if it is not enough to change the course of the election, the matter is simply thrown out.

Two petitions were accepted, and were prayed in aid by Labour members. But we were only allowed to have the postal votes for the winning Labour candidate examined, and the only check that we could carry out was a forensic examination and comparison of the signature. None the less, the handwriting expert agreed by all sides in the petition identified 30 percent of the postal votes as questionable, and believed that the signatures were probably from different hands in almost half those votes – and that was just sampling 300 postal votes out of almost 19,000.

It continues,

On top of that – this is where the issue of complacency arises – a major police investigation into voting fraud in Tower Hamlets is ongoing, and has engaged four police officers full-time for the past ten months. No charges have yet been brought – I do not know if they will be, as it is so easy to subvert the system – but Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman has already commented, on the basis of that investigation, that postal votes are particularly susceptible to fraud. Despite all the talk of there not being many prosecutions, the Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that 390 cases of alleged electoral offences have occurred over the past seven years, and not all in inner cities. In Reading, only two of 46 postal vote applications examined were found to be authentic. Richard Mawrey QC *, who has been much quoted this evening, looked at ballots in the Birmingham city wards of Aston and nearby Bordesley Green. He said that there were at least 1,000 forged votes in Aston and 1,500 to 2,000 in Bordesley Green. The system of postal voting on demand is leading to a banana republic perception.

Like the minister, I am a former Labour Party official. I have been fighting elections for almost 40 years, almost always on the winning side. I know about elections. Now, for the first time in my political life, people ask me, ‘How do we know that they are counting these votes fairly? How do we know they are not rigging the election?’ I am not saying that that is happening, but there is a systematic undermining of confidence in the electoral process, caused largely by postal vote fraud.

Galloway observes,

Councils share the responsibility with government. Richard Mawrey QC considered our two petitions – the only two that we could get in front of the election court. I hope that the minister, who is laughing, will listen to what he said about a New Labour council just a few miles from Westminster, held by one seat that was only secured by this type of corruption. In response to our petitions, Richard Mawrey QC declared that the evidence that we presented showed ‘disturbing’ and ‘suspicious’ signs of ‘classic postal voting fraud’. He went on to say that a regime that allows electors to acquire postal voting ballots ‘on demand’ has been ‘an open invitation to fraud’, which has proved to be ‘distressingly easy’.

Yet in the wake of those comments by a Queen’s counsel, Tower Hamlets council, with its Labour majority of one, issued a press release that was such a falsification that Andrew Gilligan – remember him? The minister shakes her head. He was the only journalist to tell us the truth about the government’s lies on Iraq. He said in the Evening Standard that the council’s press release was a pack of lies. Who presided over all this? A woman called Christine Gilbert, whose intimate connections to New Labour are so personal that I would not like to go down that route. Suffice it to say that her reward for presiding over the tower of corruption in Tower Hamlets was to be made the chief inspector of schools at Ofsted. God save our children. God save the integrity of their examination results.”

Galloway is still fond of the electoral law.

Galloway refers Labour leaflet to the Director of Public Prosecutions

Posted by on Friday, April 24, 2015

A Labour election leaflet from candidate Naz Shah in Bradford West which is being delivered to every household in the constituency has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions because it contains alleged false statements aimed at affecting the election result.

Respect candidate George Galloway has made his second referral to the DPP under Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. The complaint concerns an extremely critical statement about Galloway attributed to a local businessman, a pharmacist, in the Heaton Ward of the constituency, which the man denies making.

“This was brought to my attention by a senior consultant at the Bradford Royal Infirmary, who works closely with the pharmacist,” Galloway says. “I have made inquiries and I am satisfied that the man, a highly respectable man, did not say what he is quoted as saying. These quotes were printed alongside his photograph. He is shocked and angry and claims that Labour have failed to respond to his complaint. The quotes appear to have been invented and then included in Shah’s leaflet which is now being distributed by Royal Mail to every house in Bradford West. It is an absolutely despicable and desperate act by Shah and her team, but sadly absolutely typical.”

A defence under Section 106 of the act, False Statements As To Candidates, is that the statements made are believed to be true, “There cannot be a ‘reasonable grounds’ defence when statements are invented,” Galloway added. “I am urging the DPP to urgently investigate this blatant attempt to influence the outcome of the election.

But how times change when it comes to Tower Hamlets.

Meanwhile Nick Cohen comments: Tower Hamlets: how a dictatorship flourished in the East End.

See also this claim that Richard Mawrey QC was not “qualified” to pass judgement, and hinting that he had a “particular interest” in Muslims (see above!!!).  “sitting in judgment was one man only – not a qualified judge, only a barrister (assumed by the media and even myself, to be a Judge) – who has demonstrated previously a peculiar interest in Muslims and elections. This man found Lutfur Rahman guilty of multiple offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983.” “Jen Izaakson asserts in contempt of the judgement that “. Law is, explicitly, to be applied differently to Muslims than as it applied to the ‘agnostic metropolitan elite’, whoever they are (is this the bankers in East London?).”

Here: A review of the judgement in the Lutfur Rahman case.

We learn with no surprise that Izaakson is closely linked to Richard Seymour – the ally of the militant wing of post-colonial studies, the racist and homophobic Indigènes de la République.

This is how he describes his politics,

Jen Izaakson

Jen Izaakson @Izaakson

Rootless cosmopolitan. Anti-humanist. Historical Materialist. LSE grad. PhD.

Izaakson’s ‘demolition’ of the judgement is laughable.

This incontinent drivel states,

In court one particular afternoon I watched as five Muslim witnesses were repeatedly asked, “did you say it was haram to not vote for brother Lutfur?”, as if these people were religious scholars in any position to do so. Within Islam there is a debate about whether to vote at all in elections, not about which candidate is the godly choice! To make such a claim, to decide god’s will and choose a specific man above another as more fated by god, I imagine, though I’m no sheik, would be sacrilegious.

No you are not a sheik, or a scholar or a gentleman.

Obviously the electioneering of the Muslim Brotherhood’s various branches from North Africa, Egypt and elsewhere,  has not come to the writer’s attention, to cite just one case amongst hundreds.

If Rahman was indicated as the only right ‘Muslim’ candidate is this not a problem?

If the Labour ‘Zionist’ Party was not ‘Muslim’, then is this not a problem?

Is there anything wrong with religiously motivated campaigning?

Apparently not.

There is a lot worse in this torrent of dissembling.

Just take one example,

Postal Vote Fraud

The evidence for these claims was the testimony of Andrew Gilligan, a right-wing Telegraph journalist linked to cronyism claims that has hounded Lutfur for years. Gilligan simply stated that two Tower Hamlets councilors had two addresses. To be clear: it was found that Rahman was guilty of this claim due to it simply being thought that Gilligan’s testimony was ‘credible’ (believable), without any proof. All that was believed is that two councilors had two addresses and then Gilligan’s assumption they therefore must’ve voted twice was agreed with.

See above for Gilligan’s past.

All Izaaskson demonstrates that the judge accepted the truth of a witness statement.

Has he any other alternative ‘proof’ that it was not?

No he has none.

The rest of the criticism, on organised religious pressure (see our previous post) is equally airily dismissed as the action of ” exuberant groups” – and whatabout Labour supporters own enthusiasm!

We wonder why there was a trial at all, Seymour, Rees and Izaakson could simply look at this “natural” enthusiasm with a wry smile.

Because they too backed Lutfur and wanted him to win.

* Richard Mawrey QC,“The judge who disqualified Lutfur Rahman is one of the country’s leading electoral law practitioners and has handed down previous, scathing judgments resulting in councillors being removed from office. Richard Mawrey QC, a deputy high court judge, specialises in election cases and has developed an acute awareness of voter fraud in his experience as an election commissioner – although there have been calls to improve the way the court operates.” Guardian. Wikipedia.

24 Responses

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  1. Excellent stuff, and all credit to you, Andrew for helping to bring it to light! Given that Rahman’s supporters (including one or two who comment BTL here) concentrate on ad hominem attacks on Mawrey and Gilligan, rather than dealing with the charges themselves, this material should be thrown in their faces at every opportunity.

    Readers may find this of interest, too: https://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/joe-columbo-the-mafia-and-ethnically-based-politics/

    Jim Denham

    April 26, 2015 at 10:40 am

  2. Absolutely.

    It would be interesting to go into detail about the ‘help’ certain people gave Lutfur.

    Andrew Coates

    April 26, 2015 at 10:45 am

  3. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    Andrew Coates

    April 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm

  4. “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”

    Nearly 5000 have signed on to ‘save Rahman’ – read the comments to see how far the lying memes have spread [https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/an-alternative-lutfur-rahman-election-petition-1].

    Trouble is, as I noted earlier [https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/lutfur-raham-the-left-and-spiritual-influence-2/#comment-21640], thuggery even has the police on its side and who dares speak up against it?

    Police actions remind me of Russia and these memes and their spread remind me of RT (Russia Today). All happening under the towers full of corrupt Russian money(Docklands).

    Paul Canning

    April 26, 2015 at 1:13 pm

  5. “It is important to support victims of anti-Muslim hate, ensure access to justice and to show victims that the system works and where it does not, to ensure that problems are quickly rectified. Hyperbolic statements that Islamophobia are all consuming in our country are simply false and this is also why the Lutfur Rahman judgement is damning. It is damning since it calls out those who used this term for political gain, whilst also sending a clear message to those working in this area that it is essential that we also call out those using the term in a corrosive manner for political gain.”
    http://tellmamauk.org/islamophobia-in-the-limelight-post-lutfur-rahman/

    Paul Canning

    April 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm

  6. Lutfur Rahman is currently consulting with ‘human rights lawyers’ to challenge his dismissal. That is the man who also refused to answer questions from the public in the Tower Hamlets council chamber on the grounds that it contravened his ‘human rights’.

    Rahman is a hero of the further and far left in this country – those who wail about austerity and the poor and disabled being targeted by the evil Con-Dems. Rahman diverted public money earmarked for Alzheimers sufferers to his Bangladeshi cronies.

    No wonder Jen Izaakman describes himself as anti-humanist. It’s about the only honest statement made by any of Rahman’s supporters in this parade of corruption and dishonesty. The supposed ‘progressive’ left like to game the human rights industry, but they despise the concept of basic human rights or social aid for anyone who’s not a useful ally or supporter. Seriously, taking money away from Alzheimers sufferers to feather the nests of your mates – and then pontificating against austerity.

    What a pile of malignant, hypocritical scum the British ‘progressive’ left are.

    Lamia

    April 26, 2015 at 2:04 pm

  7. be afraid of what? are there are anti-zionist politicians/activists that you would endorse?

    mike

    April 26, 2015 at 2:42 pm

  8. Jenny Izaaks is talking nonsense. Richard Mawrey QC is a qualified Deputy High Court Judge and has been since 1995. He is also a Recorder entitled to sit in crown court and has been since 1981.

    Furthermore he has been an Election Commissioner since 1994.

    Just Google Henderson Chambers.

    The rest of her article amounts to no more than a PoMo PoCo puff piece that fails to address any of the damning legal and evidential findings in the Judgment.

    Seymour describes this as “sterling work” but here on the planet Earth it is rightly classified as risible nonsense. Evidence put before a court, witnesses scrutinised for credibility, then assessed by a suitably qualified individual who comes to an informed decision

    I see a striking familiarity with creationists on the other side of the pond .

    Dave

    April 26, 2015 at 3:14 pm

  9. It shows that you’ve lost the argument when you come out what she’s relying on.

    And yet Galloway seemed to admire the fellow immensely when he came out with a judgement he favoured – or rather favoured him.

    Funny that.

    But then some ‘Leninists’ believe in abolishing all distinction between the judiciary’s decision-making process and their own political interests.

    Andrew Coates

    April 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm

  10. “Police actions remind me of Russia and these memes and their spread remind me of RT (Russia Today). All happening under the towers full of corrupt Russian money(Docklands).”

    Russophobia! could it be that Putin’s moral stance on lgbt rights offends you, and you have to bash them? Russia Today and Press TV are excellent alternative news sources, and while not perfect, it is a whole lot better than the BBC.

    mike

    April 26, 2015 at 4:29 pm

  11. Words cannot express the contempt I feel towards Galloway, not just politically, but as a human bneing: he is a loathsome, immoral, despicable piece of racist shite.

    Jim Denham

    April 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm

  12. “Seymour describes this as “sterling work” but here on the planet Earth it is rightly classified as risible nonsense. Evidence put before a court, witnesses scrutinised for credibility, then assessed by a suitably qualified individual who comes to an informed decision

    I see a striking familiarity with creationists on the other side of the pond .”

    There are lots of reasonable questions to be asked about why certain cases go to court and others don’t. For one, I’d like to know why the Met Police are currently ‘considering’ whether to prosecute Rahman, rather than doing it automatically. There are also questions to be asked about sentences/punishments. But that British courts overwhelmingly tend to get the guilty-not guilty bit right is not credibly in doubt.

    Yet a respectful platform is given to Seymour and co’s jeering by the Guardian. Then we’ll have Polly Toynbee or some other twat lecturing us about the cynical disintegration of society, just after Seymour and co have been stirring up shit by spreading the lie that judgments such as this are biased, racist etcetera. The section of the political spectrum that goes on most about ‘society’ does most to undermine any faith in society’s institutions.

    Lamia

    April 27, 2015 at 12:17 am

  13. Rather disturbing piece about the Met harassing Rahman’s accusers:-

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11563876/Threats-bullying-and-cowardice-The-inside-story-of-the-Tower-Hamlets-mayor-election-fraud.html

    That points to corruption.

    Also the Guardian is now solemnly convinced that corrupt politics is bad for democracy. Note how community power brokers have been cited rather than “community leaders” as being bullies and crooks, and how also corruption and ethnic grievance-mongering are just about inevitable from immigrant communities – which is an argument which UKIP would find handy.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/26/guardian-view-lutfur-rahman-ethics-trump-ethnicity

    kb72

    April 27, 2015 at 6:47 am

  14. Rather disturbing piece about the Met harassing Rahman’s accusers:-

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11563876/Threats-bullying-and-cowardice-The-inside-story-of-the-Tower-Hamlets-mayor-election-fraud.html

    That points to corruption.

    Also the Guardian is now solemnly convinced that corrupt politics is bad for democracy. Note how community power brokers have been cited rather than “community leaders” as being bullies and crooks, and how also corruption and ethnic grievance-mongering are just about inevitable from immigrant communities – which is an argument which UKIP would find handy.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/26/guardian-view-lutfur-rahman-ethics-trump-ethnicity

    rosie

    April 27, 2015 at 6:59 am

  15. “The Guardian view on Lutfur Rahman: ethics must trump ethnicity

    Editorial.

    The sectarian politics of victimisation and electoral fraud that were practised in Tower Hamlets threaten to eviscerate democracy

    Mr Rahman emerges as a liar, evasive and manipulative, a man who corrupts the electoral process so that he can corrupt its political results, buying votes and media coverage so that once elected he can direct streams of money and patronage at his supporters.”

    “The readiness to do deals with community power brokers has led to a horrible corruption of politics in many more places that Tower Hamlets and many more cities than London.”

    So Seumas Milne and his mates can fuck off for a start,

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/26/guardian-view-lutfur-rahman-ethics-trump-ethnicity

    Andrew Coates

    April 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm

  16. Indeed. If the Guardian was serious about those words and the principles stated therein, It would give the elbow to Milne and co. Yet in practice the Guardian is the only paper in the land which has repeatedly given a platform to all of those scumbags – Rees, German, Jasper, Seymour, Livingstone, Galloway, and co – who are trying to rubbish this judgment and stir up ethnic ‘grievance’. No paper touches the Guardian for hypocrisy.

    Lamia

    April 27, 2015 at 12:33 pm

  17. I disagree with some of Nick Cohen’s political positions, and agree with others.

    Normally that’s always a qualified agreement.

    But he is dead right to talk of the ‘corruption’ of the left displayed in this little band.

    All you will note, are ‘counter-hegemonic’ in the Russia Today (RT) sense

    Andrew Coates

    April 27, 2015 at 12:39 pm

  18. Jen Izaakson’s political record as London Student editor 2 April, 2013 – 18:40

    “A motion of no confidence is being proposed against London Student editor Jen Izaakson. Workers’ Liberty Students supports the no confidence motion, but this briefing is not about that per se. What it addresses is Jen Izaakson’s political record during her time as editor. We are not arguing she should be no confidenced because of her political failings, but we do think that the left should be aware of them.

    Jen calls herself a socialist and has convinced some on the left that she is standing up for left-wing principles and being persecuted by an unprincipled fake-left clique. Activists in Workers’ Liberty Students have written this because we think all that needs answering, both because of the current controversy and for the general health of our movement.

    The reality, in our view, is almost exactly the opposite. Jen has made numerous enemies on the left precisely because her conduct has shown so little regard for political principle and honesty.”

    Read the rest of the article:

    http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2013/04/02/jen-izaaksons-political-record-london-student-editor

    Andrew Coates

    April 27, 2015 at 4:34 pm

  19. A side note.

    “Mr Erlam told the court that statistics showed about 240,000 people lived in the borough with 180,000 registered to vote and his “guesstimate” was that between 10,000 and 15,000 votes had been forged or affected by intimidation.

    ‘Fight for democracy’

    He told Mr Mawrey there was evidence that police at many, if not most, of the 40 polling stations had either “refused” to intervene or taken “exceptionally ineffective measures” to stop intimidation.

    He claimed there were witnesses with “important evidence” who were frightened of coming forward.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-31425046

    Yet it is Erlam who the police are interviewing today, under caution, concerning whether it was Erlam responsible for “perverting the course of justice”!

    Paul Canning

    April 28, 2015 at 10:04 am

  20. Sarah Ibrahim in Progress on the judgement’s implications.

    “Mawrey is a veteran of electoral law cases and his comments in this instance are insightful. Campaigners of all parties, especially candidates and agents, should acquaint themselves with his recitation of the 1983 Representation of the People Act at the start of his judgment. As the Judge states “to take an extreme example, a person elected to Parliament with a majority of 20,000 in his constituency who is proved to have arranged only one bogus vote to have been cast through personation [where an individual votes in an election pretending to be a different elector], will forfeit the election and suffer disqualification for five years under section 160.” This is entirely separate from any criminal sanction that could be implied. Importantly this includes actions by a candidate’s agents. So if a candidate’s agents were to be found guilty of postal vote fraud, even without the knowledge of the candidate, disqualification could still apply (paragraph 28 of the judgment). This is vital as the legal definition of agent for these purposes encompasses canvassers, committees and supporters.

    In what will be one of the closest electoral battles for some time, candidates must ensure that they make their supporters fully aware of what is and is not acceptable practice. At this stage when postal votes have been sent out, canvassers should not place themselves in a position where they are dealing with ballot papers or postal vote forms other than their own. To do so could undermine the efforts of the Labour party and fellow campaigners.”
    http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2015/04/24/the-ramifications-of-tower-hamlets/

    She says that the next government will need to look at electoral reform.

    Paul Canning

    April 28, 2015 at 10:07 am

  21. What a crew!

    Andrew Coates

    April 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm

  22. Naz Shah does a very good job here on BBC World Tonight (10′ in) > http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05r3zc0#auto

    Paul Canning

    April 28, 2015 at 7:46 pm

  23. Been trying to get my head around the concept of ‘socialist antihumanism’ — it finally resolved to ‘taking the piss’.

  24. I think she’s trying to show off that she’s read some Althusser.

    Louis Althusser 1964 Part Seven. Marxism and Humanism

    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/althusser/1964/marxism-humanism.htm

    Althusser attacked Soviet ‘humanism’ in the shape of the ideology of Roger Garaudy, who incidentally ended up as an Islamist and convicted for holocaust denial.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Garaudy

    Andrew Coates

    April 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm


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