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Police to Open Inquiry into Rahman and Tower Hamlets First as Post-Modern Left rallies to his Support.

with 20 comments

Post-Modern Politics in a Fedora Hat.

Lutfur Rahman: Police poised to re-open inquiry after election scandal.

​Police are re-investigating the electoral fraud scandal surrounding Lutfur Rahman, the former mayor of Tower Hamlets in London, after four new allegations came to light in an official report.​

Scotland Yard confirmed last week’s High Court electoral fraud judgment into Rahman, Britain’s first elected Muslim mayor, contained new material which had not been previously reported to them.

It means the inquiry into Rahman and potential collaborators​ could now be formally re-opened, bringing into question the Metropolitan Police’s decision to previously shut down the investigation.

James Bloodworth comments on this fiasco, (Daily Beast): Lutfur Rahman Turned East London into a Banana Republic.

Political correctness and left-wing myopia helped protect Britain’s first democratically-elected Muslim mayor from corruption charges for years. Eventually justice caught up with him.

Comrade Bloodworth notes,

Rumours of Rahman’s links with extremist politics, whether accurate or not, only appeared to heighten his attractiveness to a certain type of activist. In this respect Rahman was merely the latest footnote in a sorry tale of the pro-Islamist Left—the Hitler/Stalin pact of the twenty-first century. Those who would automatically reject any compromise with the British establishment were once again ready to collaborate with the most reactionary sections of the Muslim community. George Galloway’s Respect party, a significant player in Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First, was conceived in 2004 out of an amalgamation of the Leninist Socialist Workers’ Party and the Muslim Association of Britain, one of Britain’s most radical Islamist groups. As the French writer Pascal Bruckner mockingly put it, on the far-left hatred of the market was ‘worth a few compromises regarding fundamental rights’.

The judge’s ruling appears to have done little to dampen support for the deposed mayor on the far Left. Last night, a week after the damning verdict, a rally of hundreds of supporters took place in Stepney Green in East London, where Rahman confirmed that he was “exploring the possibility” of challenging the judgment. The rally was made up largely of Rahman’s Bangladeshi supporters—and left-wing activists, including Andrew Murray, the chief of staff at Britain’s biggest trade union Unite, Respect party MP George Galloway, who appeared via video link, former London mayor Ken Livingstone and Christine Shawcross from Labour’s National Executive Committee. Shawcross, who is expected to be disciplined by the Labour party for continuing to support Rahman, is also reported to be acting as a trustee of Rahman’s legal defence fund. The corrupt former mayor used the rally to launch a fundraising drive to pay his £1 million legal fees and to insist—again­—that he was the victim of smears.

He adds,

Another thing which seemed to rankle with the Left (and which made defending the disgraced mayor a point of honor) was the fact that, for their own reasons, right-wing newspapers didn’t much like Rahman either. One of the journalists who fought hard to bring Rahman down was Andrew Gilligan of the conservative Daily Telegraph. The British Left, keener on the verbal diarrhea of Slavoj Zizek than the windowpane prose of George Orwell, had clearly forgotten the latter’s injunction that “Some things are true, even though the Daily Telegraph says they are true.”

Read the rest of the article here.

We do not agree with all of this analysis, the ‘far-left’ is by no means unanimous in its backing for Rahman to start with, and it the ‘pre-Islamists are a mixture of the credulous, the well-intentioned who have no idea of what they’ve got into,  and the less savoury. But  James Bloodworth much of it echoes the point we made a few days ago about Putin’s Russia and his chief ‘political technologist’.

Surkov, we are not in the least surprised to learn, is a fan of post-modern theories of simulacra. Pomerantsev does not name the texts in detail, but you can instantly feel the presence of Jean Baudrillard at work – or should we say, his lingering hyper-réalité. From the façades of Kaliningrad to the wars between Moscow business-gangster clans, the Oligarchs, to the battles in Ukraine, there are so many kinds of ‘surface’, that even the master-players get lost. They speak « several languages at the same time ». This is not just double-think, a split between what you say in the public and the private derision you cover it with, but, contrary to Pomerantsev’s own judgement, but a boundless enthusiasm for playing.

Is this just a Russian phenomenon ? Former Mayor Lutfur Rahman and his Tower Hamlets First Party look in many respects to have come out of Surkov’s tool-kit. A little anti-austerity for the left, a little religious enthusiasm for the ‘community’, the brazen funding of ‘players’, the ‘management’ of elections, the cajoling, the bullying…

The SWP, Socialist Action, Left Unity, Counterfire, the list is long of those caught up in this ‘post-modern politics’ where any means are good to keep the ‘Boss’ in power.

Defend Democracy in Tower Hamlets: meeting report

Glyn Robbins, who is standing as a joint Left Unity – Trade Unionist and Socialists candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow, made a stirring speech evoking the memory of the battle of Cable Street against the fascists of Oswald Mosley back in the 1930s, and today marching arm in arm with Lutfur Rahman to stop the English Defence League storming through Tower Hamlets on three occasions. He noted that Labour candidate Rushanara Ali has refused to comment on what’s happened. As Glyn wrote in a leaflet distributed to the meeting:

“Anger and resentment are rising in Tower Hamlets following the election court decision on 23 April. Even people who didn’t previously support Lutfur Rahman recognise the ruling as a hypocritical, state-sponsored attack on local democracy, with strong racist and Islamophobic under-currents… The election court judgement is an attempt to intimidate and neuter political dissent and shore-up the political establishment.

“Lutfur Rahman’s administration has reinstated EMAs, maintained Council Tax Benefits and celebrated St Patrick’s Day and LGBT culture. In stark contrast to the Labour council leader who preceded him, Lutfur Rahman took a courageous and principled position to oppose the EDL.

“We need a united, determined campaign to defend our community against cuts and direct rule by Westminster on the form of Eric Pickles’ government commissioners and to demand a better future for Tower Hamlets… On May 7 the people of Tower Hamlets have another chance to tell the establishment ‘we’ll decide who to vote for and who runs our borough’.”

Cable Street, Rahman, arm in arm….Robbins is in full Russian propaganda drive against ‘fascism’ with a dribble of Pickles…

Rahman celebrated St Patrick’s Day!

Gay Rights!

And no doubt the Birthday of the ‘Prophet.

No mention of how exactly Tower Hamlets First came to select (so, so, quickly) Rabina Khan as Rahman’s chosen successor.

Big City Boss……

Oddly these people are not rushing to join Tower Hamlets First………

More: Lutfur Rahman announces new Tower Hamlets mayoral candidate following dismissal.


20 Responses

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  1. Interesting and good link Andrew with Kremlin tactics.

    All the ‘usual left’ cited also join in in defending Putin and regurgitating Kremlin memes (lies) over Ukraine. All of them ignore what even the left in Ukraine, never mind the people of Ukraine, are saying. All of them ignore Kremlin support for the far right like the FN and Jobbik and all of them end up mirroring precisely what the far right say. All of them repurpose facts and reality to fit a narrative. All of them fling hatred at those comrades who dare question.

    The analogy is sound.

    Paul Canning

    May 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm

  2. James mentions Rahman’s support for the hard-line Islamists of the Islamic Forum in Europe which makes the analogy even closer.

    Andrew Coates

    May 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm

  3. Left Unity says 2000 at Thursday’s meeting, Buzzfeed say 400 …

    Paul Canning

    May 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm

  4. “Some things are true, even though the Daily Telegraph says they are true.”

    Some things are true, even though Russia Today and Press TV says they are true.
    @paulC ” All of them repurpose facts and reality to fit a narrative”

    thats what some do with Charlie Hebdo, repurpose facts and reality to fit into an islamophobic narrative about the supposed danger posed to free speech.

    do you defend Ukranian fascists because your hatred of Putin is much greater because he hasn’t fully signed up to the gay agenda? will you only be happy when there is a pride march in Moscow and Tehran, and same sex ‘marriage’ is celebrated in Orthodox churches in Russia and Shia Mosques in Iran?


    May 2, 2015 at 1:23 pm

  5. I am so tired of hearing Kremlin propaganda so rather than waste energy on ‘Mike’ hear these stirring words from the last moments of Crimea’s Tatar TV station, shut down by Russian imperialism last month.

    Paul Canning

    May 2, 2015 at 2:30 pm

  6. Reblogged this on oogenhand.


    May 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm

  7. Some left wing groups, notably the SWP, regularly double or treble the numbers at meetings and demonstrations.

    Obviously Left Unity have not changed that long-standing policy.

    Andrew Coates

    May 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm

  8. i can assure you there was no doubling of numbers. the people of Tower Hamlets came out in a show of force which no one can deny.

    the new candidate


    she says: “As a councillor I am constantly visited by a constellation of campaigners – people fighting to save a local LGBT pub, people wanting fairer leasehold charges, people campaigning for a special educational needs unit at their local sixth form college or people wanting more space for cycling and a better deal on road safety.”

    see, she isn’t homophobic as she’s met with people who want to save a gay pub.
    she hasn’t said anything about zionism either.


    May 2, 2015 at 9:33 pm

  9. I am so tired of hearing Guardianista propaganda so rather than waste energy on Paul Canning, hear the stirring words of George Galloway:


    May 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm

  10. Pop quiz: who wrote, after the military coup in 1999, “In poor third-world [**but nuclear armed**] countries like Pakistan politics is too important to be left to petty squabbling politicians… Only the armed forces can really be counted on to hold such a country together. Musharraf seems an upright sort to me and he should be given a chance.”

  11. […] Source: Police to Open Inquiry into Rahman and Tower Hamlets First as Post-Modern Left rallies to his Suppor… […]

  12. […] Source: Police to Open Inquiry into Rahman and Tower Hamlets First as Post-Modern Left rallies to his Suppor… […]

  13. @redkorat I’m not sure who said it, but whoever it was, it wasn’t wrong. Musharraf is better than petty squabbling politicians. He made a mistake by letting the US use Pakistani territory, but apart from that, he is an ‘upright sort’.

    of course, it would be far better if Tariq Ali were to return to Pakistan to lead the Trotskyist revolution, but as this seems unlikely, Musharraf is OK. Musharraf is also not an Islamist.
    check this out: an Islamic punk band singing about Sharia law


    May 2, 2015 at 11:30 pm

  14. also, there is nothing postmodern about Respect. the real pomo poco politics is in the universities. They’re a bunch of headcases with all their BS about safe spaces, gender crap cisgender, banning white men from meetings etc. that is postmodern politics, not Galloway and Rahman. I’m pretty sure that Rahman is not particularly interested in the works of Baudrillard and Lyotard. ( i call them bored real hard and Leo turd)

    Galloway has also popularized the word ‘scintilla’ ” if you have a scintilla of courage in your miserable hearts you will arm and re-supply the Palestinian resistance.”

    why are you all so obsessed with his fedora hat? I dare and challenge anyone to present me a better public speaker/orator than George Galloway who is currently alive and politically active.

    i bought mine from here online:



    May 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm

  15. I think the world, on the whole, would be a better and more enlightened place if there were pride marches in Moscow and Tehran.

    That does not mean I want Jeb Bush as US president, or want Muslims expelled from Britain.

    Good to see the old Stalinist tradition of philistine, Mailesque Europhobia being kept up here.


    May 3, 2015 at 12:21 am

  16. Anyone who wears a hat in this day and age, except for religious purposes*, or to prevent UV exposure (ie skin cancer), is a bellend.

    * and most of them are bellends too.

  17. Don’t know what Bloodworth has against Slavoj Žižek btw.

    Some Iranian comrades I was talking at the May Day rally today don’t share ‘mike’s’ love of the Islamic Republic.

  18. To put things at their mildest:

    You could agree or disagree with the judgement, and/or with different bits of the judgement.
    But what cannot seriously be argued is that the judgement constitutes a witch-hunt based on flimsy arguments concocted by the judge simply in order to have a go at Rahman. In fact, the judge rejects a number of the allegations against Rahman. And when he upholds an allegation, he goes to great pains to explain why he has reached that conclusion.

    Some of Rahman’s supporters also seem to be arguing along the lines that it must be a witch-hunt because Rahman’s behaviour was not really any worse than that of a lot of other politicians but he is the only one to have been thrown out of office. ‘Therefore’, he must have been picked on and treated differently because he was a Muslim Mayor.

    But even if that were true, that would also amount to a political condemnation of Rahman, i.e. rather than being some kind of ‘progressive’, he’s just as bad as many other inner-city politicians.

    BTW: Andrew Murray (McClusky’s Stalinist ‘Chief of Staff’) spoke at the rally and made a point of saying he was speaking “on behalf of Unite” and *not* in a personal capacity. It’s rumoured that Unite will be supporting Rahman’s chosen successor-candidate in the re-run election. I’ve b een raising this within the United Left, but they seem remarkably unwilling to have a debate on this.

    Jim Denham

    May 3, 2015 at 10:40 am

  19. Some of Slavoj Žižek’s ideas are interesting, but he has so many….

    Andrew Coates

    May 3, 2015 at 11:28 am

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