Lutfur Rahman is toast. But picking up the pieces in Tower Hamlets will be hard

And so, after five years of allegations, investigations and complaints, Lutfur Rahman, the East End politician who defied the might of the Labour party that forsook him, the interventions of a Conservative secretary of state and the findings of a nine-month BBC Panorama probe to twice be elected Tower Hamlets mayor, has finally been prised out of the borough’s town hall.

An election petition – a legal challenge to election outcomes – brought by four residents of the historic London borough has persuaded Richard Mawrey QC to declare the second of Rahman’s triumphs void and bar him from office. There may be a criminal inquiry. [710 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 187 votes] The sort of politics that corral voters on the basis primarily of shared ethnicity and/or confessional allegiance is corrupt and morally corrupting. Tower Hamlets is not entirely an outlier so far as this goes. Wherever minority groups form local majorities the choice exists between encouraging them to share in the broader life of the community or permitting them to retreat within their own fortress.

The latter course, under the banner of multiculturalism, does create the perfect breeding ground for the sort of thing we see in Tower Hamlets. Perhaps it’s time to consider whether or not this really is the approach which is the best way to make our irreversibly multi-racial country work well.

[2ND 155] “There may be a criminal inquiry.”

Surely there has to be a criminal inquiry!!

[6TH 138] Followed by a trial and some custodial sentences, I hope.

[3RD 151 ] “…. a shameless player of the “race card” to silence opponents. He adds: “This attitude has been adopted by his close associates, for whom a cry of ‘racist’ is usually the first reaction to any criticism of Mr Rahman.”

You don’t have to go very far for evidence of that, the venerable Richard Seymour having played that particular card in this very organ:

“The thrust of all this is quite plain. It is to depict a democratically elected politician as a sort of Asiatic despot whose supporters, far from being an energised democratic populace, are stigmatised as intimidating by sheer dint of their number and enthusiasm. There is a deep substrate of racism informing this.”

[4TH 148] Labour’s multiculturalism come back to bite it on the arse, eh? Don’t say you weren’t warned.

[5TH 139] Unfortunately any discussion on this and related topics has been shut down by the incessant shouts of racist. As a result the divisions in society along ethnic, national and religious lines will become even more entrenched and ultimately irreversible.

[7TH 130] Its tragic, the whole thing. Every manner in which the left has failed in the last 20 years is wrapped up in this tale. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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