Archive for October 11th, 2010

A reader of this blog was so amused by the thought of Helal Abbas (a man who doesn’t really do passion very well) displaying “aggressive facial expressions” during this morning’s encounter with Lutfur Rahman’s supporters that he has suggested a competition.

So, I’m offering a meal – with me! – at either the Lutfur-backing Clifton restaurant in Brick Lane or its rival, Preem, which is owned by Azmal Hussain, the former chair of Tower Hamlets Respect and now big-time Abbas supporter, for the person who sends me, via the email address in my contact section, a photo of their best “aggressive facial expression”.

The meal will be served on October 31, 10 days into the new mayoralty and, of course, Hallowe’en – so make it really scary.

Here’s the suggester’s entry.

UPDATE at 10.15pm

And Emdad Rahman has believes he has it game, set and match with the following picture, which he says is him when he’s really angry:


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For I don’t don’t know how long, the police have been educating people how best to use the 999 emergency number. Often their time is wasted attending needless incidents that divert attention from genuine emergencies. Politicians, who are the guardians of how public money is spent, have been at the forefront of this education campaign.

So….take an incident which happened outside Stepney Green Tube station this morning. Labour council leader and Tower Hamlets mayoral hopeful Helal Abbas and a few of his supporters met there for a morning of canvassing. And so too did a few of Lutfur Rahman’s team, including Cllrs Alibor Choudhury and Oli Rahman.

There was an exchange of pleasantries, then harsh words and then some “aggression”. And then a 999 call. And then police arrived.

Here’s Oli Rahman’s account:

Abbas came and shook my hand and also Alibor’s. There was a third person in our group [Oli names him, but for legal reasons, I’ll refer to him as X] who also wanted to shake his hand. Abbas didn’t want to and said in Bengali, ‘This is your father’s land you are telling me to go away from.’ In Bengali, this is extremely insulting.

There was a big Bengali guy with Abbas and he started shouting at X. The big Bengali guy then came towards X as if to hit him. He was aggressive. Abbas and another person there [Oli also names him, but for legal reasons I won’t] came towards us. They had aggressive facial expressions and body language. The big Bengali guy touched and pushed X. He didn’t fall over. Alibor had to go and restrain him by standing in the middle.

I called the police because I felt intimidated and that if Alibor hadn’t been there, there would’ve been physical violence.

I then asked Oli if he called 999 and he said ‘yes’. I then asked why – given it was broad daylight, it was outside a busy Tube station and in an area covered by CCTV cameras – he just didn’t walk away, as community safety experts advise. He said: “I was genuinely concerned for my safety. Yes, I could have gone to a police station to report it later, but at the time and under the circumstances, I was afraid we were going to get beaten up. I genuinely thought my safety was threatened.”

The Met Police have confirmed the call took place and I am waiting to hear whether there is an ongoing investigation.

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In this post last week, I mentioned receiving a depressing email. It came from a member of the Conservative party whom I met in Birmingham. She’s from Tower Hamlets and her name is Subrina Hussain. She told me of the racial harassment she had endured after refusing to vote for Labour. She said a Bengali man called her a “coconut” for her decision. For those unfamiliar with this derogatory term, it means “black on the outside, white on the inside”.

Subrina named her accuser, but for the moment, I won’t do so. Here’s her account.

R called me and left a voice message on my mobile on Saturday the 2nd of October at 11:41 am so I have returned his call as soon as I received his message around early afternoon.

First he asked me to vote for Labour Party and when I said I would not vote for Labour Party as I support and am a member of the Conservative Party so I would be voting for them, he said no one is going to see my ballot paper so I should vote for Labour Party and give him my ballot paper as I am registered on postal vote. But I said sorry I can not cheat with any one and I want to vote for Tory Party as I like their policies. He then started calling me a coconut because he thinks I should not use a Muslim name and support Conservative Party. He said being a Muslim and of Bangladeshi origin I should not support Tory party and he was accusing Tory Party as they do not care about Muslims or Bangladeshis and they hate us because he thinks Tory Party is white people’s party which is totally a wrong information.

He also said that England is white people’s country and white people see us as second class Citizens and can get rid of us any time they want but I disagreed and said no this is not true. The British government treats everyone the same so does the Conservative Party and if you haven’t done anything wrong, you would not get punished only because you are Bangladeshi origin or you are a Muslim.

I told him being Bangladeshi origin or being a Muslim does not make any difference for any one, Britain is my country, I belong here, I love my country as much as a white person can love, I will do anything to protect my country, I would not tolerate any bad comments about my country and I never bring my religion into Politics. He then started swearing at me, and the Conservative Party, he called me a puppet and used many dirty words any one can ever use so I cut the phone off.


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