The Politics Show on BBC London yesterday featured two stars of the East End, George Galloway and Lutfur Rahman. While the former Respect MP was invited to talk about phone hacking at the News of the World (police have told him his number was on a list compiled by a private detective), the Tower Hamlets mayor appeared in a section about the Government’s transparency drive to make councils publish all payments of more than £500.
You can see it on the BBC iPlayer here until next Saturday. George’s bit starts at 39mins and 15secs; the segment with Lutfur begins its introduction at 48minutes in.
Lutfur is seen alongside Tory Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond, who is a non-ministerial aide to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles. While Lutfur (or ‘Luther’, as Hammond calls him at one point) welcomes the transparency policy, he also moans that it is adding to his council’s workload. He says officers have already spent more than 100 hours preparing the data, to which my response is “boo hoo”. I’ve no doubt at all that while there could and should be some improvements to the quality of the data provided, the policy itself is a good one and it will force councils to spend money more wisely.
Judge his performance for yourself.