My views on East End Life are well known to regular readers of this blog, although they’ve softened recently since sometimes it seems to be the only paper covering Tower Hamlets.
However, the splash in the latest edition, which has just dropped through my letter box, sums up everything that’s wrong with it.
THE London mayoral elections went right down to the wire on Friday with second preference results still being counted as East End Life went to press.
The two front-runners–Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone–were neck and neck in a count beset by delays. [etc etc].
ie pointless bordering on the absurd. We all know the result (it came through on Friday night) and for those readers who were waiting on tenterhooks for the council paper to arrive today, they’re still none the wiser. I wonder if they’ll splash on Boris’s victory in next week’s edition.
The paper’s editor is Laraine Clay, an experienced journalist who surely would have known how ridiculous it was to have devoted page 1 to a non-story would have been out of date by today. In any case, the council paper is meant to be there to inform residents about events in our borough.
A look at the inside pages reveals plenty of contenders for the front: personally, I’d have gone for Lutfur Rahman’s excellent page 5 pledge to help fight the stigma of mental health in the borough (it’s a particular problem among many Bengali women). However, they could also have gone for residents’ objections to the MoD’s plan for missiles in Bow (p3), or if they were intent on a political story, why not Labour’s victory over Lutfur/Respect in Weavers?(!)
And therein lies the problem, I suspect. I’d be amazed if the hands of Lutfur, and/or Takki Sulaiman, and/or Murziline Parchment were not involved in the City Hall Goes To The Wire splash. Methinks they got just a little bit too over-excited as Ken’s team did better than expected on Friday.
The strap-line under the paper’s masthead says, “News from tower Hamlets Council and your community.” I think Ken’s groupies forgot to read it.