Eric Pickles should be congratulated for insisting council meetings should be filmed. Remember that Tower Hamlets council tried to block this idea: they knew there was dirty linen to hide.
I hope he watches the web cast of last week’s full council meeting which was picked up in this edition’s of Private Eye.
Alibor Choudhury, the man in charge of the borough’s £1.2billion budget thought he had a good gag when he wanted to accuse Labour’s Bow West councillor Ann Jackson of being a racist and a fascist. Heck, she was wearing a black cardigan, so, er, wow, like Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts she must be part of John Biggs’s “black cardigan brigade”.
The problem was she was wearing a black cardigan because she was in mourning for her ex-husband, whose funeral she had attended the day before.
All this is recorded in glorious Tower Hamlets Technicolor by those Pickles webcams.
As was a quite twisted rant by a rather hysterical Anwar Khan, who I once praised on this blog but who has since lived up (or down, rather) to the descriptions others gave me of him: a slightly disingenuous hissy-fitter, with an anger management problem. According to his register of interests, he works for Lloyds Bank. Good luck to them. Since his deselection from Labour he’s been accusing Labour of institutional racism. They don’t want incredibly talented Bengalis like incredibly talented he to speak out, you see.
No, they want thickos like his own sister-in-law to stand in his place instead, he believes.
Today, he quit Labour and announced he would stand as an independent in Bow West against his own sister-in-law – and in doing so won praise from the man he now himself praises, Mayor Lutfur Rahman. This is the same Lutfur about whom Anwar was until late last year scathing at every opportunity.
You can read all about that meeting and, more importantly, watch the videos of the race row on the Express website, where I and my Tower Hamlets dwelling colleague Owen Bennett wrote this piece today.