Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘european elections’

A couple of months ago the commenter ‘imran’ left these observations on this blog:

The stats are stacked against Biggs. Lutfur doesn’t need dead voters to turn up, just all the Bangladeshi uncles and unties would be enough. Based on the assumptions below for 100,000 voters in TH, I’ve worked out Rahman would get 24,790 votes and John Biggs only 13,325. 

White British make up 45% of the population of which 20% are active voters. 90% of them vote for Biggs and 1% vote for Rahman. Bangladeshi make up 35% of the population of which 80% are active voters. 15% of them vote for Biggs and 80% vote for Rahman.

Others – Non Muslim make up 15% of the population of which 10% are active voters. 60% vote for Biggs and 20% vote for Rahman. Others – Muslim make up 5% of the population of which 50% are active voters. 5% vote for Biggs and 80% vote for Rahman. 

It’s hard to see how Biggs can win, there will have to be a 50% plus turnout of the white British voters and 90% plus of them will need to vote for him. He also will needs to get at least 15% of the Bengali vote and 60% of the other non-Muslim vote.

I liked this comment and I hope Imran will be pleased to know that I regularly refer to it when people ask me whether Lutfur Rahman will win in May.

The calculations are a bit ‘back of a fag packet’ but they have some logic nonetheless.

But what Imran didn’t factor in was Nigel Farage and Ukip.

The turnout for the mayoral and council vote on May 22 will be bolstered by the European Parliament elections the same day. And the European issue is of course pretty prominent right now. Many think Ukip might even win the Euro elections in the UK.

Until last December, Ukip had no organisational presence in Tower Hamlets, but then they formed a branch in the borough. And then they started looking for candidates to stand for the council. And then they decided to go for the Big One, the mayoralty itself.

They won’t win it (although who am I to say..) but they will probably have a bearing on the overall result.

With a bit of targeted publicity in the Advertiser and the Wharf, they’ll reach the very many disillusioned who haven’t bothered to vote in previous elections.

This will boost the “white British” vote that Imran referred to.

The question then becomes how does this affect John Biggs’s chances?

Well, John does need a higher turnout than the 23 per cent in October 2010 when Lutfur won, that’s for sure. But he also needs first and second preference votes.

I suspect the Tories, who have announced Chris Wilford as their man, are probably whispering to their voters to place a second preference number 2 next to John Biggs’s name.

But will that be the same for Ukip’s voters? The ‘get Lutfur out’ strategy demands they should but will Ukip get that message out?

Maybe that’s one we should ask their candidate. And this is where it could get interesting. Because the hack and wannabe spin doctor in me thinks they’ve chosen someone who could demand attention from the national press, or at least from the Evening Standard and BBC London.

So let me introduce you to the Ukip candidate for Tower Hamlets mayor: Nicholas McQueen (or as he might soon be described, the cousin of late fashion mogul Alexander McQueen).

nicholasmcqueen_base

The Tower Hamlets Ukip site has this about him:

Nicholas McQueen has been chosen as the candidate for mayor of Tower Hamlets for the UK Independence Party.  Nick is a real Eastender.   He was born and grew up in the East End, which he refers to as “his village”. He has lived a varied and interesting life. He is a self-made businessman, having started a successful flower business with his wife of 34 years – Pauline. Early in life he pursued his dream of becoming a commercial pilot and flew in Northern and Central America. He wrote a children’s book which was turned into a musical. He invented a flower vending machine.

Nick is well-known and liked across the borough.  He says of himself that he is “fighting for the multi-cultural, multi-religious society of London’s East End. A community is assessed NOT on how well the rich live, but on how well we look after the less fortunate.”

Mark Webber – Branch Secretary of Tower Hamlets UKIP – released the following statement: “We are very excited about Nick’s candidacy. Nick is so well known in his community that we already have a large number votes in the bag.  Even before the press coverage has begun word has gone out on the “tom toms” – to use Nick’s phrase – and the response has been fantastic.  Nick will be the dark horse in this election.  I want to once again emphasise to people who are not registered to vote that they must contact the council as soon as possible.”

The site also says he will be standing for the council in Stepney Green. It adds this extra information about him:

Vote UKIP Nicholas McQueen Cpl.  I will fight for YOU!

Nicholas is a family man and has been married for 34 years. He has a daughter and two grandchildren. Today he is fighting for the multi-cultural, multi-religious society of London’s East End. A community is assessed NOT on how well the rich live, but on how well we look after the less fortunate.

He was born and raised in London’s East End.  In his early years Nick boxed for St. Georges and Poplar District.  He attended Caterham boy’s boarding school, played rugby for Caterham and was a member of the ATC.

    • Nicholas is the creator of McQueen’s Florist.
    • At age 26 he became a commercial, multi-instrument pilot, flying in North & Central America.
    • On his return to London he created Carole McQueen Florists (specialists in TV sets and funerals).
    • 1996/97 he was the creator of the world’s first fresh flower vending machine.
    • 1998 he created Bulbworld the children’s book.
    • 1999 Nick co wrote and directed Bulbworld the musical at The Royal London Palladium.
    • He designed the set for his cousin Alexander McQueen at London’s Christchurch.
    • 2000 McQueen’s Publishers represented Great Britain at the Frankfurt Bookfair.

Ukip also has this clarion call for candidates:

Could you stand for election to the council as a UKIP candidate?  We need decent, ordinary people from across the borough who agree with what we stand for to put their names forward as ward candidates.  Standing for election is a form of public service.  If you are elected you must be prepared to represent your ward on the council and to work on behalf of your electors.  UKIP do not operate a party whip in local government so UKIP councillors are more like independents because they do not have to follow a party line.

We are not ashamed to make this appeal.  UKIP is growing rapidly across the country.  We are now consistently polling in third place in the national polls.  There are many thousands of people across Tower Hamlets who want to vote for UKIP.  We must give them that opportunity.  Please note that all candidates will be carefully vetted.  You may have read in the news about some trouble we have had recently with some of our candidates.  Please do not apply if you have racist or extreme views.  Former members of the BNP, EDL and similar organisations are forbidden from standing as candidates by the Party Constitution.  Contact the Secretary for more information.

I think this could be fun.

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’m a bit late with this one but it needs documenting nonetheless.

The Tories have at last selected their man (for yes, it is a man: for all the talk about racism in Tower Hamlets, is there also a problem with sexism?) to fight Lutfur Rahman and John Biggs for Tower Hamlets Mayor.

Dr Anwara Ali, the former Labour councillor who defected to the Tories after she was moved from her Bow West seat in 2010, had been a contender but it wasn’t to be. Personally, I think that’s shame. Anwara did get some stick from me many years back when I accused her of being too silent in Denise Jones’s cabinet, but after that she improved greatly. I think she’s articulate and as a GP in Brick Lane, she’s respected and widely liked.

Being a Bengali, she’d also have taken some votes from Lutfur.

On that note, there was a bit a row about who would represent the Conservatives on May 22, with opinion divided between those who thought ‘get Lutfur out at all costs’ was the most important strategy, and those who thought ‘this is an election and we’re Tories, we need to take this seriously and treat it as any other battle’. (And also whisper to people to place John Biggs as their second preference vote.)

The latter camp won out and we therefore have a very serious candidate, who (and I mean no disrespect here at all)  almost no one has ever heard of.

So let me introduce you to:

Chris_Wilford_At_Canary_Wharf

Tower Hamlets Conservatives have selected Chris Wilford as their Mayoral Candidate

Chris lives in Bow resident, and currently works in public policy for a leading international body. Previously, Chris has worked as a recruitment consultant in the financial services, placing candidates from new graduates to global directors. Before this, he worked on education projects for both the British Council and the House of Lords.

After his selection, Chris said “Like so many others from around the world I have made Tower Hamlets my home. This is a great place to live, with its history, diversity, and dynamism. We are privileged to live here as we go about our business amidst the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s great cities.

“Yet there is one shadow that looms large – Mayor Lutfur Rahman. We are all familiar with his expenses, his taxis, and not least his photograph. And I for one tired of the stories of cronyism and waste whilst our borough faces up to some of the most significant challenges in the country in areas such as child poverty and unemployment.

“There are many reasons why I want to be Mayor of this borough. I want to see more transparency; more pothole repairs; cleaner streets; proper and meaningful consultation on development; a National Centre for Islamic Finance; a jobs for growth strategy; more police on our streets; less Mayoral advisors and a lower council tax. Above all, I want to be Mayor because I want to mend our broken local politics and build a better borough.

“I am grateful to local Conservatives for choosing me as their candidates, and will be working hard to win this May.”

Tower Hamlets Conservative Association chairmen Neil King (Poplar and Limehouse) and Matt Smith (Bethnal Green and Bow), who jointly organised the selection process, said “we congratulate Chris Wilford on his selection as our Tower Hamlets Mayoral candidate. Chris came through a strong field to be selected with the overwhelming support of local Conservatives, and will make be an outstanding Mayor of this borough.”

So that was the Tory press release.

This is Chris in his own words:

Chris Wilford

Policy & Public Affairs Manager at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators




I started my career at the British Council. I left to complete a part-time MSc at the LSE, working as a recruitment consultant and parliamentary researcher during my studies. Upon completion, I joined the policy team of the professional body for the recruitment industry and have recently moved to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Career Summary:

I started my career at the British Council. I left to complete a part-time MSc at the LSE, working as a recruitment consultant and parliamentary researcher during my studies. Upon completion, I joined the policy team of the professional body for the recruitment industry. I have recently taken up the post of Policy & Public Affairs Manager at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and I wrote my Profile when working at REC.

Academic/Professional Qualifications:

MSc Media and Communications, London School of Economics 
BA (Hons) Film Studies and American Studies, King’s College London, 
Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

How did you get into Public Affairs?

I had worked as a recruitment consultant and as a parliamentary researcher in the House of Lords whilst completing a part-time postgraduate degree at the London School of Economics. With a real understanding of the recruitment industry, as well as a sound understanding of politics and research experience, I was well suited to work in the policy and public affairs function of the largest trade association for the recruitment industry. My experience on the frontline has really helped me in dealing with members and I have really developed my skills in the role.

What does your current role entail on a day to day basis?

I check my emails and phone messages before engaging members on a variety of issues. This can involve engaging journalists, civil servants and politicians to put across the view of the industry. At the moment, I am: writing a number of consultation responses; running an election for the position of Chair of one of our sector groups; and organising a number of focus groups with the Department of Health on the clinical governance of locum doctors. I am also working with the editor of our magazine on a forthcoming feature on the public sector workforce, one of the areas I am responsible for. Speaking, writing, reading in other words!

Working in a trade association, how do you engage members in public affairs and policy issues?

We engage members in public affairs and policy issues through member events, webinars, polls, focus groups and meetings. We often hit the road and a key part of our job is getting members in front of decision makers. This facilitation of engagement is an increasingly important part of our job.

Which campaign/issue are you most proud to have worked on?

The campaign I am most proud of is our on-going activity on NHS VAT schemes. This is a complex area which cuts across employment and tax legislation. I have been working on this for months and it is an area of deep concern for members. My blogs, letters I have drafted to ministers on behalf of senior REC figures, presentations at conferences, together with countless meetings with members and government figures have really built momentum which culminated in the REC contributing to a major ITV News at 10 investigation. We had literally set the news agenda and senior government ministers are actively engaging with the REC on the issue. We are close to a conclusion and continue to drive activity.

What do you enjoy about working in public affairs?

I enjoy the buzz and, as a news junkie, I relish being paid to keep abreast of current affairs. Working for a membership body, I also engage on strategic issues on behalf of our members. It does feel like the work is really important and it is great to play my part on important issues such as the future of the NHS workforce.

How important is political party involvement to a public affairs career?

It helps. There are plenty of people out there who do not have any involvement but I do think it adds a valuable extra dimension. I was Chairman of a major political society at LSE and I am currently Deputy Chairman of an Association in the East End of London. I was also the parliamentary researcher for a government Peer in the House of Lords. I have an extensive network which has come in really handy for getting the full picture of what is going on out there. It has also helped when we are in tight spots, for instance getting speakers for our events at Party Conferences.

As a former recruitment professional, what advice would you give to job seekers (at any level)?

Get yourself out there. We often hear of personal brands and profiles. These are really important but you shouldn’t be scared of advertising that brand! I would also say use a good recruiter (well, given my background, I would, wouldn’t I?!). The amount of times that I have heard people have been looking for jobs for months and then, after getting in touch with a recruitment consultancy, they secure a role in weeks is ridiculous. They have the networks and the contacts and, if you are not right for one opportunity, they will keep you in mind for another. Finally, do your research – evaluate what you want from your next role, where you want to get to and what you want to learn. Take your time, be measured and make sure you have a plan.

What value does post-graduate study provide to a public affairs career?

For me, it added real value. It allowed me to build on the cultural and historical grasp of political persuasion that I had gained through my first degree, as well as the opportunity to hone my writing and research skills further. I would say that the educational institution matters as well. The contacts I made and the activities I was exposed to at the LSE, one of the world’s leading social science institutions, really helped as I sought to get into public affairs.

What are the challenges for the public affairs industry over the next five years?

I think the industry has to adapt to the challenges of the digital world. How can you shape the agenda across a variety of different platforms all at the same time? In this environment, where everyone has a comment or can position themselves as an expert, and one tweet can destroy months of activity, demonstrating the value you can add and leveraging off line and online networks to achieve results will be vital. Those who can cut through the huge volumes of information out there to provide clear, concise analysis and drive targeted, effective campaigns amidst a diverse mediascape will be the winners.

What’s your prediction for the next General Election result?

Conservative majority (just).

Quick-Fire Round  
Favourite restaurant for a business lunch Browns Covent Garden
LinkedIN or Twitter? Twitter
Tweet your career-to-date in 140 characters or less Policy professional at the trade association for the UK’s £26 billion recruitment industry, former search & selection specialist, LSE alum
What’s your Media diet? Guido (order order), Telegraph, Spectator, Economist, Guardian, BBC
Favourite Film Badlands
Guilty pleasure House of Cards (the original)

By the way, I also hear UKIP are building a branch in Tower Hamlets ahead of the European elections on May 22 as well. They’re thinking of fielding a few people, which could make it even spicier..

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: