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Posts Tagged ‘only fools and horses’

A bit of fun…I’ve just written this for the Express website. A cheery take on a very earnest proposal by Lutfurite councillors Rabina Khan and Rania Khan for a very worthy tribute to Nelson Mandela in Tower Hamlets.

nelson mandela tower hamlets

LEFTIE council bosses in London want to build a Nelson Mandela House–not in the Only Fools and Horses area of Peckham but a few miles away in Tower Hamlets.

Ruling councillors at the controversial east London authority want to name a new building after the late South African president “to ensure his legacy will always be upheld” in the area.

Councillors Rabina Khan and Rania Khan, a former member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, have proposed a motion on the idea for debate at next week’s full town hall meeting.

It is not known whether they are fans of the famous BBC sitcom, but when asked last night where Del and Rodney Trotter used to live, Cllr Rania Khan said she had no idea it was in Nelson Mandela House.

The fictional council tower block in Peckham was named by show creator John Sullivan as a mocking take on the socialist inner-city councils of the Eighties when Mandela was still in a Robben Island jail.

The motion by the two Tower Hamlets councillors makes no reference to Only Fools and Horses and is entirely serious and worthy.

They say their borough, which is frequently dogged by accusations of racism between Bengalis and whites, should learn from Mr Mandela who died last month.

They are demanding their council colleagues “name a building on the Blackwall [housing] development after Mandela”.

They urge the council “to use every relevant occasion to remind the young of the borough of the importance of both fighting for their beliefs and reconciliation”.

But in their preamble to the motion, the two councillors also try score political points by referring to the politics of the Eighties.

They write: “Despite Margaret Thatcher describing Nelson Mandela as a ‘terrorist’, and the refusal of the Tory government at the time to unite with the rest of Europe in imposing sanctions on South Africa, Nelson Mandela died perceived universally as a courage and principled politician whose example in resisting oppression and inequality inspires all those struggling for racial equality and social justice.

“In a borough where so many different races live side by side, Mandela’s determination to create racial equality and unite the black and white people of South Africa holds a particular importance.”

The two ex-Labour councillors are independent members and allied to the council’s directly elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman.

The site for the new building would be on the Blackwall Reach development, which is currently under construction by the Blackwall Tunnel.

Councils are currently expecting a deluge of request for changes in street names and other monuments in honour of Mr Mandela, but Tower Hamlets is believed to be the first to want a building in his honour.

Cllr Peter Golds, who leads the Tory opposition on the council, said his colleagues’ move was foolhardy and “singularly inappropriate”.
“I thought we had progressed from the days of Only Fools and Horses,” he said. “A statue would be a much better idea.”

Two tower blocks were used to depict Nelson Mandela House in the sitcom.

The original was in South Acton, west London, while the later shows featured Whitemead House in Bristol.

Cast members of the show were in mourning today after the death of actor Roger Lloyd-Pack who played the often dopy character Trigger.

The motion is listed here on p107 of the agenda for Wednesday’s full council meeting: 

12.11 Motion on Nelson Mandela

Proposer: Councillor Rabina Khan Seconder: Councillor Rania Khan

The Council notes:

• On the 5th December 2013, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela passed away.

• Mandela served 27 years in prison after being convicted of attempting to overthrow the state while an international campaign lobbied for his release.

• After his release, Mandela joined negotiations with President FW de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections, lead the ANC into victory where he became South Africa’s first black president and won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

The Council believes:

• Despite Margaret Thatcher describing Nelson Mandela as a ‘terrorist’, and the refusal of the Tory government at the time to unite with the rest of Europe in imposing sanctions on South Africa, Nelson Mandela died perceived universally as a courage and principled politician whose example in resisting oppression and inequality inspires all those struggling for racial equality and social justice.

• In a borough where so many different races live side by side, Mandela’s determination to create racial equality and unite the black and white people of South Africa holds a particular importance.

The Council resolves:

• To remember Nelson Mandela, in particular, to use every relevant occasion to remind the young of the borough of the importance of both fighting for their beliefs and reconciliation.

• To name a building on the Blackwall redevelopment after Mandela to ensure that his legacy will always be upheld and achievements be acknowledged in Tower Hamlets.

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