I would not normally do so much copying but the comment from Dave Roberts in regards to Respect and not just in Tower Hamlets is too good. You can read the original on the excellent Tower Hamlets politics blog by Ted Jeory. Everyone in Tower Hamlets needs to read it.
no coincidence I think that these investigations always seem to be in
communities from the Indian sub continent and to a certain extent
amongst the orthodox Jews in Stamford Hill in North London.
Oldford1, curiously silent of late, has pointed out but in the wrong
context that the methods used by Tower Hamlets First were skills honed
by pretty much the same people when in the Labour Party. This is true
because it is a South Asian way of doing politics and not a particularly
There is nothing wrong in getting political power and then giving
jobs and contracts to friends and family. That is simply the way things
are done, always have been and probably always will. Similar systems
pertain in Southall, the former mill towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire
where there are large Asian populations and in other places as well
Loyalty is to a number of things in equal proportion, religion,
country and area of origin, village, family and where applicable, cast.
The other group of political activists that greatly underestimated these
forces was the far or loony left which has pretty much fallen apart.
This disintegration has been over a number of issues, not least the SWP
rape crisis but the cracks appeared in Respect in Tower Hamlets.
I remember watching the elation of the far left when they got their
twelve councillors elected in 2006 and to judge from the discussions on
the web sites you would have thought that the revolution was just around
the corner and that the revolutionary masses were about to march on
Westminster from The Whitechapel Road.
In vain did commentators who knew the Bangladeshi community try to
explain to the assorted swivel eyed Trots who were hailing this new
vanguard of the revolution, they had long since given up on the white
working class, that it was about a section of a community that was
excluded from power within the existing order with a sprinkling of
business men looking for opportunities who were engaging in a bit of
local power play.
I can’t remember just how long the thing lasted, a couple of years
maybe, and when it fell apart the far left just couldn’t and still can’t
understand what happened. Galloway and co blamed the control freakery
of the SWP, they claimed Galloway had moved to the right and abandoned
the principles (sic) on which Respect was founded.
What had actually happened was that seeing that Respect was going
nowhere locally never mind nationally Respect councillors and power
brokers began talks with Labour, deals were done and the defections
started. One Respect councillor went from the party and SWP membership
direct to the Tories! He didn’t even stop off at the Lib Dems or Labour
on the way.
We then saw the same thing happen in Bradford with Pakistanis of
Kashmiri origin who were excluded from the Biridari system of patronage.
It wasn’t a ” Bradford Spring” as the T Shirts on sale from Philosophy
Football proclaimed, must a been a few of those remaindered, it was a
reordering of the political system and nothing else.
Respect in Bradford collapsed quicker than in Tower Hamlets and I
would expect that negotiations have been going on for some time to
rejoin the Labour Party with council seats, jobs and grants already
It’s a tough time to be a Trot. Just imagine, you have spent all your
life waiting for the revolution as predicted by the mass murdering guru
Leon Trotsky and just when you should be enjoying your retirement in
the workers paradise ordinary people come along and bugger it all up.
Honestly, some people have no consideration!
Just been given this. Go to You Tube and put in The Bangladeshi East
End. It’s actually the sixth in The Secret History of Our Streets series
form BBC2 in 2011 this one being about the East End and Arnold Circus
in particular. The Bangladeshi part is about half way through but the
whole programme is a gem and well worth watching. It should be required
watching for all those who claim the white working class benefited from
slavery and colonialism, not much evidence here.