Meet John Biggs & Arnie Graf Raine House Wapping Monday 15th April 7.30

Not a free pizza offer

Had a flyer (see below) posted through my letterbox the other day. After recovering my initial disappointment that it wasn’t a free pizza offer or an amazing new way to earn £1,200 a day working from home I realised it was quite interesting.

Text of flyer from Tower Hamlets Labour Party that some residents had through their letterboxes during the week.

Tower Hamlets Labour Party flyer text

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“Tower Hamlets 2014: Have your say

In what direction do you want Tower Hamlets to be going in 2014?

The next year is crucial for the future of the borough as the race for the
Town Hall begins.

Join John Biggs, Labour’s new candidate for Mayor and Arnie Graf (co-director, Industrial Areas Foundation and adviser to Ed Miliband) at this event to shape local action, policies and campaigns.

So come along and have your say. This event isn’t exclusively for Labour
party members so feel free to bring anyone else who may be interested in coming.

Monday 15th April 7.30pm
Raine House, Raine St, Wapping, ElW 3RG



Food and drink will be provided on the night courtesy of local members and residents”

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Analysis by our Chief Political Correspondent

Politics? Interesting? Why?

john biggsWell lots of reasons.

First off whatever your political leanings you have to respect politicians like John Biggs (and Jim Fitzpatrick MP) who get out and about and meeting people in Wapping come rain or shine.

Last time I saw John Biggs it was by the canal and it was raining hard. But he seemed to be enjoying himself! John Biggs has also been a staunch supporter of the Save KEMP campaign, he used to be a Wapping councillor and he turns up to events like the meeting over the Wapping Woods attacks.

More than just a mayoral race

Secondly the contest to be the next Mayor of Tower Hamlets is more than just another mayoral race. It is the Labour Party challenging incumbent Mayor Luftur Rahman (Independent) for the heart and soul of left / leftish / social democrat / whatever politics.

There is no clearer signal of this than the fact that Arnie Graf will be at the meeting. Now it might just be that Arnie had a free evening and fancied a trip out to Wapping (nice choice Arnie) but it’s unlikely. More likely is Labour Party HQ lining up their big guns to support John Biggs because Labour needs to win the Tower Hamlets Mayoral race. Expect to see a variety of high profile Labour figures in our borough over the next year.

Personally I think Mayor Lutfur is an OK guy with good intentions but he seems to be surrounded by so many advisors it’s difficult to ever see the real man behind the political fluff.

And while there are lots of rumours as to what goes on in Tower Hamlets Town Hall (the Evening Standard seems to be running a campaign against Mayor Lutfur) there don’t seem to be that many hard facts. Yes it’s not good when you read about absurd claims for travel and the Mayor’s limo but it’s not anything of real substance.

Wapping residents should also acknowledge that the response by Tower Hamlets Council to the Wapping Woods attacks was pretty swift in terms of sorting the lighting and physical environment in the Woods. Although many would be a lot happier if the Council would fix the broken paving outside the shops in Wapping Lane before they even consider building a new town hall.

So what’s Arnie Graf about?

Even if the above analysis is wrong [Highly likely, Ed.] I think the meeting is worth attending just to hear what Arnie Graf is about.

Long story short Mr Graf is an American with 50 years experience working on community organising campaigns who has been hired to carry out an overhaul of the Labour Party. He obviously likes a challenge.

Seems a very interesting man with interesting ideas. Not particularly bothered by him being hired by Labour to be honest, I have never voted for them since Mr Blair took us to war in Iraq (mainly to please his chum Mr Bush) and can’t see I will again.

But then I face the same problem as most people. Who the hell do you vote for? Baffles me. Maybe individual politicians, not political parties.

For more information:

Arnie Graf

John Biggs

Mayor Lutfur Rahman

Tower Hamlets Politics

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