This is the second of two posts that may shed some light on Tower Hamlets politics. You can read the first one here. This is also Love Wapping’s 1000th blog post. A shame it has to be about something so tawdry.
Not in office but still in power
As we pointed out yesterday it seems Lutfur Rahman and crew are intent on causing mischief and by so doing continue to manipulate politics in the borough for their own ends.
Yes we know Lutfur Rahman was found guilty of corruption, fiddling the grants system for the political benefit of his chums in Tower Hamlets First, thrown out of the town hall, banned from standing for public office for five years back in 2015 and is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Hendon Hedonists of Operation Lynemouth.
But so what? Lutfur may not be in office but he is still in power. Go figure.
The video below has, we are told, been published by the Tower Hamlets Independent Group political advisor [This correct? THING has a political advisor? Shurely shome mishtake? Ed.] on the direct instruction of Lutfur Rahman to damage Cllr. Khales. Unfortunately Cllr. Oliur Rahman is also damaged but it seems Oliur is just collateral in this fight.
The danger for Lutfur Rahman is that he damages himself is news of his actions should ever get out. So tell no-one about this, right?
The video is another transcript of an audio recording detailing a conversation between Labour councillor Khales Uddin Ahmed and ‘Independent’ councillor Oliur Rahman (no relation) before the 2016 by-election in Whitechapel. This video has been on YouTube for a while and according to Cllr. Khales is the second part of the first video you can see on the previous post.
Have a watch. Transcript below.
Not nice is it?
Face value? Wassat?
At face value two things seem to be going on here. The first is a Labour councillor talking to the Leader of the main opposition about the choices of candidate for the Whitechapel by-election. The second is the use of the term ‘kala’ in reference to Victoria Obaze. In Bengali ‘kala’ means black or blackie, a blatantly racist term.
As with the previous video LW has had the audio checked against the transcript by two Bengali speakers. Both confirm it to be accurate.
Cllr. Khales denies this and states that “I can confirm as per translation of the transcript below confirm not a single racist or sexist word was used.” and has provided his translation (see below). Khales is also at pains to point out the difference between “Khala” which in Bangladeshi means maternal aunt and “Kalo” which means black.
One of our Bengali speakers is of the opinion that the word ‘khalee’ – with a double ee – is clearly used and that use cannot be misinterpreted as it could not be misconstrued for ‘khala.
Victoria Obaze has been asked for comment on the transcript but we had not heard from here at the time of publication.
Whatever the reality of the words used the risk is that concern about the use (or not) of the racist term ‘kala’ may detract from the main issue which is the purpose of the conversation between Cllr. Khales and Cllr. Oliur.
For those unfamiliar with Tower Hamlets politics the conversation is akin to a senior Conservative MP having a chat with Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn as to the merits of each others possible candidates who will be fighting a parliamentary by-election. Odd, huh?
Another interesting detail is where Oliur mentions Cllr. Aminur Khan as having suggested someone called “Br. Surok” who is a senior civil servant in the Home Office. Sources believe this to be one Suroth Ahmed who used to be involved with the Bangladesh Football Association (BFA).
Cllr. Aminur Khan aka ‘Imram’ (People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel) is a leading figure in Islamic Forum Europe (IFE) and the husband of Cllr. Rabina Khan (Leader of PATH Group, People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets, Shadwell) and the PATH Mayoral candidate for 2018.
Four parties, one candidate
So this indicates that there were no less than four political organisations involved in the selection of the candidate to oppose Labour candidate Victoria Obaze in the by-election:
- Tower Hamlets Labour Party (represented by Cllr. Khales)
- Independent Group (represented by Cllr. Oliur)
- People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets (input from Cllr. Aminur Khan)
- Islamic Forum Europe (input from Cllr. Aminur Khan)
It would be cruel to suggest that the eventual by-election winner, Cllr. Shafi Ahmed (People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel) , was chosen because he used to be Lutfur Rahman’s chauffeur.
But it seems about right.
Video transcript as published by #One [presumed to be Tower Hamlets First]
Published 24 Aug 2017
“Full English Transcript at 2:25 in the video – Sitting Tower Hamlets Labour Cllr and party member who is a former Labour Speaker of the Council, Cllr Khales Uddin Ahmed fixing the downfall of a female Black African Labour candidate (own party) with the Opposition Leader in a disgustingly racist and sexist way. Labour Party lost that by-election – The Labour Opposition he is speaking to in this leaked secret talk – won. How long more Labour will turn a blind eye in Tower Hamlets”
*True and accurate translation of telephone conversation between Khales Uddin Ahmed (Bromley North Ward) and Independent Cllr Oliur Rahman in London Borough of Tower Hamlets before the Whitechapel Ward By Election on 1st December 2016.
Cllr OR (Oliur Rahman): Assalamu Alaikum, Brother Khales, where are you?
Cllr KUA (Khales U Ahmed): Wa alaikum salam, now in front of my house? Why?
OR: What is the news, GEC, is the motion passed? (Enquiring about the Labour Party Motion about selecting its party candidate for Whitechapel ward by-election
KUA: Yeh, Yeh, the blackie, will be gotten rid of this time, get rid of blackie. [The term ‘Kala’ in Bengali means Black, referring to Ms. Victoria Obaze, the Labour party’s candidate in Whitechapel ward as a ‘blackie’… both racist and sexist in language. Cllr. Khales U Ahmed saying ‘the blackie’ must be stoped from winning – his own party candidate……]
OR: And do one thing, talk to Rabina, yeh.
KUA: What talk?
OR: Candidate here, 2018, 2018, 2018 is far away, don’t know whether we will die or live in 2018.
OR: Understand? In Whitechapel now, give one candidate. If don’t give one candidate, can’t give delivery. You can’t give what you want if don’t give one candidate.
KUA: Tell me, who would be the candidate?
OR: I’m thinking, but couldn’t get the right candidate from top of my head. I had relationship with Br. Imran (Cllr. Aminur Khan), he proposed some names. He proposed. Br Surok, br. Akhlaq, he proposed those names. However Br. Surok is the senior civil servant in the Home Office. He wouldn’t get the permission. He wouldn’t give up his job.
KUA: Akhlaq doesn’t wish to stand either.
OR: Surok will not come for £10k salary as councillor.
OR: I heard now Br. Aktar. You can’t control Whitechapel by br. Aktar. Aktar wouldn’t be the candidate either, listen to me.
OR: Oh Yeh, yeh.
KUA: I heard a name,
KUA: Perhaps you don’t know, God knows. I don’t know, I don’t know fully. Name is Shafi.
OR: Yeh, Name is Shafi, the fat man. Yeh I know.
KUA: In the last election, he was with Lutfur Rahman’s car.
OR: I know, I know Shafi.
KUA: He was with Lutfur Rahman’s car.
OR: I know Shafi very well. He is my face book friend.
KUA: Yeh, he is the candidate.
OR: If he is the candidate in a place like Whitechapel, tell me, can he manage?
KUA: Now who else can be given there? Who is that man?
OR: Can I pursue Br Akhlaq
KUA: Br Akhlaq wouldn’t stand
OR: Wouldn’t stand? let me talk, let me pursue.
KUA: Talk to him.
OR: If i can pursue Akhlak, can you talk to Rabina and Imram, try to explain them.
KUA: Yeh, I will explain to them, you talk to him.
OR: OK, I will let you know
Transcript according to Cllr. Khales
Oliur Rahman: Peace, Brother Khales where are you?
Khalis Uddin Ahmed: I have just come in front of my house.
OR: What is the news? Has the motion been passed at the GC?
KUA: The motion was for there to be member selections.
OR: Very Good, Very Good! If there is member selection we will place the (maternal) aunt – khala. there..
KUA: Yes, we will place the aunt there.
OR: You do something, speak to Rabina. Speak about who the candidate is there. When 2018 comes don’t know whether we will be alive. If we put one candidate, no one will give a peanut.
I am thinking, can’t come with an idea in the head as to what to do.
I spoke to Imran, he is a friend of mine. He proposed some names, Brother Surat and Brother Akhlaq. He proposed them.
But Borther Surat is a civil servant, he is senior civil servant at the home office. Home Office won’t give him permission, he won’t give up his job for a £,10,000 councillor job.
I am hearing that they are saying Brother Akhtar.
KUA: Brother AKhtar will not stand. I am hearing the name Shafi, Brother in law of Rabina. Now I recognise him, in the previous election he is with Lutfur Rahman, at the car.
OR: I recognise him, he is my facebook friend. Can he as candidate, with large body mass do it in Whitechapel?
KUA: Who else are you guys gonna put up? Brother Akhlaq is not gonna stand?
OR: He is not gonna stand, let me persuade him?
KUA: You guys talk.
OR: We might be able to get Brother Akhlaq.
Just make Rabina understand.
I will make him understand. I will let you know.
Khala – Aunt (Maternal)
Kalo – Black
Cast of Characters
- Victoria Obaze, Labour candidate in 2016 Whitechapel by-election.
- Cllr. Oliur Rahman (Leader of the Independent Group, Independent Group, Stepney Green ), failed Prospective Parliamentary Candidate 2017 General Election.
- Cllr. Khales Uddin Ahmed (Labour, Bromley North) former Speaker of Tower Hamlets Council.
- Rabina = Cllr. Rabina Khan (Leader of PATH Group, People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets, Shadwell) LBTH Mayoral candidate 2018, PATH.
- John Biggs, current directly-elected executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets
- Cllr. Aminur Khan aka ‘Imram’ (People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel) husband of Rabina Khan, leading figure in Islamic Forum Europe.
- Shafi = Cllr. Shafi Ahmed (People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel) plucked from obscurity to become the surprise PATH candidate in 2018 Whitechapel by election.
‘Trigger ballot’ refers to the series of ballots that took place in 2016 within Tower Hamlets Labour Party to decide its leader. The process was such that the incumbent, John Biggs, was selected as a trigger ballot and the open election process was avoided, thereby eliminating any threat to Biggs leadership.
Related Internet Links
- First video of conversation between Cllr. Oliur Rahman and Cllr. Khales Uddin Ahmed
- Second video of conversation between Cllr. Oliur Rahman and Cllr. Khales Uddin Ahmed
- Shiraj Hoque and friends petition against John Biggs to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
- The plot in Labour to remove John Biggs as mayor Trial by Jeory
- Tower Hamlets: interview with Labour mayoral candidate Helal Abbas Guardian
- Tower Hamlets: Helal Abbas’s allegations Guardian
- Election results for Whitechapel Thursday, 1st December, 2016
- Jeremy Corbyn by Chatham House, London – https://www.flickr.com/photos/chathamhouse/34292338920/, CC BY 2.0, Link