In the second of our roundups of all the nonsense that is Tower Hamlets Labour’s selection process for their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the Poplar and Limehouse (you can read our first one here) we cover the reason for the fuss about Apsana Begum, why Puru Miah may be hedging his bets and Ohid Ahmed says he does not want to be in your dirty laundry.
Or you could not bother with this nonsense and go and watch Netflix instead?
So why all the fuss about Apsana Begum?
Having spoken to numerous Labour Party people about this we think the problems many people have with Apsana Begum being ‘positioned’ as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Poplar and Limehouse goes something like this (this is the short version).
Apsana Begum has had the help of her Momentum chums sending a lot of time lobbying for her inclusion on the shortlist and getting her unfair access to the selection panel that no other candidate had.
After this Momentum did all it could to remove the serious competition that Apsana faced; Asma Begum, Dr Halima Begum, Rachel Blake and Suzy Stride so that they could engineer a shortlist comprising a Somali (who’s not likely to get grassroots Bangladeshi votes in a majority Bangladeshi constituency) and Heather Peto, a transgender woman, who was not in a month of Sundays going to win the nomination in a majority Bangladeshi community that is socially conservative (with a small c).
Maximum respect to Heather for standing.
The TH Momentum Cunning Plan is that the electorate, when presented with a Bangladeshi candidate at the imminent General Election, no matter how weak a candidate she is, how antisemitic she is or how appalled and worried members are by her alleged links to Lutfur Rahman will still vote for her.
LW knows the Bangladeshi community is a lot smarter than that. Maybe they will just vote for the Liberal Democrat candidate Andrew Cregan?
Puru Miah throws his toys out of his pram
It seems that TH Momentum leading light Cllr. Puru Miah, fondly described as a “duplicitous toe rag” by at least one comrade, may have been playing both sides – pretending he’s campaigning for Apsana while at the same time campaigning for Amina.
Here are some messages allegedly from Puru on the BAME for Amina Ali WhatsApp group where it seems that Puru is discussing how to stop Apsana, at one point saying “Guys, let’s not underestimate Apsana, she has been at it for a year. Mistake she made was hoping for imposition.”
This is in slight contrast to a video on Facebook from Puru Miah where he pledges his support for Apsana Begum.
If you watch the video you may well cringe when Puru refers to Apsana as “a young girl”. What?
LW finds it highly unlikely that any politician in our proud borough would act in such an underhand way, but has been sent this screen grab so many times by so many people we thought it of interest.
There again another rumour from Murky Rumour Central is that this is in fact a cunning double bluff and that Amina Ali has actually tasked Puru with reporting back from Apsana’s camp on her behalf.
Moley is sure Puru is on one side or the other though. Probably his side.
There again being in front of a video camera does seem to act like a truth drug on Puru as another Facebook video from August shows. This video has rapidly gained cult status among Labour women but not cult status in a good way, more cult status in a ‘wtf planet is this guy on?’ way.
Video below and a short extract too!
He talks about an official [Momentum?] meeting where there was a discussion about…
“The tactic of using AWS (All Women Shortlists) to block black men because black men are the main organisers in many of the ethnic minority constituencies and many of the people in the [Labour] Party feel threatened by genuine BAME representation and they use AWS as a tactic and that is why we Labour Party are far behind the Conservative Party for example.”
Yup. So Puru is unhappy that the AWS is, in his opinion, blocking BAME men like himself (well, him specifically) from becoming MPs and the reason why is that other people in the Labour Party feel threatened by BAME men.
Maybe you are being blocked because of the hat Puru? Worth considering.
Rumours that the reason Puru is in such a huff is because he has Parliamentary ambitions of his own. Seriously.
Don’t include Ohid in your dirty laundry
Last but by no means least a statement from Lutfur Rahman’s Deputy Mayor and inhabitant of the cleanest street in Tower Hamlets while in power Ohid Ahmed completely denying the rumours that he has endorsed Apsana.
Statement by Ohid Ahmed:
“Broken Politics will never be fixed, same nonsense different day.
I have been informed that some individuals are spreading lies that I have endorsed Apsana from Aspire. Not only are these claims completely fictional they are defamatory done with the intent to damage Apsana’s selection bid.
To clarify I am no longer involved in Tower Hamlets politics, I have had the opportunity to serve local residents for nearly 20 years as an activists, councillor, cabinet members for almost all portfolios and first statutory Deputy Mayor, more importantly I have not been a member of the labour party for over 9 years. I have no influence with local members, as a local resident all I want is an approachable MP that will put local residents first.
Its rather pathetic that certain people find it necessary to dig into the past and use my name for political point scoring. I will not entertain their desperate political drama, so to clarify to anyone that is a Labour party member and has a vote. Your MP will represent you; they will be accountable to you. It’s not for me or anyone else to dictate who you should support, as I have always done in the last 30 years I have voted – support the candidate you think is local, competent, principled and well mannered.
People will throw cheap punches, just learn to duck and dive. For now, I will go back to enjoying life outside of politics. I’d kindly request those who have nothing better to do with their times to stop including me in their dirty laundry.
Regards, Ohid Ahmed.”
Well that’s that then.
Notice that there is no mention of Lutfur Rahman in that statement.
Some have pointed out to Moley that it would be a typical Aspire / Lutfur Rahman / Tower Hamlets First / Independent Group / Whatever They Are Called At Weekends tactic to wait until the very last minute to come out in support of their preferred candidate.
And the fact that we have not heard a peep from Lutfur Rahman sycophant Oliur Rahman since the last local elections until just the other day when he publicly came out in support of Apsana Begum in Sunday’s vote might be that tactic playing out.
We shall soon know. If anyone outside the Labour Party is remotely interested.