Mayor meets young people at question time in Tower Hamlets

“Last week young people from across Tower Hamlets – well, those whose parents have not had the good sense to move to another borough – had the opportunity to quiz a panel of community leaders including myself Major John Biggs and some other people who don’t matter because they are not the Mayor.

I am the Mayor. Me.

This took place at Poplar HARCA’s ‘Spotlight’ Lansbury Youth Centre, one of many Poplar HARCA Youth Centre’s where we are offloading outsourcing Youth Services.

Well, everyone else has screwed up Youth Services so it seems fair it’s HARCA’s turn now and if they make a couple of bob in the process then good on them.

Needless to say this offloading outsourcing to Poplar HARCA of, well, anything the Council still owns has nothing to do with my plan to become a director of Poplar HARCA when I am no longer the Mayor. Pure coincidence.

And I am the Mayor. For at least another week I have been told.

The panel also included some other people, all stalwart Labour Party members of course. They have names but I just want their votes.

Apsana couldn’t come, probably having yet another chat with Will Tuckley about her housing issues. Great girl, Apsana. That’s why I campaigned for her. Because I am the Mayor.

The question time was part of the ‘ClothEars’ series of ongoing events aimed at allowing local communities (well, the ones with lots of Labour voters, natch!) to come along and engage their leaders in debate and discussion. No, seriously, that’s what we call it!

Questions ranged from the future of funding for Youth Services, cuts to the council’s budget to mental health services and staying safe when using social media.

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Funding for Youth Services? They kidding? The amount of money that has been pouring into Youth Services and then straight out the back door during the last few years Youth Services should be funding the Council. Maybe they do? I don’t know because I am the Mayor.

As to the budget – what’s that got to do with youngsters? They just need to remember who is closing more social services than Maggie Thatcher. Yes, me. Because I am the Mayor.

I have been told to say that “I enjoy meeting young people from Tower Hamlets, who are the future of our borough” but what I really mean is I have to meet young people who will soon be old enough to vote. And if they don’t vote Labour then it’s no grants for their communities!

I’m always impressed by how articulate our young people are – apart from quiet a few in Youth Services – and at how events like this can provide an opportunity to hear their views. These were powerfully expressed, carefully noted and then completely ignored once we got out of the building.


Did you know that as a council, we operate one of the biggest Youth Services in the country which has been allegedly involved in so many allegedly dubious scams that they make any stuff that goes on in allegedly Nigeria, allegedly Russia, allegedly South Sudan or allegedly that shop in Shadwell look like amateur hour.

Dinar used to do a cracking job for Lutfur looking after Youth Services and he did the same for me, heaven knows why he left. What? Oh, er, right.

Although our Youth Service is excellent we want to hear how we can improve it. Apart from improving it of course.

We like to say my young, thrusting beacon of transparency administration has cleaned up Youth Services, publish a few reports, pull the wool over the eyes of Whitehall then flog this bullshit to the voters. You. Works every time.

Really YS is just the same bollocks as it always has been. Whatever. I’m not a young person so why should I give a sh*t?

Many of the young soon to be Labour voters kiddies raised this issue and we say that we want to support every child and young person in the borough to realise their potential.

OK, it’s never going to happen, in fact quite the reverse, but this is the sort of crap I trot out every day and you idiots seem to lap it up.

Anyway I am off to wash my hands. Of all responsibility.

Because I am the Mayor.”

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