Tag Archives: londonpleasuregardens

Not a Communist

26 Sep

Earlier today the Newham Recorder tweeted the headline of a story running on its website, “Communists call for resignations over Silvertown’s London Pleasure Gardens flop”.

This caught my attention. Clicking through to the story, I read:

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales has declined to respond to a threat from the Communist United Party in relation to the London Pleasure Gardens fiasco.

Leader Kamran Malik has written to Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles asking that the Mayor is removed from his role over the council’s involvement in the botched Silvertown venture.

It went on to say that Mr Malik had come third in the 2010 mayoral election, polling 6,600 votes.

I remember the 2010 mayoral election and there wasn’t a communist candidate, but there was a Communities Welfare Party candidate. Using the mighty power of Google I discovered that Kamran Malik was in fact the leader of the Communities United Party. My immediate conclusion was that the Recorder was guilty of a howling error; they’d made a silly typo and then repeated it in an over-dramatic headline.

I tweeted them about it, including a link to the Communities United Party website. Time passed. Nothing happened. I tweeted them again. This time I got a reply from Luke Jacobs, the author of the story who has recenty left the left paper to work for london24.com:

@mwarne Hello. The letter we have (from the party itself) describes itself as the ‘Communist United Party’.

— Luke Jacobs (@lukemjacobs)

Wow. That was odd. They definitely weren’t called that in 2010; nothing on their website suggests such a dramatic shift in policy, or any change in name. I seriously doubt they’d have got 6,600 votes in Newham as communists.

Then another tweet from Luke Jacobs:

It appears the party is registered as the KM Communities Welfare Party. maybe a typo on their letter?

Well, it wouldn’t say much for the competence of the party – or its leader – if it was, would it?

Just checked, and it was a mistake on their letter. Thanks (on behalf on my former paper) for alerting them!

Ha ha! So I owe the Recorder an apology for assuming this was their sloppy journalism. They have now corrected the story.

There’s a lesson here for political parties – read your press statements carefully before sending them out.

And a lesson for the people of Newham – don’t vote for people who are so incompetent that they get the name of their own party wrong.