Tag Archives: Respect

At home he’s a tourist

15 Dec

Hanif LibDem

Somehow it escaped my attention until a few days ago that Cllr Hanif Abdulmuhit had once upon a time been secretary of Newham Liberal Democrats.

That was before he joined Respect, for whom he stood successfully for council in 2006, defeating the incumbent Labour members. He also stood in 2008 as the party’s candidate for the London Assembly seat of City & East.

As Respect disintegrated he reinvented himself again, serving out the remainder of his term as a Labour councillor. He had to sit out the 2010 elections before returning as a thoroughly reconstructed representative of Newham Labour in 2014. He is now mayoral advisor for Building Communities (Adult Care Integration) and community lead for Green Street. 

But he obviously never stays in one place too long, so Newham Greens should be on the lookout for his membership application any day now.

(hat-tip to Gary Stevens for the image)

[And in case you were wondering about the title: At home he’s a tourist – Gang of Four]

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Never gonna be respectable

12 May

Respect Tory

There is an old saying that the older you get, the more right-wing your politics become.

If that’s true there’s a bunch of former Respect candidates on day release from the geriatric ward.

Having stood in 2010 for the George Galloway fan club Abdul Karim Sheikh (Green St West), Abul Mohshin Kazi (Plaistow North), Ashfaq Ahmed and Kamran Qureshi (both Green St East) are all now Conservative party candidates for Newham council.

I assume the Tories knew their political histories when they selected them. Which either tells you a lot about the state of Newham Conservative party and its desperate desire to run a full slate, or a lot about the ideological flexibility of the candidates.

Of course these four aren’t the only ones who have moved to the right in search of electoral success.

Former Respect councillor and 2008 London Assembly candidate Hanif Abdulmuhit (Green St West) is now wearing a Newham Labour rosette, along with Forhad Hussain (Plaistow North), who is a rising star in Sir Robin’s administration and has already ascended to cabinet rank.

A conversation with Hanif Abdulmuhit

29 Apr

Frustratingly WordPress won’t display embedded Storify content, so you’ll have to click the link below.

Apologies.

Yet another thing George Galloway doesn’t do

14 Aug

Galloway and his one remaining supporter

…tolerate dissent.

Five councillors from Galloway’s Respect party have suggested that if he wants to run for London mayor he should resign as MP for Bradford West.

As the Guardian reports, Galloway’s instant response to this quite reasonable suggestion was to suspend two councillors for disloyalty and accuse all five of “conspiring to seize executive power”.

And there is further evidence that Galloway isn’t doing the job the people of Bradford elected him to do:

[Cllr Ishtiaq Ahmed] claimed Galloway spent too little time in the city. “People are always asking me: where’s George? This weekend I had more than 20 calls from constituents asking me why George is talking about London and not Bradford. As councillors we have only had one strategic meeting with him in the past year… I’m always reading on his Twitter feed about his appearances in Westminster, his Edinburgh Fringe show, his tour in Scotland – it sometimes feels as though he goes everywhere but Bradford.”

The five Respect councillors are now considering quitting the party to work as independents. One admitted:

Respect for me was just a vehicle to get elected

Words that could almost have come out of George Galloway’s own mouth!

So a word of advice to anyone thinking of voting for a Respect candidate in next year’s elections here in Newham: don’t. They are either posturing buffoons or unscrupulous careerists.

Respect yourself

4 Jul


Once upon a time in a land far, far away… 

In 2006 Hanif Abdulmuhit was elected as a Labour-hating, Galloway-loving Respect councillor in Newham.

In 2008 he was Respect’s candidate for the London Assembly in City & East, standing against Labour’s incumbent, the saintly John Biggs.

At the time he said, “We need a party in East London that puts people before profit. New Labour has turned its back on its own supporters.”

And George Galloway commended him, saying “Hanif Abdulmuhit is an excellent councillor… Londoners deserve better than New Labour timeservers.”

Now, in 2013, Mr Abdulmuhit has put all that behind him. He is a loyal Labour man and on the shortlist for the 2014 council elections.

Of course he won’t be the first ambitious local politician to realise that the path to electoral success in Newham requires a change of allegiance. There are at least four current councillors who previously stood for other parties before converting:

  • John Gray stood and lost heavily 3 times as a Liberal Democrat. Since 2010 he has been secretary of the council’s Labour group
  • Patricia Holland also ran unsuccessfully as a LibDem
  • Alec Kellaway was actually elected 3 times as an SDP/Liberal Alliance/Liberal Democrat before defecting to Labour in 1994. He is now Sir Robin’s Executive Member for Business and Skills.
  • Forhad Hussain, now Plaistow Community Lead Councillor, stood in 2006 for Respect

If he is successful Mr Abdulmuhit already has a blog he can revive, proudly bearing the masthead ‘Councillor Hanif Abdulmuhit’. He may want to delete the rest of it though.

Something else George Galloway doesn’t do…

11 Apr

Collectors's item: George Galloway speaking in parliament

… his job.

George Galloway has missed 87% of all Commons votes during his first year as a Bradford MP and spoken in just seven debates.

Data compiled on website theyworkforyou.com shows that Mr Galloway has taken part in just 13% of the votes over the past year. Most MPs average between 70 and 80%.

He has spoken in just seven debates – the average for MPs being around 30.

Can I respectfully suggest that Mr Galloway spends a bit less of his time in Newham and a lot more of it in parliament working for his constituents? After all, that’s what they elected him to do.

Things George Galloway doesn’t do

25 Feb

Things we now know the  self-declared hero of the Newham Spring, George Galloway, doesn’t do:

  • drink alcohol
  • ask permission “prior to every insertion”
  • debate Israelis

Please let me know in the comments if there’s anything else I’ve missed.

UPDATE: The student who organised the debate has written an open letter to Galloway, saying the MP’s actions left him feeling “humiliated in front of a room full of people who had waited an hour and a half” to see the debate. He rejects Galloway’s claims that he had been “misled” and “deceived” about his opponent.

So far Galloway has not responded, so maybe “apologise” and “act with grace and humility” are two more things we can add to the list of things George doesn’t do.