This is just a very quick write-up from court this morning:
Lutfur Rahman has been found guilty of corruption as he, in Judge Mawrey’s words, “used power to promote his community”, who are not (this relates to Muslims, not just Bengalis), a “real minority” in Tower Hamlets because they are so populous.
Judge says Rahman is guilty of bribery because he hired someone who is a TV reporter to be his advisor. At least it wasn’t the tango cans or lollipops.
Judge finds Lutfur was not a ‘credible witness’ (he didn’t believe him), but Tory councillor, Peter Golds, who is known to be a close friend of John Major, was a ‘credible witnesses’ (he did believe him).
Judge has found Lutfur guilty of ‘spiritual influence’ because the Chair of Tower Hamlets Mosque Committee supported Lutfur for Mayor.
An interesting point regarding case law – the last time ‘spiritual influence’ was used in court was in 19th century Ireland whilst not under home rule.
Judge says police at polling stations could be said to be like, “3 wise monkeys”, (hmm) and that Rahman’s campaigners were not credible in their statements (he didn’t believe them). Judge now employing sarcasm fast and thick. Said Rahman witnesses painted the campaigning as ‘jolly family outing’ (think he means their points about it as a, ‘jovial carnival atmosphere’, which is what I generally experienced when I headed down there once evening) and is now making jokes whilst the gallery laughs. Judge says there definitely ‘common law intimidation’ (not one example was given in court of this, bar multiple campaigners congregating together), but says this didn’t meet the level of proof needed – so that’s not guilty of intimidation.
Given Tower Hamlets First is not a party (does it simply count as a list, then?), it means all Tower Hamlets First Councilors are found to be ‘corrupt’. Via what cosmological force? Councilor Alibor Choudhury must leave office immediately. Is this the same for all the other Tower Hamlets First councilors, must they leave also? Situation not clear.
The Judge praises petitioners in bringing this case forward, though they knew they’d be portrayed as racists and islamophobes. Says they’ve been ‘exemplary’.
Judge says the real victims of this are Bengalis who have been, “led into a sense of victimhood”. Judge says Lutfur has made a career of “silencing others by accusing people of islamohobia”. Judge has recommended Lutfur’s status as a solicitor be ‘reviewed’ and he’s been referred to an official legal body that can revoke the status.
Labour’s John Biggs has said he is now gearing up to run for Tower Hamlets Mayor. Interesting that’s been announced so soon – almost as if it were part of a plan…
This appears to be a message. If you organise outside mainstream political parties and challenge power even slightly (not implementing the bedroom tax and keeping EMA), the establishment will come for and they will, publicly, humiliate and ruin you. This won’t just extend to your political life, but you’re life chances outside, such as previous career etc. if it is within their reach. Lutfur Rahman is an example to others.