One of the curious aspects of life in Lutfur’s Democratic Republic of Tower Hamlets is the growing cult of personality and how history is being rewritten. The late Kim il Sung was adept at this as well.
Lutfur’s smiling face seems to be appearing everywhere, from multiple pages in East End Life to the sides of dustbin lorries and lampposts.
He’s now even personalised our council tax bills, sending us all a letter saying that “my budget” included a decision to give 0ver-60s a rebate of £50. Funny that, because I could have sworn that his budget as presented at the council meeting on February 22 contained no such proposal. I must have imagined it. Yes, that’s right, that Labour amendment (which I thought Lutfur later accepted) demanding a £50 rebate for pensioners was just a dream. Silly me. And when we see Lutfur touring the borough in his chauffeur-driven Mercedes handing out £50 notes to cheering older folk, won’t that make us feel all warm and good.
I suppose this is one of the things we must get used to in our shiny new postal-vote heavy Republic.
I mention this because, Labour’s Abdal Ullah has asked me to promote a football tournament taking place later this month. It’s called the SNT Cup, that’s the Safer Neighbourhood Tournament. He founded it 10 years ago and it grew to be quite an event, based on the Met Police’s safer neighbourhood areas in east London.
Of course, because it was so successful the cuckoos in Lutfur’s camp tried to steal it. And so it came to pass that last year, (in addition to the aborted Mayor’s Cricket Cup), we had the inaugural Mayor’s Cup which forced Abdal to move from Victoria Park and find a new home in Hackney Marshes. (Lutfur insisted he wanted a tournament for Tower Hamlets teams only, but laughably the inaugural winners were E7 FC, named after the, er, Forest Gate postcode.)
However, as you’d expect, Abdal was undeterred and trumped Kim il Lutfur by making his SNT Cup bigger and better than ever, even managing to get the Premier League and FA Cup trophies on display. This year, he’s persuaded Olympic sponsors Coca Cola to bring the Olympic Torch.
You really couldn’t make it up, could you.
Anyway, here’s Abdal’s press release, which has a lovely line about West Ham fanatic (and Parliament’s most talented footballer) Jim Fitzpatrick…
Safer Neighbourhood Tournament to take London by storm
The Safer Neighbourhood Tournament (SNT), an exciting community grassroots football tournament has returned for 2012. Now in its tenth year, the celebrated tournament is the brainchild of Stepney & St Dunstan’s member, Councillor Abdal Ullah. As a contributory member of the London Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), Abdal Ullah was of the opinion that football was a medium that could be used to effectively unite masses, whilst improving relationships between young people and the police.
What started off as a small community event consisting of half a dozen teams has now grown to become one of London’s biggest weekend one day knockout tournaments. This year 72 teams and thousands of spectators will be attending the April footballing bonanza.
The tournament is East London based but has traditionally attracted teams from all over London. This year, Hackney Marshes, the starting point for many of football’s icons will once again be the venue for the knock-out stage of the tournament.
Commenting on the upcoming football festival Abdal Ullah said: “We are very proud of the success of our tournament. This is our 10th year and we have now officially become one of the biggest grassroots football events in London. We gained support from FA and it was an honour to be one of the projects that were highlighted during England’s FIFA World Cup
“The SNT Cup has support from the Met Police, NHS, TATA, McDonalds, Coco Cola, The Sun newspaper, Kick it Out, and many other local and national organisations, including London 2012. In previous years we have secured the FA Cup and Premier League trophy for display at our tournament. As a special surprise, on Sunday 29th April we will have the Olympic torch on display!”
He added: “This being our 10th year and the year of the London Olympics, we are very keen to make the tournament even more special, we are keen to attract teams from all over the country.”
The date for the knock out section is Sunday 29th April at Hackney Marshes, and the final will be played at a Prestigious London Football ground.
Abdal Ullah has also exclusively confirmed that on the day (April 29th) Coca Cola will bring along the Olympic torch for 4 Hours, whilst McDonalds will provide support to the event. And FA Community Shield will be on display from 10 AM till 3 Pm on the day, and there will be a message of support and health tips from Dr Zaf Iqbal, Liverpool FC’s first team doctor.
There will be health promotion events from the East London NHS health team and Safer London Foundation will also be present addressing issues of Community Safety.
Abdal Ullah also confirmed that the “Man of the match” award will be named after 27 year Kelvin Brown, who recently died after collapsing playing football on Hackney Marshes. A veteran’s cup will be named after local MP Jim Fitzpatrick.
The tournament is divided into several age categories – under 16s, over 16s, veterans (over 35) and for the very first time a women’s tournament has also been scheduled with the only Muslim women’s football team taking part. The winning purse is £1000+. Prior to the start of the tournament a live TV show on Channel 9 17th April (SKY 834) 7.15 PM will feature special guests announcing the tournament draw with the NPower Championship trophy in the studio.