It’s Ramadan, so belated best wishes to all readers of this blog who are fasting. I’m told it’s gruelling but also incredibly fulfilling.
Some are also intent on making it politically fulfilling. You can’t beat a deeply religious occasion for a bit of political opportunism, I suppose.
As dawn broke on the first day of Ramadan, this appeared on Lutfurite Facebook pages:
It’s funny how our Mayor Lutfur Rahman, so shy and silent in the face of questioning in the council chamber, never misses a chance to plaster his name and boasts everywhere else.
He’s also just posted this newsletter to specially selected homes throughout the borough.
The Mayor’s News. Quite why he needs it when he has the multimillion pound machine that is East End Life at his disposal is something of a mystery. For the avoidance of doubt, this leaflet will have been funded privately not from our council tax.
At the bottom of the second page, it says it was printed by Faith Business Ltd in Greatorex St, Whitechapel. This is a business whose former directors include Shah Yousef, the ex-owner of the London Bangla “newspaper” who was responsible for printing these smears against Cllr Helal Abbas in 2010, and a certain Mohammed Jubair, the talented multi-tasking journalist who manages to combine a chief reporter’s role with Channel S and a £175 a day job as Lutfur’s “community media” adviser.
As for who funded the leaflet, I don’t know. But it seems that Lutfur has made amends with his former self-proclaimed backer, Shiraj Haque, the millionaire housing association tenant who was convicted by the council last year for relabelling cheap Italian plonk as more expensive Australian shiraz at his restaurant in Brick Lane.
He’s such a man of the people is Shiraj. A true champion of workers’ rights…
Which is why, I’m sure, another media darling of late, Unite general secretary Len McLuskey, was so happy to be pictured with him at the end of last month. Red Len went on a walkabout with Lutfur and Shiraj, citing the EDL threat to Tower Hamlets as their guiding motivation. I wonder.
Now what might Lutfur, still ostracised from Labour, want from Len? Funding? Is Lutfur part of Len’s grand plan for an alternative party of the Left? Does Lutfur still have ambitions beyond Tower Hamlets? For Westminster or City Hall perhaps?
Watch this space.
Meanwhile, here’s a selection of amusing photos of the new Best Friends:
(In the background to this one above, you can see Lutfur’s £55k a year media consultant, the journalist Mark Seddon, but does anyone know who the taller chap is to his right – the man with greyish hair and glasses behind Shiraj’s left shoulder?)