Sunday, 25 May 2014

Tense scenes in Tower Hamlets while far-left fail to make inroads.

The counting in the Euro elections has begun, but as many countries are not voting until today the results won't be declared until after 9 pm tonight when the last polling station has closed. Meanwhile further news has been arriving about how well the political "fringe" has been doing in the local elections.

The most disturbing story was around the re-election of Lutfur Rahman in Tower Hamlets. The Guardian reports:

Outside the count in an art deco cinema in Limehouse, more than 300 supporters of Rahman gathered to hear the result, accompanied by dozens of police officers.

Many supporters claimed that Rahman had been the victim of racism in both the media and the government.

Amid tense scenes some Labour activists, including the shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan, were stopped from leaving the building after being warned that the police could not guarantee their safety.

Before the election there was much talk of ensuring that the Police ensured no intimidation took place at the polling stations, you'd think they would have prepared for an eventuality like this. Britain is supposed to be a free democracy where politics (at least outside Northern Ireland) should be free of violence. It seems the "Islamist tendency "in Tower Hamlets is out of control.

Meanwhile the TUSC is trying to collate it's results having stood some 560 candidates. Their one claim of a "great victory" was Pyrrhic to say the least since Keith Morrell in Southampton actually stood as an independent according to the ballot paper and had a following on the ground having been the sitting councillor before he quit the Labour Party.

Amongst their attempts to put a spin on their results they highlight their candidates have exceeded 50,000 votes but given the size of the electorate their complaint that the media, especially the BBC ignore them "making their mark" just doesn't hold up. 

In Lewisham their Mayoral candidate Chris flood polled 1,354 votes, coming last with just 1.8% and came way behind all the major parties including the Residents Party who polled 8%. The Labour candidate for Mayor got elected with just over 50% of the vote and all bar on local councillor (a lone Green) are from Labour. A good result.

Fairly typical of the TUSC results are these from Plymouth. Their 19 candidates managed to just get their friends and families voting for them as they polled: 49, 45, 53, 28, 72, 56, 93, 92, 38, 32, 69, 59, 77, 80, 94, 79, 34, 55, 63 respectively.

The somewhat unpleasant Steve Hedley managed to get 307 votes in East Ham South, but only just out polled the Christian Alliance candidates. Labour won all three seats comfortably thank you comrade.

Then there's Ken Loache's new outfit Left Unity. They managed to run 11 candidates all of whom polled abysmally, though in Wigan they managed to knock the Tory into fourth and last place. However all but one of their comrades polled below 100, one as low as 39.

Hardly an auspicious start.

And no alternative to Labour.

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