Uniting the East End: A call to action in Tower Hamlets

Six months ago, many, many people from across London and beyond came to help me and Jim Fitzpatrick beat George Galloway’s Respect, reports Rushanara Ali.

Our guest writer is Rushanara Ali MP (Labour, Bethnal Green & Bow)

In a week when we are all waiting with trepidation for the results of the Comprehensive Spending Review, while marvelling at the twists and turns of Lib Dem MPs as they attempt to crawl out from the tatters of their higher education policy, there is a vital campaign happening on the doorsteps of Tower Hamlets. In less than a week, residents of the east London borough will be going to the polls to elect their first directly elected mayor.

Six months ago, many, many people from across London and beyond came to help me and Jim Fitzpatrick beat George Galloway’s Respect and the parties that would later join together and form the coalition. During that election the people of Tower Hamlets rejected the politics of division and joined with us backing our Labour vision of a united East End.

Since that election we have been putting that philosophy into action, challenging the far right English Defence League when they tried to march here, challenging the coalition on cuts to our public services and more recently fighting for Labour in this election.
Ed Miliband and Left Foot Forward have long argued that Labour needs to be a campaigning movement or it is nothing. By opening up the campaign to new volunteers we helped to create, with a fantastic team of organisers, a formidable campaigning force during the general election. Our team working under the banner ‘Uniting the East End’ attracted hundreds of volunteers, which let us do the most important thing – in elections – talk to voters.

Last time we had three years, in this election we have had three weeks! As MPs, Councillors, Greater London Authority members, Labour Party activists and community volunteers we are fighting as a Labour team on behalf of Labour candidate Cllr Helal Abbas, but we can’t do it alone. We need the support of activists from across London – so let’s start building that renewed movement in the East End, home to so many of the great  campaigns of the past.

What’s at stake next Thursday is a billion pound budget, in one the most vibrant and diverse boroughs at the heart of our capital. For the people of Tower Hamlets this isn’t about personalities, it’s about the real issues – schools, housing, jobs and the economy. This is no time for a Galloway-backed independent who appeals to the margins and wants to turn the clock back to the politics of the past.

Over this weekend, and on election day on 21st October, readers of Left Foot Forward have a chance to help defeat the Galloway candidate in Tower Hamlets, and make Labour’s Councillor Abbas a mayor who will finally turn the page on the politics of division, and start putting the people of Tower Hamlets first.

Please come and join us in this campaign, details of how you can help can be found below. The campaign office is at 349 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9RA and will be open for canvassing and leafleting from 10am-6.30pm every day until the election. Please ring 0207 729 6682 or email abbas4mayor@gmail.com for further details or to let us know when you are available. With your help we can ensure a Labour victory on the 21st of October.

11 Responses to “Uniting the East End: A call to action in Tower Hamlets”

  1. jeff marks

    “The EDL are a right wing racist party who hate muslims”

    I can see racist and hate muslims, but you reckon the EDL are right wing?
    Marching down the road shouting, getting on everyones nerves, trying to start a fight – right wing? Sounds left wing to me. The right wing were at home alternating doing a bit of gardening with reading the telegraph.

  2. Tony

    Wow. You allow an mp on this blog who recently used a racist jibe ( she claimed on bangla tv that the lutfur campaign was a ‘white man conspiracy’. How very progressive.)
    Will you allow all the ‘left wing’ candidates the chancce to write here equally or is this purely for use of the labour membership

  3. jt

    Uniting the East End: A call to action in Tower Hamlets | Left …: Marching down the road shouting, getting on ev… http://bit.ly/aiELAS

  4. BourgJoe

    No Jeff, the EDL are rightwing, regardless of how you conceptualise yourself!

    Reminds me of a student of mine who tried to imagine the BNP as leftwing simply because he didn’t like it.

  5. jeff marks

    the BNP are leftwing. they are barely indistinguishable from labour apart from their support for the indigenous working class. you can call that ‘Labour with racism’ if you like but it has nothing to do with being right wing which is about freedom from state coercion. BNP are usually labelled ‘far right’ but not in the way of meaning ‘a bit further right than normal right’ unless you read the guardian or are an idiot

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