[New Word] Sociogenyaesthetics

The art of knowing how things (bodies, materials, discourses and performances) became this way and how they can change.

[New Word] Occidenteering

The practice of learning how to understand and navigate in a world that has been configured by white supremacy for 500 odd years.


The Tower Hamlets Coup Resource Page: What is to be done?


A lot of money and influence has been invested in a Election Court Coup against Lutfur Rahman, the recently reelected Mayor of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which has an interesting tradition of demonstrating that the established political order is not the End of History. It is necessary, but fiendishly difficult to improve under fire, but that is what post Labour political formations need to do.

Journalists and politicians, usually all white ones, from left and right are revelling over the judgement of election court engineered to produce this coup. Grinding axes are coming out to play, and yes we have seen most if not all them all before. Corrupt developers not unrelated to the Shirley Porter moment stalk the borough, local housing organisations hardly inspire confidence and the local authority is mired in revolt and institutional dysfunction, thanks largely to the behavior of the local Labour party over recent decades.

Are the Greens for Real?
The Tower Hamlets Green Party has been quite a disappointment on the issue so far, with a whitewashed statement legitimising the re-election and contradicting their own anti-elected mayor policy. On this, the central party, as I understand, didn't guide such a statement and feels it isn't their place to impose a view.

The party has been trying to make itself less white, established a Greens of Colour caucus with a BAME Manifesto, and a highly ironic Brick Lane Launch. Yet this is all academic in the shadow of the Tower Hamlets Coup, which is a twisted cross product of the colonialism and racism of the British Right and Left. The authorial powers of Private Eye, Gilligan, Jeory and Ware have all had an effect here, an issue I will discuss concretely later.

Reducing the coup to an internal Labour party problem, as the TH Greens have done, whitewashes the issues of racism, the standing of the country's then premier anti-austerity executive, and the decades long struggle for political representation from Bangladeshi people in the borough. Secondly, running candidates looks like running over corpses after a political massacre, it legitimises the establishment's war on post Labour alternatives, puts the Greens in the ring as the anti-politics option and sits weirdly with the green position against elected mayors.

An Actual Way Forward.
There is a postLabour position of challenging the prejudice and injustice of the judgement, critically appraising Lutfur's record (warts and all) and pointing to a future of mass participation and resistance to social cleansing.  Unfortunately it is difficult to step into that space, and narrow interests threaten those who pose the possibility.

40 odd years of political struggle

Central government meanwhile has triumphantly usurped much of the power of the local authority. Looking forwards, in a few years there may not be a Tower Hamlets, and the area may be socially 'cleansed' to make way for gentrification and the hipster insurgency. 

People of justice identify with the area because of the vast inequalities that are historically at play .  Deshis locally have struggled for political representation for over 40 years, against the racism of the Labour Party amongst other challenges. Deshis non-locally are involved via a myriad of psychic, economic, professional and historic interconnections.
  • We can't remember but we ask our elders about how Labour refused to include and represent Bangladeshis until Nurul Hoque's victory in Spitalfields as an Independent in 1982.
  • We remember booting out Oona King who voted for Tony Bliar's criminal war on Iraq, which was pivotal in the production of ISIS.
  • We remember booting out Labour's councillor and academic Micheal Keith, puppet master of Labour's Bangladeshi puppets, and whose record of dealings with developers and contracters remains underscrutinised.
  • We remember Helal Abbas and the Labour NEC's putred dismissal of Lutfur Rahman's Mayoral candidacy in 2010, how they played the terrorism allegation card.
  • We read the patronising, Orientalist and 'clever' text of the Election Court (Deputy) Judge as he played his role in a game that involved the entire political and media establishments.
  • We follow the deep connections between the Labour Party and the Bangladesh Awami League and are 'post' both.
  • We reflect on our own human shortcomings and the dignity of others.

Why is a resource page necessary?

This is an attempt at a rolling resource page, with articles, videos and official documents. It is a murky and complex arena to try and get one's head around.   There is a huge qualitative and quantitative inequality in knowledge produced by the subordinated sides of this very racist and prejudiced equation. Capital, Labour (R) and Liberal Hypocrisy are very eloquent and well represented.

Looking at the majority of the high profile content out there is can be misleading. Local blogger Ted Jeory is quite 'diligent', and does get quite a bit wrong. He needs to be read as he informs most white people on the issue. Meanwhile more powerfully, hack journalists like Andrew Gilligan and the Evening Standard's Robin de Peyer can be expected to 'do their jobs' and represent the worldview and interests of their class, informants, clients and employers.

There should be dozens of sharp bloggers throughout East London building audiences, debate and scrutinising the powerful, corrupt and autocratic. Maybe there are...


4th May 2015 | Talk and discussion with housing academic/activist Glyn Robbins, the TUSC candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow. 

Shamaj Views radio show on Tower Hamlets: History, Local Politics and the Trial of Lutfur Rahman


Labour Mayoral candidate John Biggs appealing for consideration from the pulpit of Tower Hamlets mosque at Friday prayers (15th May) (relevant given double standards in spiritual influence debate)

Shibbir Choudhury, the secretary of 100 Roman Road Mosque using prayers to promote previously failed mayoral candidate John Biggs, the very same reason why Lutfur Rahman was 'criminalised'. Hypocritical system ?Oh another point.... The claims of ‘granting planning permission’ for the LMC (London Muslim Center) was under John Biggs leadership but there is NO mention about the many strong thousands of people who rallied from East London Mosque to the council demanding planning permission, you John Biggs had NO choice but to give in to the people, do not act all empathetic when you are not, LAIR!!
Posted by No to John Biggs for Mayor on Friday, 15 May 2015

Peter Oborne comment on the racist origins and applications of the spiritual injury law

Peter Obornes views on the Tower Hamlets and Luthfur Rahman case...
Posted by MEND - Muslim Engagement and Development on Wednesday, 13 May 2015

(From Defend Democracy in Tower Hamlets Event 30th April 2015)

Salma Yaqoob ( The Legend of Birmingham)

Ava Vidal (Comedienne and Writer)

Sean Raczka (Tower Hamlet's Resident)

Peter Herbert ( Society of Black Lawyers)

Alex Kenny ( Tower Hamlets National Union of Teachers)

Mayor Lutfur Rahman and Cllr Rabina Khan

Christine Shawcroft (of Labour National Executive Council)

Jonathan Rees

Nana Assante (Former Mayor of Harrow)

Lindsay German

Andrew Murray

Weyman Bennett (Unite Against Fascism)

John Allison (Resident of the Ocean's Estate)

George Galloway

What has Lutfur Rahman done for Tower Hamlets? ( 16 May 2014)

Lutfur Rahman Exposed! (28 March 2014 )


15 May 2015 | Guardian, Giles Fraser, Why is it one law for the Hindus and another for the Hindus?

11 May 2015 | Guardian, Rajeev Syal, Labour veteran suspended from party for supporting Lutfur Rahman

7 May 2015 | London Review of Books, Nadine El-Enany  The Judiciary and Institutional Racism 

6 May 2015 | Blog, Jen Izaakson Want to actually read the 101 Imams Letter?

4 May 2015 | 5Pillarz, Mevlana Marx Is Rabina Khan the best mayoral candidate to sort out Tower Hamlets?

4 May 2015 | East End News, Is this the man who can halt the Labour Shoo-in

2 May 2015  | 5Pillarz, Nishaat Ismail The battle for "democracy" continues in Tower Hamlets

30 April 2015 | RS21, Andrew Ward Twelve Reasons why the Lutfur Rahman judgement should worry you

26 April 2015 | Blog, Glyn Robbins Tower Hamlets Strikes Back!

24 April 2015 | Blog, Jen Izaakson Review of the Judgement in the Lutfur Rahman case

30 May 2014 | Guardian, Richard Seymour and Ashok Kumar  The Smear Campaign against Lutfur Rahman is an insult to democracy

'Official Documents'