Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for October 19th, 2008

Tower Hamlets’ Eid Aspirations

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 19th October, 2008

Just as Christmas has become an elastic feast, stretching well beyond the traditional twelve days, so the Muslim festival of Eid tends to extend further than the three-day holiday at the end of Ramadan. Accordingly, many young Bengalis in Tower Hamlets are still out and about in their new Eid clothes and restaurants in and around Brick Lane are full — particularly this evening, when the annual Curry Awatds took place.

In the Clifton Restaurant in Osborn Street, however, a different type of celebration was underway, as the rejuvenated borough Liberal Democrats, along with party President Simon Hughes MP, gathered members and supporters to highlight their aspirations in local, national and European politics. For the next few weeks, the focus of the activity will be the by-election taking place in Mile End East ward (where I happen to live). It is due on 20 November and a respected former LibDem Councillor, Jainal Choudhury, is the candidate. LibDem Councillors on Tower Hamlets are down from a high point of 30 in 1990 to just four now, but with the implosion of Respect, the unpopularity of Labour and a solution to some of the local party’s difficulties, the by-election can be interesting spur to growth through the European elections next June to the full Council elections and (probably) General Election in 2010. In 2010, the LibDems will be aiming to become the official opposition on the Council again and with the well-known Bengali broadcaster and imam Ajmal Masroor as PPC, making a strong challenge for the parliamentary seat of Bethnal Green and Bow being vacated by Respect’s idiosyncratic George Galloway. 

Link: http://tower-hamlets-libdems.org.uk

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