CP’s local government expert agrees with Denham over Tower Hamlets

May 4, 2015 at 8:15 pm (corruption, democracy, elections, Galloway, Livingstone, London, Unite the union)

Letter in Morning Star, May 4 2015

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Rahman’s office is the problem

I agree with Jim Denham’s critique (M Star April 29) of the editorial (M Star April 27) defending directly elected former Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfar Rahman.

However, as both fail to point out, the Communist Party manifesto calls for “abolition of  … directly elected mayors.”

As I wrote in The State and Local Government, such mayors should be abolished. These offices lead to cronyism, patronage and corruption. They are the optimal internal management arrangement for privatised local services.

Moreover, they remove the working class from this layer of local democracy, favouring full-time career politicians.

This undemocratic system has not increased voter turnout or support, only being recallable if there is proof of law-breaking.

The support for Rahman by Unite, George Galloway, Ken Livingstone and Labour’s Christine Shawcroft does not invalidate Mr Denham’s detailed arguments exposing double standards on the left, which has in the past also praised the archaic electoral court, which should be replaced with a simpler mechanism.

Power in Tower Hamlets, even before the commissioners, was too concentrated. Cabinets and directly elected mayors should be replaced with a committee system, giving all councillors the right to make policy again.

PETER LATHAM
London SE19

* Buy The State and Local Government at shop.morningstaronline.co.uk

6 Comments

  1. februarycallendar said,

    Agreed. The whole concept is a very American / Blairite thing. Rahman alone was not the problem.

  2. Steven Johnston said,

    Hahahahahahaha…loving it, normally politicians wait till after the election before they break their manifesto promises. The CP breaks with this tradition and does it before.

  3. Andrew Coates said,

    This critical judgement on directly elected Mayors (the root cause of the whole Rahman fiasco) seems to be the view of many close to the ground.

  4. Left Unity in Dramatic Rightward Shift to Back Tower Hamlets First – Heralding Party Break-up? | Tendance Coatesy said,

    […] Shiraz Socialist posts this incisive letter. […]

  5. dagmar said,

    Give Jim Denham a Morning Star column!

  6. Steven Johnston said,

    This just in…Galloway to sue everyone that didn’t vote for him…no seriously, he is going to stand for election as Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

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