Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Laban's Election Choice

I know you've all been waiting for some Labanic pearls of wisdom on the election. I confess that never have I felt less energised, never less impressed with all the Prime Ministerial candidates, from Young Nick, with his radical plans to abolish my daughter's Catholic comprehensive, let all the illegal immigrants stay (and bring their families in) and let all the burglars out, through the Heir To Blair, whose few discernable policies seem none too well thought out, down to the Son of the Manse, or the Manse Who Saved The World.

Nonetheless it is my duty to find a path through these sorry facts, winding and weary though that path be, and come to a conclusion and recommendation.

After much thought, I can announce that I will be voting Labour on Thursday.

And so will the other 56 people in my house.

The number registered to vote at the home of Khales Uddin Ahmed, running to be a councillor in Tower Hamlets, has risen from five to twelve in recent weeks. But a neighbour said that only three people live in the maisonette on a council estate in Bromley-by-Bow.

It is one of several cases where new names have been suddenly added to the voting register as living at addresses occupied by Labour candidates in the borough, which has a history of allegations of voting irregularities.

A last-minute surge of electoral registrations in the borough means that 5,000 have gone through without any checks.

When approached by The Times yesterday, Mr Ahmed, a restaurateur, locked himself behind his door and insisted that all the other occupants were out. “You are discriminating our family,” he said. “I am not going to give you any information.” He declined to say how many bedrooms he had. Round the corner, in a house where a mother and daughter, both Labour councillors, live, three people have recently been added to the voting register, bringing the total to eight.

Rania Khan said that the new names at the four-bedroom house were her husband and two nurses they had taken in as lodgers. “That’s showing the need of the people of Tower Hamlets with the overcrowding situation,” she said.

At a maisonette in Poplar, where a Labour councillor, her husband and four children live, three new adults have been recently added to the roll. When The Times asked to speak to the newcomers, Shiria Khatun, who is standing in the elections, slammed the door. Her husband shouted: “Get out from here, bloody bastard.” Ms Khatun later said by telephone that the new residents were two nieces and a nephew who were sleeping on a sofa and the floor.