Saturday, 31 March 2007

Whitechapel update - Bethnal Green & Bow

Second to last branch selection meeting. At the very Tower Hamlets "Berner Estate Clubroom". There was a very different atmosphere today amongst candidates "lobbying" outside and local members coming to vote. People were very tense and serious. There was about 30 odd non ward members outside talking about the merits of various candidates. I thought that candidates, branch members and "observers" were on edge (this includes me!), calculating who was there, who hadn't turned up, why hadn't they? Would they honour their pledges????

I did not get this nomination (I think I know why) however, the level of support was pleasing and I look forward to the GC shortlisting process.

Friday, 30 March 2007

We're Backing Ayub for Bethnal Green & Bow

Local trade union steward and Labour Party activist Fuzlul Chowdhury says “Ayub is very hard working, intelligent and experienced. He is a credit to Tower Hamlets and the Labour Party”.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Bow West Decides

Bow West is a much bigger branch and there was better representation tonight of candidates "lobbying" members. Due to time restraints I have not "worked" Bow. However, I was able to chat to a number of local members while we waited for the doors of the centre to be opened. I'll be very "busy" in the next few weeks!

Click on the photo to expand.

Local residents passing by were most amused about what we were doing and why! Only two more selections meetings to go.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

The first Bow Selection

Very quick post tonight. Picture of candidates outside St Paul's Church, St Stephens Road for the first Bow branch selection meeting. Smallest number of candidates attending such a meeting yet? Does this mean anything? No women candidates turned up? The atmosphere outside is still remarkably friendly and relaxed? Obviously there are tensions (interesting photo)

We're Backing Ayub for Bethnal Green & Bow

I was born and bred in Tower Hamlets and I've spent my entire working life in the borough as well. Ayub is young, modern and committed. He will get everyone behind him at the next General Election.

John Gilbert - Plumber & Carpenter for local Housing Association.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Success in Mile End & Globe Town

Many thanks to to party members in Mile End and Globe Town. I won another nomination and also narrowly lost out (by one vote!) to one from Weavers branch.

The selection process has been dealt a upset by the unexpected and sudden withdrawal today by one of the other favourites, Anwara Ali. Anwara told me that as a scientist she had worked out that she would lose, so there was no point in going on for this election. She is a talented and capable candidate and I wish her well for future campaigns.

As a long time observer of Tower Hamlets politics, the selection process seems to be progressing remarkably smoothly without any "big rows" (see picture of some of the 64 candidates and CLP officers). No doubt that once I post this, there will be the most enormous disagreement about something tomorrow!

News Statesman Article

Last night I was out meeting members in Weavers and Globe Town. Both branches are meeting this evening in order to decide who to nominate as a candidate. It will be really busy. I have to arrange for my supporters to be outside both meetings, arrange lifts for Party members, get more leaflets printed etc.
One member I talked to mentioned an article I wrote for the News Statesman in January and he suggested that I post a link to it.

Monday, 26 March 2007

We're Backing Ayub for Bethnal Green & Bow

I think that Ayub would make a really good MP. He comes over as a “real person” who wants to do the right thing for all of us in Tower Hamlets. He reminds me of all that is good about the Labour Party.

Montrose Matty, Rosebank Gardens, Bow

Sunday, 25 March 2007

"Out and About " in Weavers

Just a very quick post to show I have been canvassing BG&B Labour Party members for more nominations. I was brought up in the borough and thought that I knew the area really well. However, trying to “door knock” everyone has proved an interesting and energetic experience. I certainly don’t need to work out at my local gym anymore!

Tahmima Anam debut novel “A Golden Age”.

On Friday evening I went with some of my campaign team to the Brady Arts Centre (Hanbury Street, E1) for the book launch of Tahmima Anam debut novel “A Golden Age”. It is set in Bangladesh during the horrors of the War of Liberation in the 1970's. I really look forward to reading her book (I will try, but probably not until after 28 April!). She is being hailed as the next Monica Ali. Check out her reviews (Observer, Guardian, Amazon). Her recent article in the “New Statesman” was outstanding.

We’re backing Ayub for Bethnal Green and Bow

Ayub is a local boy made good. Despite leaving school aged 16 and becoming a machinist in a “sweat shop”, he was able to go on to Ruskin College, Oxford, and to later complete a Masters Degree. If it wasn’t for the Labour Party and trade unions, ordinary working people would never have had this opportunity. However, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from and he is passionate about inspiring and supporting present day East Enders, from all our communities, to follow him and educate themselves out of poverty.

John Gray, Tower Hamlets UNISON Labour Link branch officer

Saturday, 24 March 2007

My Priorities for Bethnal Green and Bow (side 2)

My Priorities for Bethnal Green and Bow We need to get people into work.

• Tackling unemployment and ‘worklessness’ in our community, especially amongst young people and women, will be one of my top priorities.

• I will work with local employers, especially in Canary Wharf and the City to open more doors for local people. Public services matter – health, housing and education affect each and every one of us.

• I will fight for local people to be given a larger role and voice in the way public services are delivered.

• Among our public services, my priority is push for more investment in social housing. Without solving housing problems we cannot renew our support with traditional Labour supporters. The shortage of housing is a root cause of discontent exploited by far right parties. The London 2012 Olympics is an opportunity of a lifetime for local people and businesses. people and contracts for local businesses.

• I will work for greater investment in the local environment and businesses in Brick Lane so they can ensure that it becomes an international visitors’ destination. We should celebrate the ethnic diversity of the borough while working together to build a better Tower Hamlets for everyone.

• We should ensure that all our communities have access to the opportunities and resources we have in the borough. Discrimination should have no place in our society. It is down to every one of us to help save the planet. We can all make a contribution, no matter how small. • We all have a responsibility to protect our environment so that our children and future generations can live safely.

• We must ask ourselves what we can do as individuals to keep our streets clean and our environment free from pollution.

• We must involve community organisations in recycling.

If you have any question for me or would like to talk to me about the selection you can contact me on: Ayub Korom Ali : 020 8555 8439 (Home) 07931 575 168 (mobile) E- mail:

Ayub Korom Ali for Bethnal Green & Bow (My latest "calling card": side 1 text only)

Bethnal Green and Bow is a unique place with a vibrant population.
Our rich diversity, strong tradition of self-help and the spirit of
community create a constituency second to none. If we can use this
strength constructively Bethnal Green and Bow can be a place we
can all be proud of. I want to make this constituency that place. This
is why I want to be the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.
I have served the people of Tower Hamlets for the last 25 years, as a
community activist, a Labour Party member and a local government
officer. I grew up locally and am completely committed to this
community. Now I want to serve you as your Member of Parliament.
Our number one priority should be to win this constituency back
from Respect. I believe the seat is ours and we can win it back.
We must work together as one community to drive Respect out of
Bethnal Green and Bow.

I am asking you for your support.

Ayub Korom Ali

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Meeting Branch Labour Party members at Bethanl Green North

Interesting picture of myself and other candidates (there are 64 of us!) outside last night's branch meeting of Bethnal Green North (to decide who to nominate).

Today, there is an article in the East London Advertiser about my nomination by UNISON.
Also, a lot of positive coverage following my meeting with the Bangladeshi press on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Meet the Press

Last night I had a meeting with members of the Bangladeshi Press Club in Whitechapel. There were about 17 members who turned up to meet me. John Gray (UNISON Labour Link) also spoke about my trade union nomination and sponsorship. We also discussed what drives me to be a MP for this area. I thought that my contribution was well received. It will be interesting to see what the local Press now makes of my candidacy

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Press Release: UNISON Labour Link nominate me as Candidate

Press Release: Ayub Korom ALI: London UNISON Labour Link Nominee to be Bethnal Green & Bow Parliamentary Candidate

UNISON is the UK’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members. It is also the largest trade union in Tower Hamlets. “Labour Link” is the name given to the voluntary trade union political levy, paid by Labour Party supporters in UNISON. There are around 1,000 UNISON members who live in the Bethnal Green and Bow CLP, who are members of “Labour Link”. UNISON London Region “Labour Link” is affiliated to the constituency.

Ayub Korom Ali had already been selected by National UNISON “Labour Link” to be a member of its Parliamentary Panel. Then late yesterday (Monday 19 March) following a competitive selection process he is also being nominated by Labour Link to be the Parliamentary candidate at the next general election.

The “Labour Link” Regional committee support Ayub, not only because he has been a life long trade unionist, but they also felt that he has the talent, experience and skills necessary to be an MP. He also has a passion for social justice. Ayub was brought up in Stepney and left school aged 16 to become a machinist in a clothing factory. Despite this he was still able to gain a diploma as a mature student from Ruskin College, Oxford and a MA from Brunel University. This demonstrates the opportunities that the trade union movement and the Labour Party, has given to many ordinary working people.

Ayub currently works in Tower Hamlets (member of the UNISON local government branch) in Education as the Extended Schools advisor. He is an experienced campaigner and an elected Labour Councillor.

UNISON Labour Link would like Ayub to be nominated by as many other Labour Party branches and trade union affiliates as possible. Contact Ayub on 0208 555 8439 or Mob: 07931 575 168 Email: or on the internet

Jane Downey says “as a local resident and UNISON delegate I am sure that Ayub would be an excellent choice to be our MP”.

While Education steward Fuzlul Chowdhury said “Ayub is very hard working, intelligent and experienced. He is a credit to UNISON and the Labour Party”.

Further details contact John Gray, Labour Link Officer, Tower Hamlets UNISON tel: 0795 769 6299

Monday, 19 March 2007

Some questions that Bethnal Green & Bow Labour Party members have asked me.

Q. Is our current tax system fair to the well-off in society?

A. No it isn’t. It creates a poverty trap in which the near poor are better off on benefits than in low paid work. The taxation system in this country (and benefits) does need reforming in favour of the low paid, families and pensioners. It is a particular issue in Tower Hamlets where skills level of so many residents are low so their wage potential is low and costs are high especially for example council tax on larger property and high rents which creates a huge economic disincentive to work. We need to change the council tax and council tax benefit and increase the supply of low housing and shifting the burden of government support from housing benefit (high rents) to direct grant aid (low rent) to protect the near poor.

Q. Should there be a 50% tax rate for personal income above £100,000?

A. Yes. I am in favour of a progressive taxation policy whereby those who earn more pay a little more than others. This is about social justice and not being punitive on the rich. However, we must make sure that any increase in tax income is matched by increase in public services.

Q. Should there be a Land Value Tax to reflect the vast increase in land values that can arise from planning decisions to re-zone land for development, or public sector investment, e.g. rise in house values following improvements to public transport?

A. Yes. We need a completely different approach to land and property values to ensure that poorest benefit from rising property values e.g. community land trusts owning freeholds to key sites and community control of assets.

Q. Should the national minimum wage increase to £6/hour?

A. Yes, for outside London. For London the minimum wage should be increased (over a period of time) to £7.05 per hour. This is the minimum ‘living wage’ for London.

Q. Do faith school damage community integration?

A. It depends on the school, the catchment area and the way the school is run. Overall, however, I am not in favour of the proliferation of faith schools because we don’t know the long-term effects of such social experiment would be. I want to see a shift of emphasis from ‘faith’ to ‘good local schools’ which can support all our young people to fulfil their potential and prepare them for life in the culturally diverse world we live in.

Ayub Korom Ali

Address: 152 Osborne Road, London E7 OPN Home: 0208 555 8439 Mob: 07931 575 168 Email: Trade Union Membership: I am a member of UNISON , trade union CLP delegate, and on their National Parliamentary Panel.

Labour Party experience:
• 1984 joined the Labour Party at university.
• 1984 –1993 Member of Bethnal Green and Stepney CLP. • Since 1993 Member of West Ham CLP.
• Branch Vice-Chair, Asst. Secretary and GC delegate in Bethnal Green and Stepney. Branch Chair, CLP Ethnic Minority Officer, LGC and GC Delegate in West Ham.
• 2006-07 Chair of Newham LGC.
• Elected Councillor in London Borough of Newham in May 2006.
• Appointed by the Mayor of Newham as Lead Member with special responsibility for community affairs in the Manor Park Community Forum area.
• Throughout my membership of the party I have canvassed and campaigned at every local, national election. I relish the opportunity to get on the doorstep to campaign for our party.

Other life experience and education
• I left school at 16 and worked as a machinist in a local clothing factory.
• I later went to university as a mature student and obtained a Diploma in Applied Social Studies from Ruskin College, Oxford, and an MA in Social Policy from Brunel University.
• Previously worked as a Social Worker and Team Manager, and as Head of Community Languages and Study Support in Tower Hamlets. I have also worked in Bangladesh as Project Director of a European Union-funded project focusing on Urban Environmental Management.
• Previously a Non-Executive Director for the NHS Primary Care Trust, Newham; Co-opted Member of ILEA Education Committee; Council Member of Tower Hamlets Race Equality Council; Chair of the Federation of Bangladeshi Youth Organisations and the Progressive Youth Organisation in Tower Hamlets.
• Currently Governor of Little Ilford School, and a Trustee of the UK Bangladesh Education Trust.

• I am married and have two children aged 11 and 9.
• I am a member of my local leisure centre and visit the gym regularly.
• I have a strong track record in community development and several years experience of working in local government. I started my local government career as a trainee social worker and eventually became a qualified social worker, team manager and area co-ordinator.
• Over the last 10 years, I have been working in education and regeneration at a senior level in Tower Hamlets. I am familiar with the policy-making process in local government and have extensive professional experience of managing and delivering major public service programmes at local, national and international levels.

• I am familiar with the Labour Party policy on the modernisation of local government and public services. I am the lead officer for the extended schools programme in Tower Hamlets and have a thorough knowledge of the Every Child Matters agenda as well as the ongoing restructuring of children’s services.
• I became involved in anti-racist politics at an early age and have a thorough and in-depth knowledge of community relations policy in this country. Communication skills • I am a confident public speaker. I am regularly asked to contribute to local and national conferences including Labour Party events.
• I have experience of writing letters to local papers and have appeared on many occasions on TV programmes, especially ethnic media channels like Bangla TV and Channel S.
• I have contributed to New Statesman (for example, 22 January 2007 issue). Campaigning and party development skills
• I am an experienced campaigner on local and national issues. As chair of the Federation of Bangladeshi Youth Organisations in the 80s, I ran and co-ordinated several local and national campaigns.
• More recently I ran a successful campaign to relocate Forest Gate library to a local high street. I am a relentless campaigner for employment for local people, especially the opportunities that will be created by London Olympics 2012.
• I am also passionate about education , gender equality and the environment. Representational and problem solving skills
• I have worked as a social worker and I am an experienced caseworker.
• I routinely take part in councillor’s surgeries. This has given me extensive experience of representing people and finding effective solutions to their problems. Interpersonal, teamwork and liaison skills
• Politics is about listening to people and working with others to achieve common goals. I have good interpersonal skills, which enable me to work effectively with other people. As a senior officer in a local authority, I am used to negotiating with head teachers, local parents and community leaders to deliver what is best for our children.
• As a second generation British Bangladeshi, I feel I have diverse and culturally sensitive interpersonal skills. This allows me not only to relate to people from different cultures and backgrounds but also provides me with the capacity to understand both the challenges and possibilities in today’s multi-cultural Britain. Other skills
• I have experience of working in a developing country (Bangladesh)