Friday, 30 April 2010

Will Jules Pipe have to back-track on ultra-orthodox planning rules?

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy is doing his best to win support from the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

In an article published yesterday the JC said: "Despite the slim chance of an upset, both Labour and the Tories are going out of their way to court the Charedi community in south Tottenham."

In Haringey the pursuit of the Charedi community's vote appears to have been behind the recent planning victory for Ultra Orthodox Jewish families living in Haringey.

When this was reported the community said it was also setting its sights on persuading neighbouring Hackney to change its rules too.

But in Hackney the Labour administration has fought-off planning exemptions for large families and Mayor Pipe has accused ultra-orthodox Jewish Consevative councillors of pursuing that agenda at the expense of the rest of the borough. ( 23,000 Hackney tenants used as bargaining chip)

So what were the reasons why Hackney didn't want to go down that road? If the Hackney Labour Party sticks to its position will it be condemning what's happened in Tottenham? Hopefully Jules Pipe will say, before the election, if he thinks his Tottenham/Haringey colleagues have taken a wrong turn.

According to the Labour-supporting, ultra-orthodox Abraham Pinter, the whole battle will centre around the Seven Sisters ward in Haringey where the Conservatives think they can win as they field an ultra-orthodox candidate against a Labour candidate who is Jewish, but not ultra-orthodox.

The pressure is already being applied on Hackney Council but Jewish Historian Geoffrey Alderman says the ultra-orthodox Jewish community should be careful with its new-found power. In a piece called Hacking off Hackney voters he said: "Jewish "communalism" is a major trigger of anti-Jewish prejudice. It may look clever but its victories, purchased at a high price, are invariably short-lived." Although would a back-lash be expected if concessions were made to any other religious or cultural group? Geoffrey Alderman interview here: Stop worrying and learn to love race politics

However Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South, says that this is exactly how mulitculturalism works. In an interview Blood and Property asked: "Does it matter if you have large, politically active communities, that do act with a certain level of self interest – or promote issues that affect this community?"

Meg Hillier said: "That’s what politics is about."

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