A blast from the past
Followers of Hackney political history should take a look at BBC4's programme about the Stamford Hill chassidic Jewish community shown last night but available on cable catch-up etc.
It focused on the attempted rehabilitation by the community of convicted drug dealer Samuel Leibowitz but also features his brother, Isaac, a Tory Councillor jailed for six months for perpetrating the largest proxy vote fraud and dodgy registration scam in British electoral history, which ensured Hackney was a hung council rather than Labour after the 1998 council elections. Oddly the BBC didn't mention that Isaac was an ex-con like his brother or make any reference to his conviction.
Cllr Smith & I thought it was a great shame that one of the first ever TV documentaries about the chassidic community in Stamford Hill focused on two bad apples (albeit cheeky, endearing rogues) rather than the 20,000 other people in the community who are amongst the most law-abiding people going.
The programme briefly interviewed Mr Cahan who runs the Hatzolah voluntary ambulance service and Mrs Symons the Chief Executive of Agudas Israel Housing Association (which I sit on the board of as a council representative). A full documentary about the amazing charitable and community work they do would have been a better representation of the community in Stamford Hill.