This is a lesson that Mr Pickles and his government, as well as the opposition, needs to grasp with alacrity and start to work together to undo the harm that has already been done. Otherwise, we can expect communal, pork barrel politics to increasingly become the norm and so more of the likes of Luftur Rahman running councils and unwelcome Trojan Horses appearing in schools and elsewhere.
We are hearing a lot about development at the moment. The Mayor of London has released an audacious paper about what London should look like. From the Olympics to the airports debate everyone is excited about the modernising face of London. And yet too often ordinary people are promised affordable homes, then shut out of the development process whilst space is eaten up by unaccountable giants.
Rahman tries to claim that only he and those who support him have stood up to the EDL and other racist groups so that he can attack anybody who challenges his policies as implicitly racist. The puerile nature of this argument would be laughable were it not so dangerous - it isn't just the right-wing that can stir up community division.
Recently the Cross Government Group on Anti Muslim Hatred reported a growing and disturbing trend of hostility towards British Muslims. One statistic stood out in particular - namely that a quarter of young people apparently "do not trust Muslims". I was not surprised in the slightest by the group's further findings.
UPDATE: Two men have been arrested after the EDL and members of the Muslim community held demonstrations in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. ...
Old Flo is being used as a political football; those that talk about art at a time of austerity are the ones that do not have issues with finances. For many in Tower Hamlets life has been getting tougher, when the credit crunch hit, some of them had no credit to crunch, whilst the lovey-dovey, pretentious wine sipping art lovers enjoyed well paid jobs.
It is no secret that street food in London is thriving. Every month new traders hit the scene with mind boggling new concepts and taste combinations crazy enough to make Heston think twice... But our own experience thus far has been fraught by intransigent councils and endless negotiating with the powers that be.
There has been huge domestic and international interest in our decision to sell a much loved Henry Moore sculpture, 'Old Flo', that our borough bought many years ago - it wasn't donated to us as press reports have erroneously claimed. We are not the first authority to explore raising much needed revenue at a time of austerity from selling works of art... If only there was as much national media interest in the fact that we are being forced to make £100million cuts by 2015, as there has been over the proposed sale of this sculpture to mitigate the effect of some of those cuts
The implications of austerity for residents in boroughs like Tower Hamlets is literally to turn back time. Our youth are the first generation to be poorer than their parents. No longer can families have the expectation of increasing living standards. The welfare state compact that has defined the post war period is being rewritten, and not for the better. The consequences will be greater inequality, with all its accompanying ills.