Tag Archives: Sayeeda

Tory Islamophobia split: Johnson whitewashes, Hancock whitesplains and gaslights

Matt Hancock: After his blunder over GP numbers, I wrote: “Fanfare the falsehood, then quietly retract it later. Is that the plan?” Strangely enough, it’s possible that those words apply here too.

What a shame for the Tories that the naked Islamophobia in their party has reared up in the run-up to the general election!

And after all the work flogging the dead cat of Labour anti-Semitism by their friends in the mainstream media too.

First, Boris Johnson said there would be no inquiry into Tory Islamophobia before Christmas (note the tasteless use of a Christian festival there), in what seems clearly an attempt to whitewash racism out of his party’s election campaign.

Then Baroness Warsi – who has campaigned to expose Islamophobia in the Conservatives for years – tweeted her response:

And then health secretary Matt Hancock – who has already lied about the number of GPs coming into the NHS – “whitesplained” away the possibility of such racism in the Tory Party.

Responding to Baroness Warsi, he said: “Well look, I like Sayeeda. She has a particular view on this, there are others who take a more balanced approach.”

Asked if he was saying she was “unbalanced”, Hancock replied: “No, I’m certainly not saying that. I have an enormous amount of respect for Sayeeda but she does take a particular view.”

Way to make things worse, Matty-boy!

Zelo Street‘s Tim Fenton was similarly nonplussed: “Bloody hell, I never heard being soft on racism called “more balanced” before.”

And he had more to say about the interview than The Independent, which omitted the fact that, as Mr Fenton puts it, Mr Hancock put his other foot in his mouth too:

“‘There needs to be an inquiry of course, but of course you should look into all kinds of prejudice … I think that this is something that any responsible party always needs to be on the look-out for.‘ Yes, he did indeed choose to keep his mouth open while inserting the other foot. The double standards are blatant.

“Just imagine what the response would have been if that had been a senior Labour figure and anti-Semitism allegations.”

He also quoted Labour’s Afzal Khan: “This gaslighting of Baroness Warsi’s experience and expertise within the Tory Party is a clear example of that racism in action.”

Still, BoJob has committed to an inquiry into all kinds of prejudice in the Tory Party… at some indeterminate point in the future.

So I’ll leave you with these words, again from the Zelo Street article:

“As all kinds of prejudice will be considered, perhaps Bozo would like to include Jacob Rees Mogg’s use of the anti-Semitic “Illuminati” and “Soros” dog whistles, Michael “Oiky” Gove conflating “Jews” and “Israel”, Priti Patel talking of a “North London metropolitan liberal elite”, and Jake Berry shouting “Britain First” at Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons.”

So much prejudice among just a few Conservative ministers! Who knows what sickness the others are hiding?

Source: Tory Islamophobia row: Warsi accuses Hancock of ‘whitesplaining’ | News | The Guardian

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Tories reinstate suspended councillors – confirming that the Conservative Party is institutionally Islamophobic

Unacceptable: Cllr Andrew Bowles was readmitted to the party after a 13-day suspension for retweeting a post describing the far-right leader Tommy Robinson as a patriot, according to The Guardian.

Typical Tories:

More than a dozen Conservative councillors who were suspended over posting Islamophobic or racist content online – with some describing Saudis as “sand peasants” and sharing material comparing Asian people to dogs – have had their membership quietly reinstated, a Guardian investigation has found.

The chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Mohammed Amin, called on the party to publish a set of formal disciplinary processes after the Guardian found 15 examples of politicians who posted content that was deemed objectionable.

The findings come amid growing concerns over the Conservative party’s attitude to reports of Islamophobia in a febrile wider climate, with the number of hate crimes against Muslims reported to have risen by 593% in the week after the attack on two New Zealand mosques.

The official Tory line, as published in The Guardian, appears to be that the members concerned had been punished appropriately.

Some disagree:

https://twitter.com/Ollie4TheMany/status/1109908333362900993

“Sand peasants”? “Dogs”? There are Conservative Party members who are Muslims. No wonder Baroness Warsi has been campaigning to highlight the institutional Islamophobia of her own party for so long.

Here she is, noting the latest development – along with Tom London, asking a pertinent question of our public service broadcaster, the BBC (Ofcom please note):

(Mind you, the Tories have a strategy to deal with Baroness Warsi – it is to attack her integrity. Consider Tim Montgomerie’s tweet – and Aleesha’s response:

Clearly, it is a strategy that has failed; we’ve all seen through it.)

David Schneider tweeted: “This is why we’ll take no lectures on antisemitism from the party of the hostile environment, Windrush scandal, Go Home vans, of cosying up to Orban and Zac Goldsmith’s mayoral campaign, a party that turns a blind eye to islamophobia.”

Rachel Swindon asked the Tory chairman: “Sorry to disturb your Chequers gathering – but did you think this will just get buried under your ongoing Brexit crisis?”

She added: “It is beyond any reasonable doubt is a monstrous failure of a politician. His arrogance and ignorance is being exposed for all to see. He has no control of this crisis.”

And Tom Clark, author of Another Angry Voice, asserted: “Tory disciplinary procedures for racism: Make a huge show of suspending their racists. Brag about how great their disciplinary procedures are. Quietly let them all back in after the fuss dies down. Example after example in this article.”

Quite right – because this is typical Tory behaviour.

They think rules are only relevant to other people. If they get caught breaking them, they’ll make a show of contrition, wait a while, then carry on as if nothing has happened.

Now they’ve been caught doing just that, and they have nothing to say. All they can do is claim that those they sneaked back into the party were justified in coming back.

And nobody believes them.

The situation is as Hasan Patel describes it:

“I am disgusted that the Tory party has quietly reinstated 15 councillors who were suspended for Islamophobia. They are an institutionally racist party that also enacts racist government policies like the Windrush scandal.


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Warsi’s demand on IDF volunteers won’t gain traction with Israel-supporting Tories

Baroness Warsi: A voice in the wilderness?

Baroness Warsi is right to highlight the privileged status Israel seems to enjoy for no very good reason.

Why should people who leave the UK to join the Israeli Defence Force – and who may therefore take part in the appalling massacres of Palestinians that we have witnessed over the last few years – be immune from the prosecution that faces those who join other foreign military groups?

But he attitude suggests a schism with other Tories – Priti Patel, for example.

Ms Patel, formerly Secretary of State for International Development, was forced to resign after she was found to have been carrying out her own foreign policy.

This included around a dozen meetings with Israeli officials, discussing official UK government business, alongside the honorary president of the Conservative Friends of Israel, a group listed by conspirator Shai Masot as being in the pocket of the Israeli government during the Israeli embassy scandal.

She also called for the UK to give financial support to Israeli hospitals in the Golan Heights – an area of Syria that Israel has occupied.

Perhaps they treat, or have treated, UK citizens who have joined the Israeli Defence Force?

If I recall correctly, the Conservative Party has a policy that all new Tory MPs automatically join the Conservative Friends of Israel.

So it seems Baroness Warsi is unlikely to find a foothold for her reasonable suggestion. Or will the Tories prove me wrong?

British citizens who volunteer for the Israeli army should be prosecuted like others who fight for foreign forces, according to Baroness Warsi.

The former Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said people should only be legally allowed to fight for the state they are a citizen of.

It is currently possible for anyone to join the Israel Defence Force (IDF) through the “Mahal” program if they meet specific background and age requirements.

But while people fighting for various foreign forces have faced prosecution upon there return to the UK – including some who claim to have been opposing the Assad regime in Syria – those who temporarily join up with the IDF have not.

Source: UK citizens who fight in Israeli army should be prosecuted, Baroness Warsi says | The Independent

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Sick of Labour anti-Semitism? Let’s talk about Tory Islamophobia instead

After a week in which she desperately tried to steer the public discourse away from the racism in her own policies, it must have been disheartening for Theresa May to hear a former chair of the Conservative Party saying the following to Robert Peston on his Sunday morning show:

https://twitter.com/alexnunns/status/988037816469815296

Considering the way Parliament hosted a debate – in fact, more like an institutionalised slagging-off of Jeremy Corbyn – over the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, at least one response was going to be obvious:

Well, there ought to be!

Believe it or not, though, the UK’s mainstream media seem keen – desperate, in fact – to sweep this under the carpet. Racism? Islamophobia? In the Conservative Party? The very thought!

At least, that seems to be the attitude.

I had to go to alleged Russian propoganda and fake news site RT to find a report on what Baroness Warsi told Peston viewers – and it was revealing:

“In light of the recent anti-Semitism row that has engulfed UK Labour, with wall-to-wall MSM broadcast, print, and social media coverage that has painted the issue as a “crisis” for the main opposition party, one may have thought this would have grabbed the attention of the media establishment.

“The reality? Cue the tumbleweed.

“Indeed, not even the presenter interviewing Baroness Warsi, Robert Peston, picked up the revelation to investigate the matter more fully.

“So, why the media silence? Could it be that the MSM are more focused on misdemeanors, perceived or otherwise, committed by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, as part of what some see as a concerted campaign to undermine his authority and weaken his standing as leader, for fear that one day he may become prime minister?

“Others may suggest that Islamophobia is not seen by a majority of the British media as such a terrible scourge on our society as anti-Semitism.

“Whatever the reason for the MSM blackout on Baroness Warsi’s admission, the concerns of many that large sections of the media apply lower moral standards to the Tories than to Labour, will not be adequately addressed while claims of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party are ignored.”

I have written on racism in the Conservative Party in the past – yes, even before the Windrush scandal – and it would be easy to link to those articles to show examples.

But I think it would be better to offer a Muslim’s view on Islamophobia. Here‘s Aleesha – some of you may already know her from her Twitter account; she also writes a blog, and this is some of what she has to say:

“As a young British Muslim woman involved in politics, I’ve seen the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric in British politics, and nobody is acting on it, nobody is condemning it and quite frankly, it’s disgusting that our politicians can get away with it.

“Very recently, Conservative MP, Bob Blackman shared an islamophobic page and article on his Facebook and then apologised for it when he was called out. However, this isn’t the first time that Bob has endorsed the anti-Muslim sentiment, he previously retweeted anti-Muslim posts from Tommy Robinson, a notorious bigot. Moreover, Bob Blackman had also hosted an anti-Muslim extremist in Parliament, a man who praised the Rohingya genocide, called for genocide of Kashmiri Muslims and called for Islam to be “wiped out” from this planet. What annoys me most about all of this is the entire fact that it’s hardly made the news, just briefly and there’s hardly any outrage, and our MPs aren’t condemning it or calling it out. I’d at least expect our Muslim MPs to call it out regardless of political ideologies but all I see is silence. Just imagine for a second that Bob was a Labour MP, or imagine if, in this instance, it was another religion. Just imagine the outrage. The silence from Theresa May and the Tories and their inability to act on this speaks volumes.

“Bob Blackman’s islamophobia isn’t just one case in politics. There are many. One of which dates back to the London Mayoral elections, where Zac Goldsmith launched an islamophobic campaign against Sadiq Khan. The Tories didn’t act, nobody acted and Zac Goldsmith still remains as an MP for Richmond.

“Go to Sadiq Khan’s Twitter profile, browse through his Tweets and look at all of the replies to them. You will almost always see islamophobic and racial abuse tweeted to him.

“I’m also writing this just after reading a Tweet from the official EU Leave account that said Britain has an “exploding” Muslim population.

“Why is nobody acting? I have been blocked by Tory councillors and Tory MPs when I call islamophobia out. Why are these MPs and councillors supporting islamophobes? It makes me think that the Tory party has an actual problem with islamophobia, not to mention the dozens of times I’ve been religiously abused by Tories.

“Are we just going to ignore it? When will we give these cases the rightful outrage? Islamophobia is absolutely normalised in British politics and nobody is really doing anything about it. The silence from our politicians shows their inability to act and their legitimation/endorsement of these views. Are we going to act, or are we going to do nothing and let MPs like Bob Blackman host more extremists in Parliament?”

Consider Baroness Warsi’s words at the top of this article and the answer is clear – at least as far as the Conservatives are concerned.

Islamophobia? They love it!


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Gaza resignation exposes splits among Conservatives

Policy-based resignation: Baroness Warsi's decision to leave the government over Gaza is the first resignation on a matter of principle in more than a decade - since Clare Short resigned over Iraq (as far as we can tell).

Policy-based resignation: Baroness Warsi’s decision to leave the government over Gaza is the first resignation on a matter of principle in more than a decade – since Clare Short resigned over Iraq (as far as we can tell).

This blog has had very little time for Sayeeda Warsi in the past.

When she pleaded to stay in the cabinet, back in 2012, claiming she fits the demographics of all the people the Tories need to get voting for them at the next general election, being a woman who is not white, from an urban area in the North, who is – she claimed – working class… this blog mocked her. And rightly so.

But Vox Political also praised her honesty when she admitted failing to declare rental income. She was let off the hook, but that is a reflection on the corruption in Parliamentary affairs, not on her.

Perhaps we have seen that rare (in a Tory) streak of honesty again today, motivating the Foreign Office minister to resign over what she described as her own government’s “morally indefensible” policy on the crisis in Gaza.

Her resignation letter went on to state that the Coalition government’s policy was “not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long-term effect on our reputation internationally and domestically”.

She added that the decision “has not been easy” but there is “great unease” within the Foreign Office over “the way recent decisions are being made”.

Lady Warsi, who was also minister for Faith and Communities, stated: “I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in government at this time I do not feel that I can be sure of that.”

She is not the only Conservative to be suffering doubts over the government’s position. The UK’s abstention from a UN vote to investigate possible human rights breaches in the disputed territory has been extremely controversial, and several backbench Tories have called on David Cameron to take a firm stance with Israel over its “disproportionate” actions in Gaza.

Commenters on this blog and elsewhere have voiced the belief that Cameron is supporting “the money”.

Labour has praised Baroness Warsi for the principled position she has taken. The Opposition Party led by Ed Miliband (himself accused of Zionism by many) has consistently opposed the Israeli incursion into Gaza.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander said his party had “repeatedly urged the Prime Minister to… speak out against the horrific loss of life witnessed in recent weeks, but he has so far failed to do so.”

He said Labour welcomed a decision by Israel to withdraw its forces, “but both sides must now fully respect the ceasefire to prevent further suffering and loss of life.

“In the longer term, both sides must also act to address the underlying causes of this conflict, and it must be recognised that Palestinian statehood is not a gift to be given but a right to be recognised.”

Considering his government’s plans for human rights here in the UK, it seems unlikely that Cameron will accept such a notion.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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