Baroness Warsi, the Chairwoman of the Conservative party, is under attack yet again from elements within her own party after criticising the right wing of the Conservative Party. This has led to renewed calls for her to be moved from her role, and extensive briefings characterising her as ‘gaffe prone’ and pointing out that David Cameron has already handed some of her responsibilities to someone else. There have been accusations hat she was only appointed as Chairwoman because Mr. Cameron wanted to show how the Conservative Party had changed by appointing a Muslim woman as head of it. I would like to see Baroness Warsi move on too, but not for the same reasons.
I do not know about her competency in her present role, but she is wasted there. Prior to the general election she was Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, which has a faintly sinister ring, but she was an effective advocate in that position. She faced down both far-right and Islamist extremists: in Luton she was pelted by eggs thrown by Anjem’s Choudary’s gang. On Question Time she confidently bested Nick Griffin, a night which in hindsight was probably one of the BNP’s biggest setbacks. As a British Muslim woman too, her background meant her words often carried more weight, whether speaking on extremism or forced marriage.
She has been a consistent opponent of forced marriages and ‘honour’-based violence, speaking out against them on numerous occasions and helping to research and combat forced marriage in Pakistan. For all the faults of the previous Labour government, they did make some progress in tackling ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage, from increasing funding for specialist police officers to establishing a Forced Marriage Unit. This momentum has stalled under the Conservatives. The most powerful advocate against such practices was Baroness Warsi, and her current role doesn’t really allow her to focus on these things, and who else in the Coalition is talking about this?
Baroness Warsi should again become the Minister for Social Cohesion, because these issues need a competent champion.
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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,EDL,Party politics,The BNP