Piara Khabra, Parliament’s oldest MP dies at 82


by Leon
20th June, 2007 at 8:26 pm    

The BBC reports:

The House of Commons’ oldest MP, Piara Khabra, has died aged 82. He had been the Labour MP for Ealing Southall since the 1992 general election. He was a member of the constitutional affairs select committee and had a special interest in India. His researcher Julian Bell said he was “remarkable servant of the people”. He said: “At an age when most people had long since retired he was still energetically tackling individual and constituency problems.”
…
Mr Khabra had already announced his decision to retire at the next general election, and a candidate is to be selected from an all-women short list.

Consider this a dignified remembrance open thread…


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  1. Tahir — on 20th June, 2007 at 8:28 pm  

    Very sad to hear about his death. He sounds like he might’ve been of a generation when people went into politics to serve the people.

  2. Jagdeep — on 20th June, 2007 at 8:44 pm  

    Just read that he was the last Member of Parliament to have served and fought in World War II. So this is the passing of two generations — the WW2 generation in our legislature, and the first generation of Punjabi immigrants to Britain are getting old and moving on now. Very sad.

    Rest In Peace.

  3. Sunny — on 20th June, 2007 at 9:50 pm  

    I’m not sure if I can say anything positive about Khabra. I hope this doesn’t mean a by-election for Southall though, which disrupts the all-womens-shortlist.

  4. Jagdeep — on 20th June, 2007 at 9:54 pm  

    Of course it means a by-election for Southall. That’s what happens when an MP dies automatically. So who’s likely to be the Labour candidate Sunny?

  5. Sunny — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:20 pm  

    This is the problem. Southall doesn’t have a Labour candidate. There was no hurry to have a hustings according to what I’ve been told. So maybe now there will be. My worry is that in the rush to find a Labour candidate, they ditch the all womens shortlist. I’m going to ask around a few people closer to this issue and see what they say.

  6. Leon — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:52 pm  

    According to Blink Sonika Nirwal is a likely candidate.

  7. Sunny — on 20th June, 2007 at 11:24 pm  

    Always has been, as I pointed out here before them ;)
    She’s leader of the opposition for Ealing Council. As someone else just messaged me to say, this will be Brown’s first by-election test.

  8. Leon — on 20th June, 2007 at 11:46 pm  

    So we going to get a Sunny Hundal piece about the players and situation in this constituency? ;)

  9. Sunny — on 21st June, 2007 at 1:42 pm  

    Heh, gotta do some more digging first.

  10. Bape — on 21st June, 2007 at 1:49 pm  

    I read Tam Dalyells obit of Khabra in the independent today:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/article2686794.ece

    Until I read that I had thought of him as a bit of a joke but it seems there was more to him than what I saw at least.
    I still cant respect him because he should have taken a stand against the Iraq invasion but then he was getting on a bit wasnt he ?

  11. contrarymary — on 21st June, 2007 at 5:11 pm  

    I don’t know Piara Khabra’s specific policies, or his work in Southall, but one thing that does come across from his obituaries is the fact he was never in favour of supporting specific religious or ethnic groups over the other. It seems he was secular and refused to divide along lines of religion or ethnicity, which current society could learn a lot from. like the sikh agitators in birmingham for example!

  12. Sunny — on 21st June, 2007 at 5:59 pm  

    Well, apart from blaming the Somali youths for all the troubles.

  13. leon — on 21st June, 2007 at 6:28 pm  

    Heh, gotta do some more digging first.

    Heh, I love the smell of controvery in the morning…smells like, victory.;)

  14. lithcol — on 22nd June, 2007 at 12:40 am  

    He was a good man and yes Somali youths caused a great deal of trouble at the time. He told it how it was, just as Darcus Howe found out in Woolwich. Fortunately there was a positive response.

    All women’s short list. You have to be joking. Find the best person for the job.

  15. Steve — on 22nd June, 2007 at 9:04 am  

    I’m surprised more news reports didn’t say that he was the last MP to have fought in WW2. Isn’t that an important milestone?

    Apart from the Channel 4 website, who picked it up a few hours after I mentioned it, few others seem to have noticed.

  16. neva4get84 — on 22nd June, 2007 at 4:19 pm  

    I’ve heard that Cllr Gurcharan Singh is vying for the position and is a bit aggrieved, to put it mildly; about the all-women shortlist (he has been trying to get support to change the HQ decision for a while). Not sure if a by-election means that it will still be an all-women list. If not I think he will probably go for it, from the sound of things think he had been waiting for Khabra to stand down for a while. Don’t know if he is a serious contender though.

  17. Muzumdar — on 22nd June, 2007 at 4:47 pm  

    I’ve heard conflicting reports about Cllr Gurcharan Singh…Some extremely dodgy stories about his conduct have been repeatedly expressed.

    The Sikh Federation have called for a “young practising Sikh who is also a professional” to stand as the Labour candidate. They want Dr Harkirtan Singh-Raud OBE, senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, to be put forward by the Labour oligarchs.

    Personally, I like the look of Sonika Nirwal – in the political sense.

    As far as the Somalis go, Sunny, sometimes you just have to say it like it is.

  18. neva4get84 — on 22nd June, 2007 at 5:27 pm  

    Don’t really know a lot about Sonika Nirwal, but it would be good to have someone from the area representing in the House of Commons. Think it gives her greater credibility (plus it beats drafting someone in from Labour HQ).

  19. Gurjeet Singh — on 22nd June, 2007 at 8:31 pm  

    As each hour that passes more and more people are saying as this is a by election the Labour HQ will not impose an all women short list. A decision could come as early as this weekend (Sunday).

    Some of the facts set out in the briefing prepared by the Sikh Federation (UK) that was sent to Labour’s NEC early this year included:

    There is a target for women representation of 40% of all Labour MPs there is no target for ethnic minority representation despite the extremely low numbers in the House of Commons.

    Is the absence of a target for ethnic minority representation by the Labour Party defensible?

    The NEC was advised the greater priority was to address the large shortfall of ethnic minority MPs and pointed out the London Region of Labour had already achieved women representation of 37.6%.

    It was also pointed out the NEC no longer had any ethnic minority representatives and most if not all MPs that have come from all-women short-lists for the last ten years, since the 1997 election have been white.

    Given these facts the Labour Party and the NEC could be accused of failing ethnic minorities if they choose to give preference to an all-women short-list rather than an open short-list in constituencies like Ealing Southall.

    The decision by the NEC in Ealing Southall could have far-reaching consequences in other constituencies with large numbers of ethnic minorities. Younger people are increasingly questioning the policies and practices of the main parties and they are well placed to influence the traditional Labour vote.

    It is our strongly held view that Labour should select an ethnic minority candidate in the Ealing Southall constituency where the ethnic minority population is 64.7%.

    We have argued and the past and present Labour Party Chairs have agreed that the likes of the electorate of Ealing Southall would like to see ‘people like them’ as their elected representatives.

    The Sikh Federation (UK) is on record to say we would like to see a well educated and British born practising Sikh in the Commons, which would be a first.

    One excellent candidate would be:

    Dr Harkirtan Singh-Raud OBE

    He is a senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University and has been Head of Combined Science, taught Chemistry, Biochemistry and science in schools. His research field covers the area of race, gender and diversity. He is nationally recognised in his field and was awarded the OBE for service to Education and to Diversity.

    He is a very active Labour Party member who has been recognised as an excellent candidate to become an MP. The only difficulty is he lives in Manchester where he hopes to become an MP. Would he be prepared to move South and would Labour be prepared to impose someone from outside? They have done this in the past and seeing the local Labour Party is divided an outside candidate like Harkirtan Singh, who is also Chair of the Oxbridge Sikh Alumni, may be the ideal compromise.

    Sikh Federation (UK)
    info@sikhfederation.com

  20. Jagdeep — on 25th June, 2007 at 7:03 pm  

    So throwing in a candidate from Liverpool, a city almost 300 miles away from Ealing is somehow an appropriate thing to do? Lord help us.

    Good luck to Sonika —- enough with the ‘Uncles’ of Southall.

  21. Gurjeet Singh — on 26th June, 2007 at 7:12 am  

    Just before the General Election last time around, Dennis Turner, the MP for one of the Wolverhampton seats (one of the safest in the country) announced on Maunday Thursday that he was stepping down due to ill health (although he has now taken up his place in the House of Lords!).

    On the same day the PMs adviser – Pat McFadden resigned in London and was in Wolverhampton. Around 30-40% of the Labour Party membership and the electorate was Sikh (Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Sedgley Street is in the constituency). Prior to Pat McFadden’s arrival a local Sikh councillor would have been top of the shortlist. Sikhs decided Pat was the better person to represent them – met him that weekend and backed him to be selected by Labour and easily win the seat. Within 12 months Pat had become a Minister in the Cabinet Office.

    The above example shows the reverse has happen before. Constituency with a large ethnic minority / Sikh population (as well as Labour Party membership) – favoured local candidate a Sikh, but Labour HQ send someone from London (originally from Scotland) as he is best to represent people in the constituency. Sikhs and others backed him on merit.

    Dr Harkirtan Singh if in the Labour shortlist could win on merit – although local pendu politics may not make this possible. He would make an excellent representative of all those in Ealing Southall.

  22. Ronnie — on 27th June, 2007 at 10:29 am  

    sonika nirwal, dont make me laugh she doesnt even care about southall, so does htis make her an ideal candidate,,,sounds liek another khabra,saddedned to hear of his death but as above i really have nothign positive to say

    we need a breath of fresh air, southall has logn been neglected
    after a resident of over 20 years, ill be glad of a change such as councilor jason stacey has made for the greenford ward..i overheard a skih tory is planning to step in as a candidate
    if his policy soudns right i might just vote
    had enough of the lack of input from labour..
    it seems the elder generation are just simply voting for no real reason, the labour vote it dated and it needs a change..
    gurcharan singh views are always controversial, this was the same man who was pushing his votes in front of the polling stations..holding people up and saying vote for me. come on now, was labour really desperate..
    really i have yet to see what labour has actually done for southall..stacey has made a dramtic improvment..and yet labout have said it was their idea first and stacey just actioned it..
    very easy to say labour it too you over a decade to do something..yeh right..
    bring on voting day.
    dont belive in the all womens shortlist, not sexist but i ddont favour thier views also i dont belive the candidates are up to scratch..

  23. leon — on 27th June, 2007 at 11:23 am  

    Maybe we should lobby Sunny to join the Labour party and take a shot at the candidacy?

  24. Ronnie — on 27th June, 2007 at 11:28 am  

    HAS SUNNY any views on southall, has he been here long enough
    face it there peopel that are really concerned about an area will nto get a vote
    thats life in politics..

  25. SOUTHALL SIKH YOUTHS — on 28th June, 2007 at 4:56 am  

    WE WANT GURCHARAN SINGH AS MP

  26. douglas clark — on 28th June, 2007 at 7:58 am  

    Ealing Southall looks like a very safe Labour constituency. Whoever gets it has a job for life, I would suspect. High stakes indeed!

  27. Katy Newton — on 28th June, 2007 at 9:39 am  

    I am afraid that I wouldn’t be able to vote for Sunny if he joined the Labour Party :-(

    I am resigned to spoiling my ballot paper for the foreseeable future.

  28. A councillor writes — on 28th June, 2007 at 11:02 am  

    By-election to be held on the 19th of July.

  29. Chairwoman — on 28th June, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

    I thought Sunny was a member of the Labour Party :-)

  30. Leon — on 28th June, 2007 at 1:45 pm  

    I’m almost tempted to post up a “Sunny Hundal Declares He Will Run For Southall” post! :D

  31. Leon — on 28th June, 2007 at 2:17 pm  

    According to Iain Dale Tony Mit Managing Director of Sunrise Radio is the Tory candidate for the seat: link

    The Conservatives have now chosen their candidate for the Ealing Southall by election this lunchtime. He is Tony Lit, MD of Sunrise Radio. He will be in Ealing this afternoon campaigning with David Cameron. I also have news of a new website being launched relating to by-election campaigning.

  32. justforfun — on 28th June, 2007 at 2:18 pm  

    I’m Sunny’s unofficial agent – we need money quickly to mount a lightening campaign – please send cash/donations to –

    PO Box 1245
    Lagos Central Post Office
    Lagos
    Nigeria

    Justforfun

  33. A councillor writes — on 28th June, 2007 at 2:29 pm  

    Hmm, interesting choice by the Blue Team, Avtar Lit did quite well in 2001 standing as an Indy.

    Looks like I will down campaigning for my lot at least two days over weekends before the by-election. However, this weekend I shall be relaxing in Hamburg on my first break since Christmas/New Year.

  34. Unity — on 28th June, 2007 at 5:19 pm  

    Been some complaining at Dale’s that Lit is bit of johnny come lately to the party.

    Oh, and call me a bit picky here but if the local Sikh community want a Sikh candidate to up the BEM numbers in the House and the Party want to run an AWL selection to up the number of women in the house, then the glaringlu obvious answer is to kill two birds with one stone and put of a Sikh Female candidate.

    Surely its not beyond the wit and capacity of the Sikh Fed to find someone who is appropriately qualified, generally, to become an MP and meets both basic criteria – or is there some problem I’m missing here?

  35. Leon — on 28th June, 2007 at 5:25 pm  

    So, we need to get Sunny to have a sex change then?

  36. Unity — on 28th June, 2007 at 5:28 pm  

    That’s entirely Sunny’s call, not mine… ;)

  37. Leon — on 28th June, 2007 at 5:33 pm  

    :D

  38. A councillor writes — on 28th June, 2007 at 6:02 pm  

    I understand that the signature ink is barely wet on Lit’s Tory membership card.

    I understood that the AWS had been suspended due to the by-election. I suppose we will find out soon enough.

  39. Unity — on 28th June, 2007 at 6:53 pm  

    >>> I understood that the AWS had been suspended due to the by-election.

    That’s what’s being debated, although it would appear that an e-mail circular has gone out to at least some female Labour councillors inviting them to throw their hat into the ring.

  40. Gurjeet Singh — on 28th June, 2007 at 10:45 pm  

    The Labour selection is OPEN.

    The timetable is something along the following lines:

    Applicants by 12 noon on Monday 2 July. [Apparently got about 50 applicants today]

    Long list of about 10 selected by Monday evening.

    Interviews on Tuesday 3 July to get down to 4 or 5. Possibly hustings the same day.

    Voting by Labour Party members on Wednesday 4 July.

    Our guess – 80% possibility of a Sikh candidate.

  41. douglas clark — on 29th June, 2007 at 2:06 am  

    Gurjeet Singh,

    Hmm, and Sunny has something important to tell us in July?

    Anyway, speculation aside, are there any fiesty female Sikhs around as potential candidates? Re Unitys’ point.

  42. Gurjeet Singh — on 29th June, 2007 at 6:54 am  

    douglas clark

    Anyway, speculation aside, are there any fiesty female Sikhs around as potential candidates? Re Unitys’ point.

    Yes – female and male Sikhs are in the running.

    Hopefully, the selection panel will do the sensible thing in coming up with the short list and let the Labour Party membership of around 2,000 in Ealing Southall decide who should represent them. The runners up would then in true democratic traditions have to back the person selected – male or female, Sikh or non-Sikh.

  43. Harjinder Singh — on 29th June, 2007 at 2:16 pm  

    Don’t elect a member of the Sikh Federation. They are an extremist organisation who are alledged to be funding elements in the khalistan movement. We need moderate, progressive Sikhs and non-sikh Punjabis to come to the front.

  44. Gurjeet Singh — on 29th June, 2007 at 6:01 pm  

    Labour Party members should select the best of the short listed candidates. The electorate should vote for who who will best represent them.

    Harjinder Singh wrote:

    Don’t elect a member of the Sikh Federation. They are an extremist organisation who are alledged to be funding elements in the khalistan movement. We need moderate, progressive Sikhs and non-sikh Punjabis to come to the front.

    At no stage have we said elect a member of the Sikh Federation. In fact are not aware of any that may be short listed or even applying for the position who are Federation members. They may however share some of our concerns.

    Regarding the other ‘allegations’ the write up below shows Harjinder Singh is way off mark in describing the activities of the Sikh Federation (UK) since being established in September 2003.

    UK Govt praises work of Sikh Federation
    Wednesday 13th of September 2006
    Gurjeet Singh, National Press Secretary, Sikh Federation (UK)

    London, UK – As the Sikh Federation (UK) prepares for its fourth annual National Sikh Convention to take place at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Sedgley Street, Wolverhampton on Sunday 17 September, the UK Government has given its clearest public indication yet of its appreciation and respect for the work of the Federation in representing Britain’s Sikh community.

    The Federation was launched 3 years ago and has come a long way since Oliver Letwin MP, the Shadow Home Secretary used the words below at the National Sikh Convention in September 2003.

    ‘It is excellent news that the Convention today has announced the creation of a new national Sikh organisation, the Sikh Federation (UK). It is good that you have decided to work with the mainstream parties. As a cohesive organisation you will have a better chance of achieving not just proper recognition of Sikhs, but a host of other objectives.

    The announcement of the establishment of the Sikh Federation (UK) is good news for Sikhs and good news for Britain. You are showing a determination to act as a cohesive force. You are bringing the Sikh community together to ensure that you are best placed to work with the grain of political and social institutions in this country. The work that you do has never been more important. By organising this event today and coming here in such vast numbers you are showing your commitment to public life and a determination to lead by example.’

    The Rt. Hon. Hazel Blears MP, the Chair of the Labour Party, in a letter received by the Federation a few days ago states:

    ‘May I commend the work of the Sikh Federation (UK), and thank you for all that you do. You have the respect of Government Ministers because of the seriousness and diligence you bring to your work of representing Britain’s Sikh community. In that, you are a model for others to emulate.’

    Many see this as a potential turning point and recognition for the considerable local and national lobbying on behalf of the Sikhs by the Federation over the last few years. However, Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Federation, said: “These are challenging times for the Sikh community in the UK and abroad. The work we do on behalf of the Sikh community needs greater professionalism and resources to take us to new levels in the coming years. This represents an excellent opportunity to consolidate and build so we can significant progress on our stated aims and objectives.”

    “The public recognition by the UK Government of our work is vitally important and has come about after several years of lobbying and work behind the scenes. We have had considerable support from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour MPs and the smaller political parties for which we are extremely grateful. However, words of support from across the political spectrum will only have true meaning if we can translate these into positive action in key areas where Sikhs have genuine concerns. The next few years will be a test for us all. Provided we remain focused and united and have the backing of the Sangat our success will be for all to see.”

    http://www.panthic.org/news/124/ARTICLE/2741/2006-09-13.html

  45. Gurjeet Singh — on 30th June, 2007 at 11:10 am  

    Interesting debate on another blog about relative priorities of more women an/or more ethnic minorities.

    Last few exchanges are posted:

    Following many posts supporting AWS. I posted the following:

    It would be helpful if someone could answer the following questions:

    1) How many and what % ethnic minority MPs do we have in the Commons? [compare this number and % to women).

    2) How many and what % ethnic minority MPs do we have from London? Around 30% of the population is ethnic minority

    3) I think the % of women MPs representing Labour in the London region is around 37.6% (Labour has a target of 40%) Why is there no target for ethnic minorities?

    4) Who agrees that the lower level of ethnic minority representation is a HIGHER priority than women representation, especially in Ealing Southall?

    Antonia who’s the owner of the blog and a Labour councillor for Rose Hill and Iffley ward in Oxford responded to say:

    Gurjeet – we currently have 15 BME MPs – 2%. I agree with you that increasing black representation is an absolute priority, but it’s really unhelpful to play off black and women’s representation against one another. I’d like more black women in Parliament, please – and Ealing Southall should stay AWS.

    I have just responded as follows:

    Antonia you wrote:

    Gurjeet – we currently have 15 BME MPs – 2%. I agree with you that increasing black representation is an absolute priority, but it’s really unhelpful to play off black and women’s representation against one another. I’d like more black women in Parliament, please – and Ealing Southall should stay AWS.

    To get fair representation the first priority should be more ethnic minorities, the second priority should be to get more women. If we can get more ethnic minority women elected this meets both priorities. However, the 10-year AWS experience for ethnic minorities (women and men has not been good) – nearly always a non-white woman has been selected. Hence, open selection is preferred in constituencies with large ethnic minorities.

    See link to BBC article below, not sure if AWS has produced an ethnic minority MP.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4054429.stm

    As you have probably heard the Ealing Southall selection is open.

    Do those who support AWS (as I do) also support all ethnic minority short lists. The current Labour Party chair supports AWS, but not sure about the other. See link below:

    http://www.blink.org.uk/pdescription.asp?key=15082&grp=66&cat=217

    Also how can the Labour Party defend having a target of 40% for women MPs, but no target for ethnic minorities?

  46. douglas clark — on 30th June, 2007 at 11:46 am  

    Gurjeet Singh,

    Thanks for the reply. Your heart is in the right place when you wrote:

    “The runners up would then in true democratic traditions have to back the person selected – male or female, Sikh or non-Sikh.”

    Seems to me you are a true democrat.

  47. Apolitical — on 30th June, 2007 at 6:21 pm  

    Sonika Nirwal would be great. she’s local, talented, sikh — want more could you want?

  48. Sukhi — on 30th June, 2007 at 6:32 pm  

    The Sikh Federation does not give a damn about anything except lobbying for Khalistan. They are extremist religious nationalists. Dont be fooled by the veneer that their representatives present; in this case and on this thread by the poster called Gurjeet Singh. Any candidate reccomended by them should be instantly treated with suspicion. They are a woolf in sheeps clothing with a record of links to extremist politics and agendas.

  49. Sukhi — on 30th June, 2007 at 6:47 pm  

    The Sikh Federation is the reincarnated organisation of the ISYF, a terrorist and extremist group banned by the EU, USA and Canada. The Sikh Federation campaigns for the ISYF to be de-proscribed. Why would a non-extremist organisation campaign for a terrorist organisation? The answer is that despite all the claims otherwise, they are extremists and apologists for extremism.

  50. Sukhi — on 30th June, 2007 at 7:02 pm  

    The Sikh Federation campiagn for a terrorist organisation banned by the EU, USA and Canada to be de-proscribed. They are the remnants of this extremist terrorist organisation and they remain wedded to that ideology and are apologists for extremism. They are a major source of ideological commitment to a narrow and violent version of Sikh nationalism in the UK and their members have been implicated in violent incidents like the unrest at the Birmingham Rep. One of their leaders is on record as saying that Sikh youth should be encouraged into radicalism in modern Britain.

  51. Sukhi — on 30th June, 2007 at 7:09 pm  

    I can stick up for myself in the face of racist abuse in solidarity with other people without needing the help of an organisation wedded to a violent extremist religious nationalist ideology that actively campaigns for and is born from a banned terrorist organisation.

  52. Ronnie — on 30th June, 2007 at 9:13 pm  

    what a waste of time
    now i get bull through my poast asking that lib dems care about southall
    to be honest anyone who gets through will sit on their arse

    i hope peopel vote for a chnage from labour
    its been compelte shite since.

  53. Gurjeet Singh — on 30th June, 2007 at 11:45 pm  

    It appears the Sikh Federation (UK) has done something to wipe Sukhi up the wrong way!

    Please write to the Sikh Federation (UK) on info@sikhfederation.uk with specific things we may have done that you are not unhappy with since we came into existence in September 2003. There is nothing we do that is illegal.

    If we campaign to highlight human rights abuses in India or campaign for an independent Sikh State we do this peacefully through lobbying and diplomatic pressure. Why should you be concerned if we exercise our democratic rights in a civilised manner unlike those in India that have tortured, murdered, disappeared etc. our fellow brothers and sisters.

    Elsewhere we have said next Cllr Gurinder Singh will be accused of being a member of the Sikh Federation (UK) and no one should vote for him.

    While you are at it why not include any other Sikh that may be running – Sonika Nirwal, Jasbir Anand and Gurcharan Singh in that list. They are all as much members of the Sikh Federation (UK) as Dr Harkirtan Singh.

    What the Sikh Federation (UK) is looking for is a visible/practising Sikh who will do a good job to represent the Ealing Southall constituents as well as the Sikh community in general.

  54. Gurjeet Singh — on 1st July, 2007 at 9:30 am  

    Reference to Ealing Southall in The Sunday Times
    July 1, 2007

    What do you think of what Geiffrey Robinson had to say?

    I saw a nasty case of KKK Tourette’s at first hand last week when I was in a Five Live discussion with Gordon Brown’s friend and mentor, Geoffrey Robinson MP. He had been talking, perfectly reasonably, about Labour’s forthcoming by-elections. And then he had a sort of seizure. “We’ll be fine,” he said, “so long as we don’t choose a white candidate in Ealing Southall and a black in Sedgefield.”

    Suddenly realising what had issued from his mouth, he looked embarrassed, as if he had just passed wind in front of the Queen. “Well, ah, um, let me be clear,” he bumbled in desperation, “we’ll be fine with a candidate of any colour, creed, race or gender…”

    Hope it’s not too late, Geoff. Next time you hear a politician suddenly announce he doesn’t like darkies, or he bets Rosa Parks never bought a ticket for that bus, you’ll know what it is: KKK Tourette’s.

  55. Nirvair S. Khalsa — on 1st July, 2007 at 3:36 pm  

    “Harjinder” and “Sukhi” in Posts 43 and 48-51 respectively have made some negligent unjust points that in my opinion is fabricated misinformation and undue.

    In my humble opinion the general majority of the community seem not to share these views, nor does this Government and the active mainstream political parties in the country as shown in Post 44.

    The prime objective here is possibly not against a particular Sikh political party, but more the fact that perhaps certain individuals or organisations do not want a visible/practising Sikh to represent the constituents of the area concerned, hence that any visible/practising Sikh who stands is being directly linked to the Sikh Federation (UK) and false propaganda invented to undermine the nationally respected status any organisation (such as the Sikh Federation) that is in support of this stance of such a candidate…..

  56. Gurjeet Singh — on 1st July, 2007 at 8:47 pm  

    Something V Sharma (not registed) has posted elsewhere

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/ealingsouthall#comment-21094
    Story of one of the Ealing Southall hopefuls

    Model sues politician over assault allegation

    A young model has submitted a claim against a Labour councillor who is accused of having her arrested days before her university dissertation was due to be handed in.

    Cllr Jasbir Anand (Lab, Southall Green) is accused of defaming insurance broker Natasha Tah after reporting her to police last year.

    Cllr Anand, a hopeful to take over as Ealing and Southall MP at the next General Election, told police that Natasha, of Uxbridge Road, Southall, assaulted her in the street in April last year.

    Natasha was investigated by police for three months before the case was thrown out by the Crown Prosecution Service.

    Speaking exclusively to the Ealing Times – sister paper of Local London – in March, Natasha told how being arrested four days before she was due to hand in her dissertation “totally affected” her university performance.

    The claim against Cllr Anand was issued on April 11 and is currently awaiting confirmation of receipt from Cllr Anand’s solicitors.

    Natasha’s solicitor David Sheahan said he was confident in the strength of the case.

    He said: “How it works is we get a report leaving all the names out – except for our client’s – and the other solicitors get the same but with their client’s name.

    “When we put the two reports together we will get the complete picture. In my opinion Anand is going to find it difficult to justify her allegations in light of that report.”

    Cllr Anand said she and her solicitors would not be commenting on the case at this time.

    5:57am Sunday 3rd June 2007

    By David Doyle

  57. whataboutallyourporkypies? — on 4th July, 2007 at 11:27 am  

    This is the race for the seat! nobody really knows all the names in your blogs(male and female) real intentions are deep down inside – you only know once they get in the seat and run it

    Did anyone ever watch the apprentice? is this a really good marketing ploy for talent and what is the definition of talent- do we measure this before or after the job?
    are we really bothered about colour when all we really want in non corrupt people to run the area.
    The support will follow later – it wont be much different from what it is now – even if a female gets in because most of the people are men in the party??

    I do not wish to offend anyone in what I said but am happy to hear from you all

    best wishes

  58. Jagdeep — on 4th July, 2007 at 12:51 pm  

    The prime objective here is possibly not against a particular Sikh political party, but more the fact that perhaps certain individuals or organisations do not want a visible/practising Sikh to represent the constituents of the area concerned, hence that any visible/practising Sikh who stands is being directly linked to the Sikh Federation (UK) and false propaganda invented to undermine the nationally respected status any organisation (such as the Sikh Federation) that is in support of this stance of such a candidate…

    I’m sorry but this is a load of nonsense — typical kneejerk smear tactics of ethnic nationalists — disagree with a self declared Sikh political oprganisation and you are against all Sikhs, disagree with all Muslim or Black or Hindu or Jewish organisations and you are against all Muslims and Blacks and Hindus or Jews, same old rhetoric and clapped out thinking, same old thin skinned hyper sensitivity to criticism and attempts to conflate the criticised with an entire group of people. What hubris and arrogance. But not an unexpected response in the case of the Sikh Federation.

  59. Jagdeep — on 4th July, 2007 at 12:53 pm  

    Sukhi makes some excellent points too.

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