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  • Sajjad Karim

    by Sunny
    26th November, 2007 at 3:13 pm    

    Sajjad Karim, 37, was the first British Muslim elected to the European Parliament in 2004, as a Liberal Democrat candidate. Today Conservative HQ announced that he’s ditched the Libdems and defected to the Tories.
    Rupa Huq and Chris Paul have interesting analysis on this hilarious development.

    Update: Guess who said this on their blog in June this year?

    With their failure to support a resolution condemning discriminatory remarks by political and religious leaders targeting homosexuals, the Tories have shown their true colours. Tory apathy in the face of rising homophobia should come as no surprise as, today, the Conservative camp is rife with contradiction.

    Whilst Cameron attempts to paint a glossy image of a gay-friendly party in the UK, he is also desperately trying to get into bed, at European level, with Poland’s openly homophobic ‘Law and Justice’ party. I just hope the British public see Chameleon Cameron for who he really is!!!

    And now: “It’s David Cameron and the Conservatives who are now setting the political agenda in Britain. Only the Conservatives are capable of putting right Labour’s continued failure.

    Unsurprisingly Iain Dale and Guido are slavishly trotting out the party line. Heh.

    Update 2: Duncan Borrowman has more contradictory quotes by Karim.

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    Filed in: Party politics

    14 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Joe Otten — on 26th November, 2007 at 4:24 pm  

      Hilarious? If only. Don’t you think this could backfire on the campaigns in all parties for greater ethnic diversity among parliamentary candidates? Of course it is not fair or right that Saj’s behaviour should reflect on other BME candidates, but it will happen anyway.

    2. Sunny — on 26th November, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

      You’re only now realising most Asian (male) candidates will sell their grandmothers for more power? I kid, but only just.

      Each party should judge a person on their merit of course, although I do find it amusing to see how much the Tories are trying their best to attract minority candidates. Maybe it will force the Libdems to pull up their socks.

    3. Metatone — on 26th November, 2007 at 4:37 pm  

      I think he’s motivated by thoughts of moving into Westminster politics. Let’s face it, if you’re interested in European politics, Cameron’s Tories (allied to the right of the right of the right in Europe) are hardly a good place to be.

      But, equally, if you want to get a Westminster seat, the Tories are streets ahead of the Lib Dems.

      And, yes I’m assessing him as an unprincipled opportunist, because that’s what he looks like.

    4. Joe Otten — on 26th November, 2007 at 4:44 pm  

      OK, Sunny, is it your advice, then, that we should generally avoid selecting asian males as candidates if we can possibly help it?

    5. Refresh — on 26th November, 2007 at 4:45 pm  

      What do you expect - he is a politician.

      Sunny, I don’t accept your slur that most asian male politicians will sell their grandmother. On the other hand if you’d said all politicians….You’ll see what I mean when you go through the front bench on both sides of the house.

      As for Rupa’s blog - how very silly or naive she really is. Trotting out the line spun by her party no doubt. Better she spend time developing policy (if its still allowed).

    6. Refresh — on 26th November, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

      Well spotted Joe Otten.

    7. Sunny — on 26th November, 2007 at 4:52 pm  

      OK, Sunny, is it your advice, then, that we should generally avoid selecting asian males as candidates if we can possibly help it?

      Of course not, I was kidding around.

      This smacks more of Tory opportunism than anything else. I mean, they persuaded those 5 Labour councillors to defect during the Southall by-election and, as I predicted, it made no difference to the results. The Tories just want to look more ethnic friendly by attracting any brown candidate that will change his/her tune when the opportunity arises.

      What you need is strong, principled candidates, regardless of colour. But then the Libdems don’t have a good record of reaching out to ethnic minorities (relatively) so the party has no one else to blame for its under-representation.

    8. Raul — on 26th November, 2007 at 6:48 pm  

      Sunny may be kidding but have enough asian MPs and UK will degenerate into another badly managed third world country like hmmn… let’s say India or Pakistan. There will be a VVIP culture akin to feudalism, intrigue, and monumental corruption backed by self serving pretense of the worst kind. Politicians as a whole may be nasty but asian politicians take it to a whole new level.

      This comes across as racist but unfortunately its the truth and few asians will deny this.

    9. Rumbold — on 26th November, 2007 at 7:12 pm  

      If Sajjad Karim had any honour he would resign. Karim was elected as a Liberal Democrat under the party list system. Therefore he owes most of his votes to the fact that those that voted for the Lib Dems wanted a Lib Dem MP to represent them. By switching to the Conservatives and not immediatly quitting in order to gain a fresh mandate, Karim has betrayed his ‘constituents’. I find this sort of thing appalling.

    10. Refresh — on 26th November, 2007 at 9:55 pm  

      Raul, that’s rather a weak position to take. Perhaps if you were importing politicians, maybe. Have you not heard of the various groupings such as the Tafia (welsh political mafia), their scottish counterpart etc., and the same applies to city-wide politics. It goes on everywhere, that is the failing of politics in the country. Apply that to any country.

      When there is no purpose other than staying in power, then democracy is nothing but a tool.

      So Raul reconsider. It may well be a racist stance, or an ignorant one.

    11. Refresh — on 26th November, 2007 at 9:57 pm  

      Apologies to my Welsh and Scottish friends - if anyone is offended I am happy to spend more time and add to the list, so no one feels left out.

    12. Joy1 — on 27th November, 2007 at 1:49 pm  


      Look at this blog and read it and who is it publicising hahahah


    13. Roger — on 27th November, 2007 at 2:43 pm  

      I wonder how many other muslims support Mr Karim’s own “gay-friendly” attitudes..

    14. Timothy J. Perkins — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:06 pm  

      I joined the Tories after leaving the Lib Dems. The mess the Lib Dems are in was entirely predictable and I decided to give David Cameron the benefit of the doubt. As a former Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate and Cllr in the North West, i know of Mr Karim and his local reputation and i’ve also experienced the reality of some Tory attitudes. Suffice it to say, I predict a very unfortunate relationship. This isn’t newsworthy. It’s simply about careers. The implications may be limited to a temporary membership blip in a few local Tory Associations just before candidate selections. Plus ca change…

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