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  • Asians on the Tory ‘A list’

    by Sunny
    18th May, 2006 at 4:40 am    

    I was sworn to secrecy but Conservative Home has published what they reckon is the definitive Conservative ‘A List’ candidates. So here are the brown folks:

    1 Tariq Ahmad (Croydon North PPC in 2005)
    2 Amar Ahmed (Manchester Blackley PPC in 2005)
    3 Syed Kamall MEP
    4 Ali Miraj (PPC for Aberavon in 2001 and PPC for Watford in 2005)
    5 Priti Patel (Former Candidate for Nottingham North)
    6 Kulveer Ranger (Former Candidate for Makerfield)
    7 Sayeeda Warsi (Tory Vice-Chairman and Dewsbury PPC in 2005)
    8 Suella Fernandes (Candidate for Leicester East in 2005)

    For those not following this political hot-potato - David Cameron has put together an ‘A list’ of candidates that would be given priority in the next election for seats etc. It is not guaranteed they will all be running for seats, but there is a good chance. In coming weeks they’ll be applying for seats and once we hear who shall be contesting where, we will let you know.

    The list has been created to give women and ethnic minorities a push within the party, and to give respect where it is due, Cameron is delivering on a promise. There are only two three Asian women here which is a shame not too bad. If Cameron survives the A list controversy, the party is more likely to win the election in my opinion. If not, it will be his and the party’s downfall.

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    Filed in: Party politics

    34 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Shuggy — on 18th May, 2006 at 9:25 am  

      Yep - Cameron’s pissing off the right people and assuming this is deliberate, it’s quite a clever strategy. It strikes me as being quite similar to the way Blair got good PR by getting rid of clause four. What better way to show the party had changed than the spectacle of Arthur Scargill fulminating about ‘heresy’? Cameron upsetting people like Norman Tebbit and Melanie Phillips has the same kind of effect.

    2. Dave Nice but Knave — on 18th May, 2006 at 9:40 am  

      Shameless link spam

      for G&S fans.

    3. leon — on 18th May, 2006 at 9:49 am  

      Interesting, I really thought Rishi Saha would have been on it…

    4. Martin — on 18th May, 2006 at 9:54 am  

      Except I know of at least one Asian that you have not included. So - how many others are there?

    5. leon — on 18th May, 2006 at 10:15 am  

      @ Martin, good question. The list at Conversative Home is incomplete as far as I’m aware. There are meant to be 104 people on it so there’s 4 more to be revealed…

    6. Ravi Naik — on 18th May, 2006 at 10:23 am  

      If Conservatives are going to the center, then it means racist parties like the BNP will fill the void.

    7. leon — on 18th May, 2006 at 10:31 am  

      @Ravi, I’m not convinced. I think it’s more likely the hard right in the Tory party would join UKIP long before considering the BNP…

    8. sonia — on 18th May, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

      and what about cameron supporting the Sun’s campaign to abolish the Human Rights Act - doesn’t sound like moving to the ‘centre’ to me. i thought it’s cameron’s way of reaching out to the Sun’s audience! though i don’t know how he thinks the people he’s wooing with his green agenda are going to impressed by such a move. i thought at first his strategy was quite clever then the human rights thing came up and i thought - nah.

    9. Jay Singh — on 18th May, 2006 at 12:33 pm  

      Traditionally the Tories have mopped up the BNP vote by at least going through the motions of addressing the big bogey man of darkies coming into our country.

      It would be better if candidates could be selected naturally but if that is not going to happen it’s not bad to give things a jump start. It would be funny if the Tories ended up with more Asian MPs than Labour.

      Labour is too smug these days and has pandered to communalist sentiment in some parts of country, if not on parliamentary basis then at least on a local level.

    10. sonia — on 18th May, 2006 at 12:38 pm  

      please define what you mean by communalist. its often used confusingly

    11. Jay Singh — on 18th May, 2006 at 12:43 pm  

      What confuses you sonia? Let me know and then I can help you.

    12. al — on 18th May, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

      I’m a fan of Syed Kamall. Here’s a clip of him explaining what he does as an MEP.

    13. Rishi — on 18th May, 2006 at 1:19 pm  

      “But there are only two Asian women here which is a shame.”

      There is actually 1 more woman you’ve left off -Suella Fernandes, candidate for Leicester East at the last election. That makes 8 British Asians in total, which is not bad going out of just 104 on the A-List.

      BTW Leon, I decided not to put myself forward for the candidates list - am focussing on getting more work & political experience over the next few years instead.

    14. Jay Singh — on 18th May, 2006 at 1:33 pm  


      Do you see more support for the Conservatives coming from Asians at the moment and in the near future? What is your honest (not party politically biased) reading of this?

    15. leon — on 18th May, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

      “BTW Leon, I decided not to put myself forward for the candidates list - am focussing on getting more work & political experience over the next few years instead.”

      Hey Rishi, good to see you on here again. Understood, did wonder given you’re experience in running for an election I thought you’d make an ideal choice.

    16. leon — on 18th May, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      @ Sonia, yep I agree I was thinking the same thing about Camerons strategy when I heard the Human Rights thing. Perhaps he’s banking on the idea that not all those concerned with enviroment consider HR as important?

    17. Sunny — on 18th May, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

      Heh, anyone that pisses off Melanie Phillips is to be applauded in my opinion.

      Rishi - cheers for that, have added her now.

      Labour is too smug these days and has pandered to communalist sentiment in some parts of country

      Jay I think Sonia means she wants the word ‘communalist’ defined as you use it.

      Martin - oh really. Is that person not on the CH list? Would you mind emailing me their name?

    18. Rishi — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

      Jay, I think one of the most interesting themes of British politics today is the kind of political choice exercised by 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants - people like myself and, I’m guessing, many of those on this site.

      Anecdotal evidence would suggest that many of our parents and grandparents voted routinely for the Labour Party (I know mine did) - this is probably because when they entered this country they were part of the working class block that used to define Labour’s core support, and overwhelmingly lived in Labour constituencies. And to their credit, certain politicians on the Left have been effective at community outreach - Keith Vaz is a prime example.

      However, the past 20 years has seen an incredible explosion of social mobility within certain sections of the BME community (see As such, those old tribal allegiances have changed as increasing numbers of British Asians and members of the Afro-Caribbean community become part of the so-called aspirational and affluent middle classes, i.e. the kind of people who have traditionally formed the bedrock of Conservative support.

      2nd and 3rd generation immigrants will increasingly make political decisions based on the same criteria as everyone else in the country - the economy, health, education etc. I’ve personally never subscribed to the theory that anymore than a handful of people vote according to some arbitrary ethnic criteria (whatever that may be), as opposed to ‘bread & butter’ issues.

      I do think, however, that the kind of immigrant values many of us have inherited - a high propensity for entrepreneurship and a belief in smaller government amongst many others - sit most comfortably within the politics of the centre-right. On that basis, and given the emergence of a more ‘small l’ liberal conservative leader in David Cameron who is naturally at-ease with the diversity of Britain today, I believe more Asians will start voting Conservative.

      Jay, I hope that analysis is objective enough for you!

    19. sonia — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:15 pm  

      yeah leon - perhaps he’s going down the eco-fascist route.

      this syed kamall fellow - phooey, looks like a conventional businessy type to me.

      given labour’s got a pretty crap reputation, i still can’t see why anyone would join the conservative

      why would anyone want to be conservative rather than a liberal/progressive!

    20. Jay Singh — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:21 pm  


      Thanks - and yes well done, it was wonderfully objective!

      I tend to agree with you on everything you say, and just by personal anecdote also find that Asians of the 2nd and 3rd generation (not the 1st generation sergeant major golf playing Asian Tory stereotype) are increasingly voting for the Conservatives - and the point you make about how the values of the Tories can be seen as being almost a natural home for upwardly mobile middle class British Asians is a good one too.

    21. sonia — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:21 pm  

      rishi, lot of good points there. i can certainly see how the asian dynamic is changing>. however..( unless the nomenclature is pointless and the conservatives need to rename themselves)isn’t the idea of the Conservatives related to conservatism..trying to keep things as they were. so its quite amusingly ironic. still granted they’re trying all sorts of things to get votes, but unless they’re going to radically change things and get rid of the conservative in the Conservatives - its all pretty crap really.

    22. sonia — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:22 pm  

      who’s rishi?

    23. Jay Singh — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:23 pm  

      Rishi Saha

    24. sonia — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:43 pm  


    25. sonia — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      well i suppose i should address my question to rishi then! i don’t find it surprising that any young person would want to stand for parliament - but for the conservatives! just the whole conservatism thing.

    26. justforfun — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

      Sonia - I don’t believe your so niave to believe the label on the tin , especially when it comes to politicians :-) The Conservative Party is a Party which exists to win and wield power. It has survived centuries because it changes its views to suit the requirements of the day, which is in itself not a bad thing. Blair saw that Old Labour, which was a ideological party, was no longer electable as its ideology had been overtaken by events, so he made it Conservative Lite to grab the centre ground. Now Cameron is creating a second Conservative Lite to try and do the same.

      I have voted for all parties as I never vote for the party in power, and I have been know to vote twice - aghh - can a lawyer tell be what the Statue of Limitations is on voting twice? Just so I can sleep well in my bed :-)


    27. Sunny — on 18th May, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

      I’m developing a bad habit of hobnobbing with the Tories these days, and they keep asking me to join the dark side. Not good.

    28. Jay Singh — on 18th May, 2006 at 5:01 pm  

      Tories are alright. They are overly demonised.

    29. leon — on 18th May, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

      The new Tories are more tolerable than the old hard right lot. Time will tell if their new found interest in social justice will survive into government.

    30. sonia — on 19th May, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

      yes it seemed for a while when they talked about direct democracy and cameron and the green thing. then i heard cameron’s statement about backing this silly campaign the Sun’s cooked up re: blaming the human rights act.

      tainted politics as always!

      if anything another loud wake-up call - the system is Fucked - the party politics system is crap.

    31. sonia — on 19th May, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

      of course I am an anarchist after all

    32. Sunny — on 19th May, 2006 at 3:24 pm  

      Hehe, and we love you for it Sonia.

    33. Sajn — on 20th May, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

      What precisely is the good part of imposing brown faced candidates upon the Tory party? Does it show that they have changed at the roots? If so why the need to impose candidates?

    34. Kanti — on 11th June, 2006 at 2:15 pm  

      Apart from the A list, there are 16 Asian PPC selected .
      Eric Ollerneshaw to head Cities and Diversity is the guy to watch out, from local elections on 4th May, from 12 Asian Tories in London Councils we now have 41 Tories councillors!. The London tory gains in Ealing, Croydon, Harrow is on the back Asian councillors. Eric has worked his magic and its Labour who will now need to show they have Asian PPC in the general election.

      The first round goes to the Tories……

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