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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Is Sayeeda Warsi controversy over-blown?


    by Sunny on 6th May, 2010 at 1:00 pm    

    The Independent has obtained footage of Sayeeda Warsi saying:

    In Urdu: “not all Muslims that go into politics are principled. Not all Muslims that are involved with politics are Lord Ahmed. Not all of them put their community first, and career second. There are many Muslims who put their career first when asked what they would do for Muslims. But then they say ‘Muslims didn’t vote us in as MPs. We are MPs for the whole of the community.” But during election time, they say “We are Muslims. Please vote for us”.

    Which is, er true. And in fact my mother has said that about Sikh politicians from the Labour party around my area. Yesterday I thought she’d said that all Muslims going into politics didn’t have principles. But reading that statement a few times I think the controversy is somewhat overblown.


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    1. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: Is Sayeeda Warsi controversy over-blown? http://bit.ly/bIRlm6


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      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: Is Sayeeda Warsi controversy over-blown? http://bit.ly/bIRlm6


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      @jozzjonz Pickled Politics » Is Sayeeda Warsi controversy over-blown?: Is Sayeeda Warsi controversy over-blown? by… http://bit.ly/dciCpl


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      @jozzjonz Pickled Politics » Is Sayeeda Warsi controversy over-blown?: Is Sayeeda Warsi controversy over-blown? by… http://bit.ly/dciCpl


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    1. Tim Footman — on 6th May, 2010 at 1:15 pm  

      Had she said that (for example) she didn’t want more Jews to run for office, outrage would have been justified. To an extent, I think it’s OK to speak harsh truths to your own.

    2. Sarah AB — on 6th May, 2010 at 1:30 pm  

      It seems rather ambiguous. What exactly does she mean when she says ‘Not all of them put their community first, and career second.’ Does she mean ‘Muslim community’ or just ‘their constituents’? It’s interesting to know whether this sentence

      ‘There are many Muslims who put their career first when asked what they would do for Muslims.’

      needs to be read more in the light of this

      ‘But then they say ‘Muslims didn’t vote us in as MPs. We are MPs for the whole of the community.”

      or this

      ‘But during election time, they say “We are Muslims. Please vote for us”.

      In other words is she complaining that Muslims pander to their co-religionists too much or that they don’t? Is she saying it’s best for your career to try to attract the Muslim vote or to distance yourself from it?

    3. Naadir Jeewa — on 6th May, 2010 at 1:44 pm  

      I think that’s a fair comment. Those tactics always seemed to have turned off people in my family, unless the candidate was also the right ethnicity though.

      A Pakistani Muslim PPC just is never going to win over a Gujarati one.

    4. Jenny — on 6th May, 2010 at 2:37 pm  

      She’s right, you only have to look at the areas that have been identified with voting fraud. I think its fair to say, many of them have absolutely no scruples or sense of fair play whatsoever.

    5. platinum786 — on 6th May, 2010 at 2:40 pm  

      What she is saying is that some Muslim MP’s pander to co-religionists to get the votes, but once in power, refuse to do so.

      As Much as you dislike the idea, minorities are likely to vote for “one of their own” as they assume that “their own” will be more in touch with their specific needs than others. Muslims are no different, having said that it’s not always the case, it is a generalisation. In my ward I know for a matter of fact that Labour will win, despite fielding a non Muslim candidate in an area full of ‘em. Reason being, he’s just that good. He gets stuff done, he’s been at the top of the council, he’s a pro.

      Back to the topic, yeah it is a little blown out of proportion, but it think it’s rather hypocritical of her to say so, especially as so many would consider her to be the same, also on top of that, find me a politician who isn’t a sell out.

    6. Kulvinder — on 6th May, 2010 at 2:41 pm  

      I can’t see the fuss tbh, and im slightly surprised that if that is really all she said the tories were in anyway hesitant about publicising the matter. It seems fairly straight forward and frankly i think most people would agree with her.

      But then i would defend her as i just fucking voted blue; if its any consolation i lied to the exit poller I WAS THAT EMBARRASSED.

    7. Sofia — on 6th May, 2010 at 2:45 pm  

      David Cameron would have to hug every immigrant in this country before I would vote tory…the only exception to this would be if Tony Blair stood for PM again…

    8. Sarah AB — on 6th May, 2010 at 2:48 pm  

      Thanks Platinum - I’m still not completely clear whether she thinks it’s worse to try to talk up one’s Muslim credentials before the vote or to fail to live up to that promise after the vote. Saying you are an MP for the whole of the community, whether you are Muslim or not, seems like a good thing to me - but she seems to be saying you should put your Muslim identity first, almost.

    9. Kulvinder — on 6th May, 2010 at 2:50 pm  

      David Cameron would have to hug every immigrant in this country before I would vote tory…

      Given the context of the thread; thats pretty amusing.

      Personally im all for small government and inherent euro-skepticism.

    10. Kulvinder — on 6th May, 2010 at 2:54 pm  

      @Sarah

      It was a bit confusing, but she ended with

      In English: I think we need more members of Parliament and more members of the House of Lords who understand the British Muslim communities, rather than who are Muslims themselves.

      and clarified her comments as

      Last night Warsi said in a statement: “I said that the definition of a good MP is someone that stands up for their constituents and who understands the communities they represent, not necessarily someone that ticks a particular ethnic box.

      “People of every background feel let down by parliament and what is needed are MPs that can represent and empathise with their communities.”

      Which suggests her heart is in the right place.

    11. Abu Faris — on 6th May, 2010 at 6:58 pm  

      The fact that you had to read the statement a few times before you comprehended what Warsi was on about speaks volumes, actually, Sunny.

    12. Katy Newton — on 6th May, 2010 at 7:12 pm  

      *laughs at Kulvinder, but sympathetically*

      I very nearly voted Tory this time round too, but I’ve voted Labour all my life and despite everything I just couldn’t do it when it came to it. Spoiled my ballot paper instead.

    13. Sarah AB — on 6th May, 2010 at 7:18 pm  

      Thanks Kulvinder - I don’t support the Tories but she always seems quite impressive and thoughtful.

    14. I AM DUFFY — on 6th May, 2010 at 7:19 pm  

      Anybody else here vote BNP?

    15. Sarah AB — on 6th May, 2010 at 7:27 pm  

      No

    16. KJB — on 6th May, 2010 at 8:50 pm  

      *coughs* Non-issue!

      Kulvinder - Wow, you really believe the Tories represent small government? *shakes head*

    17. Rumbold — on 6th May, 2010 at 8:59 pm  

      Kulvinder:

      If only the Tories did stand for small government. But they don’t. They are shifting aspects of it around, but the level of interference and spending remains much the same.

    18. Kulvinder — on 6th May, 2010 at 9:11 pm  

      Yeah but its about who’s the least shit not who’s in anyway decent.

    19. Rumbold — on 6th May, 2010 at 9:14 pm  

      That’s true in some cases. It depends which parties have a chance in a particular constituency. Sadly there was no LPUK candidate in mine.

    20. Niels Christensen — on 7th May, 2010 at 5:31 am  

      It’s not always that the interests of a given community ( and does a common interest exists) is the same as the interest of the country as a whole.

    21. Kulvinder — on 7th May, 2010 at 12:47 pm  

      So everyone who voted LD voted tory by proxy; who’d have thought Clegg would get into bed so easily with Cameron??

    22. shariq — on 8th May, 2010 at 9:30 am  

      Ok, can I just say that what Sayeeda Warsi said was perfectly coherent and intelligent.

      She was responding to someone who said that we need more Muslims in parliament and the House of Lords. Her response was that there a lot of Muslims who aren’t principled - when in power they say that they represent the entire constituency, but when running for election, they say we are muslim please vote for is.

      In case there was any doubt about her intentions, the last line where she says that having Mp’s who understand muslim concerns is more important than just having muslim mp’s, shows that she didn’t want muslim politicians to run as muslims and then only worry about muslims.

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