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  • Tories need to change much more


    by Sunny
    8th November, 2006 at 9:40 am    

    Conservative party candidate Ali Miraj is in the midst of a minor political storm.

    Yesterday David Cameron shuffled his shadow cabinet and in the process demoted Bernard Jenkin, who was responsible for pushing the ‘A List’. The list was attempt to push their cream of the crop to good Tory seats and was full of women and a good sprinkling of black and Asian candidates.

    Anyway, Jenkin’s sacking coincided with a post written by Ali Miraj (also on the A-List) on his own blog where he candidly showed frustration with the system.

    I’ve reproduced the full article below in case Ali takes it down after the little storm.

    ———-
    Before attending my interview for the Conservative safe seat of Witham on Sunday (5 November), Brooks Newmark, John Whittingdale and Bernard Jenkin - who are losing a chunk of their respective constituencies to the new seat - all told me the same thing. “Good luck Ali, but I would be shocked if they didn’t pick a White middle-class male.” My immediate response was - “Well then, I will give them the opportunity to “shock” you by convincing them that I’m the best candidate for the job”.

    The reality is, however, that these three MPs, one of which has overall responsibility for Candidates, understand the inbuilt “preferences” of Party members living in their patches extremely well. They were just being honest. Similar candour was displayed by Michael Howard and Keith Simpson when I applied for Folkestone & Hythe and Mid-Norfolk, respectively. I was not invited for interview by either.

    I have never believed in letting an inherent disposition of others affect my own performance or ambition to succeed. My view has always been that if one is good enough one will make it the end. And there was some logic to it. After all, I began my political career as a local councillor at the age of 23, being elected in Ruislip Manor in West London with a landslide majority in a ward that was overwhelmingly white and middle class. It confirmed, for me, that the values you stand for and the passion with which you fight for them, is more important than the colour of your skin and/or your religion.

    But I am - for the first time - beginning to question this. There may be a number of candidates on the A-list with records of dedicated service similar to mine but I doubt there are many with better. I was led to believe that to reach the top in politics you had to serve your apprenticeship and earn the right to apply for “safe” seats. Michael Heseltine, John Major and Geoffrey Howe all did it that way.

    As well as having served as a councillor, I have fought two general elections – the first, in one of the safest Labour seats in the country and the second, a three-way fight in one of the toughest “marginals” in the country. I have acted as an advisor to the Shadow Foreign Affairs Team and currently am a Board Member of two of the Party’s Policy Commissions. Add to this my regular appearances in the media to debate some of the most contentious political issues of the day and my professional experience as a Chartered Accountant.

    One does begin to wonder what more one has to do to be given a realistic chance of getting to Parliament or whether one has travelled as far as one can on merit alone. The fact that Adam Afriyie and Shailesh Vara managed to land safe seats at the last election provided some hope that things had changed, but at the party conference last month, I was constantly told by existing MPs and party members, that the same kind of people will always get selected for the best seats. Code for “White middle-class male”, again.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the breed per se. I am simply beginning, very reluctantly, to face up to a reality that I never thought I would. The reality, that family friends sought to highlight when I joined the party in 1997 following its catastrophic defeat. They said I would never make it to the top and that my chances would be much better in the Labour Party. I told them where to stick their advice. I would never join Labour on grounds of political expediency but there may be more than a grain of truth in their first point. It does pain me because I have never played the race card in my life and am not about to start now.

    Many tell me to fight another marginal; that I need to be realistic; that I will miss the boat. I say no. I believe I have earned my right to fight a safe seat. At a dinner a few weeks ago I sat next to a thoroughly charming wife of a current Tory MP who said, “After he fought his first seat he decided he would only go for ones with a majority above ten thousand”. What is good for the goose should surely be good for the gander.

    I find it mildly amusing when people tell me how wonderful David Cameron is, particularly those who were busy courting David Davis in the leadership election last year. I know his ability because I can spot quality. I was, after all, one of the first people to publicly declare my support and introduced him at the launch of his leadership campaign. But it is evident that despite his huge efforts to change the Party’s attitude to candidate selection, there is still a mountain to climb. What is gradually becoming clear, is not that the peak may never be assailable, but that some, including myself, may out of frustration, opt to abandon the ascent itself.
    ——————-
    from - www.alimiraj.com

    His article speaks for itself. One can legitimately say that, well, if he was good enough he could win a seat anywhere without worrying about being in a ‘safe seat’. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work that way because in a General Election an overwhelming percentage of people vote for the party rather than the candidate. So being in a safe seat is a sign of confidence.

    Interestingly, an anonymous commenter writes this in response to Ali’s blog:

    I am on the A list and am also asian and have also ‘done time’ with the party. I am in absolute agreement with Ali on this one. It’s a losing batle trying to get anywhere near a decent seat.

    Some safe or marginal seats will give an interview but this is a formality which is simply a tick box exercise which they can pass on to CCHQ and say they have interviewed their quota of ethnics. If called for an interview it is plainly obvious that there is going to be no more progress in the selection process. Recently when I went for an interview in a marginal seat despite putting in what I felt was a very strong performance, I was rejected within hours and then when I looked at who had got to the next stage, they were all ‘white middle class’ candidates. Selection of candidates under the A list system has produced less candidates from ethnic minorities than the old system. Where associations are pressured to give everyone a chance, this has meant a female candidate but not ethnic minority especially asians. If the female candidates think they have it bad, try looking at it from where we stand!!

    We will end up the same as last time with asians fighting unwinnable seats and then the party will bleat on about the number of ethnic candidates standing being more than any other party.

    Today both the Guardian and Times have run with this story.

    My view is this. An Asian or black candidate will and should always aim to represent their local constituencies, not black or Asian (or Muslim) families generally. So there is no point agitating for more ethnic minority MPs for their own sake, especially if we end up with people such as Keith Vaz or Piara Khabra.

    But a political party should be open to bringing in talent from all sections of the British population, including ethnic minority, women and white working class candidates. Otherwise it remains a nepotistic and stale institution. It should not escape Cameron or Blair’s attention that the last few decades have seen parties become more male and more middle-class dominated as political apathy has increased.

    This isn’t an issue of having more brown or black faces; this is about making politics more open and focused on talent not friends.


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    Filed in: Party politics,Race politics






    116 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Clive Davis

      COLOUR BLIND…

      Odd to hear Bernard Jenkin use the word coloured on the World At One this afternoon. Not that it’s in any way a capital offence, but it’s also not something you’d expect from a finger-on-the-pulse Tory politician committed to attracting…


    2. Indigo Jo Blogs

      Provincial Tories reject Asian City worker…

      The local Conservative party in Witham, Essex have rejected an Asian candidate, City chartered accountant Ali Miraj, dealing a blow to David Cameron’s policy of getting more ethnic minority candidates selected for winnable Commons seats. This has prom…




    1. Chris Stiles — on 8th November, 2006 at 10:33 am  


      An Asian or black candidate will and should always aim to represent their local constituencies, not black or Asian (or Muslim) families generally. So there is no point agitating for more ethnic minority MPs for their own sake, especially if we end up with people such as Keith Vaz or Piara Khabra.

      Heh. Though to be balanced the political classes will include some Vaz-a-likes of all colours.

    2. Sunny — on 8th November, 2006 at 12:02 pm  

      Folks, please stick to the topic. I’m not having articles by those who want us to follow their own agenda. I’ve deleted the comments. Please don’t feed ther trolls.

    3. Sid — on 8th November, 2006 at 12:06 pm  

      yes, this is a great post. can we please not derail it with dehumanised bumbklartery from the trolls. thank you.

    4. Utbah — on 8th November, 2006 at 12:06 pm  

      Jessh SUnny you got me. Looks like I haven’t blogged on any of todays events I must be a anti-palestinian as well, don’t you think?

    5. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 12:08 pm  

      For a while, the deleted troll messages still managed the impossible. From the outside, it almost looked like there was a heated, exciting debate ensuing about the tories…

    6. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 12:15 pm  

      I find Asian Tories quite interesting. There are always a few white bearded sardarjis and balding uncles in the audience at their conferences.

      So I think they break down into a number of categories:

      (a) The old rotary club type posh uncleji who wants to be utterly English (think the Cooper/Kapoors from Goodness Gracious Me)

      (b) The small businessman type, Ugandan/Kenyan Asian

      (c) The genuine commited conservative — someone like Priti Patel who says that her background, the daughter of hard working immigrants, made her feel at home in a party that rewards the entrepeneur and those values appeal to her — this is a person I actually admire

      (d) The totally confused guy called Sanjay, whose parents are probably closely related to (a) and was sent to public school, plays rugby, speaks really posh, and is frightened of other British Indians, in case they make fun of his accent, or try to chat up his blonde girlfriend, Tiggy.

      (e) None of the above

      —-

      But seriously folks, it is sad that a candidate who does not play the race card, never had, like this chap Ali, faces an uphill struggle, and will be discriminated against on the basis of him not being white, no matter how capable he is. They should realise that they are betraying the values that people like Priti Patel joined them for. I guess this goes to the heart of a faultline within the Conservative Party — the genuine impulse of opportunity for all, the belief in One Nation Toryism allied to equal opportunity, seeing Asians as natural allies because of certain things like family values etc etc, and those who view the Conservative Party in ethnic nationalist terms. You could almost say it touches those faultlines.

    7. Utbah — on 8th November, 2006 at 12:16 pm  

      Anyway, back onto the topic (Israel Kills 18 Children), no sorry not that one. Sunny’s topic.

      I still believe The Conservative Party has racists within it’s party. You only have to look at Conservative Home or Iain Dale who spreads false information about Islam prime example being the word “Jihad”.

      I haven’t seen BBC report this though, and the impression I got about Ali & The Other MP that it wasn’t connected at all.

    8. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 12:50 pm  

      Iain Dale is human slime.

    9. Leon — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:10 pm  

      He is? Why?

    10. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:17 pm  

      he’s too hoity doughty

    11. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

      His views on Lebanon and the middle east in general. This is the man who accused the BBC of being too pro-Hezbollah ferchrissakes.

    12. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:27 pm  

      Actually, come to think of it I’m becoming pretty pro-Hezbollah myself.

    13. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

      You’ve been daled & confused

    14. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:34 pm  

      The point is that anyone who supported Israel’s actions during the Lebanon war — which was a stupid thing to do even then — but who still does so after all the evidence (from HRW and Amnesty) that Israel was specifically targeting civilians is an arsehole with very little moral credibility.

    15. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:37 pm  

      hehehe

      Article about the Conservative Party —-> Anas makes a contribution —-> thread becomes a discussion of Israel/Palestine

      I’m cracking up!

    16. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:38 pm  

      Kismet can’t you make a pun out of ‘Ali Miraj’?

    17. Chairwoman — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:41 pm  

      Anas - The only hope for the ME is if right-thinking people on all sides don’t get side tracked down any kind of fundamentalist street :-)

      Sunny - Many apologies for side tracking. Yes the Tory party does need to change. It needs to get back on track and adopt the sort of policies and views that were held in the Heath/Heseltine days. This would not only give all voters a reasonable alternative to New Labour but would be in tune with the aspirations of most new(ish) Britons.

    18. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:42 pm  

      No fair, Jag. I’ve been holding back on that recently.

    19. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

      So a muslim chap finds himself booted out of a plane and bang into the sahara desert. Quite unexpectedly, he bumps into an essex prostitute.

      ‘Oh sod it,’ says the muslim, ‘seeing as I’m probably gonna die, how about a shag?’

      ‘Out here in the open?’ says the prostitute, who is a bit shy, you see

      The muslim is gutted. But then he sees a little gap between two buildings and says: ‘aha, let’s go there.’

      ‘No silly,’ says the prostitute, ‘it’s an alley mirage’

    20. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

      One more Ali Miraj qup just for you Jagdeep (and I’ve based it on a Jag just for you)

      The Hindu says to the Muslim: ‘It’s a saloon car, Abdul.’
      The Muslim retorts: ‘It’s a limo, raj’

    21. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      Of all the punners you are the best. All the others are human slime compared to you kismet.

    22. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

      And he could park the car in his garage, i mean miraj.

    23. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:03 pm  

      ah lee, me raj, you jane, as raj babbar said to bruce lee before buggering him senseless…

    24. PedanticLurker — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

      It should not escape Cameron or Blair’s attention that the last few decades have seen parties become more male and more middle-class dominated as political apathy has increased.

      What time frame are you talking about? I find it hard to believe that politics have become more male-dominated any time recently.

    25. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

      A man from Yorkshire was depressed when India gained independance in 1947 and was crying into his flat cap. His daughter, Leigh, walked in and said, ‘Eeee…what’s ooop dad? Why thee cryin’ for?’

      And he wipes his eyes and says

      ‘Arrr, Leigh, Me Raj has gone, bloody got independance, ooooh, me old raj has gone independent’

      Then he ate some yorkshire puddings and felt better, but not for long, because it was only a decade and a half until his neighbourhood was taken over by Pakistanis in Bradford.

    26. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

      ;-)

    27. Chairwoman — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

      Jagdeep and Kismet - Katy and I (both keen punsters) really appreciate the supreme efforts you have both made.

    28. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:24 pm  

      Well invite us round to your boudoire jaldi jaldi

    29. Chris Stiles — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

      Heh Jagdeep - I like the categories.

      Still - I’m wondering if this might be one of those cases where a small amount of prejudice has a disproportionate effect on the outcomes (a bit like Schelling’s model for segregation).

      From what Mr Miraj says, in some instances it was obvious that he was just interviewed out of tokenism, but far less obvious on others. In which case, perhaps all things being equal, these selection committees are just hiring people exactly like themselves - and the sort of people who sit on them are exactly the sort who would view it as ‘hiring staff’ - something which HR departments everywhere are aware of. Of course, something so multifaceted and difficult to judge will offer plenty of opportunities for confirmation bias after the event.

      If this is true - then the representativeness or otherwise of the party is a binary function with a tipping point, rather than a state reached by gradual increase. Incidentally, this is actually one argument *for* a list of some kind - it would give the electorate and party an opportunity to see ‘those people’ as ‘one of us’. Though given the current locally driven selection process adopted by the Tory party, the costs would probably negate the benefits.

      [After composing the last two paragraphs I went to visit the blog and found that they seemed to concur with some of what he said "the issue is more subtle. It is simply one of preference or put another way - remaining within one’s comfort zone. One has to be a little careful that a candidate selected in a safe seat gels and will be welcomed by the wider electorate."]

      As an gedanken experiment - it’s interesting to consider the fate of an Asian Tory A-Lister with a slightly more anglicised name and a short career in the army

    30. TottenhamLad — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:28 pm  

      Racists in the Tory party?

      What about the asian racists up in Scotland who have just been found guilty of the worst racist murder in the UK.

      BBC News 8th November 2006
      Three men guilty of Kriss murder

      Front page stuff at the BBC.

    31. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

      Seamless link there totty lad. Asian man in the opposition party. Three scottish asian bufoons kill someone. It’s so obvious only a blind fool could miss the relevance

    32. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:33 pm  

      ‘What about the asian racists up in Scotland who have just been found guilty of the worst racist murder in the UK’

      Ooh there’s a chart? Where’s stephen lawrence? is anthony walker in the top three? Do tell all

    33. TottenhamLad — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

      Just waiting for the expected Kriss Donald post from Sunny to match the two he posted about Anthony Walker.

      Lets see, this is an asian centred Blog, so there are at least two posts covering a ‘white’ on black murder (nothing to do with asians) so how many posts will we see on this blog covering the worst every racist murder in the UK by a gang of asian racists against a young Scottish boy.

    34. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

      I’d say it’ll be quite an issue here totty. Most people I know fucking hate racists, whatever their colour. That’s kinda the point of hating racists

    35. Sid — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

      I hate to admit this, but it seems Oscar Wilde can’t hold a candle to our kid, Kismet.

    36. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

      Tottenham Lad, I bet you’re a really nice person in real life. I wish I could buy you a pint.

    37. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

      Bloody hell Sid. So that’s why I haven’t got any friends…

    38. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

      Lets all be Oscar Wildes in our punning and do witty Wildean aphorisms from now on. Here is my first contribution.

      ++++

      One always tires of political debate when there are pickles involved. It never matches the smoking jacket you are wearing, and gets you in such an awful pickle.

      +++

      There are homosexual undertones to that too by the way.

    39. Katy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

      Sunny, this is a really interesting article.

      I had been feeling more receptive to the Tories recently - probably because I am tired of there being no credible opposition in this country, which has led to unbridled megalomania both on the part of Tony Blair personally and the Labour Party as a whole; I think what has become very clear is that it is not terribly clever to have one party in power with no effective opposition.

      What this demonstrates is that when it comes to the Tories, you can change the wallpaper, you can create a new logo, you can stick the party leader on a bike and call him Dave - but underneath all the newfound trendiness the party is pretty much the same as it always was. It’s reminded me that whilst I don’t like the country being run by a government that can’t be held to account by the opposition, I am still not and doubt I ever will be a Tory…

    40. Sid — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

      I wish I had said that.

      guffaw guffaw!

    41. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 2:58 pm  

      Siddharta’a all heart
      Jagdeep gets deep
      Sunny sees the bright side
      Anas takes it up the, um…

      Fine line between wit and childish…

    42. Anon+1 — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

      Asians shouldnt try to gain political power in this country. You dont see white middle class british immigrants trying to gain a voice in the middle east so why should asian middle class try to gain power here? British born means nothing.
      Oh and i wish they would all stop playing the race card, its getting boring.

    43. Sid — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

      BTW, I was guffawing at Jagdeep’s Wildeanisms. Not Katy’s frank exposition of the tragedy that is the Conservative Party.

    44. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

      “You dont see white middle class british immigrants trying to gain a voice in the middle east”

      Tony Blair, anyone?

    45. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:09 pm  

      oops, Tony blair isn’t an immigrant. Wish he’d migrate though. Ahem. Oh look, something else

    46. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      These are for Anon+1

      ++++

      One always tires of playing the race card. I find it so much more delighful to play the joker instead. And I find the colours of it match my pink wallpaper too.

      ++++

      How tiresome is life without art. Especially when there are Asian middle class people seeking power too. But beauty will fade one day, and so will the whiff of curry in the salons of our political youth.

      ++++

      There are homosexual undertones in these aphorisms too, by the way.

    47. Jai — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:18 pm  

      =>”You dont see white middle class british immigrants trying to gain a voice in the middle east”

      That is a very good point. After all, the children of English immigrants to the US and Australia aren’t eligible to run for political office there. And being American or Australian-born means nothing.

      Oh, wait…..

    48. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

      Jagdeep, you win the Oscars…

    49. Chairwoman — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

      Jai - I think in the US you have to have been born there to be President, but the Terminator is Governor of California (again), and he was born in Austria.

    50. Sid — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:43 pm  

      Jagdeep, my own darling boy

      I am as distended as Ganymede on poppers. How glorious it was to read your aphorisms on Asian political life. Asians are lying in the gutter but they are looking up at the B-list stars.

    51. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

      So true Sid. Just last night I was looking up Jade Goody’s skirt. The shock made her punch an old woman in the face twice

    52. Jai — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:54 pm  

      Chairwoman — I know about all that, I was just being sarcastic ;)

    53. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 3:58 pm  

      “You dont see white middle class british immigrants trying to gain a voice in the middle east”

      Errrmmm, it’s possible if you’re a Jewish immigrant to Israel.

    54. Chairwoman — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:41 pm  

      Anas - any immigrant of any colour, class, or creed to any country, anywhere in the world has a say in their new country’s policy, don’t they?

    55. Chairwoman — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

      Just give it a rest.

    56. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

      OK. But where else is there such gross disparity between the rights of recently arrived immigrants and communities that have been living in an area for hundreds of years?

    57. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      Let’s start a tally on how many times Anas mentions Israel in a non Israel related thread.

    58. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      Blah. I wish I hadn’t posted that last comment. This is the wrong place for this discussion — even more than usual.

    59. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

      I made a passing comment and I got pulled up on it, what can I say?

    60. Jagdeep — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:49 pm  

      Or set aside a thread just for Anas where he can vent his feelings all the time.

      Anyway, Chairwoman, have you ever voted Conservative. I think I might one day, because Labour needs to be taught a lesson. But I have never voted for them before, and in the past one thing that put me off was the sense that they were a little bit too much of the old you know, Norman Tebbit. But thats changed, however I think Cameron seems so wishy washy. He’s Tory Boy personified really isnt he. I mean someone like Portillo — he admitted to having had gay sex at boarding school. How rock and roll and David Bowie is that? But they have no real authority, they all seem like spoilt little posh boys straight out of Eton.

    61. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

      Anas gives his good lady a diamond ring.

      In awe of the glittering rock, she says: ‘It’s not fake is it?’

      Says Anas: ‘No honey, Israel.’

      (sorry)

    62. Jai — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

      We should have a drinking game on PP, where everyone has to take a tequila shot every time Anas mentions Israel/Palestine ;)

      (Just kidding, Anas — thanks for your extensive contribution to my White Mughals-Brown Brits thread).

    63. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 4:59 pm  

      Anas gets a summer job in the offices of Viz. A tourist asks: ‘Hay pal, is that the thameas outside.’

      Says Anas: ‘No, pal. Is Tyne’

    64. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 5:00 pm  

      (I’m only kiddling too Anas. I like you big)

      Yay for drinks though

    65. Chairwoman — on 8th November, 2006 at 5:14 pm  

      Jai - No I haven’t. I too have been considering it, but I dislike Dave as much as I dislike Tone and Gordy.

      There are small climatic disturbances in Hendon and Bushey as my husband swirls around his tree, and my mother revolves rapidly in her grave at the very possibility that I may do so. They, however by dying 1998 and 1999 were spared the horror that their beloved Labour Party has become.

      I too came to like Portillo, not only he he cool, but he comes from NW London. This would not have been an acceptable opinion in our house prior to 2000.

      Kismet - My father would have thought you were the son he never had after 70.

    66. Jai — on 8th November, 2006 at 5:21 pm  

      Chairwoman Aunty,

      I think your comment above was in response to someone else, no ?

      I see that you’ve started playing our new PP drinking game already…..;)

    67. Chairwoman — on 8th November, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

      You’re right Jai, it was Jagdeep, sorrt.

      *reaches for bottle of Sauza and wege of lemon. pours salt on back of hand*

    68. Kismet Hardy — on 8th November, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

      “Kismet - My father would have thought you were the son he never had after 70.”

      Only if I married you. Which I can’t seeing as I’m married to your daughter. But legally unbinding incest fest I can do

    69. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 6:17 pm  

      Israel.

    70. Anas — on 8th November, 2006 at 6:42 pm  

      j/k.

      My head’s full of mince today, for one reason or another, and that’s (temporarily)diminished my capability to be as discriminating as I’d like in what I post. I need a lie down basically.

    71. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 8th November, 2006 at 7:01 pm  

      The Tories have already changed. They’re called New Labour.

    72. Chairwoman — on 8th November, 2006 at 7:19 pm  

      Yakoub - the real Tories would never have dared to be so right wing.

    73. fridgemagnet — on 8th November, 2006 at 11:28 pm  

      Wait, hold on, I was going to post something I thought related to the blog post but I haven’t got a fucking clue what you lot are on about now.

    74. Sunny — on 8th November, 2006 at 11:48 pm  

      Well at least some people posted some vaguely relevant views. I’m seriously considering starting an Israel/Palestine thread at the beginning of each week so the trolls can go there and rant/rave to their hearts content and stop fucking up other threads.

    75. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:04 am  

      I’d deffo be up for that, Sunny. Top man!

    76. Refresh — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:05 am  

      I think I previously put forward the theory that a pickled politics cannot get past post #73, and remain relevant.

      And if I hadn’t quite put it like that I am doing so now.

      And my dear Sunny, you are a culprit too.

    77. Refresh — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:11 am  

      As for Israel - why bother discussing it at all? It has no bearing on what goes on in the affairs of the world. The same of course applies to the US elections.

      By that I do not intend a full-scale derailment.

      The point is simple - our politics are being defined by ever narrowing terms. And pickled politics is becoming a bit of a tight-rope.

    78. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:13 am  

      Exactly, Refresh. Perhaps it’s a case of poor choice of topics, Sunny. If the kids want to talk about Palestine, why deny them that chance?

    79. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:18 am  

      OK, that last post of mine was frivilous. But I’ll hazard a guess that a far, far larger proportion of British Asians were talking about the 19 dead in Gaza today than bloody Ali Miraj — who no-one’s heard about, or gives a shit about.

    80. Sunny — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:23 am  

      But I’ll hazard a guess that a far, far larger proportion of British Asians were talking about the 19 dead in Gaza today

      Firstly Anas, the blog is run by me and contributed by a wide bunch of people. We set the agenda not others. Secondly, there are other forums to rail on about I/P; use them if you want to vent. It riles me even more when idiots like Utbah and TottenhamLad come here and call me racist for not following their agenda. Write on your own fucking blogs. If I feel like adding something sensible to a discussion I’ll do it… if not then I won’t. And if I feel that starting a discussion will only bring the usual trolls and descend to a bitchfest that’ll give me a headache then I have the right to not post anything on it. In fact, now, I’m going to not post on the issue (though I planned to) just to annoy you lot even more!

    81. Katy — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:32 am  

      I find it astonishing that people have derailed a thread about concrete, overt racial discrimination in the second most popular political party in this country - you know, the one most of us LIVE in - to bore on yet again about the ME.

      Don’t any of you care what happens here?

    82. Refresh — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:35 am  

      Sunny, any comments about my theory?

      Anyway on the other stuff if you don’t want to do a thread on some serious issues - then don’t. I’ve long given up posting on Israel. But that doesn’t mean its not relevant or important.

      I’d only suggest that you keep PP ‘real’. I think thats what they say on the street.

      Don’t be harryied into doing something, at the same time don’t threaten to take away the ball.

      [And for goodness sake get off the Cameron trail].

    83. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:35 am  

      Sorry, Sunny, just a bit of constructive criticism. I don’t know how wide an appeal you want your site to have. I mean is your site primarily intended to appeal to a narrow clique of people who’re desperately interested in the minutiae of Tory party politics and how fast Asians can rise up the ranks? If not, I doubt you’ll get much leverage out of stories like the above, other than, comments along the lines of those Tories, a bit racist aren’t they? Just that given some of the other stuff you’ve covered, I assumed that wasn’t the case.

    84. Katy — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:36 am  

      if you don’t want to do a thread on some serious issues

      This IS a serious issue, Refresh!!!

    85. Refresh — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:40 am  

      Katy, that’s precisely the problem. If we do not acknowledge what our government supports in its foreign policy in a globalised world we are only ever going to discuss municipal issues. That might suit some people.

      Even the US elections finally voted on foreign policy.

      Enough derailment. Can I propose that after post #73 anything goes? Because that seems to be the experience so far!

      Different blogs will have their own threshold.

    86. Refresh — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:44 am  

      As you were! I was just passing through.

    87. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:51 am  

      Nowadays Foreign Policy and the goings on in various global troublespots are of paramount importance. Parochialism — at least when it relates to current affairs — is less and less justifiable; it simply doesn’t reflect the realities of our globalised existence.

    88. Katy — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:52 am  

      Oh for Christ’s sake. Did you just say that to wind me up, Anas? Because you have. That has got to be one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever read on this site. Holding your government or any political institution to account for wrongdoing is not parochialism, it is necessary if you want to have any kind of dignity or standard of living.

      Governments love foreign policy. They use it as a distraction. They hide behind it to pursue their own agenda. Tony Blair wants people to think that foreign policy is paramount and national politics are parochial. It means he’ll never be held to account for the way in which his administration has quietly ripped our civil liberties to shreds whilst everyone watched the war on telly. Reversal of the burden of proof, criminalisation of free expression, our DNA is held on file without our consent, we are filmed wherever we go, possession of large sums of cash is on its way to being a criminal offence, people suspected of terrorism can be held without charge, and the government still intends us all to carry ID cards for no purpose other than to keep tabs on us - this government has done more to strip us of our rights than Thatcher’s ever did.

      This thread is about the Conservative Party, who, if they get their act together, are almost certainly going to run the country again in the next 8 years if not the next 4. Whatever carey sharey green face they present now, we’d be stupid not to expect them to pursue the agenda that this administration has laid down. They represent almost as many people in this country as the Labour Party. And they are institutionally racist. It is not “parochial” to air that issue and demand that they be held to account to the people who they hope to serve.

      Of course we should all lobby our governments and other governments to behave ethically abroad, but to suggest that it is “parochial” to monitor what the political institutions in your country do and hold them accountable is just bullshit. It is people like you who allow the government to get away with it, because you are so fixated on what’s happening outside the country that you don’t stop to think about what’s happening inside it.

    89. Sunny — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:56 am  

      Sunny, any comments about my theory?

      What theory Refresh? You seem to talk in coded terms sometimes. Just come out with it, I’ll be happy if you just do that.

      I’d only suggest that you keep PP ‘real’. I think thats what they say on the street.

      I’m not sure what this implies either. The only way I can keep anything ‘real’ is by writing about what I want to write about without having people trying to give me “constructive criticism” that I should follow their agenda. I haven’t gotten this far by following other people’s agendas and I’m not going to start now either.

      I don’t know how wide an appeal you want your site to have.

      I thought I’d explained this. I and others write about what appeals to us. If others like it they’ll read it if they don’t they’ll go to other blogs. I don’t make money out of this malarky so I have no interest in trying to pander to anyone. Otherwise I’d be writing about I/P every day just so people will keep arging every day - driving up my page impressions and making us rich. I hope this explains our stance.

    90. Sunny — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:59 am  

      And, erm, what Katy said. She’s the brains (and the looks) of the operation.

      Nowadays Foreign Policy and the goings on in various global troublespots are of paramount importance. Parochialism

      Great stuff Anas. Now go and write about how many Iraqi suicide bombers have killed themselves in the past few months killing hundreds of other Iraqis. Go and write about the state of affairs in Sri Lanka. Write about the pro-democracy protests and riots in the Maldives. And for goodness sakes, stop feeding up hypocritical tripe. You have an agenda, fine. Don’t expect others to follow it.

    91. Chairwoman — on 9th November, 2006 at 10:01 am  

      Katy - Your father would be so proud of you. All the political ranting we did during your childhood has come to fruition.

      And if I have embarrased you, remember, it is my DUTY!

    92. Leon — on 9th November, 2006 at 10:35 am  

      Otherwise I’d be writing about I/P every day just so people will keep arging every day - driving up my page impressions and making us rich.

      *Raises eyebrow, considers the fortunes, wrestles with conscience*

    93. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 11:11 am  

      Don’t you want to be rich Sunny? I thought that’s what all Asians wanted.

    94. Jagdeep — on 9th November, 2006 at 11:58 am  

      I have to say there’s something amusing about giving advice on running a website to a guy who has created one of the most widely read, interesting, distinctive and original blogs in the whole UK, with a massive readership which is growing every week!

    95. Chairwoman — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:03 pm  

      Goodness Anas, wanting to be rich? Tut tut, it will be ruling the world and controlling the media next.

      Perhaps an order for lizard suits should be placed imminently.

    96. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:18 pm  

      I have to say there’s something amusing about giving advice on running a website to a guy who has created one of the most widely read, interesting, distinctive and original blogs in the whole UK, with a massive readership which is growing every week!

      Wow, that sounds amazing. Have you got a link to the site, Jagdeep?

    97. Refresh — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      Sunny, my theory is every PP thread becomes irrelevant after about post #73.

    98. Jagdeep — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:49 pm  

      Anas, you’re hilarious dude!

    99. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:55 pm  

      I got you real good, Jagdeep, din’nt I

    100. Jagdeep — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:56 pm  

      uhhhh….no Anas you didnt. I mean I was laughing at you, not your joke.

    101. Anas — on 9th November, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

      Yeah, right!

    102. Kismet Hardy — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:05 pm  

      Is it pantomime season already?

    103. Jagdeep — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:20 pm  

      Give us a pun, kismet

    104. Kismet Hardy — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

      I know your game Jagdeep. You make me go off on one then Katy & Sunny et al blame me for derailing the thread. You may say you’re really looking out for my best interest, hm. a likely tory.

      (a laboured effort)

      see what I did there?

    105. Jagdeep — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

      You’re very punny Kismet

    106. Kismet Hardy — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:34 pm  

      You’re very deep Jag

    107. NorahJones — on 9th November, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

      Ooh, ooh, can I play?

    108. Jai — on 9th November, 2006 at 3:44 pm  

      This thread won’t really be derailed until a certain someone mentions Israel/Palestine.

      We’re safe until then.

    109. sonia — on 10th November, 2006 at 12:17 pm  

      88- Katy - hear hear! brilliant :-)

    110. Anas — on 10th November, 2006 at 8:21 pm  

      An Israel/Palestine thread would be excellent. For example, I could make mention of any relevant blog entries I’d written on the subject, take this for example. on there. Come on Sunny, you know you want to.

    111. Soozy — on 10th November, 2006 at 8:25 pm  

      Just post them on your own blog and stop trying to tell people what to do on their own sites. The idea that you should get special treatment is kinda pathetic. There are billions of blogs to discuss that on.

    112. Anas — on 10th November, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

      I was being humourous, Soozy. I don’t really expect anyone to read my blog.

    113. Sajn — on 10th November, 2006 at 10:35 pm  

      Are we supposed to feel sorry for Mr Miraj? He thinks he should be given a relatively safe seat like a couple of other people he mentions but no justification for why. I mean why does he think he is better than the candidates selected ahead of him?

    114. Anas — on 10th November, 2006 at 10:54 pm  

      I hate that smug, self-satisfied, asian wheeler-dealer, look on Ali Miraj’s face.

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