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  • Lord Nazir Ahmed in trouble


    by Sunny
    1st December, 2006 at 3:57 am    

    New Statesman magazine has re-launched its website with a much better interface and, unsurprisingly, lots of new blogs. All content restrictions have also been removed (yay!). Anyway, this week’s edition has an exclusive that may end up with Lord Nazir Ali’s expulsion from the Labour party:

    Labour’s most prominent Muslim peer, Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham, urged support for the Conservative Party during the last general election. The claim comes from Labour MP for Dewsbury, Shahid Malik, who has provided evidence to the Labour Party that Ahmed campained for his opponent, Sayeeda Warsi in 2005. Warsi is now the vice-chairman of the Conservative Party and a rising star of Cameron’s new look A-list of black, Asian and women candidates.

    “It is quite extraordinary,” said Shahid Malik MP in response, “that a Labour peer who proudly asserts that he is the country’s first Muslim peer should behave in such a divisive manner against a fellow labour party member Any disciplinary action to be taken against him is a matter for the Labour NEC. I will abide by their decision.”

    You may also want to read Ziauddin Sardar’s column last week plugging NGN (ahem).

    Update: Unity has more on this and local politicking.

    If the report is correct, and Shahid Malik will find himself out on a limb if it isn’t, then this will be the first real national exposure of an issue that some local parties have been aware of for quite sometime, a developing strand of communalist politics emerging in, and being exploited by, mainstream parties.


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    11 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Ministry of Truth

      Labour Peer alleged to have supported Tories…

      If a report in the New Statesman (newly redesigned and, like the Indy, subscription firewall free) is correct, then Lord Nazir Ahmed may shortly be re-styling himself not Britian’s first Muslim, Labour, Peer but as Britain’s first Muslim, C…




    1. zahed — on 1st December, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

      This is an angle the NGN addresses that I never could have imagined. More proof that communalism and tribalism has to stop.

    2. Refresh — on 1st December, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

      How so Zahed?

    3. Sunny — on 1st December, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

      OMG, Zahed you are so on the ball. I was going to write a little piece explaining this but thought people would just see it as me using any excuse to promote NGN.

      What is NGN arguing against? To stop the mainstream politicians treating us as outsiders who are controlled by self-appointed “community leaders” and such people who use divisive communal politics for their own agenda while screwing over the community.

      Read the post over at Unity Refresh, and you’ll see what I mean. It is the same in my area - Labour has local councillors who have absolutely no interest in sorting out the area or caring for the different communities. There will be a Sikh councillor who can barely speak English, who gets in because he can mobilise the local Gurudwara vote etc. Non-Sikhs and white people lose out but Labour / LibDems get in and are happy. It is a dire state of politics and exactly what we are arguing against. On a macro level this is what is going on with Labour and the “community leaders”.

    4. Refresh — on 1st December, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      I am with you on that one!

      Where is Unity?

    5. zahed — on 1st December, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

      Refresh… Sunny beat me to it :)

      Outside of the relations between the Labour government and individual communities, I hadn’t considered exploitation of communal differences between minority groups of competing mainstream political parties themselves.

      To be honest, I hadn’t thought it possible until, as pointed out, representatives of these groups can integrate into the mainstream political parties and use them to exacerbate their differences with each other with the parties approval, since it furthers their agendas anyway.

      Anyway, I’m still a registered Democrat in San Francisco. Still have a lot of learning to do about UK politics…

    6. maclife — on 1st December, 2006 at 3:35 pm  

      I’m sure you’ve already noticed Sunny but can you fix the title, Nazir Ali is someone else.

    7. soru — on 1st December, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

      zahed: In the USA, wouldn’t this kind of thing (say a black Democrat senator backing a black Republican in preference to a white democrat) be pretty unexceptional?

      In fact, isn’t that tendency to vote on communal grounds strong enough that some criticism of right-wing black politicians (Powell, Rice) tries to make the claim that not merely are they right wing, immoral or incompetent, but in some sense they are _not black_?

    8. ZinZin — on 1st December, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

      Nazir Ali is the Bishop of Rochester.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2046892.stm

    9. Zak — on 1st December, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

      I take anything Shahid Malik says with a pinch of salt..he has extremely ambitious.

      To be honest I am surprised Nazir Ahmed hasn’t been expelled already..he has stepped on a lot new labour post iraq shoes over the last few years.

    10. zahed — on 1st December, 2006 at 6:56 pm  

      zahed: In the USA, wouldn’t this kind of thing (say a black Democrat senator backing a black Republican in preference to a white democrat) be pretty unexceptional?

      In fact, isn’t that tendency to vote on communal grounds strong enough that some criticism of right-wing black politicians (Powell, Rice) tries to make the claim that not merely are they right wing, immoral or incompetent, but in some sense they are _not black_?

      As far as I know, all black Republicans (the elected ones are probably no more than a dozen nationwide) are viewed with skepticism among black Democrats and blacks in general. Sometimes a figure like Colin Powell or Condi is seen as able to sway independently-minded black voters, but as far as any organised communal tendencies between blacks in either party… I haven’t seen it, nor would I think either party would stand for it.

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