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20th October, 2005

The government doesn’t care

by Al-Hack at 4:35 am    

Our lives are very difficult now. For twelve weeks we have had all benefits taken away and, as we aren’t allowed to work, we have to survive on the charity of others. It’s inhuman and degrading. The government, they’re not treating us like people, like human beings. We’re just targets or statistics to them: but we’re not statistics, we’re real people. There aren’t really words to express how we’re feeling.

The government say their policy is fair. How can it be fair for my mum to be so depressed she’s had to go on medication, she’s crying all the time, for us to be spending sleepless nights? Is it fair for me to have missed another day of college to come here to plead for our lives when I should be studying so I can become a midwife and help British women? Is it fair to say to a mother, “How would you feel if we took your children off you?” which was said to my mum back in August? I was there but you can imagine. What kind of question is that? Is it fair? Or is it degrading?

This was part of a speech made by 19-year-old Flores Sukula to a meeting in parliament this week. She is an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), whose family was one of the first to be made destitute under new asylum laws.

It comes only days after a Zimbabwean won his test case against deportation back to Mugabe’s regime. Not that the government cares, its still trying to send people back to Iraq.

11th October, 2005

Is the Conservative party worth supporting?

by Sunny at 5:11 am    

Many Asians would rather slit their wrists than support the Conservative party (with good reason), and some are so right-wing that it’s their natural home. But is the party of Enoch Powell and the slogan ‘If you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labour’, becoming easier to swallow?

Exhibit A: Michael Howard has finally gone. Hallelujah!

Exhibit B: More Asian MPs than ever before. Well, there is a lot of tokenism here, and even the PPCs like Rishi Saha and Kulveer Ranger know this, but then someone has to change the system right? Shailesh Vara was yesterday described in the Guardian as one of eight to watch. A bit bizarre that since the guy never says anything interesting. Maybe the Guardian was looking for a token Asian, who knows. Certainly, Ranger recently felt like that at the Conservative conference.

Exhibit C: If yesterday’s comments by John Bercow are anything to go by, immigration seems to be firmly off the agenda (for now anyway).

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30th September, 2005

Events to look out for

by Sunny at 3:23 pm    

Op note: The Conservative spokesman for ‘diversity and community cohesion’, Dominic Grieve, will speak at a Conservative Muslim Forum meeting at their annual conference on Monday 3rd October. Other speakers will include Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh, Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum; Trevor Philips, Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality.

Narmada solidarity UK: Supporting and documenting the issues raised by India’s most vibrant grassroots movement, the Narmada Bachao Andolan, spreading the issues to the international arena; providing resolutions for the future.

Will include NBA’s inspiring founder, Medha Patkar, panel discussion with open floor. a film showing and progressive performers on top.
Saturday October 1st 2005: University College London Cruciform Lecture Theatre 11.30am-11.30pm

The public meeting will not only provide an up to date picture of the current status, it will address future challenges faced by large dam ‘development’ projects in the subcontinent and why international communities must take heed.
More on their website

29th September, 2005

Hero of the week

by Sunny at 5:28 pm    

Walter Wolfgang
Walter Wolfgang at the Labour party conference.
Google New coverage

Filed under: Party politics
27th September, 2005

Ann Winterton’s spouts racism again

by Al-Hack at 4:21 pm    

We live in times of tremendous change, but the United Kingdom is still, thankfully, a predominantly white, Christian country.

Some might say we are now paying the price for the so-called ‘benefits’ of the multi-cultural society, the product of almost uncontrolled immigration and the abuse of asylum.

Yes you guessed it, its Tory MP Ann Winterton again. You think she might have learnt after last year’s sick joke about the drowning Chinese cockle pickers, or the furore after she said Asians “10 a penny in Britain”. But clearly not.

Filed under: Party politics

Gate Gourmet workers split Labour party

by Sunny at 3:46 am    

Who would have believed the Gate Gourmet workers may inflict the first serious policy defeat of Mr Blair’s leadership by the party’s National Executive Comittee since 1997.

The issue at hand is support for secondary (or support) strikes, which Tony Blair is vehemently against. Remember, the BA workers strike was illegal since they were not meant to support their co-workers at Gate Gourmet. But the unions want them back. Damn right!

Yesterday, delegates at the Labour party conference narrowly voted in favour of the resolution.

Julie Hilling, a delegate from Worsley, said the Gate Gourmet workers had been treated no better than “common criminals”, but urged delegates not to back a return to secondary action.

But Tony Woodley, the TGWU general secretary, denied his union’s move marked a return to the 1970s. “It’s about protecting workers’ dignity and stopping bosses victimising ordinary men and women.”

Delegates gave Gate Gourmet workers in the audience a standing ovation as Mr Woodley said the case exposed “severe weaknesses” in labour laws, which allowed the “legal exploitation and bullying” of staff. “It is unacceptable and immoral,” he said. “We aren’t calling for wildcat action. We aren’t calling for flying pickets.”

But workers should be given the right to “solidarity action”, Mr Woodley said. “What is this movement about if it isn’t solidarity with those less able to defend themselves?

I agree fully. The press may paint some extreme examples but not all workers constantly want to strike. Without the BA workers strike, no one would have cared about the GG workers.

Update: A deal resolving the issue is expected tomorrow.

Filed under: Party politics
22nd September, 2005

Everyone’s rapidly sinking in Iraq

by Sunny at 12:57 pm    

I’m not the kind of person that gives much credence to conspiracy theories, specially around 9/11 or 7/7, but the story that two British soldiers had to be “rescued” from a Basra jail smelled fishy from the start. Why were these guys dressed as Arabs and why did they shoot at the Iraqi police?

Why did the MoD use such force (using tanks) to destroy the prison and take these men back? Why didn’t they just negotiate their release? After all, weren’t the Iraqi police now in charge? *cough* bullshit *cough*

Questions are now being asked after rising tensions in Basra. The Telegraph reports that five Iraqi civilians were also killed in the ‘raid’.

But rather than this simply being about British heavy-handedness, it seems there is a deeper problem for British forces in Iraq.

The British fear was that the two soldiers would be held as hostages for al-Fartusi. Hence the rapid operation to free them. But another more shadowy threat has been reported recently.

This is said to come from a fighter named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani. The Americans and British claim he is backed by Iran, which wants to exert its influence in southern Iraq.

In other words, the British forces are now caught in a cross-fire between different ethnic groups, local militias, and Arab countries competing for interest. Meaning? More people a month are being killed in Iraq than at any time since the massacres of the early 1990s, according to Simon Jenkins in the Guardian today. Tony Blair is now in quicksand. [Tip Lenin’s Tomb]

13th September, 2005

Tory Eric Ollerenshaw to head ‘diversity’

by Sunny at 1:49 am    

The Conservative party has made Eric Ollerenshaw OBE its head of cities and diversity. Chairman Francis Maude said:

I am pleased to announce that Eric will coordinate the Conservative Party’s nation-wide political activity in cities and on ethnic diversity issues. Eric will work closely with Dominic Grieve MP who has responsibility for Diversity, and Sayeeda Warsi, our Vice-Chairman on Cities and the appointment is effective immediately.

Filed under: Party politics
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