Goodbye, Lord Ahmed. You will not be missed

by Rob Marchant

Ah, Nazir Ahmed. There are two sides being put to your story. On the one hand, there is yours. Its claim is that you have been put upon by an unfeeling Labour party, which will not give you a “fair hearing”.

On the other, there is the more obvious, alternative explanation, that you were allegedly caught saying something anti-Semitic, following a long stretch of seemingly unpardonable behaviour from your good self, and then resigned from the party in anticipation of being pushed – via a letter which can only be described as weaselly – in order to hang on to some vestige of personal credibility.

I shall leave the reader to decide which explanation seems the more fitting.

A brief recap from the Mirror:

“The Times reported that he blamed his 2009 prison sentence – for sending text messages shortly before his car was involved in a fatal crash – on pressure placed on the courts by Jews ”who own newspapers and TV channels”.

So, according to the translated interview video, the conviction had not been down to Ahmed’s guilt, as a mere court of law found, it was clearly another Jewish conspiracy.

As we shall see, it seems that Ahmed has perhaps simply always been one of those characters who feels that the law, and the rulebook, does not really apply to them. In fact, in a wonderful example of this, here (24:28) he describes his short prison sentence as “quashed”, just as he says it was “overturned” in the Times video. It wasn’t.

It is unnecessary to bore Uncut readers further with Ahmed’s “previous”: in fact, for those interested, I already did so in a piece for the Independent, two months ago. But it behoves us to do a little due diligence on the resignation letter. It seems somehow wrong to let this one last, desperate defence go unchallenged.

First, let us deal with the Times’ film footage. Ahmed implies that the fact that the Times’ declining to release the full, unexpurgated film is somehow suspicious. Well, they’ve hardly hidden the film – it’s on their website (£). They also carried out four separate translations from Urdu to ensure accuracy.

In fact, the Times is under no obligation to provide such a copy for what is essentially a private matter between Ahmed and the Labour party. Labour party constitutional committee hearings are not carried out in public and the Times feeling little need to justify itself further, in a matter which seems pretty open and shut, is quite understandable.

It also might be expected that some “expert witness” might be conjured up to discredit the film, should someone so desire. But a film is a film. It is actually rather hard to fake such things in a convincing way. Indeed, in the letter his criticism of the Times seems to be limited, a little pathetically, to the film being “edited” and “taken out of context”, hardly particularly dastardly tactics.

That said, the Thunderer may not realise that it could be leaving Ahmed the tiniest of escape hatches in the process, because his claim that the evidence was tampered with may now never be able to be one hundred per cent disproved.

Second, Ahmed claims that the party has not made an independent inquiry before proceeding with a hearing. Hilarious. Presumably he thinks that his desperately skint ex-party, which has a perfectly serviceable disciplinary procedure – with the possible caveat of being too soft on those who fall foul of it – should now both question publicly its own procedures and, presumably, incur great expense by laying on something “independent”, just for him.

But, third, at this point the letter adds further comedy value: “there is extrinsic evidence which suggests that the translation could not truly be representative of what I have ever said and believe. My past record sufficiently bears this out”. He then goes on to name two times when he has been misreported. Once, by a frankly sloppy Pakistani newspaper, barely counts. The second, by the Daily Telegraph, seems real enough.

But, wait a minute: pure logic dictates that this supposed “record” demonstrates nothing whatsoever about such implied virtue, merely that two papers misreported him. It is certainly not “sufficient” for anything of the sort; in fact, it’s a bizarre non sequitur.

Fourth, in a wonderful turn of phrase, he speaks of the “alleged interview” the Times reports. As if he is questioning that it ever happened. Yes, he is implying that a reputable national newspaper not only manipulated the film, but actually made up an interview, as well as a film thereof, that never happened. I was stitched up like a kipper, guv.

Fifth, he complains that “in the absence of the forensic evidence of the offending video…I will not get a fair hearing”. It is the plaintive whine of the victim, being singled out by the party, rather than someone at the far end of a long period of unacceptable behaviour. Even without the Times’ video evidence, they would surely be justified in pulling the plug based on previous events. And that evidence is anyway pretty clear.

Sixth, he rescinds the apology to the Jewish community he made in the Huffington Post, calling it an “apology” (in quotes). By this point, the “argument” that he has developed on this whole matter is all over the place. As Guido Fawkes mischievously tweeted:

“Lord Ahmed: I don’t remember making Jewish conspiracy comments. But sorry if I did. But I didn’t. I resign.”

Finally, he selflessly does “not wish to unnecessarily provide bad press for the party and/or do anything that would alienate voters from the party having been a loyal supporter and servant of it for decades.” Ah, it almost brings a tear to one’s eye.

No, actually, it doesn’t. To my mind, and I’m sure many others, Ahmed’s disingenuous letter merely represents the last in a long line of insults to party members’ and supporters’ intelligence.

He will not be missed.

As a post script, I would like to think this: that the party has touched bottom on these kinds of issues of discipline, with those parliamentarians who bring the party into disrepute through their unacceptable actions and their unspeakable friends, and that there is no more to come.

But, given its reluctance to take action with Ahmed until its nose was unceremoniously rubbed in the problem, it’s difficult feel much optimism that that is the case.

Rob Marchant is an activist and former Labour party manager who blogs at the Centre Left

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13 Responses to “Goodbye, Lord Ahmed. You will not be missed”

  1. John P Reid says:

    next stop respect?

  2. Rob Marchant says:

    @John: It has been suggested by the mischievous Ted Jeory on Twitter that he might just end up in Tower Hamlets as some kind of “advisor”. I think it was pure conjecture, but you heard it here first.

  3. swatantra says:

    Ahmad joins a long list of nutters weirdos and reprobates that Labour has sent up to the Lords. About time we sent some sensible people up there, people who actually believe and support Labour values and behave themselves sensibly in private. But Ahmad may have a point about the kangaroo court nature of the verdict on him, and we all know that the Media and Press Barons really do need to be held accountable and reined in and not sucked up to. The fact is they are getting away with it now that Leveson has been nobbled.

  4. tokyo nambu says:

    It’s worth noting that it was the Labour Party that gave Ahmed a peerage in the first place.

  5. McCurry says:

    It must be tough for you Rob, not being Ted, that is. That article I read of yours, where you opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate Lutfur leaving the Labour party. That was copied from Ted’s blog. It was his sense of humour that you were plagiarizing.

  6. Glen Barnham says:

    Was he a Tony Blair appointment?

  7. H.A says:

    @John, Ahmed has a very cosy relationship with Nawaz Sharif, the newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. He even personally escorted Mr Sharif when he returned from exile in Saudi Arabia. He may very well spend time in South Asia.

  8. Rob Marchant says:

    @swatantra: not sure about the kangaroo court thing. Looked pretty kosher.

    @Tokyo: yes. We had just got into office, and weren’t quite as picky as we should have been. There were also hardly any ethnic minority peers in those days (although that’s no excuse).

    @McCurry: I really wish I knew what you were talking about, Dan.

    @Glen: Yes, sadly.

    @H.A. Mmm, nice. I suspect it may be slightly less cordial now he has removed himself from main-party politics.

  9. tokyo nambu says:

    “There were also hardly any ethnic minority peers in those days”

    Indeed. But picking Ahmed and Uddin shows that positive discrimination doesn’t work very well.

  10. Rob Marchant says:

    @Tokyo: I don’t know much about Uddin. But yes, we need to rethink our whole attitude to how we deal with ethnic minority electoral strategy, candidate selection and identity politics.

  11. swatantra says:

    When the HoL Reform comes about, if ever, lets have some ‘Peoples Peers’.
    And whenever Ministers are appointed, let them go before a Peoples Panel to be scrutinised vetted and approved, like they do in the USA, well nearly. But that 80:20 ratio should be kept instead of a fully elected 2nd Chamber.

  12. The resignation of Lord Ahmed might usefully set off some much-needed spring cleaning within the Labour Party. All and sundry have accrued to it over the last 20 years.

    Those who actually devised the cuts all the way back when they were running the Downing Street Policy Unit under Tony Blair, those who first sketched out the Gove schools policy on the back of some mat bearing the logo of obscenely overpriced lager, those who are paid to do the bidding of the secular Israeli Far Right and who screech you-know-what at anyone who suggest that that might not be entirely appropriate. All and sundry.

    Not even their public support for the re-election of Boris Johnson has caused them to be removed. Good riddance to Lord Ahmed. But only in a context of bidding it to a whole lot of other people.

    Labour, however, is not running the country. As some of us have been pointing out in considerable depth for several years, it is the Conservative Party that is the fully functioning British political vehicle of the Far Left, of Islamism, and of South Asian communalism.

    The entire Socialist Workers’ Party faction of Respect in Tower Hamlets not long ago defected to the Conservative Party after having fallen out with the Islamists.

    Johanna Kaschke, a longstanding Respect and Communist Party figure, left the Labour Party in 2007 after having failed to secure its nomination for the parliamentary seat of Bethnal Green and Bow, and ended that year by joining the Conservative Party, in which she has rapidly become a well-connected activist.

    Around the country, local factions of various Asian and other origins routinely defect from Labour or other things to the Conservatives on frankly communal grounds, and are always welcomed with open arms.

    David Cameron’s vehicles toured Ealing Southall blasting out in Asian languages that Hindu, Muslim and Sikh festivals would be made public holidays under his party. His “Quality of Life Commission” (don’t laugh, it’s real) then proposed giving the power to decide these things to “local community leaders”.

    What else will those figures be given the power to decide in return for filling in every postal voting form in their households in the Bullingdon Boys’ interest, and making sure that all their mates did likewise? To the statelets thus created – little Caliphates, little Hindutvas, little Khalistans, and so on – people minded to live in such places will flock from the ends of the earth, entrenching the situation forever.

    With some fanfare, the Conservative Party recently welcomed John Marek, who was fiercely anti-monarchist and anti-hunting while Labour MP for Wrexham, and who went on to become the founder and only ever Leader of Forward Wales, a Welsh separatist, Welsh-speaking supremacist, economically Hard Left, unyieldingly Politically Correct, Tommy Sheridan-endorsed party which was only dissolved in January 2010, and which continues to be named as Marek’s party, despite his having become an enthusiastic Conservative, on the list of former MPs who continue to hold House of Commons passes.

    Will David Cameron also recruit, if he has not already done so, Marek’s fellow founder-members of Forward Wales: Ron Davies, one of the very few former Cabinet Ministers without a seat in either House, and a noted campaigner both against shooting and for the abolition of the monarchy; Graeme Beard, a former Plaid Cymru councillor in Caerphilly; and Klaus Armstrong-Braun, who in his time on Flintshire County Council was the only Green Party member ever elected at county level in Wales?

    Cameron has already signed up Mohammad Asghar, a Member of the Welsh Assembly who has moved seamlessly from Plaid Cymru.

    Rehman Chishti, now a rising star as MP for Gillingham and Rainham, was Francis Maude’s Labour opponent in 2005 while working for Benazir Bhutto, whom he assisted from 1991 until her assassination in 2007 in her leadership of a party the motto of which includes both “Islam is our Faith” and “Socialism is our Economy”; he was still doing that job when he defected to the Conservative Party in 2006 and became an aide to Maude as its Chairman.

    And so on, and on, and on.

    They obviously find the 1980s Radical Right’s company as congenial as they find each other’s, with David Cameron and 80 per cent of his party’s MPs as members of Conservative Friends of Israel, which is not even a front for the thoroughly racist Israeli Government, since that would require some degree of secrecy, or at least of discretion, about the treasonable nature of the relationship.

    Liam Fox had to resign as Secretary of State for, of all things, Defence because the Israeli Far Right and its nominally American fellow-travellers had, treasonably, been running a parallel foreign policy out of his office and through its subsidiary fake charity, now deregistered.

    Blue is the new Red-Brown.

  13. Rob Marchant says:

    @David: Some very interesting stuff in there, so thanks for that, esp. about Tower Hamlets. I’m not sure I agree about people backing Boris, though. The only person I heard endorse Boris was Dan Hodges – hardly a conspiracy of evil right-wingers. Most, sadly, as Tom Watson put it, “held their noses and voted for Ken”. I’m also not sure who in the Labour Party backs the Israeli Far Right, but I’m sure you’ll tell me…!

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