Posts Tagged ‘biraderi’

The Rotherham abuse is merely yet another facet of the disastrous biraderi politics Labour has nurtured

11/09/2014, 01:14:44 PM

by Rob Marchant

While Westminster’s attention is distracted by Scotland, it is gradually becoming abundantly clear that the grooming of young, white girls by Pakistani-heritage men goes way beyond Rotherham. Last week Uncut’s Kevin Meagher highlighted the next few likely police targets in Greater Manchester and this Left Foot Forward piece gives a first-hand account of grooming in a town in the South.

The true shock for many was not so much the crimes, horrific though they were. The true shock was the conspiracy of silence around them, both inside the Pakistani community and outside it.

And that is not, one likes to think, because we are intrinsically a nation of racists casting around for a reason to heap abuse on British Pakistanis among us, but mostly for the opposite reason: we didn’t want to believe that there could be a clear link between a particular culture and a particularly nasty crime.

There is a link, of course, but it is not a simplistic one: clearly a small number of Rotherham’s population have not become rapists because of the colour of their skin, or where they worship.

What, then, is that link and why should it be anything to do with Labour?

It’s an uncomfortable question, but it’s also one which we really need to ask.

For a long time, as we highlighted in Labour’s manifesto uncut (Chapter 2, section 2), Labour has had a cosy – too cosy – relationship with some ethnic communities around the country. Not all, but some. A few are Sikh. Most are Muslim, from Pakistan or Bangladesh.

And the deal goes like this: we will scratch your back, and you will scratch ours. We will support you and mute our criticism of the odd dodgy practice, and you will get out the vote in your communities and deliver it for our candidates. This is not particularly difficult when there often exist numerous members of a given extended family who will, either by habit or peer pressure, vote the same way.

A perfect example of this, as has been clocked before at Uncut, is the manipulation of membership lists during parliamentary selections, which has resulted in thirteen CLPs being put in “special measures”. It is admirable that something has been done in these thirteen; not so good that the approach to this ever-worsening problem is to contain it, rather than solve it.


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Labour’s real problem with ‘tolerated entryism’

05/07/2013, 06:58:52 AM

by Kevin Meagher

Confirmation earlier this week that 14 constituency Labour parties are in “special measures” but only one – Falkirk – seems to have anything to do with the swirl of allegations surrounding Unite, begs the obvious question:  what about the other 13?

Looking at that list, at least some of those suspensions are because of irregular recruiting practices by ethnic groups in order to affect the result of council and parliamentary selection processes. Indeed, four of the fourteen are in Birmingham, where six Labour councillors were convicted of electoral fraud in 2005, with the judge in the case saying their behaviour would not “disgrace a banana republic”.

This is, of course, a subject usually tucked away in the ‘dirty laundry’ file with party chiefs wary about cracking down on this sort of behaviour out of a misplaced sense of not wanting to castigate ethnic groups. Unfortunately this soft-soaping merely sees the problem persist, with many of the 14 suspended parties effectively in limbo for years.

Back in 1999, the party’s North West regional office received complaints of irregularities in the selection of council candidates in Oldham (the town’s two constituency Labour parties are included among the list of 14).

The dozen or so regular branch members of Alexandra ward Labour party were joined by 300 new Asian party members for the annual meeting to select the candidate to stand in the local elections. The sitting (White) councillor was duly deselected. The same hammer-to-crack-a-walnut tactic was then employed in other local selections.

The Oldham Independent Review, into the 2001 riots in the town, chaired by David Ritchie, succinctly explained what had been happening:

“…[L]arge numbers of new members have been registered shortly before some ward selection meetings and although they apparently comply with Labour Party rules on eligibility to vote, our informants had good grounds to question their allegiance to the Party. One of them when challenged professed that he normally voted Liberal Democrat. Some meetings to choose candidates have been disfigured by threats of violence and other disorderly behaviour, and in one case a selection meeting needed heavy police presence.”


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The unholy alliance that made multiculturalism a dirty word

27/12/2010, 07:00:01 AM

by Atul Hatwal

In the Observer two weeks ago, Anushka Asthana posed an interesting question, “why did multiculturalism become a dirty word”?

Anushka’s article describes her personal experience. It gives a pointed example of how multiculturalism works. But, eloquent as the piece is, it doesn’t address her question.

When looking for answers, there can be a tendency to over-intellectualise. To retreat into a discussion of Britishness and think tank generalities about society. This misses the point.

Multiculturalism has become a dirty word because of the specific actions of individuals. To be more precise – one leading man and an unwitting supporting cast of so-called community leaders.

Top billing goes to Trevor Phillips, former chair of the commission for racial equality and current chief executive of the equality and human rights commission. In 2004 he made a deliberate calculation: to reposition himself as a New Labour-type race relations tsar. Someone to do for equalities what the best man at his wedding, Peter Mandelson, had done for Labour. (more…)

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