Posts Tagged ‘Defector’

Salma Yaqoob: so do we welcome her in or slam the door in her face?

12/09/2012, 07:00:55 AM

by Kevin Meagher

In the old days it used to be so easy. You joined a political party and stuck with it. There may have been tough times and periods when you disagreed or despaired at the direction it went in, but the thought of leaving? Never.

When news broke last night that Salma Yaqoob, the leader of the Respect party, had quit, not only as leader, but the party altogether, Twitter was quickly alive with talk that she is now set to join Labour.

Not that it is wise to trust the instant pontificatorate on Twitter, but you can see why the rumours spread. Yaqoob’s previous public utterances about Labour have been carefully calibrated to leave the door ajar. In an interview with The Guardian back in April she was asked how to describe her politics: “I would characterise them as what people think the Labour party should stand for: social justice, and foreign policy about peace, not war.”

There are no references to George Galloway in her resignation statement, but there didn’t need to be. Following Kate Hudson’s withdrawal as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming Manchester Central by-election over Galloway’s careless remarks about rape, the ruptures within Respect are all too apparent. Rather than feign surprise, it is reasonable to ask what took Hudson and now Yaqoob so long?

In citing a breakdown of “trust and collaborative working” in her statement, Yaqoob makes it sound like she’s leaving a band rather than a national political party that she led until yesterday evening. She was no mere fellow traveller and it is right that she is held accountable for Respect’s noxious brand of politics.


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Saturday News Review

18/09/2010, 07:56:32 AM

Another Lib Dem defector – How many is that now?

Solihull Lib Dem councillor Simon Slater has defected to the Labour Party. At a press conference in Solihull High Street on Friday Ian Austin, Labour MP for Dudley North, welcomed Coun Slater to the Labour fold and hinted there could be more defections to come across the West Midlands. – Solihull News

The Mirror’s final pitch

So we urge MPs, Labour Party members and those in affiliated trade unions and socialist societies to cast their votes, online or by post, for David Miliband before the ballot closes next Wednesday. Supporters of Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott should consider giving second preferences to David Miliband. The head must rule the heart.  It might appear cool to vote for Ed Miliband but the sensible choice is David Miliband. – The Mirror

“If we make the wrong choice we’ll leave Labour stuck in opposition for many years, that’s why this is too important a vote to ignore and it’s the reason the Daily Mirror has backed David. The people who really want him to lose are the Tories.” – Alan Johnson, The Mirror

Kinnock wades in again

Kinnock airs their differences publicly when he tells a Channel 4 docudrama of his surprise at David Miliband’s behaviour towards his younger brother, saying: “David’s response to Ed running has, to my astonishment, been deeply resentful. David’s people are spreading all kinds of bloody bile about Ed being in thrall to the left and he would be in the pocket of the unions and all kinds of crap like that.” – The Guardian


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