Posts Tagged ‘Jack Straw’

It’s not all right, Jack (Straw). Stop now before you get hurt.

10/01/2011, 07:00:29 AM

by Atul Hatwal

When boxers are past their prime, it’s the movement and speed that go. The power is still there, but when they throw a punch, it’s slower and off-target. Politicians are the same.

When Jack Straw stepped in to the ring on street grooming and the Pakistani community, he swung hard, but what did he hit?

If the intention was to draw attention to the problem, then he was late and missed. The debate was already raging; that’s why he was on Newsnight. If he wanted to add some insight, then he missed again; all he offered was more opinion.

On this issue so far, there has been a lot of comment but a shortage of actual evidence. There are some statistics; the Times cited a study which showed that out of 56 convictions for this type of offence, 53 were Asian men, predominantly Pakistani. (more…)

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Sunday News Review

09/01/2011, 07:50:04 AM

Straw comments spark race row amongst Labour MPs

A row around race and sexual exploitation flared last night as opponents and supporters reacted to a suggestion by Jack Straw that Pakistani men were grooming white girls for sexual abuse. The former home secretary was accused of attempting to “stereotype a whole community” after he suggested that some Pakistani men in Britain see white girls as “easy meat”. He was also criticised for not speaking out on the issue when his party was in power. – Independent on Sunday

Straw suggested young Pakistanis deliberately look for white girls and urged the Pakistani community to be “more open” about the issue. The Blackburn Labour MP said: “Pakistanis, let’s be clear, are not the only people who commit sexual offences, and overwhelmingly the sex offenders wings of prisons are full of white sex offenders. But there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani-heritage men … who target vulnerable young white girls. He claimed there is a “specific problem” after two Asians were jailed for targeting vulnerable teenagers. The issue of Pakistani men in the north of England allegedly grooming underage girls for sex also dominated headlines throughout the week. – Sunday Herald

However, Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said Mr Straw was wrong to accuse British Pakistani men of targeting white girls. “To generalise in this stereotypical manner and castigate a whole community is not becoming of him,” said Mr Mahmood. Mr Mahmood’s criticism was echoed by Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, who said: “I don’t think this is a cultural problem … I don’t think you can stereotype an entire community.” Mr Vaz added: “Why didn’t Jack Straw say something about this? He has represented Blackburn for 31 years, he has been the home secretary.” However, Ann Cryer, the former Labour MP for Keighley, West Yorkshire, said Mr Straw should be commended for highlighting a problem that, she said, Muslim MPs were not prepared to confront. “The vast majority of young Asian men are fine, but there’s a minority who do not behave properly towards white women and sweeping it under the carpet will only make matters worse,” she said. – Sunday Telegraph

Polls point to Labour win

Labour is on course for a thumping win in next week’s Oldham East and Saddleworth byelection, according to opinion polls, in what would be a devastating blow to the Liberal Democrats. Despite losing the seat by just 103 votes at last year’s general election and although the Tories are allegedly holding back their campaign at David Cameron’s request, Nick Clegg’s party trails by 17 points in two separate surveys of voters in the key marginal. It will be seen as a resounding thumbs-down to the Lib Dems’ role in the Conservative-led coalition government. Labour blitzed the constituency with 500 campaigners yesterday as Ed Miliband made a new overture to disgruntled Lib Dems. The Labour leader urged people to “send a message about the betrayal on fees”. Portraying the Lib Dems as locked into a Tory agenda that many do not support, he added: “For the first time since this Conservative-led government was formed, voters will have their chance to pass judgment on David Cameron and Nick Clegg. They can show the government what they feel about police cuts both here and across the country. And they can make clear their anger about a VAT rise that is the wrong tax at the wrong time.” – Observer

The first out of the stocks (with changes from the General Election) are the ICM and Populus polls
ICM have CON 18%(-8), LAB 44%(+12), LDEM 27%(-5)
Populus have CON 15%(-11), LAB 46%(+14), LDEM 29(-3)
So both have Labour substantially up on their general election support and the Lib Dems dropping less than the third placed Conservatives. Rumour has it that the third poll, from Survation, has a bigger squeeze on the Conservative vote with them pushed down to single figures. The Labour and Lib Dem campaigns seem broadly equal – just over 70% recall getting leaflets from the two parties, about 20% have been doorstepped by them, about 20% have been phoned by them. In comparison only 57% have had a Conservative leaflet, 7% had them on their doorstep and 5% been phoned by them. Populus also asked how people would have voted had there been a joint Con-LD candidate – I make the repercentaged figures for that Lab 47%, Con/LD 38% – so it would have been a little closer – UK Polling Report

David Miliband to do a Portillo?

David Miliband is considering a role in television, in a surprise move that appears to dash his brother Ed’s hopes that he can be persuaded to join the shadow cabinet. The Labour leadership candidate has approached the BBC with a number of programme ideas. It is unclear whether Miliband wants to front one-off documentaries or a series of shows, but it is thought all his proposals would involve him taking a starring role on screen. In a statement, a spokesman for Miliband said: “David is talking to a range of organisations about his interest in foreign and environmental policy.” A BBC spokesman confirmed: “David Miliband has approached the BBC with some programme ideas. The BBC receives suggestions from a wide variety of sources and these will be considered in the same way as any others.” Industry sources believe he has held informal talks with executives at the corporation, however. – Observer

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Thursday News Review

12/08/2010, 07:49:24 AM

Straw backs Miliband Snr

Jack Straw is backing David Miliband for the Labour leadership

Labour leadership contender David Miliband tonight received the endorsement of another party heavyweight, as the shadow justice secretary, Jack Straw, gave the elder Miliband his vote. In a letter to Blackburn Labour members, Straw pledged his support to Miliband, joining the shadow home secretary, Alan Johnson, and the shadow chancellor, Alistair Darling, in proclaiming him as their pick to take over from Gordon Brown. Explaining his decision, Straw draws drew attention to Miliband’s role running the leadership campaigns of both Brown and Tony Blair. – The Guardian

Mr Straw, who announced last week that he is to retire from the Shadow Cabinet in October, said in a letter to party members in his Blackburn constituency: “In my view there is one outstanding candidate with the qualities necessary both to be Leader of the Opposition, and then Prime Minister.”In my judgment it is David Miliband who without doubt should be our next Leader. He will get my vote.” – The Independent

All the candidates have strengths. In my view, however, there is one outstanding candidate with the qualities necessary both to be Leader of the Opposition, and then Prime Minister. And don’t forget, the post of Opposition Leader is probably the most difficult and exposed of any in British politics. The Conservatives got through three Opposition Leaders before they elected one who could achieve even half a victory. Only three Labour leaders (Attlee, Wilson, Blair) in our post-war period have won elections. – Jack Straw, Blackburn Labour


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Saturday News Review

07/08/2010, 08:27:48 AM


Straw to step down

Straw to step down


“I was first appointed to the Labour frontbench in 1980, and then elected to the Shadow Cabinet in 1987,” he told the Press Association. “But now I want the freedom to range more widely over foreign and economic policy.” – Jack Straw, Belfast Teregraph.

The immigration debate

Deborah Mattinson has run focus groups – snapshots of the voting public – for the past 20 years. In that time she has been made plainly aware of the needs, wants and fears of the British people. She claims that the immigration debate – dismissed to quickly by politicians as bigotry – is in fact a clear cry from voters that they are afraid for their families and their communities. – Daily Mail.

Nick Clegg Jnr

Somewhat sooner than any of us could have predicted, the time has come to ask what exactly is the point of Nick Clegg. Just cast your minds back to those heady days of the first-ever British television election debates as the nation enjoyed Mr Clegg’s warm sincerity; those arched hands, those dewy eyes that looked straight into the camera as he promised a ‘new politics’. – Daily Mail.


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Friday News Review

23/07/2010, 08:30:10 AM

 Leadership Contest

“I am an economic realist. The public finances need addressing. Labour’s plans would halve the budget deficit and remove the bulk of the structural deficit in four years. It is the sensible, credible middle-ground between extreme cuts and unchecked spending. But the government’s proposals, designed without an escape hatch in the event of slowing growth, reflect ideology, not realism” – David Miliband, Financial Times.

 Ed, the younger of the two Miliband brothers, has been heavily supported with Coral bookmakers in the last two days to be the next Labour Leader, and has been slashed in price to 13-8 (from 9-4). David is still the odds-on favourite at 1-2. – Live Odds and Scores.

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Friday News Review

09/07/2010, 08:27:14 AM

Show me the money

David Miliband has raised more in donations than any of the other candidates

Since launching his bid to replace Gordon Brown in May, accounts issued by the Electoral Commission show that the shadow foreign secretary has raised nearly £200,000 from major donors alone. He has also drawn in 94 smaller gifts of less than £1,500, which do not have to be declared. In contrast, Ed Balls, the shadow education secretary and his nearest rival, has raked in less than £30,000, and Mr Miliband’s younger brother Ed, the shadow energy secretary, has only £15,000. – The Telegraph

Black Country MP John Spellar has offered a donation of £13,000 to Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls’s campaign – but he doesn’t expect ever to pay it. Mr Spellar is listed as a donor in a new register published by the Electoral Commission which shows how much the candidates have received. Shadow Foreign Secretary David Miliband is in the lead in the cash stakes, with £185,265 in financial support from major backers. – The Birmingham Post

David Miliband brandished his political fundraising abilities today as it emerged he had attracted far more in donations to his Labour leadership bid than any of his rivals. The shadow foreign secretary has so far racked up £185,265 in financial support from major backers, according to the Electoral Commission. That is apart from 94 other donations of less than £1,500 which do not need to be declared and two cash gifts from the Usdaw and Community unions which will be listed in future months. – The Guardian


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Leadership candidates on Ken Clarke proposals and deficit

02/07/2010, 12:45:00 PM

This week’s prime minister’s questions posed at least two questions for Labour: first, how to react to Ken Clarke’s prison proposals. Second, whether to take up David Cameron’s invitation “to engage in this debate (on deficit reduction), rather than playing this pathetic game of pretending there wouldn’t be cuts under Labour.”

Some Labour contributions to PMQs and Jack Straw’s article in the Daily Mail suggest that we are about to attack Clarke from the right. Steve Richards, who chaired Wednesday’s leadership hustings in Lambeth, has since dismissed this as madness. Different views have been expressed on Labour Uncut. But what did the candidates have to say to Lambeth on this? 


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We need a bang ‘em up motion on prisons next week

01/07/2010, 11:37:46 AM

Next Wednesday is an opposition day in the House of Commons.  This means that the opposition gets to choose the subjects for debate. Labour’s ‘usual channels’ have yet to determine what next week’s motions will be.

Uncut would like to venture a suggestion: the debate should be about prisons. The motion should be strongly worded, along the lines of Jack Straw’s article in the Daily Mail. The thesis can be summarised thus: prison works; bang ‘em up.

Our view is not based on the rehabilitative efficacy or otherwise of prison. It is tactical. (more…)

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