Baroness Warsi 71

I shared a platform in Dewsbury with Baroness Warsi’s current husband in a meeting against persecution of British Muslims through “anti-terror” legislation. While that particular persecution was under the New Labour brand of Conservatives, and nothing has changed under the official Tories, it nonetheless always seemed slightly strange to me that the family has such strong and sensible views and yet the Baroness, who has described her husband as her “political rock”, is a Tory.

I offer this thought as some background to the principled and highly praiseworthy action of Sayeeda Warsi in resigning from the Cabinet over Britain’s acquiescence in the appalling massacre of Gaza. A politician who believes in anything other than their own career and bank balance is a rare thing indeed today. I offer her my congratulations and sincere good wishes for the future.

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71 thoughts on “Baroness Warsi

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  • Mary

    ‘But he says:

    “Gaza had “come back to life” during the ceasefire”’

    Does that include the souls listed as killed including 373 children?


    A senior Israeli politician has called for the “conquest of the entire Gaza Strip” and the deportation of Palestinians to make way for Jewish settlers.

    Moshe Feiglin, the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of the governing Likud party, outlined his plans in an open letter to Benjamin Netanyahu published on Facebook.

    Writing last week after the reported abduction of an Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin, he called on the Prime Minister to vastly increase the aggression of Operation Protective Edge, which has already killed more than 1,800 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of homes.


    PS Moshe. Haven’t you heard? The Palestinians in Gaza are already in a concentration camp.

  • Mary

    At the Islamic University in Gaza
    Omar Robert Hamilton 6 August 2014

    We pulled up to the shining blue facade of the main hall of the Islamic University in Gaza in the summer of 2012. The Palestine Festival of Literature was running a seminar and an afternoon of workshops with students from the Arabic and English departments. Jamal Mahjoub, Selma Dabbagh and Amr Ezzat spoke to a packed auditorium of around 200 students, mostly young women, all veiled. The university enforces a dress code. Someone smiled at me from the crowd and it was a full three seconds before I recognised my friend and colleague Rana. She is not normally veiled. But this is the university with the best facilities.

    The students, as always, were smart and challenging. They wanted to know how to get published, they wanted to try out new writing on new ears. They wanted to know what it would take to get the world to listen. Rana tweeted from the workshop, quoting: ‘writing has always been the best way to fight.’

    We were taken to see the library. It was large and very well stocked. I asked how they had so many books, when books are so often prevented from passing through the siege. We were taken to see the sorting room. It was the size of a large bedroom and filled to the ceiling with polypropylene cargo sacks covered in tunnel sand and spilling out books. Four women sat at desks at the front, dusting the books off, stamping them, cataloguing them.

    The university had been bombed in 2009 during Operation Cast Lead. What was destroyed was rebuilt. It was bombed again last on Saturday. The central building with the bright blue glass facade that greets visitors has been destroyed.

    The Israeli army’s Twitter account said it hit ‘a weapons development center located in the Islamic University’. From what I can remember it hit the English department, two auditoriums and a canteen.

    The forecourt was littered with charred exam papers, essays and books. One crumpled sheet considered Yeats’s ‘Second Coming’. The student finds herself in agreement with the poet: ‘the great last day will come sooner or later.’

  • Mary

    The BBC will broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza unlike in 2009 for Cast Lead. Big deal. The public now pay for the results of Israel’s criminal assault.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    I was upset to hear the Beeb has shunted Jeremy Bowen, for whom I have always had a soft spot.

    Apparently Bowen himself, and the Beeb claim that he is on holiday, and that he will soon be back in his normal posish. I hope this is true.

    Last time the IDF were unleashed on Gaza, he was a good deal more sympathetic to Israel than he was this time. I think that may have something to do with it. On the other hand, after that he undoubtedly needs a break.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Doug – my original point had to do with the larger numbers of Muslims who do care about the Middle East as compared with the fraction of the small Jewish vote who regard Israel as a priority and the vast majority of the rest of the public who don’t give a stuff either way but select their ‘representatives’ on completely different criteria.

    The fact that Israel’s lobbyists and paymasters to some extent determine who runs the show and how doesn’t alter my impression that the Tories ignore – and indeed disrespect – the Muslim vote at their peril.

  • Mary

    From: Amena Saleem
    Sent: Thursday, 7 August 2014, 12:03
    Subject: BBC to broadcast DEC appeal for Gaza – because Israel says it’s ok


    Tomorrow, the BBC will be broadcasting a DEC appeal for Gaza. Why this time, and not in 2009? Because, this time, Israel has said there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. It would appear that the BBC feels this announcement gives it permission to run the appeal. The corporation’s dependence on what Israel says and how this influences its decision making process is of serious concern.

    Israel is on a PR offensive, now the slaughter has abated, to present itself in humanitarian terms, helping to ‘rehabilitate Gaza’, as this article in yesterday’s BICOM briefing states: (Israel shifts focus onto humanitarian aid effort). This is extremely offensive. And yet the BBC seems to be giving Israel credit for its alleged humanitarian concerns towards Gaza.

    On the Today programme this morning, the BBC’s media and arts correspondent, David Sillitoe, said of the BBC’s decision to screen the DEC appeal: “Mark Regev, making a statement on Friday, talking about a humanitarian window, a humanitarian crisis, seems to have been instrumental.”

    Below is a rough transcription of the item on Today (kindly transcribed by a Fair News volunteer). I would suggest writing to the Director General, Tony Hall, to acknowledge the screening of the DEC appeal on 8th August, but to question the BBC’s dependence on Israel declaring a humanitarian crisis in Gaza – rather than simply accepting the statements of the UN and the DEC committee – before it felt it could do so.

    Write to: Lord Hall, Director General, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA Ask for a reply.

    The item can be heard here from 01:03:04

    Newsreader: The BBC and Sky have agreed to broadcast a charity appeal for the people of Gaza five years after they attracted thousands of complaints when they rejected a similar request. The BBC says the situation is different with all sides now in agreement on the need for urgent humanitarian aid.”

    @ 01:09:07 Sarah Montague announces that tomorrow the BBC, with other media outlets, will broadcast an appeal for Gaza by the DEC. She then interviews the DEC Chief Exec Saleh Saeed.

    @ 01:12:09 SM she talks to the BBC’s Media and Arts Correspondent David Sillitoe who repeats the ridiculous ‘impartiality’ arguments trotted out in 2009 when the BBC refused to air the DEC appeal. He then gives this even more ridiculous and offensive explanation for the change:

    “DS: Now it’s felt that there is no doubt or debate about this, that Israel has said there is a humanitarian crisis, the ceasefire is there, as it says, as a humanitarian window. So it feels as though the issue of impartiality has come to an end. So, BBC and Sky say there is no issue about compromising impartiality.
    “SM: So, it’s because of Israel’s admission that it’s a humanitarian crisis?
    “DS: It seems to have been a key part of it. Mark Regev, making a statement on Friday, talking about a humanitarian window, a humanitarian crisis, seems to have been instrumental. I think another key part about it is there were 40,000 complaints when the BBC and Sky didn’t run this appeal five years ago, and there are different people making the decisions now. It was Mark Thompson back then, Tony Hall now. So, there are different people making the decisions. And also perhaps, maybe mindful of the reaction that came when they didn’t run the appeal five years ago.”

    Later in the interview Sillitoe also divulges that there were “a number of journalists within the BBC who thought the wrong decision had been made” and the government at the time also thought the same.

    Saleh Saeed says the situation now is much worse than in 2009 because of the years of the siege and the far greater number of casualties. He urges people to help in any way they can and go to .

    Thank you very much for your time.
    Best wishes

  • Keith Crosby

    What a pleasant surprise, a useful idiot like Harman with a conscience. Will she give the money back?

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