Sunday, August 31, 2008

Goodbye Anne and Hello Marsha

Anne Cryer announced last week that she would step down as an MP at the next general election. I have been watching her pronouncements far too closely to take seriously the claim that she has acted with integrity in her relations with the Muslim community. I hope some researcher will look into the relationship between her pronouncements and Home Office announcements and into some of the details surrounding her local Labour party set-up. I am sorry that she was not scrutinised enough for her claims. Examples include her support for Philip Balmforth, her recommendation for the need to learn English after the 2001 riots (!) and her public call for support from British Imams for her campaigns (I rang her office to offer support after gaining the agreement of two leading scholars but she never pursued it). She was more interested in generating anti-Muslim headlines than actually helping solve the problems that she highlighted. Her approach was one of turning towards the law rather than community development, and that is why the problems that she focused on remain.

And 'Hello Marsha Singh!' who is still here and could be here for another five years. What has he done for Bradford West? How has he lead the part of the city that suffers from some of the most deprivation? What does it say about the Labour party here that it gave us Marsha Singh? As I have mentioned before, he didn't even attend for the majority of the Home Affairs Select Committee enquiries into 'Terrorism and Community Relations'. Please local Labour party, apologise to us for devaluing us in this way, choose someone else to stand at the next election.