The latest scandal to hit ‘electioneering’ is even more like something from “The Thick of It” than the Ukip debacle. (I mean everyone is tempted to inflate an invoice or two... if the EU is picking up the tab..... are they not?) No? Maybe not.
I mean, did Afzal Amin really dream up that farcical plot? (Brian Rix eat your heart out. )
Did he, as he now claims, do all this for the ultimate betterment of mankind?
Who made the recording? Some say it was the EDL; Mark Mardell said the Daily Mail.
The Celebrity Restaurant? You couldn’t make it up. Well, you could, but no-one would believe you.
By the way, what was Afzal’s actual policy on the mega-mosque? Or was he so hell-bent on getting elected that he didn’t give a damn one way or the other?
From the transcript of the conversation it really looked as though Tommy Robinson was all set to go along with the plan, but it now seems it was all a bluff. Surprisingly, the media believes him.
The whole thing begs several questions, who did what and why?
Personally, from my own position (a combination of total ignorance and guesswork based on various media reports of the incident) I’ll guess that Afzal Amin was pretty miffed about his failure to stop the original EDL march, and fantasized, as one does, about how he could re-run the whole thing and emerge triumphant. Only he took it a bit too far. It should have remained a fantasy, obviously.
What astounded me more than the fiasco itself was that the BBC seems most outraged at the very idea that a would-be M.P. could stoop so low as to hob-nob with such a disgustingly far-right-wing bunch of thugs as the EDL. The fact that as a would-be MP Afzal concocted an elaborate farce to make himself look good didn’t seem to bother them at all.
Now call me a right-wing defender of the EDL if you must, but I seem to remember that the EDL are vilified for objecting to the Islamification or Islamisation of the UK, which they express vociferously and sometimes drunkenly, through the medium of the protest march.
Both ladies on Marr’s paper review seemed to be taking this EDL-bashing line, specially the labour MP Gloria De Piero. “The idea that anybody would contemplate doing a deal with the English Defence League” was the thing that appalled her. “They’ve marched through my constituency, they intimidate people, they frighten people....” Wow.
“The EDL is the most appalling organisation” said Anna Soubry MP.
Nothing was said about the intimidation emanating from massed Muslim marches we’ve seen over the last couple of years, least of all the one against depicting the prophet Mo. that winded outside the PM’s residence.
Meanwhile, scandals surrounding the corrupt councillors of Tower Hamlets, the hate preachers that seem to be protected by chancellors and governing bodies of our universities, the communities that demand separate Islam-style education for their children, the racist sexual exploitation that was swept under the carpet by the police, social services and the media for years - have enjoyed kid glove treatment for fear of stirring up social unrest, and worst of all fear of being called racist.
It would have been admirable if Afzal had really been what the Conservatives wanted him to be, disadvantaged background, Muslim, aspirational, successful, multicultural; diversity with a cherry on top. But alas, no.
Tim Montgomerie was interviewed on the Sunday Politics. (I think) He also adopted the anti-EDL approach.
Andrew Neil eventually got Tommy Robinson on the blower.
“Hello, Mr Robinson, can you hear me?”
“Are you there?”
“Yes, I can hear you. Hello.”
“I can’t hear him.”
That palaver at the beginning of the conversation gave the whole thing a surreal aura, and although Andrew Neil appeared prepared to hear Tommy Robinson out, alas and alack, they ran out of time.
The story continues....